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Obama Administration Open to Consider Renewal of Iran Sanctions Act

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The administration of US President Barack Obama remains open to consider legislation to renew the Iran Sanctions Act, but it has not yet received any specific bills to review, Deputy US Assistant Secretary of State for Iran Chris Backemeyer said on Friday.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, left, meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, right, in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, on what is expected to be implementation day, the day the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verifies that Iran has met all conditions under the nuclear deal. - Sputnik International
US Senators Introduce Legislation to Extend Anti-Iran Sanctions to 2026
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Members of the US Congress have strongly supported renewing the Iran Sanctions Act before it expires at the end of 2016. Many portions of the Act were waived during the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal.

"I know there has been some discussion about whether or not to renew [the Iran Sanctions Act] and I think when we see an actual bill, we will consider our position," Backemeyer said at an Atlantic Council forum on Iran sanctions.

Obama has threatened to veto any legislation that prevents the implementation of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, or JCPOA, which strictly limited Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for significant sanctions relief.

Backemeyer noted the emphasis placed on a legislative approach to Iranian sanctions by many members of Congress may be overstated. He argued that "almost any piece of legislation that takes up sanctions could in theory be replicated through executive order."

US lawmakers have proposed numerous pieces of legislation to maintain Iranian sanctions as a fall back option in the event the terms of the JCPOA are breached.

Under the US political system, the president is granted extensive authority to impose sanctions through executive order, without the consent of the Congress.

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