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Iran Sanctions Bill Becomes Law Without Obama’s Signature

December 15, 2016

On Thursday, the White House announced that a bill extending sanctions on Iran will become law despite President Obama not signing it. Although the White House had said that the President was expected to sign the Iran Sanctions Extensions Act, he declined to do so before the deadline on Thursday. The Constitution states that after Congress passes a bill, the President of the United States has 10 days to sign or veto it and a failure to do either lets the bill become a law. The White House put out a statement ensuring that the added 10 years of extensions on the Islamic Republic would not interfere with the agreements of the nuclear deal despite Iranian leaders saying it would.

“This Administration has made clear that an extension of the Iran Sanctions Act, while unnecessary, is entirely consistent with our commitments in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Consistent with this longstanding position, the extension of the Iran Sanctions Act is becoming law without the President’s signature,” a White House statement said.

Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei has said that the sanctions extensions would be a violation of the nuclear deal.

Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei has said that the sanctions extensions would be a violation of the nuclear deal.

“Extension of the Iran Sanctions Act, which was in place at the time the JCPOA was negotiated and remains so today, does not affect in any way our ability to fulfil our commitments in the JCPOA,” the statement continued. “The Administration has, and continues to use, all of the necessary authorities to waive the relevant sanctions, to enforce those that are outside the scope of the JCPOA, and to reimpose sanctions if necessary in the event that Iran should fail to perform its commitments under the JCPOA.”

Iran has threatened a “firm and strong reaction” if President Obama extended the sanctions, a move Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi called “irrational and provocative.”

The Iran Sanctions Extensions Act is aimed at ensuring that the United States maintains some leverage with the Islamic Republic following the implementation of the Iran Deal. The act would extend the sanctions first imposed on Iran in 1996 aimed at hurting their economy; by targeting their energy, military, and banking sectors; to attempt to halt their development of nuclear weapons.