Iran’s Impasse and the “Sanctions Black Hole”

By Shahriar Kia

My article originally posted on Practical Politicking

The current plan for sanctions against Iran leaves the regime between a proverbial rock and hard place since its choices are complied or die.

The adoption of “Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017” by the United States Senate has rendered a variety of reactions from Iran resembling the terrified status of the regime’s senior ranks. Iranian media have widely referred to this new bill and the resulting authorizations as the “mother of all sanctions” and the “sanctions black hole.”

“Section 5 of this bill is related to new sanctions against the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). This new bill is dubbed the ‘sanctions black hole’ considering the fact that based on Executive Order 13224, any individual providing services to an identified organization in this Executive Order, that individual or his/her entity will be placed on the US sanctions list or the SDN… with the adoption and implementation of this bill, we can forecast that a few thousand individuals will be placed in the SDN sanctions list…,” according to IRGC-affiliated semi-official Fars news agency.

Continue reading:  via  Iran’s Impasse and the “Sanctions Black Hole” — Iran Liberty

ANALYSIS: Iran’s future after new US sanctions

The regime in Tehran continues to be in a state of shock after the passage of unprecedented United States Senate sanctions on Thursday targeting Iran’s ballistic missile program, support for terrorism in the Middle East and flagrant human rights violations.

Many of the new measures imposed on Iran are far more complex than any sanctions even prior to the Iran nuclear deal. There is no need for the Trump administration to tear up the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as these new sanctions provide the US President vast authority for further punitive action. This new initiative also contains a classified amendment believed to describe Iran as an extremely dangerous state.

The threats

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir highlighted the importance of this threat after a recent meeting with his British counterpart in London.

“If Iran seeks respect it must bring an end to supporting terrorism, bombing embassies and spreading sectarianism… Iran also supports terrorism, meddles in others’ affairs, fuels sectarianism, and dispatches the Revolutionary Guards in Iraq, Syria and Yemen,” he said.

Further signs of the mullahs’ devious intentions are seen as Iran is reported to provide cruise missiles to Yemen’s Houthis and resulting in a grave threat to the strategic Bab el-Mandeb waterway, according to the US.

As Iran also continues its destructive support for Shiite groups in Iraq, Vice President Ayad Allawi voiced concerns over Tehran of fomenting sectarian rifts across the country prior to next year’s parliamentary election.

And Iran will also continue its efforts in Syria, as many parties are seeking land grabs to ensure their interests in the post-ISIS era. Knowing this, Tehran is seeking leverages in the region to have negotiating ammunition, especially considering the sweeping actions exerted through the new US Senate resolution.

A handout picture provided by the office of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani shows him delivering a speech during a conference entitled “Implementation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) a new chapter in Iran’s economy”, on January 19, 2016, in Tehran. (AFP)

‘JCPOA 2, 3 and 4’

Section 5 of this bill enforces sanctions on the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Any individual providing services to an entity identified in this executive order will result in that individual being placed in the US sanctions list. There is no longer any temporary measures and the individual or entity will be permanently sanctioned.

All government and non-government branches having any cooperation with the IRGC bear the potential of being blacklisted. Prior to the JCPOA around 600 individuals and entities were blacklisted and the JCPOA delisted around 400. However, with the approval and implementation of this new bill we can forecast a few thousand individuals and entities being blacklisted as a result.

One sign of Iran’s shock is seen in the fact that the regime’s parliament has postponed its response to the Senate bill after a two-week recess. This is no ordinary sanctions bill against Iran and can be considered a mother initiative paving the path for far reaching sanctions against Tehran that bear no need for legal legislation, as they will become operational through executive orders.

In the regime’s circles these new sanctions have been described as the end of the JCPOA and the beginning of enormous challenges. Demands by the international community will be increasing and there may be even calls for measures dubbed in Iran as “JCPOA 2, 3 and 4,” covering Iran’s ballistic missile program, meddling and support of terrorism in the region, and their human rights violations dossier.

Iranian state media outlets have gone as far as describing the new sanctions as “black holes” and the “mother of all sanctions.” The future of Iran’s ballistic missiles are currently considered very dark as these sanctions target all IRGC activities.

