US Senate committee approves new Iran sanctions bill
Iran Press TV
Thu May 25, 2017 4:33PM
The United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations has passed a bill that would impose new sanctions on Iran over its missile program that Tehran has repeatedly said is solely for defensive purposes.
The committee voted 18-3 in favor of the measure on Thursday, but the bill still requires the full Senate consideration and support by the House of Representatives and US President Donald Trump to become law.
The measure is said to be punishing Iran over its ballistic missile program and alleged support for militant groups, weapons transfers and human rights violations.
The bill had been initially introduced by a bipartisan group of US senators in Congress to impose tighter sanctions against Iran over its ballistic missile tests and other non-nuclear activities.
The bill was introduced on Thursday, March 23, by 14 Democratic and Republican senators, including senior members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The bill would require the US president to block the property of any person or entity involved in specific activities that violate the United Nations arms embargo on Iran.
It is also expected to impose sanctions on any entity involved in Iran's missile program and those who trade with them.
US lawmakers, who backed the bill, said they believed that the bill would not violate terms of the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, including the US.
However, critics are concerned that the new measure can undermine the nuclear agreement.
The JCPOA was inked between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - the US, France, Britain, Russia and China - plus Germany in July 2015. The accord took effect in January 2016.
The resolution calls on Iran "not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology."
The Islamic Republic says its missile program is not banned under the JCPOA as its missiles are defensive and not designed to carry nuclear warheads.
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