President Obama begged and pleaded, but as expected Twenty-six senators, half of them Democrats, defied President Obama on Thursday by introducing a bill that could impose new sanctions on Iran
The Senators went forward with the bill, called The Nuclear Free Iran Act, because they believe it will give the American’s more leverage in the negotiations because the “prospective sanctions” as they are called only go into effect if Tehran violates the recent P5+1 nuclear deal or allows it to expire without a long-term accord.
The “prospective sanctions” include global boycott on Iranian oil exports within one year and the blacklisting of Iran’s mining, engineering and construction industries.
Under the bill, the administration would have to certify to Congress every 30 days Iran’s adherence to the interim pact. Without that certification, the legislation would re-impose all sanctions that have been eased and put in place the new restrictions. Foreign companies and banks violating the bans would be barred from doing business in the United States.
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“Current sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table and a credible threat of future sanctions will require Iran to cooperate and act in good faith at the negotiating table,” Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement.
The legislation’s 26 sponsors are divided equally between Democrats and Republicans. It was introduced by Menendez and Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill. and the list of co-sponsors included Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; John McCain, R-Ariz.; and his mini-me Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney relayed the President’s displeasure with the action.
Carney implied that lawmakers were out of step with American voters in proposing legislation that he said “will undermine our efforts to reach a diplomatic solution and greatly increase the chances for military action.”
“I think that there is overwhelming support in the country and in this congress for a diplomatic resolution to this conflict,” Carney said.
Characterizing the legislation as “unnecessary,” he said that “if it passed, the president would veto it.”
Truth is this bill will probably never reach the Senate floor, because while these senators support the bill, it takes one man’s support (Harry Reid) to bring it to the floor and he will not embarrass this President.