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|US Congress skeptical of Iran nuclear talks extension|
US House and Senate members reacted coolly Monday to an extension of international negotiations over Iran's nuclear program, with skeptical lawmakers demanding Congress "tighten the economic vice on Tehran" through new sanctions. No sooner had the extension been announced in Vienna and US Secretary of State John Kerry implored US lawmakers not to "walk away" from the negotiations by slapping punitive sanctions on Iran, that several lawmakers advocated just that, setting up a potential White House clash with Congress. "Now more than ever, it's critical that Congress enacts sanctions that give Iran's mullahs no choice but to dismantle their illicit nuclear program," Republican Senator Mark Kirk, who supports new sanctions, said in a statement.
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|Iran extension prompts calls for more sanctions in U.S. Congress|
By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Several U.S. Republican lawmakers insisted on Monday that the extension of nuclear talks with Iran be accompanied by increased sanctions, setting the stage for a battle with the Obama administration after their party takes full control of Congress next year. Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte, three of the party's leading foreign policy voices, said they view Iran's insistence on having any enrichment capability at all as problematic and warned that a "bad deal" would lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. ...
|Hagel, under pressure, resigns as U.S. defense secretary|
By Phil Stewart and Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel resigned on Monday, leaving under pressure as President Barack Obama faces critical national security challenges, including fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and revising plans to exit Afghanistan. It was the first major change to Obama's Cabinet since his Democrats were routed in midterm elections three weeks ago, and Republicans, who now control both houses of Congress, are looking for a new approach from the White house. ...
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|Senator Rand Paul calls for declaration of war against Islamic State: NYT|
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a possible Republican candidate for president in 2016, is calling for a formal declaration of war against Islamic State militants who control parts of Iraq and Syria, the New York Times reported on Monday. In an interview on Saturday, Paul said his proposal would limit the duration of military action to one year and significantly restrict the use of ground forces, the Times said. ...
|GOP hopefuls avoid specifics in response to Obama|