A deal in the Senate to impose additional sanctions on Iran has fallen apart, as Senate Democrats accede to requests from President Obama to delay new legislation while world powers negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran.
Senate staffers tell The Daily Beast that a bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act was ready to go last night, and aimed at closing loopholes in the current sanctions on Iran. The new bill, however, would only kick in after the six-month negotiations period—specified in an interim deal reached last month with Iran—expired and only if Iran had been found in violation of its obligations.
"We don't know why the Democrats walked away from this," one senate staff member involved in the negotiations told The Daily Beast on Thursday. "There was a deal last night, but something happened in the last 12 hours."
"David Cohen aims to prevent the unraveling of the sanctions regime as fear shifts to greed in the international marketplace and despair transforms into hope in the Iranian economy," said Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, an organization that has worked closely with Congress and the administration on devising the current Iranian sanctions.
Dubowitz added, "These designations are an early indicator that he and his colleagues remain committed to the task. The open question is what they will do when major international companies violate sanctions and, particularly, if they are Chinese, Russian and European sanctions busters."
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