US Senate votes unanimously to back Israel against Iran, House bill to 'perfect' sanctions has 340 co-sponsors
The American people's representatives in Washington have told President Hussein Obama that they are tired of his soft touch on Iran
. On Wednesday, the Senate voted 99-0 to back Israel in the event that it is required to defend itself against Iran, while the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously approved the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013.
The "Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013" passed the House Foreign
Affairs Committee by a unanimous voice vote and is expected to easily
pass the full 435-member chamber, where it already has about 340
co-sponsors. A vote by the Republican-controlled House is likely within
the coming weeks.
The measure seeks to cut Iran's oil exports to
less than 500,000 barrels a day, limit Tehran's access to foreign
currency and expand the list of blacklisted sectors of Iran's economy.
Sponsors called it the strongest sanctions package ever against Iran's
There is not yet a companion Senate bill to the House measure.
United States believes Iran is enriching uranium to levels that could
be used in nuclear weapons. Tehran says its nuclear program is intended
for producing power and medical supplies. Iran is already under
sanctions by the United Nations, the United States and the European
Union over the program.
Republican and Democratic US lawmakers
have both been pushing US President Barack Obama's administration to do
more to crack down on Iran's nuclear program.
A UN report showed on Wednesday that Iran was pressing ahead with
constructing a nuclear reactor that Western experts say could offer it a
second way of producing material for a nuclear bomb if it decides to
A bipartisan group of senators introduced separate
legislation earlier this month that would block Iran's access to
billions of dollars worth of foreign currency reserves.
Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a
sponsor of the resolution that passed on Wednesday, said after that vote
he was working on legislation for what he called "perfecting" sanctions
to fill loopholes in existing restrictions on Iran.
Okay, so the Senate vote is non-binding and only symbolic given that the President is the only one with the power to make war. And the Obama administration will undoubtedly try to water down the House bill when it gets to the Senate, may even consider having Obama veto it and will be lax in its enforcement. But given Benghazigate, the IRS and the threat of domestic terrorism in the US, does Obama want to, and can he, fight another battle on behalf of Iran?
Labels: Barack Hussein Obama, Iran sanctions regime, Iranian nuclear threat, Robert Menendez