Congress Placing Permanent Sanctions On Who?

Photo by Chris Grafton on Unsplash

On Monday (May 1), a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation in both chambers of Congress that would give permanent authority to a law allowing the president to impose punitive sanctions on Iran’s economy.

The Iran Sanctions Consolidation Act, sponsored by Republican Representative Michelle Steel (CA.) and co-sponsored by fellow Republican Michael McCaul (Texas), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is designed to permanently extend sanctions against Iran — Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) that would expire in 2026.

The ISA, which must be continually renewed by Congress under a mandatory sunset clause, enables the U.S. executive branch to impose sanctions on Iran’s energy sector to undermine Iran’s efforts to acquire nuclear weapons, which Tehran has strengthened in recent years.

In a statement, McCaul explained that the IRA was one of the most “important tools” in America’s law to force Iran to end the nation’s “dangerous and destabilizing behavior.”

McCaul noted that the bill would remove the sunset clause from the legislation, describing it as a “long overdue step,” elaborating that the introduced legislation meant sanctions would only be lifted if Iran stopped its “threatening behavior.”

Twenty-four lawmakers from both parties have co-sponsored the bill, including Democratic Representative Susie Lee (Nev.).

Steel asserted that Iran had made it clear it is not interested in participating in the international community or working for peace, noting that the law would help “prevent” Iran from acquiring

nuclear weapons that would endanger global peace.