"I believe in action for action, but I think in this case, the burden of action falls on the Iranians to demonstrate their seriousness," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in April. "We are going to keep the sanctions in place and the pressure on Iran as they consider...what they'll bring to the table in Baghdad, and we'll respond accordingly."
Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the panel Obama must avoid removing the sanctions before their full collective impact takes effect.
"As eager, however, as President Obama is for a deal that will get Iran off the front pages—and all but eliminate the possibility of an Israeli strike ahead of the November election—he cannot take the political risk of offering too much relief for too few concessions," Dubowitz said.
Removing some of the sanctions too quickly, he warned, could cause Israel to take matters into its own hands.
"Once sanctions start to unravel, the fear of U.S. penalties that held them together will become difficult to reestablish, and the multilateral sanctions regime—the centerpiece of the president's Iran strategy—will be gone," Dubowitz said. "This may also persuade the Israelis that the time for diplomacy has passed, and only military action can stop Iran's development of nuclear weapons."