Need to Avoid Rash Reaction to US Ban Bill

It is imperative to avoid an impulsive response to the new US Senate’s sanctions bill as the motion still needs to win the approval of US representatives and president, who have misgivings about the law
Hamid Baeidinejad
Hamid Baeidinejad

A former nuclear negotiator has cautioned against any rash reaction to a new sanctions measure passed by the US Senate last week, citing uncertain prospects for its ultimate passage into law.

"The bill has been approved by the senate, but has yet to pass two more hurdles before becoming law," Hamid Baeidinejad said in a note on his Telegram page on Saturday, ISNA reported.

To become law, it still must clear the House of Representatives, which Baeidinejad said would take several weeks, and be signed by President Donald Trump.

"So it is important that the establishment's authorities (in Tehran) avoid acting impulsively in expressing an official position," the diplomat added.     

The bill would impose new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile development, arms transfers, support for resistance groups and alleged human rights violations.

It also includes fresh penalties on Russia for its alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election and other charges.


Despite his tough stance on the Islamic Republic and open antagonism toward the 2015 nuclear agreement, Trump is likely to avoid approving the measure on fears that it might complicate his desire for deeper engagement with Russia.

He praised the leadership of Russian President Vladimir Putin and expressed openness to closer ties to Moscow during his election campaign.

It is also uncertain whether the legislation would advance in the House, as some of its members have voiced reservations about the bill's effectiveness.

There are concerns that the move could undermine the implementation of the nuclear accord between Iran and the US and its other five partners, which has been in effect since January 2016 to lift nuclear sanctions against Tehran in return for time-bound curbs on its nuclear program.

The controversial measure emphasizes that the entire IRGC, "not just the IRGC's Qods Force," is responsible for allegedly conducting destabilizing activities, supporting terrorism and developing Iran's disputed ballistic missile program, a language that would have the practical effect of designating the IRGC as a foreign terrorist group.

It directs the US president to impose financial sanctions and a travel ban on individuals and entities who "knowingly engage in any activity that materially contributes to the activities of the government of Iran with respect to its ballistic missile program."

It would also commit the US secretary of state to identify individuals responsible for certain human rights abuses within Iran and authorize, but not require, the US president to slap financial sanctions and a travel ban against those designated for human rights abuses.


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