US Lawmakers Move to Undercut Deal

US Lawmakers Move to Undercut Deal

Two weeks after efforts to kill the Iran nuclear deal failed in the US Congress, lawmakers were still developing legislation on Thursday seeking to influence, or undermine, the international agreement.
The House of Representatives voted 251 to 173 on Thursday for a measure that would bar US President Barack Obama from waiving any sanctions on Iran under the pact until $40 billion has been paid to Americans deemed to be victims of alleged Iranian-backed terrorism, Reuters reported. The measure passed the Republican-led house largely along party lines, with Republicans in favor and Obama's fellow Democrats opposed.

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It was largely a show vote. The White House said on Wednesday that Obama would veto the measure if it passed, and that he would oppose any legislation that would undermine the nuclear agreement reached in July between the United States, five other world powers and Iran.
The measure also would be unlikely to advance in the senate, where Democrats last month gathered enough votes to protect the deal itself.
The deal aims to temporarily limit Iran's nuclear program, while lifting sanctions on Tehran.
However, opponents of the deal, who included every Republican in the US Congress, say they want to underscore their opposition to the pact and send the message that the next US president might not support it. The next president will take office in January 2017 after elections in November 2016.
Separately, a group of nine Democratic US senators, two of whom voted against the nuclear agreement last month, introduced legislation on Thursday that they said would strengthen the pact.
Among other things, the Iran Policy Oversight Act authorizes additional security assistance for Israel, including accelerated development of missile systems with Israel.
The measure would also require reports from the administration that would include details on Iran's use of funds received from any sanctions relief and on Iran's nuclear research and development.
The senators said they were in talks with Republicans about advancing the legislation, but there was no indication of when it might be brought up for any vote.

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