Middle East/North Africa

Trump team mulls new non-nuclear Iran sanctions: report

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President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team is examining options for imposing sanctions on Iran unrelated to its nuclear weapons program, according to a new report.

Trump’s team is talking with GOP lawmakers about economic penalties that would not technically breach President Obama’s nuclear pact with Tehran, The Financial Times said Friday.

{mosads}“They are already looking closely at their options — and that includes non-nuclear sanctions,” said one congressional official who had been in contact with Trump’s transition staff.

The Times said possible measures include targeting Iran’s ballistic missiles program or its human rights record.

Congressional sources told the Times that such avenues would let Trump pressure Iran on issues like its support for terrorism or its repressive government policies.

Trump could exert influence over Tehran, it added, without alienating allies in Europe by scrapping last year’s historic nuclear deal.

The Times added the Trump team’s Iran policy work is far from finished but is being conducted by an expert on sanctions legislation.

The Trump transition team’s Iran point person is Yleem Poblete, it said, a former senior staff official for the House Foreign Affairs Committee deeply involved in drafting past sanctions legislation.

The Senate, meanwhile, easily passed a 10-year extension of the Iran Sanctions Act 99-0 Thursday, with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) declining to vote.

The law, which was set to expire at the end of the year, includes penalties against Iran’s banking, defense and energy sectors.

Obama is expected to sign the legislation, a White House official said Thursday, ending speculation about a possible veto.

Obama announced a landmark nuclear agreement between the U.S., five of its top Western allies and Iran in July 2015.

The deal eased sanctions on Iran in exchange for greater restrictions on its nuclear energy capabilities in an attempt to prevent Tehran from gaining atomic weapons.

Tags Bernie Sanders Diplomacy Donald Trump Foreign policy Iran Nuclear weapons Sanction

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