On Monday, an Iranian nuclear official warned that if President Obama signs the Iran Sanctions Extensions Act before the end of the year that the United States would receive a “firm and strong reaction” from the Islamic Republic nation. Iranian nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, made the statements during a nuclear security conference hosted by the IAEA in Vienna. The Iran Sanctions Extensions Act was passed by the House and the Senate and is currently awaiting approval from President Obama before it expires at the end of the year. If the bill fails to be signed by December 31, the sanctions against Iran would be eliminated and not continue for another decade.
The threats took place during a meeting with the U.S. Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, on Sunday during the International Conference on Nuclear Security which is organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna. Salehi accused the U.S. of endangering the nuclear deal with its current motion of extending sanctions, which led the Iranian nuclear leader to tell the U.S. that it will feel a “firm and strong reaction” if it doesn’t stop with its “irrational and provocative” actions.
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 ISEA 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. Currently, the sanctions are not in effect at all after the Obama Administration waived them for Iran’s compliance with the restrictions in the nuclear deal. The White House has not indicated whether President Obama plans to pass or veto it.