Welcome Back! After the election recess, Congress is back this week, and BUSY.
Just two days back from the election recess, the U.S.House of Representatives made a significant move in showing support for Israel’s security and sending a clear message that Iran’s actions will not go unpunished.
The Iran Sanctions Act, a U.S. law incredibly important for the future security of Israel, was set to expire at the end of the year. The economic sanctions on Iran in the Act had great impact over the years and was credited to bring Iran to the negotiating table to stop their nuclear and weapons development.
This lead to the controversial Iran Nuclear Deal or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an international agreement with China, Germany, France, Great Britain, Russia and the United States. The JCPOA lifted economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for Iran insuring that their Nuclear program was peaceful. After the passing of the JCPOA Iran has come under criticism for development and testing of it’s ballistic missile program and other acts which many claim violate the Deal.
The United States Congress does not want the original sanctions against Iran to expire so they can “snap back,” or re-impose, the sanctions on Iran in case they are found in violation of the Iran Nuclear Deal (JCPOA).
On Tuesday, November 15, 2016, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed, by a vote of 419 to 1, a ten year extension of the Iran Sanctions Act.
Iran is furious. According to international Press TV, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council said;
“If you extend the sanctions, this will mean kicking the JCPOA away and we will confront it through implementing powerful technical packages.”
Earlier a top Iran Major General had threatened the U.S. is the newly elected President Trump defeated the JCPOA;
“Whoever becomes the president in the US has to support the Zionists, but annulling the JCPOA will be a strategic mistake. If Trump seeks to annul the JCPOA, this will cost the US dearly,”
The renewal of the Iran Sanctions Act now moves to the Senate and needs a quick vote. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell stated that he will bring it to a vote in the Senate and he expects it will pass overwhelmingly in the Senate as it did in the House.
According to the Washington Post, there is a proposal from Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) to supplement the extension with new sanctions related to ballistic missile tests, cyber threats and espionage, and the activities of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, and another from Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) to tie the ISA extension to $1.5 billion in aid for Israel.
This would take precious time away, cause debate, and open the possibility of not getting the sanctions reauthorized in time. Congress must send a message to Iran that they can get away with breaking the rules with no serious consequences.
Iran needs to know that violations they make of the JCPOA will have future consequences.
Call your Senators and ask them to vote for the extension of the Iran Sanctions Act.
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