By Patricia Zengerle
WASHINGTON The U.S. Senate passed a 10-year extension of existing sanctions against Iran on Thursday, sending the measure to the White House for President Barack Obama to sign into law and delaying any potentially tougher actions until next year.The measure passed by 99-0. It passed the House of Representatives nearly unanimously in November, and congressional aides said they expected Obama would sign it when it reached his desk.Members of Congress and administration officials said they did not believe the renewal would violate terms of the international nuclear agreement with Iran that went into effect early this year.
The White House had not pushed for a renewal of the Iran Sanctions Act, or ISA, which will expire on Dec. 31 if it is not renewed. But it also had not raised serious objections."While we do not think that an extension of ISA is necessary, we do not believe that a clean extension would be a violation of the JCPOA (Iran deal)," a senior administration official said.
Congress' action did not address the fact of the nuclear agreement between the Untied States, five other world powers and Iran, which was opposed by every Republican in the Senate and House.
Republican U.S. President-elect Donald Trump railed against the pact during his successful campaign for the White House, and many other members of his party, who hold majorities in both houses of Congress, have called for the new administration to abandon the agreement. (Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Andrew Hay)
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