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Senate Passes Enhanced Iran Sanctions Over White House Objections

The Obama administration made a last-minute effort to kill the amendment.
By:
National security spokesman Tommy Vietor

National security spokesman Tommy Vietor

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The U.S. Senate, urged by AIPAC and over Obama administration objections, unanimously approved tightened Iran sanctions.

“In an effort to circumvent international sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran, some purchasers of Iranian oil and natural gas have been using gold and other precious metals to pay for petroleum products,” the American Israel Public Affairs Committee said in a letter Friday to Senators considering the legislation, first proposed by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.).

“Iran in turn has used these precious metals to circumvent financial sanctions, using them to barter for goods,” said the AIPAC letter to senators. “The Menendez-Kirk-Lieberman amendment would close this loophole, without impacting humanitarian trade.”

The Obama administration made a last-minute effort to kill the amendment, a move first reported by The Cable, which reports on Congress for Foreign Policy magazine.

In meetings with sponsors, administration officials said the new sanctions would scare off efforts to enlist nations to cooperate with existing sanctions.

“As we focus with our partners on effectively implementing these efforts, we believe additional authorities now threaten to undercut these efforts,” Tommy Vietor, the national security spokesman, told The Cable. “We also have concerns with some of the formulations as currently drafted in the text and want to work through them with our congressional partners to make the law more effective and consistent with the current sanctions law to ensure we don’t undercut our success to date.”

The legislation, attached as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, passed later Friday unanimously, earning AIPAC’s praise.

“America must continue to lead the international effort to stop Iran’s illicit nuclear pursuit,” it said in a statement. “AIPAC urges the immediate implementation of the new sanctions.”

Should the House also pass the NDAA, the amendment must survive reconciliation of the House and Senate bills.

President Obama is likely in any case to sign the NDAA, considered to be a critical defense spending bill.

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9 Responses to “Senate Passes Enhanced Iran Sanctions Over White House Objections”

  1. Mark Fulbright says:

    good :)

  2. Theodore Omniman Whitus says:

    There might be hope for the Senate yet. Too bad for Obama.

  3. Dick Farrel says:

    uh oh…some dummy dems gonna be in the Shyt House with the white house

  4. The Odumba administration has fought against every sanction Congress has proposed and given exemptions to anybody that wants one.

    Now Congress is responding and Odumba ain't going to win.

  5. Catherine Patricia Driver says:

    I see this as hope that all Democrats in office are not total slaves Obama and his machine.

  6. Charlie Hall says:

    That is not true. Iran faces the most draconian sanctions any country has ever faced in peacetime and it is the diplomacy of the Obama administration that led to (1) endorsement by the UN Security Council, and (2) adherence to them by most of the world.

  7. David Neubart says:

    Enhanced Sanctions for Iran? What’s the US going to do, limit the exporting of Christmas hams?

  8. David Neubart says:

    Enhanced Sanctions for Iran? What’s the US going to do, limit the exporting of Christmas hams?

  9. David Neubart says:

    Enhanced Sanctions for Iran? What’s the US going to do, limit the exporting of Christmas hams?

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