US Republicans Aim to Sink Nuclear Deal

US Republicans Aim to Sink Nuclear Deal  US Republicans Aim to Sink Nuclear Deal

The bill some US Republican lawmakers are pushing through Congress to retain sanctions on certain individuals and financial institutions despite the July 14 nuclear deal with Iran is aimed at scuttling the agreement, a senior parliamentary official said.

Legislation cleared the Republican-led House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday to go before the full House next week.

Passage of the bill comes as the United States is poised to begin lifting sanctions against Iran in return for temporary constraints on Tehran's nuclear program under the accord, clinched with P5+1 (the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany).

The Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act would subject an important part of the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive plan of Action, to expanded scrutiny on Capitol Hill, AP reported.

The bill would bar the removal of certain individuals and foreign financial institutions on a restricted list kept by the US Treasury Department until President Barack Obama certifies to Congress that they were not involved in Iran's ballistic missiles program or alleged terrorist activities.

It targets more than 50 individuals and entities included in an attachment to the nuclear deal that also are on Treasury's "Specially Designated Nationals" list, which freezes any assets they may have in the US and generally prohibits anyone in the US from doing business with them.

With the lifting of sanctions, expected in weeks, Iran will be hosting an influx of foreign businesses already jockeying to gain a foothold in Iran's untapped market. Also, Tehran will secure access to over $100 billion worth of frozen assets overseas.

"Americans have come to realize that the implementation of JCPOA will put Iran in a new situation and this is the reason why the lawmakers representing Zionist lobbyists in Congress are trying to kill the deal," chairman of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission said.

"Definitely, the bill will breach and undermine the action plan," Alaeddin Boroujerdi was quoted by ISNA as saying on Friday.

The JCPOA commits P5+1 to "refrain from imposing discriminatory regulatory and procedural requirements in lieu of the sanctions and restrictive measures covered by the JCPOA".

  Dems Oppose Anti-Iran Bill

Several House Foreign Affairs Committee Democrats, including some who opposed the nuclear deal last summer, vehemently objected to the measure, Reuters reported.

"I believe it doesn't serve any purpose to have bills like this that are designed to kill the deal," said US Representative Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the panel.

"I don't want to vote 62 or 63 times on killing the Iran agreement," he said, in a reference to congressional Republicans' dozens of votes seeking to repeal Obama's healthcare reform law.

Engel was one of several Democrats who joined Republicans in September to oppose the action plan in a failed Republican-authored congressional bill to formally reject the JCPOA.