House Passes New Iran Sanctions, Facing Likely Obama Veto

New Sanctions Seen Undermining P5+1 Nuclear Deal

In a pair of votes that split almost wholly along party lines, the House voted on a pair of bills aimed at imposing yet more sanctions on Iran in the wake of the P5+1 nuclear deal, with House Republicans arguing that the bills would both punish Iran for past transgressions and show them the US means business on the deal.

In practice, the bills are seen as violating the nuclear deal, which obliged the US to ease sanctions on Iran. The first bill, the Iran Accountability Act of 2016, aimed to establish a litany of new sanctions, while the second aimed to restrict the unfreezing of funds which were obliged to be unfrozen by the P5+1 deal.

In both cases the vote in favor was well short of what would be needed to override a threatened presidential veto, and beyond once again establishing that the House leadership opposes the nuclear deal, will probably not have any real impact.

The bills came a day after a third bill, banning the US purchase of heavy water from Iran, passed in the House along similar voting lines. Heavy water is not radioactive, but the P5+1 treaty promised to allow Iran to sell their excess heavy water internationally in relation to a redesign of a nuclear research reactor. The US purchased around $8 million of that excess water, which was resold to research sites around the US.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of