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Obama admin seeks pause in new Iran sanctions push

President Barack Obama gestures while speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, on the initial rollout of the health care overhaul. Obama acknowledged that the widespread problems with his health care law's rollout are unacceptable, as the administration scrambles to fix the cascade of computer issues. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

President Barack Obama gestures while speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, on the initial rollout of the health care overhaul. Obama acknowledged that the widespread problems with his health care law's rollout are unacceptable, as the administration scrambles to fix the cascade of computer issues. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is asking Congress to hold off on enacting new sanctions against Iran. It says a pause in the push to impose new penalties would give negotiators flexibility in talks now under way to get Iran to comply with demands it prove its nuclear program is peaceful.

The State Department said Friday that the administration has asked lawmakers to wait on new sanctions legislation in order to give the negotiations time to get traction. Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said additional sanctions can always be imposed later if the Iranians fail to meet their obligations. She stressed that no existing sanctions are being lifted.

The administration has argued that tough sanctions brought Iran to the bargaining table. Some lawmakers maintain that now is not the time to ease pressure.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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