A vote is expected later this week in the House of Representatives to impose yet more sanctions on Iran ahead of the inauguration of President Rohani next weekend. As with all Iran sanctions bills, it is expected to pass overwhelmingly.
The sanctions, once imposed, will further underscore Congressional opposition to any possible negotiations with the Iranian government, as President Rohani ran on a campaign of diplomacy and has been talking up direct bilateral talks with the US.
The newest sanctions will further target Iran’s oil exports, aiming to dramatically reduce the amount of exports allowed worldwide. At present the US issues “waivers” to nations like China and India allowing them to buy a limited amount of oil, and this bill would reduce the amount they are allowed to get.
The move may not sit well with South Korean officials, who have been planning to purchase significantly more oil from Iran going forward. With the price of oil rising on the global market recently, it may be a difficult time to sell the idea of new sanctions to other nations, even if Congress is always willing to approve them.