US Stalling Anti-Iran Bill to Discourage Investors

US Stalling Anti-Iran Bill to Discourage Investors US Stalling Anti-Iran Bill to Discourage Investors

A lawmaker said Washington's intention behind the prolonged process of imposing new sanctions against Iran is to create "an atmosphere of uncertainty" for potential investors eying cooperation with Tehran, branding it as a "political plan".

Lawmaker Mohammad Javad Jamali dismissed the recent stalling of the anti-Iran bill in the US House of Representatives, which was passed by the senate, as a "publicity stunt", stressing that "the US has raised the issue of Iran sanctions under other pretexts to scare away western and Southeast Asian countries from investing in Iran."

On June 15, the senate voted overwhelmingly for legislation imposing new sanctions on Iran and Russia.

The bill includes new sanctions against Iran over its ballistic missile program as well as Iran's alleged support for terrorism and human rights violations.

To become law, the legislation still must pass the house where it hit a procedural problem.

Soon after the bill cleared the senate, house Republican leaders said it had violated a constitutional requirement that any bill affecting government revenues must originate in the house, something known as a "blue slip" violation. The problem was later fixed by the senate, but the house has not yet scheduled a date for debate and vote on the motion.


***Delaying Tactic

Jamali said the delaying tactic aims to linger the issue of sanctions against Iran, noting that many of the points raised in the bill were in fact old executive orders issued by US presidents.

"Now they want to legalize these measures, which passage would take a much longer time," he said.

The parliamentarian highlighted the fact that for the bill to become law, after clearing the house, the US president must also sign it, something that would put off its enforcement even longer.

"It seems that the bill is nothing but a propaganda campaign against Iran," he said.

Democrats claimed Republicans have intentionally obstructed the bill's passage in the house to please US President Donald Trump before his G-20 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Germany in the coming days. Yet, they have not provided any reasons as to why Iran's sanctions bill has also been dragged along.

They threw doubt on the so-called "blue slip" explanation, noting that the issue had been resolved very quickly in recent years for other bills.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker grew frustrated at the dispute, saying that the issue should have been handled "in an hour".

***Reciprocal Act

Jamali said another reason as to why the bill has stalled is due to a motion under consideration in the Majlis to act in kind against the senate bill.

"By procrastinating over the bill in the house, Washington tries to delay Iran's reciprocal action, but we will pass one of our proposed reciprocal motions whatever [the senate bill] outcome," he said.

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said on Sunday over $500 million would be assigned to strengthen missile defense program and the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, in response to the senate's measure.

The Quds Force is a special unit of Iran's IRGC responsible for "extraterritorial" missions.

According to the draft, the parliament has also placed measures on its agenda to counter the US violation of the 2015 nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

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