United States Senate votes unanimously to extend Iran Sanctions Act

Senate renews ISA on Thursday, 99-0; Iran claims renewal violation of nuclear agreement; Trump nominates Mattis for Defense Secretary

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The United States Senate voted unanimously in favor of extending the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for an additional decade on Thursday, Iran responding on Friday by stating the extension is a violation of the nuclear agreement formed with world powers.

The ISA, which was adopted in 1996, was set to expire at the end this year, the House approving the legislature in November, the Act renewed by Senators who voted 99-0 Thursday extending the bill extend for 10 more years. The bill is to be sent to President Obama where he is expected to sign.

Iran reacted to the ISA extension Friday, claiming that the extension is a “violation of the [nuclear] deal”. Spokesman for the Iran’s Foreign Ministry Bahram Ghasemi stating early Friday “The extension of sanctions by the U.S. Congress is a violation of the deal. We will report it to Iran’s committee, assigned for monitoring the implementation of the deal.” He added that “Iran has shown its commitment to its international agreements, but we are also prepared for any possible scenario. We are ready to firmly protect the nation’s rights under any circumstances,” not mentioning the two heavy water violations and continued missile program development and testing.

Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali KhameneiIf, threatened to “react” ahead of the vote on Thursday stating on Wednesday “If these sanctions are extended, it will surely constitute a violation of the [nuclear deal] and they [United States] should know that the Islamic Republic will definitely react to it.”

The development comes as United States President-elect Donald Trump nominated General James Mattis to serve as his administration’s Defense Secretary. Mattis, a retired Marine, oversaw US military operations in the Middle East from 2010 until 2013, ending his tour due to the Obama Administration. Mattis has been critical of the Obama Administration’s leniency on Iran and in fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.