Iran: US Extension of Sanctions Act Violates Nuclear Deal

Act Actually Doesn't Impose Any New Sanctions

by Jason Ditz, December 02, 2016

Iran reacted critically to yesterday’s Senate vote to extend the Iran Sanctions Act for an additional 10 years, saying that the bill violates the P5+1 nuclear deal which mandated the signatories to the deal scale back international and unilateral sanctions on Iran.

Iranian officials say they view the vote as a “clear violation,” and threatened to take non-specific retaliatory action if the US moves to implement the bill. The White House has already confirmed that President Obama will sign the bill.

In reality, the act does not appear to violate the deal in and of itself, as it does not impose any new sanctions on Iran, nor bring any of the suspended sanctions back into effect, rather extending the president’s authority to do so in the future.

The confusion is likely a function of many Republican Congressional leaders pushing bills deliberately designed to violate the P5+1 deal, and trying unsuccessfully to add language to this bill that would add new sanctions as well. In the end, however, the bill itself doesn’t really do anything to Iran, and just leaves open the question of US compliance with the deal for the next decade.

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