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Congress Boosts Sanctions—Which Are Working—But President Gets to Roll Them Back Selectively

President Barack Obama holds a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, July 26, 2012.

President Barack Obama holds a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, July 26, 2012.
Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

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The congressional bill, likely to land on Obama’s desk later this week, expands sanctions on insurers dealing with Iran’s energy sector; sanctions anyone affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps; expands sanctions on energy and uranium mining activities in Tehran; and freezes the assets of individuals and companies that enable Iran with technology to repress its citizens.

It also reduces the threshold for incurring sanctions from $20 million in annual dealings with Iran’s energy sector to $5 million.

It also for the first time in actionable legislation defines the capability of building a nuclear weapon as posing a threat to the United States.

“Capability” is Israel’s red line, while for years the U.S. red line has been “acquisition.” The “capability” red line has appeared in recent months in non-binding legislation.

JTA content was used in this article.

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2 Responses to “Congress Boosts Sanctions—Which Are Working—But President Gets to Roll Them Back Selectively”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    Romney didn't actually "back" Israel attacking Iran. Dan Senor, who works for the Romney campaign, said that he did, but Romney backed off a bit from that statement.

  2. Nancy Kramer says:

    Oh, Romney, your flipflops have flipflops…

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