“This administration has made clear that an extension of the Iran Sanctions Act, while unnecessary, is entirely consistent with our commitments in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” press secretary Josh Earnest said, referring to the U.S.-led deal to freeze Iran’s nuclear program. “Consistent with this longstanding position, the extension of the Iran Sanctions Act is becoming law without the president’s signature.”
Earnest sought to reassure Iran that the bill’s passage would not affect the United States’ ability to meet its commitments under the nuclear deal, noting the president’s ability to waive the sanctions. But he also said that the U.S. stood prepared to reimpose them should Iran not hold up its end of the bargain.
“Ensuring the continued implementation of the JCPOA is a top strategic objective for the United States and for our allies and partners around the world,” the statement said.
The Senate passed the sanctions bill on Dec. 1 by a 99-0 vote. “Congress’s action today should send a signal to the Iranian government and to the world that the United States is serious about enforcement of the nuclear agreement,” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said afterwards.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) said in a statement that the law helps ensure that America can keep Iran accountable.
“Iran’s support for terrorism, and its push to develop a missile capable of striking the United States, is a direct threat to our national security,” he stated. “This legislation renews existing sanctions – which were not part of President Obama’s nuclear agreement – to counter Iran’s illicit missiles program. And it ensures the Trump administration can ‘snap-back’ other powerful sanctions when the ayatollah makes a rush for a nuclear weapon.”
Days earlier, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had warned that his country would not “stand idly by” if the sanctions went into effect.
Source: / politico /