New revelations

The Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance (NCRI) US Office released a statementannouncing their upcoming Tuesday press conference “to reveal information on key centers for production, testing and launching ballistic missiles by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)” and “details (including satellite imagery) on four of the most important missile centers, including one closely linked to Tehran’s nuclear program. In addition, a dozen of hitherto-unknown centers involved in various aspects of production, testing and launching of ballistic missiles will be made public. Information on the role of North Korean experts involved in the construction of these centers will also be discussed.”

These new sanctions have the IRGC in its crosshairs and seek an end to Iran’s support for the Guards’ regional action and ballistic missiles program. However, the comprehensive nature of this new bill will slowly but surely expand to all organs of the regime in Iran.

This can be considered the unofficial end of the JCPOA, without the US ever needing to officially tear the accord apart. All previous sanctions are returning, with additions, and yet there is no violation of the Iran nuclear deal whatsoever. The main question here is how will Tehran react?

The sanctions are returning for one reason and one reason only. The US has come to realize the regime in Iran is in no position to provide any response whatsoever to the new sanctions. To this end, the time has come to in fact levy far more pressure and sanction all branches of the Iranian regime.

The road ahead

In the mullahs’ dictionary such setbacks are described as “drinking from the chalice of poison” and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, along with all senior Iranian officials, very well know they must prepare their entire apparatus, ranks and files, for such chalices in the not so distant future.

These sanctions couldn’t have come at a worse time for Tehran considering the fact that the NCRI is currently preparing for its annual convention scheduled for July 1st in Paris. As Saudi statesman and diplomat Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud stood alongside over 100,000 Iranians from all over the globe in last year’s event, this year’s rally will be joined by hundreds of prominent political dignitaries from the US, Europe and the Middle East.

This will send a strong message to the international community] that Iran enjoys a major alternative seen in a powerfully organized opposition led by NCRI President Maryam Rajavi and her 10-point-plan envisioning a bright future for a free, liberal and tolerant Iran of tomorrow.

via  ANALYSIS: Iran’s future after new US sanctions — Iran Commentary

Sanctions on Iran signal a new horizon

The United States Senate recently voted overwhelmingly 92-7 in favor of moving forward on evaluating further sanctions against Iran and especially targeting the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Following eight years of Obama’s appeasement, this is a significant turn of events resulting in major concerns amongst Tehran and foreign counterparts. A key signal of Iran’s concerns and […]

via   Sanctions on Iran signal a new horizon — Iran Commentary

Iran’s sanctions on US companies a comical attempt to get even

by Ali Safavi

by Ali Safavi

Napoleon once said, “In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” Apparently true. Last week, the Iranian regime imposed sanctions on 15 American companies it accused of “support for terrorism,” among other things. None of the targeted U.S. companies do business in Iran. It is safe to say none are reconsidering their futures there.

