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Congress To Vote On Iran Sanctions In January

In this file photo taken Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani briefs media prior to departing Mehrabad airport to attend the United Nations General Assembly, in Tehran, Iran. Rouhani said Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015, that ongoing nuclear negotiations with world powers are a matter of "heart," not just centrifuges ahead of talks next week in Geneva. (Vahid Salemi/AP)
In this file photo taken Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani briefs media prior to departing Mehrabad airport to attend the United Nations General Assembly, in Tehran, Iran. Rouhani said Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015, that ongoing nuclear negotiations with world powers are a matter of "heart," not just centrifuges ahead of talks next week in Geneva. (Vahid Salemi/AP)

Speaking in Israel last week, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said, “Iranian nuclear ambitions are the biggest threat to the world in general.”

Sen. Graham also criticized President Barack Obama’s approach to the country and to the ongoing talks on Iran’s nuclear program. The U.S. and other Western nations are concerned that Iran is acquiring the ability to build nuclear weapons, while Iran has maintained that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, including energy and science.

Sen. Graham said Congress will make sure the nuclear negotiations are “handled properly,” and promised a vote this month on sanctions, saying, “if Iran walks away from the table, sanctions will be re-imposed. If Iran cheats regarding any deal that we enter to the Iranians, sanctions will be re-imposed.”

In Iran, the country’s reform-minded president said he might resort to popular referendums on key issues, a move that would allow him to bypass hardline conservatives who oppose his agenda.

Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss how Congress might vote on the issue later this month, given Graham’s statement and the recent actions by the Iranian government.

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