In an overwhelming 400-20 vote, the House of Representatives has approved yet another round of sanctions against Iran. The vote sends the bill to the Senate, which is also expected to approve it with little to no opposition.
The bill will further limit Iran’s ability to export oil abroad, cutting into the amounts of oil India and China are allowed to buy at a particularly inopportune time, with the price of crude oil around it’s near-term high.
The timing of the bill appears deliberate, however, coming just days ahead of the weekend inauguration of Iranian President Hassan Rohani. Many analysts say that the vote is an attempt to sabotage any potential talks with the Rohani government.
President Rohani campaigned on a policy of negotiations and rapprochement with the US, and has made it clear he wants bilateral talks with the US. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made it clear he views US-Iran talks as unacceptable, and these comments have been parroted by Congressional leaders.