LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas’ U.S. senators on Thursday hailed a 99-0 vote by the Senate to extend authority to impose sanctions against Iran for 10 years.
The measure approved by the Senate would authorize sanctions against Iran’s military, energy and banking sectors if it violates the terms of a nuclear agreement it negotiated with the administration of President Barack Obama. President-elect Donald Trump has criticized the agreement.
The House voted 419-1 in November to a approve the measure, which now goes to Obama.
Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., said in a statement Thursday, “President Obama acquiesced to each and every demand from Tehran during the nuclear agreement negotiations and Iran has repaid the administration by stepping up efforts to acquire new weapons systems, destabilize the Middle East and advance its reputation as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.
“With a new administration, there is renewed confidence that Iran’s belligerence will not be met with the same dangerous indifference shown by President Obama. Maintaining the existing sanctions structure sends a strong message that the U.S. will have tools at our disposal to deal with Iran’s transgressions should they continue,” Boozman said.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said in a statement, “These sanctions are critical to holding Iran accountable, and it would be deeply irresponsible and dangerous if President Obama allowed them to expire. President Obama should stop bending to the unreasonable demands of the ayatollahs in Iran and sign this bill immediately.
“However the extension of these sanctions is only the baseline of what we must do to place limits on Iran. I am eager to begin work in the new Congress with a new president to ramp up pressure on Iran to ensure it never obtains nuclear-weapons capability,” Cotton said.