The farcical move is apparently a response to U.S. sanctions placed on dozens of Iranian entities earlier this year following Iran’s unlawful ballistic missile tests. It is hard to see how a real estate company made Tehran’s list, but who are we to judge? As the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism, the mullahs presumably know a thing or two about the subject.
Tehran’s comical tit-for-tat is the latest salvo in reaction to the Trump administration’s tougher rhetoric. For years, America pursued a fervent policy of appeasement, rewarding Tehran’s malicious acts with more concessions. Each round of bad behavior/unearned rewards gave Tehran a false sense of control. That bubble has burst.
The outlandish behavior will likely continue. One senior Iranian lawmaker said Iran is also considering a bill branding the U.S. military and the CIA as “terrorist groups.” That bill would be its reaction to the U.S. Congress passing a bill designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist organization (FTO).
The White House’s review of that possibility has rattled Tehran. The IRGC controls the overwhelming portion of Iran’s entire economy. An FTO designation would have far-reaching consequences for the mullahs.
In 2005, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei executed an elaborate and comprehensive plan to strengthen the IRGC. In May of that year, Khamenei issued a directive instructing the government to transfer 80 percent of its holdings to “non-governmental public, private and cooperative sectors” — a.k.a. Khamenei and IRGC affiliates — by 2009. A month later, he engineered the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Ahmadinejad came out of nowhere to occupy the presidential palace. A day before the election, official opinion polls had pegged his support at 1.7 percent. The poll favorite, with 28-percent support (a 17-fold superiority over Ahmadinejad), was the former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
True to form, Ahmadinejad quickly stacked ministries with veterans of the IRGC. Half of his cabinet members were IRGC members. A year earlier, IRGC veterans had won the majority of seats in parliament. Shortly after Ahmadinejad’s win, the IRGC announced an internal restructuring push to reflect its expanding roles and responsibilities on the political playing field.
According to the new book published by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, entitled, “The Rise of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Financial Empire,” the state-owned assets transferred to the IRGC included large mines, primary industries, foreign commerce, banks, insurance, power industries, post, roads, railroads, airlines and shipping companies.
By some estimates, $12 billion worth of assets were transferred to Khamenei and the IRGC from 2005 to 2008.
Khamenei and the IRGC own 14 major powerhouses that run the economy. These include a conglomerate known as Setad; the foundations (or bonyads) like the Mostazafan, Astan-e Qods, and Shahid foundations; the IRGC Cooperatives; major business empires like the Khatam Construction Co. and Ghadir Investments; as well as “cooperatives” controlled by the security forces.
The IRGC’s rising financial star has been a gold mine for terrorists.
Tehran is spending anywhere between $15-20 billion annually to fund the war in Syria, including at least $1 billion in salaries to its proxies. At least $1 billion is provided annually to the Lebanese Hezbollah. Yemen and Iraq are two other theaters where the IRGC and Khamenei have poured substantial sums of money to buy regional influence.
The IRGC has become an economic behemoth. It is now in a position to fund a range of conflicts and terrorist operations in multiple theaters simultaneously, producing widespread devastation for Middle Eastern populations with major security implications for the West.
Western business ventures and governments should accept the reality that doing business with Iran is doing business with the IRGC. The proceeds, like all the IRGC’s profits, will end up fueling Tehran’s sectarian designs and proxy wars in the region, further threatening regional stability and U.S. interests.
Tehran must be held accountable for its malign behavior. The new administration should designate the IRGC as a terrorist entity. The possibility alone has inspired Iran’s resort to pathetic countermeasures. However comical, they are harmless. And that’s a step in the right direction.
 Ali Safavi (@amsafavi) is a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which is dedicated to the establishment of a democratic, secular and non-nuclear republic in Iran.

Prominent Bipartisan Group to Trump: We Need a ‘Revised’ Iran Policy

By Patrick Goodenough

(CNSNews.com) – A bipartisan group of prominent Americans including former senior administration officials, diplomats and generals, has handed President-elect Donald Trump a letter calling for a new approach towards Iran that includes opening a dialogue with the outlawed opposition.

The 23-strong group says despite the outgoing administration’s hopes that the negotiated nuclear agreement would lead to better behavior on the part of the Iranian regime, that has not been the case.

Signatories include a former FBI director, a former Attorney-General, two former governors, a former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, and two retired U.S. Marine Corps commandants.

“President Obama expressed the hope that nuclear negotiations would induce Iran’s leaders to act with greater consideration of American interests,” the letter states. “It is now clear that Iran’s leaders have shown no interest in reciprocating the U.S. overture beyond the terms of the JCPOA [nuclear deal] which gained them significant rewards.”

On the contrary, it says, “Iran’s rulers have directly targeted U.S. strategic interests, policies and principles, and those of our allies and friends in the Middle East.”

The letter cites Iran’s involvement in advancing sectarian conflict through its support for the Assad regime in Syria and Shi’ite militias in Iraq, and abuses at home including an “extremely high rate of executions.”

“To restore American influence and credibility in the world, the United States needs a revised policy based on universally shared norms and principles reflecting the ideals of peace and justice,” the letter says.

The signatories voice strong support for the exiled opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)/People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (MEK), and urge Trump to establish a dialogue with the group.

Commenting on the initiative, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton said the clerical regime in Tehran has been a problem since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

“People talk about Islamic terrorism, they refer to ISIS or al-Qaeda, let’s make it clear what the real source of support for terrorism around the world – it’s the regime in Tehran,” he told Fox News. “They’re the world’s central banker.”

