On the eve of negotiations between world powers and Iran on Tehran’s nuclear program, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill to increase sanctions on Iran and those doing business with Iran. The Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Human Rights Act also included language that, while not authorizing force, clearly sent the message that the U.S. still has that option on the table if Iran continues to threaten.
Senate Banking Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) declared, “…we are reminding Iran’s military and political leaders that they must make a clear choice…. They can come clean on their nuclear program, and end the suppression of their people and stop supporting terrorist activities around the globe. Or they can continue to face sustained multilateral economic and diplomatic pressure, and deepen their international isolation.”
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stated, “Any comprehensive policy that seeks to end Iran’s effort to acquire a nuclear weapon needs to convince the rulers in Tehran that their survival is in question…. Senate Republicans insisted that the Senate pass nothing less than the President’s commitment that all options are on the table, in order to prevent any contrary perception that silence on the use of force would have created.”
This Senate bill must now be negotiated with the House of Representatives, which passed similar legislation last December.
• Find out more here and here about the Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Human Rights Act.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations