US Senate committee advances bill to impose new sanctions on Iran

Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee easily passed a bipartisan bill that slaps sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile tests and other non-nuclear behavior Thursday, amid attempts by former Obama administration officials to stymie the legislation over concerns that it could hurt the 2015 nuclear deal.

Corker says “it is astounding what Iran continues to do around the world”.

Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC) applauds the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) for passing Iran Bill to hold the regime accountable for its missile development, support for terrorism and human rights violations.

OIAC welcomes the new bill for imposing sanctions on IRGC and for codifying individuals who are now sanctioned due to Iranian support for terrorism.

“We can no longer allow the nuclear agreement with Iran to dictate USA policy throughout the Middle East, and this bill is an important first step in finally holding Iran accountable for their non-nuclear destabilizing activities”, said Senator Bob Corker, SFRC Chair, adding, “It also sends an important signal that the USA will no longer look the other way in the face of continued Iranian aggression”. Bob Casey (D – Penn.), who supported the nuclear deal two years ago. That measure did not include sanctions.

His intervention came a day before the committee is due to consider the bipartisan Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act, legislation that seeks to impose new sanctions on Iran for ballistic missile launches, terror-sponsorship and other troubling behavior in the region.

However, parts of the text were amended after Adam Szubin, the top Obama administration official handling sanctions, warned that they could be interpreted as violating the deal.

The vote was 18-3 in favour of the legislation, paving the way for its consideration by the full Senate.

As President Obama’s top diplomat, Kerry worked energetically to sell to Congress a deal that eased nuclear-related sanctions in return for steps created to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon capability.

“While the elections were highly constrained, their outcome was significant”, the liberal pro-Israel group said.

Instead, his administration has said it would police Iran’s compliance with the bill and review it, with an eye towards possibly modifying it to make it stronger. President Donald Trump while campaigning sharply criticized the deal, but unlike other Republican candidates stopped short of saying he would scuttle it.

“The United States continues to waive sanctions as required to continue implementing US sanctions-lifting commitments in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action”, the State Department said in a statement, referring to the deal by its formal name. We still have sanctions. “I can assure you that’s a big focus of mine and I discuss it with the president”.

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