Bolton, who is not a signatory but has long voiced support for the NCRI, said, “I think what’s being offered here is to say, ‘Look, there is an opposition in Iran.’”

Asked about the possibility of Trump making contact with the NCRI as he had done with the president of Taiwan – angering China in the process – Bolton said that reaching out to the Iranian opposition “would have a remarkable effect.”

“I think the United States ought to feel free to speak to whomever it wants to speak to, if it’s in the best interests of the United States,” he said.

“That doesn’t mean you speak to everybody, but it does mean you pick your shots. Just because the government in Beijing doesn’t like it when we talk to the Taiwanese, just as I’m sure the ayatollahs will not be happy at all for President Trump or members of his administration to talk to the Iranian opposition … that should not deter us.”

“If anything, that should make us more interested in finding out what we can do to help the legitimate opposition in Iran, from whatever perspective they come from.”

Bolton commented on the bipartisan nature of the letter.

“You don’t see a lot of that in Washington, we haven’t for the past eight or ten years.”

In veiled criticism of the Obama administration’s approach to Iran, they write that the U.S. can no longer allow strategic interests – trying to reach a political settlement to the Syria conflict and stemming the flow of refugees fleeing the violence – to “be held hostage to a concern that Iran might renege on its commitments under the JCPOA.”

“The Iran policy will have to change, including a longoverdue focus on gross internal human rights violations and the lack of democratic legitimacy which is at the core of the Tehran regime’s lawless and destructive role.”

Until 2012, the NCRI/MEK was a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization. The letter writers argue – as does the NCRI – that the regime covertly spread false and damaging information about it, and that terror designations by the U.S. and other Western governments were largely diplomatic gestures taken at the regime’s request.

They noted that the NCRI/MEK had provided the West with key intelligence that helped to uncover Tehran’s clandestine nuclear program – “an act for which President George W. Bush publicly credited” the group.

“It is time to end the fundamentalist regime’s undue influence over U.S. policy and establish a channel of dialogue with the NCRI, as many other governments have done, consistent with the longstanding U.S. diplomatic practice of dialogue with political opposition groups worldwide.”

An attachment to the letter highlights NCRI leader Maryam Rajavi’s political program for a future Iran that includes universal suffrage, a guarantee of rights for all citizens and particularly women and minorities, an end to judicial excesses, an end to “the nightmare of fundamentalist Islamic dictatorship by once again separating church and state,” protection of property rights and, “last but certainly not least,” a non-nuclear Iran.

The letter was signed by:  former Homeland Security Secretary and Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge; former FBI Director Louis Freeh; former Attorney General Michael Mukasey; former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Gen. (Ret.) Hugh Shelton; Gen. (Ret.) James Jones, former USMC commandant, NATO commander and national security advisor; former Pennsylvania governor and Democratic National Committee chairman Ed Rendell; former USMC commandant Gen. (Ret.) James Conway; New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani; J. Kenneth Blackwell, former U.S. representative to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights; former assistant secretary of state Lincoln Bloomfield; former undersecretary of state for arms control Robert Joseph; Linda Chavez, former assistant to the president for public liaison in the Reagan administration; John Sano, former deputy director of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service; former deputy commander U.S. European Command Gen. (Ret.) Charles Wald; former U.S. Air Force deputy chief of staff of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance Lt. Gen. (Ret.) David Deptula; Col. (Ret.) Wesley Martin, who served as senior anti-terrorism and force protection officer for coalition forces in Iraq; R. Bruce McColm, president of the Institute for Democratic Strategies; former ambassador and special envoy for the Northern Ireland peace process Mitchell Reiss; retired federal judge Eugene Sullivan; Raymond Tanter, former personal representative of secretary of defense to arms control negotiations; and former Democratic lawmakers Sens. Joe Lieberman (Ct.), Robert Torricelli (N.J.) and Rep. Patrick Kennedy (R.I.).

Source: Prominent Bipartisan Group to Trump: We Need a ‘Revised’ Iran Policy

Boeing/Airbus Deals Will Boost Iran’s Support of Terrorism

By Amir Basiri

Mainstream media is rife with news about Iran sealing multibillion-dollar deals with Airbus and Boeing to purchase more than 100 passenger planes.

