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Iran sanctions extended, but without Obama’s signature

Mark Dubowitz
15th December 2016 - Quoted by Carol Morello - The Washington Post

Sanctions against Iran were officially extended for another decade Thursday, even though President Obama did not sign the legislation, a symbolic move intended to show the White House’s disapproval of the bill.

The sanctions renewal, which passed Congress with enough votes to be veto-proof, has triggered complaints from Tehran. The Iranian government views the nuclear agreement as entailing a promise of no new sanctions. The White House, by not signing the bill, is trying to alleviate Iran’s concerns.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry said the nuclear deal is still a “top strategic objective” for the United States. With or without the sanctions renewed, he said, the United States could snap sanctions back into place if Iran were to violate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the formal name for the nuclear deal. Kerry said that even though he considers it unnecessary to renew the existing waivers, he had done so anyway “to ensure maximum clarity” that the United States will meet its obligations under the deal.

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“President Obama doesn’t want to provide an excuse in the waning days of his administration for the Iranians to walk away from the deal,” said Mark Dubowitz, head of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and a prominent critic of the Iran deal.

“But at this point, he’s a lame-duck president, and what he does or does not do is completely irrelevant to the incoming administration and completely irrelevant to the Iranians.”

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Tags

iran, jcpoa, obama, sanctions, zarif