U.S. officials said this week that the United States is moving forward with an international agreement with Iran. The agreement would release Iran from trade restrictions while it agrees not to develop nuclear weapons. Congressional Republicans strongly oppose the agreement, but have failed to pass a resolution to reject it.
On Tuesday, Senate Republicans failed to get the 60 votes they needed for a bill "disapproving" the deal. The vote was 56 to 42. The week before, the bill also failed to get the necessary votes.
World powers and Iran announced the deal in July. They agreed to ease international economic sanctions against Iran. In exchange, Iran promised to limit its nuclear activities.
After the announcement, some observers said they hoped the United States, Russia and Iran would turn their attention to negotiating an end to the civil war in Syria.
Instead, Russia and Iran restated their support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government. That support seems to prolong the four-year-long war. An estimated 240,000 people have died in the fighting so far.
Most sides involved in Syria recognize the importance of defeating the terrorist forces of the Islamic State. But experts say an offensive against the militants is unlikely as long as the civil war continues.
Last month, the United Nations Security Council expressed support for renewed peace efforts in Syria. It was the first time in two years that the council's 15 members agreed on a political statement about the conflict.
The plan calls for the creation of a new government in Syria.
European nations are especially interested in ending the war. Tens of thousands of Syrian refugees have fled to Europe. Migrants and refugees from other countries also have joined that flow, and tensions are strained along various borders.
Last weekend, Germany's foreign minister reportedly pushed "for a new diplomatic initiative" in talks with Russia's foreign minister. The German official said he is worried about "the increasing amount of human suffering" and needs of refugees who are seeking asylum in Germany and other countries.
Retired Marine General John Allen is the U.S. representative to the coalition fighting the Islamic State. He said the refugee crisis cannot be ended unless the war in Syria ends.
General Allen told the BBC that "this instability has been created by Bashar al-Assad and that regime. He ultimately chose to make war on his own people. That ultimately created the crisis that we face today." He added that President Assad "had to go."
The general suggested the war will not end with military action. In his words, "the conflict has got to be solved at a political level and a global level." But a political settlement has been elusive. It would require agreement among the Assad government, many different rebel groups and the countries that support them.
Iran has given Syria thousands of fighters, as well as billions of dollars' worth of weapons, fuel and loans. Last week, Iran said it does not agree that Mr. Assad should give up power. The rebel groups, however, agree that he should.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said "those who set conditions about the Syrian president should be blamed for the continued war." A day after he spoke, Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, said he is willing to talk with other countries, including Saudi Arabia, about ways to end the war in Syria.
But he said there could be no debate about the future of President Assad until there is peace in Syria. The rebels believe peace will not come to Syria until Mr. Assad is no longer president. Others worry about who would replace Mr. Assad and if the country would be made stable.
Russia is also a strong supporter of the president. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called the demand for Mr. Assad to be removed "unrealistic and counterproductive."
In the past few weeks, Russia has strengthened its support for the Syrian government. It has sent Russian military "advisors" to Syria, and increased weapons to the Assad government. It is providing intelligence information and other aid. This has reduced the possibility of a diplomatic end to the war.
Staffan de Mistura is a U.N. diplomat. He has been travelling throughout the Middle East and Europe, meeting with officials to try to end the war in Syria. Earlier, he tried to negotiate cease-fires in parts of the country to gain trust among the fighting groups. But U.S. officials told VOA that his efforts failed.
Syrian rebel leaders warn that the longer the war goes on, the more refugees will flee the country. Bassam Abdullah is with the Syrian Coalition, a Western-supported opposition group. He says people are fleeing Syria because they fear the war will not end soon.
I'm Christopher Jones-Cruise.
He argues strongly for retention of NATO as a guarantee of peace.
The resolution stopped short of an outright declaration of independence.
A long drawn out war would likely deepen and prolong the recession.
There needs to be a properly informed public debate.
Who do you suppose will replace her on the show?
The Kremlin is still insisting on a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
1.Congressional Republicans strongly oppose the agreement, but have failed to pass a resolution to reject it.
This magnificent church cannot fail to stop you in your tracks.
2.In exchange, Iran promised to limit its nuclear activities.
He paid her a huge salary. In exchange, he was assured of her vote.
3.But experts say an offensive against the militants is unlikely as long as the civil war continues.
as long as只要；如果
As long as the verticals align, the design will look regular.
4.The rebels believe peace will not come to Syria until Mr. Assad is no longer president.
I no longer have any objection to your going to see her.
本周，美国官员表示，美国正与伊朗一道执行一份国际协议。该协议将使伊朗从贸易限制中解放出来，而伊朗同意不制造核武器 。国会共和党人强烈反对，但是未能通过决议来否决该协议 。
7月份，世界大国和伊朗宣布了该协议。他们同意放松国际社会对伊朗的经济制裁 。作为交换，伊朗承诺限制其核活动 。
而俄罗斯，伊朗重申了他们对叙利亚总统阿萨德及其政府的支持。该支持似乎延长了已经持续四年的战争 。目前为止已有大约24万人死于这场冲突 。
欧洲国家对终止这场战争特别感兴趣。数万名叙利亚难民已经逃往欧洲 。来自其他国家的移民和难民也加入难民潮 。各边境形势非常紧张 。
退休的海军将军John Allen是打击伊斯兰国联盟力量的美国代表。他表示，除非叙利亚战争结束，否则这场难民危机不可能终结 。
Allen将军告诉BBC，“目前的动荡形势是由阿萨德和他的政权造成的。他选择对自己的人民发动战争，导致我们今天面临的危机 。”他补充说，阿萨德总统“必须下台了” 。
这位将军认为，这场战争不可能通过军事行动来结束。用他的话说，“这场冲突必须在政治水平和全球水平结束 。”但是政治解决方案难以捉摸 。这需要阿萨德政府，许多不同的叛军组织和支持他们的国家达成协议 。
伊朗向叙利亚提供了数千名战士，以及价值数十亿美元的武器，燃料和贷款。上周，伊朗表示，他们不赞同阿萨德应该放弃权利 。然而，叛军组织认为阿萨德应该下台 。
伊朗外长萨里夫(Javad Zarif)表示，“那些向叙利亚总统提出条件的人应该为持续的战争负责。”他发表讲话之后一天，伊朗总统鲁哈尼表示，他愿意与其他国家商讨结束叙利亚战争的方法，包括沙特阿拉伯 。
但是他表示，关于阿萨德总统的未来不应该有任何辩论，直到叙利亚实现和平。叛军则认为，叙利亚不可能迎来和平，除非阿萨德不再担任总统 。其他人担忧谁能接替阿萨德的位置，叙利亚是否能够稳定下来 。
过去几周，俄罗斯增强了对叙利亚政府的支持。他们向叙利亚派驻了俄罗斯军事顾问，增加了为阿萨德政府提供的武器 。他们还向叙利亚提供了情报信息和其他援助 。这减小了通过外交手段结束这场战争的可能性 。
Staffan de Mistura是一位联合国外交官。他曾前往中东和欧洲，会见官员，试图终止叙利亚战争 。早些时候，他曾努力谈判在叙利亚部分地区停火，在冲突的各方之间建立信任 。但是美国官员告诉VOA，他的努力以失败告终 。
叙利亚叛军领袖警告称，这场战争持续的时间越长，就会有越多难民逃离这个国家。Bassam Abdullah在西方支持的反对派组织Syrian Coalition工作 。他表示，人们逃离叙利亚是因为他们担忧战争不会很快结束 。