In a joint statement Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) announced a bill to extend existing Iran sanctions (the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996) due to expire in 2016.
In extensive comments Menendez explained the need for the legislation and rebuked the administration’s parade of concessions to Iran. “If a deal is reached with Iran, it is critical that should Iran violate the terms of an agreement, severe penalties will follow and a forceful snapback of sanctions will occur,” he said. “For me, the trend lines of the Iran talks are deeply worrying, our red lines have turned into green lights, leaving snapback as one of the few tools available to demand Iranian compliance with an agreement. The Iran Sanctions Act, which authorizes a majority of the sanctions in place on Iran, expires next year. Absent renewal we would be unilaterally lifting sanctions on Iran and hence unilaterally disarming.” He continued, “It stands to reason that if negotiators are serious about snapback, then they should support the immediate extension of the Iran Sanctions Act to ensure there is no question for Iran about the consequences of non-compliance.”