Iran warns Congress not to renew expiring sanctions

Iran's supreme leader warned Wednesday that Tehran would "react" if Congress renews the Iran Sanctions Act before it expires at the end of the year.  

“So far, the current U.S. government has committed several violations with regard to the nuclear agreement,” Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said in Tehran, according to Reuters.   

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“The most recent of them is the 10-year extension of the sanctions. If these sanctions are extended, it will surely constitute a violation of the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] and they should know that the Islamic Republic will definitely react to it,” he said. 

The House voted last week to extend the Iran Sanctions Act, which expires at the end of December, for 10 years. The legislation awaits action by the Senate and White House.

The potential renewal of the sanctions adds another element of uncertainty to the future of U.S.-Iran dealings, after President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Trump speaks to rebel Libyan general attacking Tripoli Dem lawmaker: Mueller report shows 'substantial body of evidence' on obstruction MORE's election.

Trump has said he would scrap the Iran nuclear deal, but he has also said he would more strictly enforce it. It's not clear whether the U.S. could completely scrap the agreement, since it is a multilateral accord signed by six nations and Iran. 

The deal lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs to its nuclear program, and has already afforded Iran billions in sanctions relief. 

The sanctions in the House-passed legislation would restrict trade and investment in Iran's energy sector. It would also allow the president to choose not to enforce some of the sanctions that were waived under the nuclear deal.