US democrats pushing for extension of Iran sanctions

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – US Senate Democrats are demanding Majority Leader Mitch McConnell bring up a straight 10-year extension of key Iran sanctions once lawmakers return to Washington next month.

Seven Democrats — led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) — sent a letter to the Kentucky Republican asking that he “prioritize” a clean extension of the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) during the Senate’s end-of-year session, The Hill reported on Wednesday.

“Passing this vital legislation before its expiration is crucial to ensuring with the utmost certainty that the United States will continue to have the sanctions enforcement mechanism our national security demands,” they wrote in Wednesday’s letter, a copy of which was also sent to Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) who chairs the Banking Committee.

The Iran Sanctions Act will expire at the end of the year without congressional action. Though there is wide-spread support for extending ISA, lawmakers are deeply divided over what should be included in an extension.

Top Democrats, including Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sens. Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Ben Cardin (Md.), introduced an extension that would run through 2026 earlier the year.

Meanwhile, Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) introduced a separate proposal that would let the Iran Sanctions Act expire after approximately eight years if Iran complies with the nuclear deal.

Republicans want to tie the ISA extension to broader penalties against Iran amid lingering fallout over last year’s separate nuclear agreement with Iran, and a string of recent missile tests by that country.

Democratic Sens. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), and Brian Schatz (Hawaii) also signed Wednesday’s letter.

By Tasnim News Agency