A group of US Republican senators has introduced legislation to impose new sanctions against Iran over what legislators have described as Tehran’s support for terrorism and human rights violations.
The legislation, which was introduced on Thursday by Senator Kelly Ayotte, aims to impose harsher sanctions on Iran’s economy.
The bill is sponsored by Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican presidential candidate, and Senators Mark Kirk, Dan Coats and Cory Gardner as well as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Several other Republican senators have also signed on the new bill, dubbed the “Iran Terrorism and Human Rights Sanctions Act of 2016."
The bill's co-sponsors include Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican presidential candidate, and Senators John Cornyn, Rob Portman, Pat Roberts, Ben Sasse, Tom Cotton, Jerry Moran, Johnny Isakson and Lisa Murkowski.
The senators have accused Iran of supporting terrorism in the Middle East and committing human rights abuses.
“I reject our current posture of willful ignorance and inaction towards Iran's terrorist activities, illegal missile testing, funding Assad's war, and human rights abuses,” said Kirk, a strong supporter of Israel and advocate of Iran sanctions.
“The Administration’s response cannot once again be it’s ‘not supposed to be doing that’ as Iran continues to walk all over US foreign policy and the international community," he said.
The Obama administration has advised the Republican-dominated Senate not to impose more sanctions on Iran after the historic nuclear agreement between Tehran and the world powers.
With the Iran Sanctions Act expiring at the end of this year, GOP senators are trying their best to reauthorize and impose more sanctions on Tehran on the pretext of terrorism, human rights issues, and ballistic missile tests.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Britain, Russia, China, France as well as Germany started implementation of the deal, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, on January 16.
After JCPOA went into effect, all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran by the European Union, the Security Council and the US were lifted.
Iran in return has put some limitations on its nuclear activities. The nuclear agreement was signed on July 14, 2015 following two and a half years of intensive talks.
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