White House sees ISA ‘unnecessary’

December 3, 2016 - 18:55

TEHRAN – The White House has described the extension of sanctions against Iran “unnecessary”, noting that the U.S. secretary of state is allowed to waive nuclear-related sanctions.

"We believe the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) extension is not necessary, but we also believe it won't interfere with the Iran deal," spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters at a daily press briefing on Friday.

The U.S. Senate passed a bill on Thursday, extending the ISA for another 10 years. Already passed by the House of Representatives by 419-1 in November, the measure won an overwhelming vote of 99-0 from the Senate on Thursday. 

The ISA will expire on December 31 if not renewed.

"I would expect the president to sign this piece of legislation," he said.

Schultz also said that “inside that legislation, it includes a provision that would allow the secretary of state to waive relevant nuclear-related sanctions.”

The spokesman saw the move consistent with both the U.S. legislation and the country’s commitments made under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), adding, “That's something we've been doing since Implementation Day and that's something we'll continue to do under our obligations of the deal as long as Iran keeps up its end of the deal as well.”

Iran and six world powers – Russia, Britain, the U.S, China, France, and Germany – clinched a nuclear deal known as JCPOA in July last year.

Under the deal, Tehran agreed to curb certain aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of all nuclear-related sanctions.

Iran has vowed to respond if the U.S. violates the deal.

“If the extension of Iran Sanction Act passes into law, it will clearly violate the JCPOA and Iran is ready to take appropriate measures in response,” Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), told IRIB on Friday.