One of the most frequently touted aspects of President-elect Donald Trump’s foreign policy plan has been the need to renegotiate the so-called Iran nuclear deal.
In the final weeks of President Obama’s administration, surprising support for a Trump stance on the deal is taking center stage.
Both houses of Congress have now overwhelming supported the renewing of sanctions against Iran in direct opposition to President Obama’s request. The vote was 99-0 in the Senate and 419-1 in the House.
“The sweeping congressional approval comes in the aftermath of a United Nations report documenting Iranian violations of the Iran nuclear deal and the election of President-elect Trump, who has called the agreement ‘the worse deal ever negotiated.’”
The renewed sanctions were passed as the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA). The ISA is a renewal of sanctions originally put in place in 20 years ago to “deter investment in Iran’s energy sector and hinder the country’s ability to support terrorism.” It was set to expire later this month.
“The White House had sought to delay the ISA renewal, arguing that the administration has sufficient authority to sanction Iran if the Islamic Republic violates the deal.”
Iran threatened that “renewing the measure would violate the nuclear deal.” But U.S. leaders disagree. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., is the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He told The Weekly Standard that “Congress, by extending ISA, is not taking any new steps against Iran at all.” He argued that ISA is necessary for “snapback” sanctions.
“At the end of the day, if you’re going to nap back to something in violation, you’re going to need something to snap back to,” said Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ).
Now that the bill has overwhelmingly passed both houses, it will go to the President for approval.
“The White House has not issued a veto threat, and the administration has said that the sanctions package is technically permitted under the nuclear deal.”
h/t: The Weekly Standard