Momentum to Delay Senate Sanctions Bill Until After Iranian Election
WASHINGTON – While the Senate Iran sanctions legislation has obtained influential bipartisan co-sponsorship, there is a growing understanding that the bill could be delayed until Tehran’s May 17 Presidential elections. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) — a key supporter of the legislation — noted on Monday afternoon, “There are many people who believe that we should let the Iranian elections take place so that can’t be used as suggested somehow it (Senate bill) affected the elections. I can understand why there’s a universe that feels that way and I don’t think we are going to lose anything in terms of the sanctions and the consequences we want by waiting.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has campaign on the economic benefits of the nuclear agreement with the United States, and there is a concern that new US sanctions would reward more hardline candidates and impact the elections.
While Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) Bob Corker (R-TN) would prefer that the sanctions bill not wait until after the May 17 Presidential elections, he acknowledged, “I do think there are others who would like to see that happen.”
The Tennessee lawmaker added that his “counterparts” have urged that the SFRC proceed with both the Russian and Iranian sanctions bills at the same time.