Senate Democrats call for extending Iran sanctions law

The Iran nuclear deal, or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is an agreement between the so-called P5+1 (the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, China and Russia) and Iran, that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Probably, Rouhani was referring to remarks by the USA presidential candidate Donald Trump who was quoted as having said he would "tear up" the nuclear deal if he turns out to be president. The Mideast's wars pit US and Iranian proxies in conflict, with risks of escalation.

The House of Representatives passed legislation on Wednesday to block the purchase of "heavy water" from Iran, defying President Barack Obama's veto threat a year after the announcement of the landmark Iran nuclear agreement.

Congressional Republicans repeatedly are trying to undermine the global accord.

In a statement Friday, the lawmakers announced legislation to extend the Iran Sanctions Act by 10 years so the US can punish the country should it fail to live up to the terms of the milestone nuclear deal.

This is while Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi said in late May that given Washington's unreliable conduct and seizure of Iran's assets, Tehran will not deliver a cargo of heavy water it has sold the USA unless it is guaranteed the money will be paid in full.

Banks HSBC, Standard Chartered and BNP Paribas have all been stung before - and paid billions of dollars in fines - for dealing with Iran while USA sanctions were in place.

Republicans who control the House and Senate unanimously opposed the nuclear deal previous year and have been concerned since then about Iran's test-firing of ballistic missiles and other actions they view as provocative.

Iran has complained that despite the lifting of sanctions that once barred financial institutions from doing business with the country, foreign banks remain reluctant to be involved in transactions.

Supporters say the deal is a success because Iran does not have nuclear weapons.

The main reason for that, he says, is that members of Congress see that Iran has been emboldened to act even more aggressively, undertaking controversial ballistic missile testing, for example.

"It has been a year since the Obama Administration reached its disastrous nuclear deal with Iran". And so the failure of the deal to catalyze greater cooperation from Iran on a range of other priorities-Syria, Yemen, Iraq, to name a few-or to jumpstart improvements in Iran's domestic dynamics can not be disregarded simply because it was not its original intent.

This time a year ago, Iran had approximately 19,000 centrifuges installed and a stockpile equivalent to more than 12,000 kg of uranium hexafluoride, some of which was enriched to almost 20 percent-giving Iran the ability to produce enough weapons grade uranium for a bomb in about two or three months.

Foreign Minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif shakes hands with US Secretary of State John Kerry at the last working session of nuclear negotiations on July 14, 2015 in Vienna, Austria.

In many areas, he noted, restrictions have been lifted, including in oil, energy and shipping fields, however, still some concerns remain about the banking issues between Iranian and foreign banks.

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