Wednesday, November 16, 2016

US House Extends Illegal Iran Sanctions Another 10 Years

US House Extends Illegal Iran Sanctions Another 10 Years

by Stephen Lendman

Candidate Trump was vocally anti-Iran while campaigning, disgracefully saying Tehran “suckered us,” vowing to “renegotiate” the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or “worse.”

It’s an international agreement involving all five permanent Security Council member plus Germany. Trump is unlikely to begin his tenure by challenging them. I suspect he’ll leave JCPOA little or unchanged, while ignoring or not complying with provisions he opposes.

Iran threatens no one, hasn’t attacked another country in centuries, favors cooperative relations with all countries, along with regional peace and stability free from nuclear weapons.

In full compliance with Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions, its nuclear program has no military component. Yet, in deference to Israel and US hostility toward all independent nations, it’s unjustifiably treated like a pariah state, baseless accusations made against its government - including nonexistent terrorist activities.

On Tuesday, US House members near unanimously passed legislation extending illegal sanctions by a 419 - 1 vote - Rep. Thomas Massie (R. KY) alone opposing the measure.

The Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) largely targets the nation’s banking, defense and energy sectors. A second measure, authorizing sanctions on anyone providing Syria with financial, material or technological support, passed by voice vote - a bill mainly targeting Russia and Iran.

Trump has yet to comment on either measure, certain to get overwhelming Senate approval - showing a continued congressional hardline approach against Russia, Iran and Syria, making it hard for him to change longstanding US policy, if that’s his intention.

Senate members are considering three versions of extending Iran sanctions. Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker (R. TN) favors adding additional provisions related to its legitimate missile program and activities of its Revolutionary Guard Corps, as well as (nonexistent) cyberthreats and espionage.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R. SC) wants $1.5 billion in additional aid for Israel added to the measure. Most Democrats favor renewing it unchanged, matching House action.

Current ISA legislation expires at yearend. Renewal will be in place before Trump succeeds Obama in January.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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