US lawmakers to introduce bill calling for more sanctions on Iran
US senators are planning to introduce legislation that imposes new sanction on Iran as soon as this week, according to Reuters Thursday.
Senators Robert Menendez and Mark Kirk are finalizing the legislation that could effectively terminate the historic interim nuclear deal signed between Iran and six world powers in late November.
US President Obama has urged lawmakers to refrain from such legislation, and Iran's foreign minister has already said that the new sanctions will "kill the interim agreement" since the deal calls for world powers to relieve sanctions in exchange for Tehran's commitment to curbing its nuclear program.
The proposed legislation specifically targets Iran's oil experts and foreign exchange as well as President Obama's ability to uplift sanctions.
The senators says that the new sanctions stipulation in the agreement would only be enacted if the November deal has not progressed within a six month time limit or if Iran violates the terms of the deal.
Senators are split on the recent US' engagement with Iran, ensuring that the proposed legislation will face an "uphill battle" if it is to be signed into law.
According to one Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who supports the Menendez-Kirk plan, "Giving the administration a six-month period to negotiate a successful deal makes sense to me. But having sanctions hanging over the head of the Iranians if the deal is not acceptable also makes sense to me."
Senators like Democrat Dianne Feinstein, however, told Reuters that she "was convinced Congress should hold off on any sanctions to allow negotiators to pursue a final agreement."
The vote on the legislation is expected to be held in January according to Graham.