U.S. House of Representatives votes 419-1 to reauthorize Iran sanctions for 10 years

by WorldTribune Staff, November 16, 2016

The U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 15 voted by an overwhelming majority of 419-1 to renew the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA), which was first adopted in 1996 to punish investments in Iran’s energy sector and deter Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.

The House voted to reauthorize the Iran Sanctions Act for 10 years and to impose new sanctions on Syria.

Rep. Ed Royce
Rep. Ed Royce

The House also passed by voice vote a bill that would sanction the government of Syria and supporters including Russia and Iran for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The ISA must still be passed by the Senate and signed by President Barack Obama in order to become law.

Lawmakers were driven to renew the ISA in order to give any U.S. president the ability to quickly reinstate sanctions if Teheran violates the nuclear agreement which took effect in January 2016.

Republican Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the lead sponsor of the bill passed on Nov. 15, called the ISA “a critical tool.”

“Its expiration would compound the damage done by the president’s dangerous nuclear deal and send a message that the United States will no longer oppose the destructive role of Iran in the Middle East,” said Royce, according to Reuters.

The vote took place one week after Donald Trump’s election victory. Lawmakers from both parties said they hoped bipartisan support for a tough line against Iran would continue under the new president.

Earlier this week, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton said that Trump could reimpose sanctions on Iran, saying he agreed with the President-elect’s statement that the deal was “the stupidest deal I have ever seen.”