US Senate Sanctions Bill Contradicts Nuclear Deal

US Senate Sanctions Bill Contradicts Nuclear DealUS Senate Sanctions Bill Contradicts Nuclear Deal

A nuclear negotiator said the US Senate’s recent legislation to impose new sanctions on Iran runs counter to Washington’s commitment under the nuclear deal to act in good faith and refrain from interfering with its implementation.

“We believe the measure goes against the principles agreed in the action plan,” Abbas Araqchi was quoted by IRNA as saying on Sunday.

The senate vote last week was 92-7 on a procedural motion to end debate on the Iran sanctions bill, clearing the way for a vote later on passage of the legislation. It would impose new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile development, arms transfers, support for resistance groups and alleged human rights violations.

To become law, the measure would also have to pass the Republican-led House of Representatives and be signed by President Donald Trump. It comes against the backdrop of a limited engagement between Tehran and Washington in the implementation of the 2015 nuclear agreement that has been in effect for about a year and a half to give Iran sanctions relief in return for time-bound limits on its nuclear activities.

“Articles 26 and 29 of the JCPOA commit the Americans to implement it in good faith and in a constructive atmosphere and avoid any move that could undermine the JCPOA’s successful implementation,” Araqchi added.

He was using an abbreviation that stands for the formal title of the accord, namely the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Article 26 calls on the United States to “make best efforts in good faith to sustain this JCPOA and to prevent interference with the realization of the full benefit by Iran of the sanctions lifting.”

Article 29 says, “The EU and its member states and the United States, consistent with their respective laws, will refrain from any policy specifically intended to directly and adversely affect the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran inconsistent with their commitments not to undermine the successful implementation of this JCPOA.”

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the bill 18-3 last month.

  Kerry’s Warning  

Former secretary of state John Kerry had warned lawmakers shortly before the committee vote against passing the sanctions bill in the immediate aftermath of the reelection of moderate Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on May 19. That concern was echoed even by some lawmakers who voted in favor of additional sanctions. “The reticence that some of us have brought to this debate is due to the fact that we worry that this can be construed as a congressional pre-endorsement” of future actions by the Trump administration that could undermine the JCPOA, Senator Chris Murphy said.

Some senators had urged that the procedural vote be delayed, citing the inappropriate timing of the vote which coincided with a twin terrorist attack in Tehran claimed by the self-styled Islamic State group.


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