Opponents of the Iran nuclear agreement in the US Congress are devising a “Plan B” to increase pressure on Tehran as Democratic support continues to gain momentum for the landmark accord, according to a report.
US President Barack Obama needs 34 votes in the Senate, or 146 in the House of Representatives, to save the deal in the Republican-controlled Congress, which is reviewing it and is scheduled to vote on it next month.
So far, 30 Senate Democrats have announced their support for the nuclear agreement with Iran.
However, Republicans and other opponents are devising new ways to deal a blow to Obama’s efforts to implement the agreement.
They are now focusing on the 20-year-old Iran Sanctions Act, which expires at the end of 2016. The law bans investments worth over $20 million by US or foreign firms in much of Iran’s energy industry, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.
Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) are introducing a bill to extend the law for another decade.
They contend that such sanctions must be reauthorized to ensure punishment for Iran if it fails to follow obligations under the deal or commits other violations.
Other Republican lawmakers, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a presidential candidate, are also pushing for legislation to impose additional sanctions on the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
“I’m trying to make sure Americans aren’t blown up, we’re trying to prevent the IRGC and the Quds Force from their external terror plots,” said Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.)
The US accuses Iran of supporting “international terrorism,” an allegation strongly rejected by Tehran.
Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – the US, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany – announced the conclusion of nuclear negotiations in Vienna, Austria, on July 14.
The Israel lobby in the US has launched a massive campaign to defeat the historic agreement in Congress.
President Obama on Friday called on the opponents of the agreement to evaluate it based on facts.
By Press Tv