In this January 16, 2016 file-pool photo, Secretary of State John Kerry talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Vienna, after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verified that Iran has met all conditions under the nuclear deal.
When it was announced a year ago, the Iran nuclear deal stoked intense debate among pundits and policymakers about whether it would accomplish its core goal: keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Iran has warned that if the US gives them any grief about their activities, they'll consider the nuclear deal null and void. The U.S. government confirmed Monday that it paid Iran $8.6 million for 32 tons of heavy water in April.
"Iran is a supporter of global terrorism, continues to develop its ballistic missile capabilities, actively seeks to destabilize friendly governments, has conducted cyberattacks against the United States and our allies, continues human rights abuses, and does so with impunity", Menendez said.
Republican lawmakers are pushing three measures to roll back a nuclear agreement with Iran, while the Obama administration's lead negotiator for the accord defended its implementation one year after the deal was struck. The accord has succeeded where bluster and un-ending sanctions failed by rolling back and ensuring unprecedented inspections over Iran's nuclear program.
"We need to continue to work and we will continue to work and we have a specially designated ambassador whose day-to-day effort is leading a team to make sure that this deal continues to be lived up to, that we continue to be able to resolve any problems", U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday.
Representative Ed Royce, chairman of the House's Foreign Affairs Committee, denied that the legislation would violate the nuclear deal whatsoever, insisting "it would deter Iran from producing heavy water by making its sale more hard", according to Reuters.
The seven-nation pact also spells out the West's obligation to end numerous financial, trade and oil sanctions that had battered Iran's economy.
The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Ali Akbar Salehi, visited ITER's headquarters in France this month and discussed the prospect of Iran joining the project which was launched 10 years ago by Europe, the United States, China, India, Japan, Russia and South Korea. The group of lawmakers opposed last year's landmark worldwide nuclear deal with Iran.
"This isn't a serious bill", Engel said of the sanctions measure.
Iranian hardliners haven't softened their stance on the United States either. Under the deal, Iran is allowed to use heavy water in its modified Arak nuclear reactor, but must sell any excess supply of both heavy water and enriched uranium on the worldwide market. "But we are also concerned that what is happening is the Iran nuclear deal is becoming our Middle East policy".
"I opposed the deal", he said.
Heavy water is an important by-product of producing nuclear weapons and energy, but it is not radioactive.
So it appears - from what we know - that Iran may have been unsuccessful in buying materials or equipment that would have clearly violated the nuclear agreement. The Senate hasn't acted yet; if it does, Obama would likely veto the bill.
Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton backed the deal, while presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump has threatened to tear it up. Sanctions also would be imposed on Iran for any activities that undermine cybersecurity.
"We are seeing how Iran continues to push the limits", Corker said.