12/02/2016, 10.15
IRAN - USA

US Senate approves the extension of sanctions against Tehran

Iran Sanctions Act provides for the extension to 10 years of sanctions. The text approved by 99 votes in favor, 0 votes against. Previously, the Chamber had given the green light to the law. It now needs the signature of outgoing President Obama. The point people of the future Trump administration, include the head of the CIA, ready to cancel the international agreement. Approval in Israel.

 

Washington (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The US Senate has approved the extension for another 10 years of US sanctions against Iran. According to the US administration the vote is not contrary to the international agreement on the nuclear program signed last year, but allows enables a swift return to sanctions in case of violations. The measure passed by a vote of Republicans and Democrats, and now awaits the signature of the President (outgoing, his mandate expires in January) Barack Obama.

Iran Sanctions Act was approved yesterday with 99 votes in favor, 0 votes against. It provides for punitive measures against Iran's banking sector, as well as the energy sector and those relating to defense-related industries.

Last November a similar vote was held in the House, where the measure was also passed by a large majority with a bipartisan vote.

The law has no direct link to the nuclear deal, better known by the acronym Jcpoa. However, experts warn, some restrictions in the text are in fact contrary to the spirit of that agreement. Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein and Tim Kain explains that "the law [on sanctions] must remain in place" to allow "immediate turnabout" in case of violations.

After years of embargo, in 2015, Iran has obtained a partial easing of Western economic sanctions, in exchange for agreement on the controversial atomic program. The agreement was positively received by the majority of the international community, but criticized by Israel and the US Congress (majority Republican).  The first moves of the new president Donald Trump are widely anticipated.

Last month, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had threatened "reactions” shoud the US approve the norm that extends the sanctions. For Iran's supreme leader this law is a "violation" of the nuclear agreement, which "must not become a tool to put pressure on the Iranian people."

President Trump, who will enter the White House next January 20; now has a free hand in boosting sanctions against Tehran.

During his election campaign the US billionaire repeatedly criticized, even using harsh words, the international agreement and he could possible make a u-turn, accepting the directions of some of his closest associates, including the new CIA head Mike Pompeo. Following his appointment Pompey tweeted that he is ready to "pick up" a deal that he described as "disastrous"; words that, in the following days, were widely reported in the Israeli media.

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