US Senate approves new sanctions on Iran

27 Mai, 2017, 15:57 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • Abbas Araqchi

By an 18-3 vote, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee paved the way for full Senate consideration, despite objections from former Secretary of State John Kerry and others who served in Democratic President Barack Obama's administration that it might threaten the 2015 global nuclear deal with Iran.

The bill was authored by the committee's chairman Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and ranking member Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), along with New Jersey Sen.

Some members had also sought to link the Iran bill with an effort to impose new sanctions on Russian Federation, but the panel reached an agreement to delay the Russian Federation measures.

But the foreign relations committee waited to take up the bill until after Iran's election on Friday, when President Hassan Rouhani was re-elected with 57 percent of the vote.

On Wednesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the bill by a vote of 18-3.

"Advancing this bipartisan bill sends a clear message to Iran that our nation will work to counter its aggression in the places like Syria and Yemen, its support for terrorist groups like Hezbollah, its development of ballistic missile technology, and its serial violations of human rights", said Sen.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that an ongoing interagency review of the deal is now weighing whether key terms of the JCPOA are "vital to the national security interests of the United States".

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The bill's consideration comes as Iran reportedly has built a third underground factory to manufacture ballistic missiles. That will continue and what we need to do is make sure that we're enforcing it.

Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, the committee's top Democrat, said the bill is "100 percent consistent" with US obligations under the nuclear pact.

The legislation would impose mandatory sanctions on people involved in Iran's ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them. It would also apply sanctions to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Iran's most powerful security force, which also is a major force in its economy.

Israel and congressional Republicans have long assailed the agreement as a windfall to Iran. President Donald Trump while campaigning sharply criticized the deal, but unlike other Republican candidates stopped short of saying he would scuttle it.

The State Department report on Iran's human rights abuses, which is submitted to Congress on a semi-annual basis, will review the human rights sanctions that have been issued in the last six months, including individuals added to the USA sanctions list in April due to abuses at Tehran's Evin Prison. And the Trump administration notified Congress last month that Iran is complying with the terms of the agreement. Tehran has inked multibillion-dollar deals with Boeing and Airbus since the deal went into effect.

Eight of the committee's 10 Democrats backed the bill, including Chris Coons of DE, who, in 2015, supported the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal.

The post Senate panel backs bill to authorize new sanctions on Iran appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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