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Democratic Senators Fire Back at Iran for Retaliation Threat Over Sanctions Renewal

Senate Democrats are ripping Iran over threats issued by top Iranian officials to retaliate if Congress extends sanctions that the Obama administration has said are permitted under last summer's nuclear deal, according to conversations with lawmakers conducted by THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

 

Senate Democrats are ripping Iran over threats issued by top Iranian officials to retaliate if Congress extends sanctions that the Obama administration has said are permitted under last summer's nuclear deal, according to conversations with lawmakers conducted by THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

 

The increasingly heated rhetoric, which includes threats from Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, comes in the aftermath of a United Nations report documenting Iranian violations of the deal, as well as the election of President-elect Donald Trump, who has called the agreement "the worst deal ever negotiated."

 

Iranian officials have threatened reprisal in recent weeks if Congress extends the longstanding Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) and have called the potential 10-year extension a violation of the nuclear deal. The Obama administration countered that the sanctions are technically allowed, but it has sought to delay renewal of the sanctions package.

 

Democrats rejected Iranian complaints Tuesday and reaffirmed their support for extending the ISA.

 

"Iran is making this up. These problems don't exist," Maryland senator Ben Cardin, ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told TWS. "Congress, by extending ISA, is not taking any new steps against Iran at all."

Cardin, who voted against the nuclear deal, added that the ISA is critical for congressional "snapback" sanctions, should Iran violate the nuclear deal.

 

Read here to learn more about the tensions.