Whether or not the Congress agrees with Donald Trump’s description of the Iran Deal as the worst of all time, they do appear concerned with how much bargaining power we have in the deal.On Thursday, the Senate unanimously voted 99-0 on a bill that would extend sanctions on Iran for another decade. The measure, known as the Iran Sanctions Extensions Act, was passed by the House 419-1 two weeks prior.
Under the nuclear agreement that took effect in January between Iran and six world powers including the U.S. (obviously), many economic sanctions were suspended or relaxed in exchange for Iran’s verifiable pledges of peaceful nuclear work. As an insurance measure, the deal also contained a “snapback” provision that would allow for the re-imposition of sanctions if Iran were found to have violated the terms.
According to the Washington Examiner; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday that the bill, which would preserve existing sanctions set to expire at the end of the year, is critical given Iran’s “continued pattern of aggression” and “efforts to expand its sphere of influence across the region.”
“This is even more important given how the current administration has been held hostage by Tehran’s threats to withdraw from the nuclear agreement, and how it has ignored Iran’s overall efforts to upset the balance of power in the greater Middle East,” he said.The Obama administration has opposed the legislation, arguing that it already has the power to extend or impose additional sanctions on Tehran and the sanctions are no longer necessary after the nuclear deal.
Members of Congress, including key Democrats, are adamant that the existing sanctions remain in effect in order to demonstrate to Iran that the U.S. will respond to any provocations or violations of the nuclear agreement.
Now it’s all up to Barack Obama to pass the bill, but given the overwhelming majority in the House and Senate, overriding that veto shouldn’t be too difficult.[Note: This post was written by The Analytical Economist]