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US House to Vote on New Iran Sanctions Next Week

US House to Vote on New Iran Sanctions Next WeekUS House to Vote on New Iran Sanctions Next Week

The US House of Representatives will vote next week on new sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program and on Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah resistance group, senior House Republicans said on Friday, seeking to take a tough line against Iran without moving to undermine the international nuclear deal.

“It is congress’ responsibility to work with the executive branch on a clear-eyed strategy to stop Iran’s [alleged] reckless behavior,” Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the number two House Republican, and Representative Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a joint statement emailed to Reuters.

“Immediate action toward this goal will come from the House next week as we vote on legislation that furthers sanctions on Hezbollah and Iran’s missile proliferation,” they said.

US President Donald Trump defied allies on Oct. 13 by refusing to certify that Iran is complying with an international agreement on its nuclear program and threatened that he might ultimately terminate the accord.

That threw the fate of the agreement concerning Iran, the United States and other world powers into the hands of congress, by opening a 60-day window in which congress could reimpose, or “snap back”, sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program that were lifted under the agreement.

However, many of Trump’s fellow Republicans—who all opposed the deal reached under former Democratic president, Barack Obama—have said they see no immediate need to do so.

Congressional aides said that, for now, House lawmakers are focusing on clamping down on Iran in other ways such as the missile and Hezbollah sanctions.

In the Senate, a separate effort is underway to amend US law to set new conditions for the US role in the pact, although critics said such a plan could violate terms of the deal.

Britain, France and Germany, European US allies who signed the agreement, are particularly concerned about Trump’s action and have lobbied congress to preserve the nuclear pact.

Among other things, the ballistic missiles bill would toughen existing sanctions by going after entities with assets outside the United States if they were found to support Iran’s ballistic missile program.

It has broad bipartisan support in the House and is also expected to pass the Senate.

The Hezbollah bill is directed at the group’s allies in the Lebanon’s government and asks the Trump administration to estimate and distribute assessments of the net worth of Lebanese politicians.

The Senate has already unanimously passed a different version of the Hezbollah sanctions bill.

 

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