WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, released the following statement Thursday after the Senate renewed the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 by a vote of 99 to 0. The measure is set to expire on December 31st. With House passage already secured, the measure now heads to President Obama for signature:
“The House and the Senate’s broad, bipartisan vote to extend the Iran Sanctions Act demonstrates that the United States Congress is serious about reserving the right to credibly snapback sanctions on Iran should it violate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. These are the very sanctions that brought Iran to the negotiating table, and their extension is a key element in holding Iran accountable. Congress’ action today should send a signal to the Iranian government and to the world that the United States is serious about enforcement of the nuclear agreement. I believe that the United States must uphold its obligations pursuant to the agreement while reserving the right – consistent with the JCPOA – to snap back sanctions if Iran violates the agreement.
“It’s important to underscore that reauthorizing the Iran Sanctions Act is not a violation of the JCPOA.
“Next year I hope to work across the aisle on legislation designed to push back on Iran’s continued ballistic missile testing, sponsorship of terrorism, cyber activities, and human rights violations. Such legislation should also strengthen Congressional oversight of the JCPOA.”
Senator Cardin has been an outspoken advocate for preserving Congress’ right to snapback sanctions should Iran violate the JCPOA, introducing a bill in July with Democratic Leader Harry Reid and Senator Chuck Schumer to extend ISA for 10 years. He has also focused on non-nuclear sanctions given Iran’s continued pursuit of ballistic missiles, its violation of human rights domestically and abroad, and its financial and material support for terrorism around the world, introducing the Iran Policy Oversight Act of 2015.