Obama Doesn’t Need Congress To Lift Iranian Sanctions

For almost 20 years, the U.S. has imposed sanctions on Iran, and rightfully so.   As part of the hotly contested nuclear deal, Iran wants the U.S. to lift the sanctions that have been imposed on their government.  If Obama had his own way, he could lift these sanctions on his own without congressional approval.

According to the Associated Press, President Obama could suspend Iranian sanctions without congressional approval.

He could issue orders to permit financial transactions that otherwise are banned now.

On the financial sector, Obama could use executive orders to remove certain Iranians and entities, including nearly two dozen Iranian banks, from lists, meaning they no longer would be subject to economic penalties.

Only Congress can terminate legislative sanctions, and they’re some of the toughest, aimed at Iran’s energy sector, central bank and essential parts of its economy. Experts say Obama can neutralize the effect of some of those sanctions, too, and work with Europeans on softening others.

“Obama can give most of the sanctions relief under the agreement through executive order,” said Mark Dubowitz, a leading sanctions proponent with the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

If Obama and the Europeans erase the Iranian banks from the sanctions list, those institutions would regain access to the global financial system.


What measures can be put in to place to stop this insanity?

Congress could reauthorize the Iran Sanctions Act, which authorizes many of the congressional sanctions.

Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Mark Kirk, R-Ill., have introduced legislation to renew it. Menendez said that if the administration is serious about re-imposing sanctions if Iran cheats, there has to be something to “snap back to.”

Iran could interpret a move to reauthorize the law as a breach of the nuclear agreement. Administration officials won’t say whether it is or isn’t, only that it’s premature to address it.