Unfortunately, Iran is no ordinary buyer. It’s a mistake for anyone to rejoice over such a deal or boast about it improving economies and creating jobs. This is a regime designated as the leading state sponsor of terrorism.

The U.S. Treasury Department has identified Iranian commercial airlines as linked to the regime’s lethal and nonstop support for terrorism. With its numerous campaigns in support of Shiite militias and dictators, Iran has actively used its aging air fleet to shuttle hired mercenaries and arms to Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon.

Iran Air and Iran Air Tours were both designated as terrorist-related in 2011. According to the U.S. Treasury Department these airlines are known to “disguise and manifest weapons shipments as medicine and generic spare parts” to Syria. They are known to airlift missiles and rocket components.

Mahan Air, an Iranian airline in close relations with the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and its Quds Force (QF), is known to provide airlifts to IRGC-QF personnel flown between Iran, Syria, and Iraq for military training.

“Mahan Air’s close coordination with the IRGC-QF–secretly ferrying operatives, weapons and funds on its flights–reveals yet another facet of the IRGC’s extensive infiltration of Iran’s commercial sector to facilitate its support for terrorism,” emphasized David S. Cohen, former U.S. Treasury Department undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. “Following the revelation about the IRGC-QF’s use of the international financial system to fund its murder-for-hire plot, today’s action highlights further the undeniable risks of doing business with Iran.”

Mahan Air eased the covert transfer of IRGC-QF officers by bypassing normal security procedures, such as excluding specific data on flight manifests in order to eliminate records of the IRGC-QF travel.

Eyebrows are raised as European and Asian countries provide legitimacy to IRGC-linked Mahan Air by permitting flight rights to relevant commercial routes. Furthermore, one can also argue that the revenue from these flights are used to fuel Iran’s support for extremist ends.

“By letting Mahan in, the Europeans are forgoing a critical pressure tool they have in their arsenal of non-military coercive measures to pressure Iran and Assad,” explained Emanuele Ottolenghi of the Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance at the bipartisan Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Representatives in the U.S. Congress from both sides of the aisle have been very clear in their positions about the nature Iran’s air fleet.

“Instead of more actions to ground these planes,” said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), adding, “the White House agreed to lift an Interpol notice.”

In the same hearing, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) demanded answers over how the Obama administration intended to ground “the airline of choice for the [IRGC] and Quds Force to go into Syria and kill people.”

Analysts have cited concerns over Iran’s airlines continuing “to ferry materiel to fighters in Syria.” A notable case in September involved an Iran Air flight scheduled to depart Tehran for Damascus which made a suspicious stop in Abadan — an Iranian port city located around 960 miles off route that also acts as a major IRGC logistics hub.

Here are further suspicious flights reported by Forbes:

“On June 9, an Iran Air aircraft flew to Damascus from Abadan using the Tehran-Damascus flight number, and on June 8 and 15 from Tehran while using the now-defunct Najaf-Tehran number. Since then, the airline’s flights to Damascus have multiplied in number and frequency, with the most recent one leaving from Yazd but broadcasting a Tehran-Damascus flight number, on July 29.”

The main Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has a history of unveiling Iran’s support for terrorism and exporting extremism across the region. Mahan Air provides “multiple daily flights from Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan, Shiraz, and Abadan to Damascus. These flights use Iraqi air space and carry weapons, equipment and Revolutionary Guards for war against the Syrian people. Three daily direct flights from Abadan airport to Damascus is mainly done by Mahan Air,” as explained by a Nov. 12 NCRI statement.

State Department spokesman John Kirby assured that the Obama administration would certainly not neglect Iran’s support of terrorism following the nuclear deal, describing the notion as “completely without merit.” However, no serious action has been taken to this date, other than the Iran Sanctions Act passed by Congress, which U.S. President Barack Obama refused to sign.

By signing the Iran nuclear accord, also known as the JCPOA, Obama set the grounds to delist five of Tehran’s designated airlines despite the knowledge that they also facilitated terrorism through logistical and financial support.

The JCPOA has itself directly given the green light to Iran’s support for Shiite militias across the region, as forecast by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry even prior to the deal.

