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WH Opposes Bill That Would Allow Sanctions ‘Snap Back’

What could be more obvious? Obama wants to strip away the only thing way that Iran could possibly be punished for cheating, at least while he is in office.

From an unfazed Politico:

The second dispute with Congress that could derail Obama’s Iran deal

The White House is resisting lawmakers’ plans to renew the Iran Sanctions Act.

By Nahal Toosi | August 12, 2015

Behind the showdown between President Barack Obama and Congress over the Iran nuclear deal is a second dispute that could cost the White House allies it needs to ensure the agreement survives: Whether and when to renew a key law that imposes sanctions on Tehran.

Under the nuclear deal, Obama would suspend the sanctions imposed by Congress, but the statutes can stay on the books as a safeguard in case Iran reneges and the president needs to “snap” the sanctions back. But the law in question, the Iran Sanctions Act, is set to expire in late 2016.

Skeptics of the Iran deal, including Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) want to go ahead and renew ISA now through 2026. They argue that extending the act would send a signal that the U.S. is serious about its willingness to “snap back” sanctions if Iran fails to dismantle much of its nuclear program or otherwise cheats.

The White House, however, is urging lawmakers to hold off.

In other words, Obama wants to end the only thing way Iran could be punished for cheating, at least while he is in office. After all, Obama isn’t going to resume sanctions via executive order. And certainly the UN (including Russia and China) is not going to renew sanctions. So Obama wants to remove the one remaining threat. And he doesn’t want to have to do it by veto, at least not until after Congress has approved his deal.

The official argument, made in congressional hearings and other forums by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and fellow administration officials, is that it’s “premature” to extend ISA now. When pressed to expand on their reasoning, administration officials go only slightly beyond that talking point, saying they support eventual renewal of ISA, but not now.

Sure they will support this bill eventually. (Sarcasm.) Just go ahead and approve the Iran deal first, and see what Obama does to any possible Congressional sanctions.

What’s left unstated is the possibility that Iran would view a renewal of ISA as a provocation — perhaps grounds to allege the U.S. is violating the agreement before it’s even fully implemented — and that extending it could affect the political dynamics in Tehran, where hardliners also oppose the deal…

It’s ‘left unstated’ because it is so preposterous. Congress is supposed to worry about hurting Iran’s feelings with their lack of trust?

Regardless, the administration’s vague answers on ISA is puzzling many lawmakers and risks squandering potential good will in Congress…

There’s nothing puzzling about this. It’s yet another clear sign that Obama has absolutely no intentions of ever ‘snapping back’ sanctions no matter what Iran does.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, August 13th, 2015. Comments are currently closed.

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