US Senate May Vote to Extend Iran Sanctions

US Senate May Vote to Extend Iran Sanctions US Senate May Vote to Extend Iran Sanctions

The US Senate may vote early next week on an amendment to the National Defense Authorization bill proposed by Republican Senator Mark Kirk to extend Iran sanctions legislation until 2026.

Current law allows the US president to temporarily suspend, but not remove, sanctions legislation that expires in 2016, according to Al-Monitor.  

Extending the sanctions could be the next president's ability to stick to any final nuclear deal.

Kirk has also proposed requiring a report on how Iran has used any funds made available through sanctions relief under the interim agreement Iran and the major powers reached in Geneva in late 2013.

And Senator Jeff Sessions has proposed a sense of the Senate that nuclear negotiations with Iran should not continue without the establishment of a robust inspections and verification system that includes access to military facilities and scientists.

Iranian officials have ruled out inspection of non-nuclear sites and interviews with nuclear scientists under a prospective deal with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) to settle the long-running dispute over Tehran's nuclear program, which is set to be finalized by the June 30 deadline.  

President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the bill because it contains an extra $38 billion in war funding that is not paid for.

On June 15, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee continues its series of closed briefings on the potential nuclear deal with Iran. The committee next hears from experts on the "practical implications" of lifting sanctions on Iran.

The briefing comes as the AP reports that the Obama administration may try to lift sanctions that are not solely related to Iran's nuclear program as part of the final deal, a move sure to draw the ire of the US Congress.