The atrocities in Aleppo also showed the lack of will in the Obama administration for any meaningful action against Iran. The regime continues to airlift fresh recruits and supplies to Assad’s armed forces, the Lebanese Hizb’allah and the IRGC, all considered staunch U.S. adversaries. This notorious trio is also heavily supporting Assad’s ruthless regime in the near six-year war claiming the lives of half a million people.

The new Airbus/Boeing signings, placing economic interests before those of international security and morality, will most likely pave the path for Iran to further expand its efforts to support terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism.

Advocates of these deals may argue Iran will not use planes such to shuttle forces to Syria due to its desperate need to replace its aging fleet. Considering Tehran’s ongoing interest in supporting extremism across the Middle East, it is quite hard to imagine any obstacle can be placed to prevent Iran from continuing its illicit airlifts throughout the region.

Originally posted in American Thinker

Source: Boeing/Airbus Deals Will Boost Iran’s Support of Terrorism — Iran Commentary

Iran Sanction Act Approved

The U.S. Senate has given final approval to an extension of the Iran Sanctions Act which overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives last month.

 

The bill would renew sanctions on Iran for a period of 10 years. White House staff have indicated that President Barack Obama would likely sign such a bill if it passed Congress.

The ISA was first created in 1996 to punish investors in certain sectors of Iran’s economy. While it has already been renewed several times, Tehran had hoped that after the signing of the 2015 JCPOA, or Iran Deal, the largely symbolic bill would not be renewed.

Congress’ passing of the law is intended to demonstrate a firm hand in dealings with Iran, and to provide the President with powers to reinstate sanctions if Tehran violates the agreement. The White House has said that they did not believe the reinstatement was necessary.

The move has provoked sharp words from Tehran, where new sanctions one year after the implementation of the nuclear deal appear insulting. The issue is further complicated by the language of the deal, which prevents the creation of new sanctions but is unclear regarding the renewal of existing ones.

“Iran has proved that it sticks to its international agreements, but it also has appropriate responses for all situations,” said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi. “The extension of sanctions by the U.S. Congress is a violation of the deal.”

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khomeini has also said that he believes the sanctions bill is a breach of the JCPOA and threatened “retaliation”.

“If these sanctions are extended, it will surely constitute a violation of the deal and the U.S. should know that the Islamic Republic will definitely react to it,” said Khamenei last week.

The renewal of the bill is likely not, however, a shock to Tehran.

“The Iranians are quite committed to the deal”, said Middle East expert Matthew Mcinnes of the American Enterprise Institute, who said that Tehran was “bluffing”.

“They understood that these types of legislation such as the Iran Sanctions Act, which have been in effect for a long time, these types of things would likely be renewed.”

Three Democratic senators rejected the claim by the Iranian officials that the sanctions would violate the JCPOA.

“Iran is making this up. These problems don’t exist,” said Senator Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“Congress, by extending ISA, is not taking any new steps against Iran at all.”

Cardin said the bill simply makes it possible for Congress to “snapback” suspended sanctions if Iran is found to be in violation of the deal.

“The Iranians need to know that there are consequences for their actions. Hopefully, they will change their course of actions,” added Senator Robert Menendez in an interview with The Weekly Standardmagazine. “In the absence of that, the United States should not ultimately let them be the veto over what we decide is the appropriate foreign policy.”

While Carden and Menendez both opposed the JCPOA last year, Senator Chris Coons, who supported the deal, has also rejected Iran’s claims of a breach of the deal.

“I am convinced that Congress is well within its rights to extend the Iran Sanctions Act,” he said.

“Iran has always resisted non-nuclear sanctions and tried to tie them into the nuclear deal. That’s not correct….I think it’s completely appropriate that we continue the sanctions architecture.”

The claims of retaliation by Tehran arrived days after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a United Nations nuclear watchdog group, said that Iran had exceeded the deal’s permitted limits of stockpiles of heavy water, a component used in the production of nuclear weapons, for the second time since January. It has also been suggested that Iran may have exceeded its limits of low-enriched uranium and that Iran’s advanced centrifuges may still be active.

via Iran Sanction Act Approved — The Media Express