Iran Deal: Republicans Plan New Sanctions Anyway

Molly Riley/AP
Molly Riley/AP

Republicans in Congress plan new sanctions against Iran even if the Iran deal passes, according to a new report by Josh Rogin of Bloomberg View.

“Republicans in Congress are preparing several bills to sanction Iran. Even if those never reach a vote, the proposals could be problematic for Democrats well into 2016,” Rogin notes.

The Iran deal will likely fail on a first vote, but opponents may struggle to override President Barack Obama’s threatened veto. Much of the deal will take effect with or without Congress’s approval, since the Obama administration took the deal to the United Nations Security Council for approval first.

Some of those planning new sanctions include Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who are running for president; Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Bob Melendez (D-NJ), who have championed bipartisan sanctions efforts in the past; and House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), a fierce critic of the Iran deal.

The Obama administration is warning against any new sanctions. The next of the Iran deal itself says that new U.S. sanctions would be a violation of the agreement.

The purpose of the sanctions effort seems less to apply real pressure to Iran, since the sanctions would be unlikely to pass before 2017. Rather, the goal is to undermine the deal’s legitimacy, and to serve notice that a future administration would not be as pliable as Obama has been.