Senator Lamar Alexander on Sunday announced that he would cosponsor legislation proposing sanctions that the United States would enact if the Iranian government violates the terms of its interim deal to slow its nuclear program, or does not complete a final agreement with the Obama administration.
“Sanctions are what brought Iran to the negotiating table in the first place, and we should remain skeptical of this untrustworthy regime until we permanently halt its progress towards a nuclear weapon,” Senator Alexander said. “The best solution is a diplomatic solution, but we need to keep the pressure on Iran. This legislation allows Congress to take an active role in making sure the Obama administration holds Iran accountable, and provides a safeguard if a final deal with the Iranians falls apart.”
The legislation was introduced by Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and is cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 27 senators, including Alexander and Senator Bob Corker. The legislation lays out prospective sanctions to be enacted if the Iranian government violates the terms of its interim nuclear agreement with the Obama administration, or if a final agreement on Iran’s nuclear program is not completed. The prospective sanctions include limitations on Iran’s petroleum sector and new sanctions on its engineering, mining, and construction sectors.
In November, the Obama administration announced a six-month deal to relieve some sanctions in return for the Iranians slowing their nuclear program. Senator Alexander said of the Obama administration’s interim deal, “I am skeptical of any agreement that does not require Iran to permanently halt progress towards a nuclear weapon. Sanctions should remain until a full inspection regime is in place and there is progress in terminating Iran’s nuclear weapons program.”