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US House’s move to renew Iran sanctions ‘foolhardy’

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The US House of Representatives’ move to renew sanctions against Iran is a “foolhardy” show of force before Donald Trump takes office in January 2017, says a political analyst.

The lawmakers on Tuesday voted 419 to one for a 10-year reauthorization of the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA), which was initially adopted in 1996 on the unfounded accusation that Tehran was pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear program.

Iran has adamantly rejected the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

The House also passed by voice vote a measure imposing new sanctions on the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad under the pretext of perpetrating war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The move by the GOP-controlled House comes as Republican Donald Trump won the election last week, defeating his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

“This is just basically a show of force of things to come with regard to foreign policy,” Rodney Martin, a former US congressional staffer, told Press TV on Wednesday.

“There might be a divide between the House and Senate Republicans on some aspects of foreign policy versus Donald Trump particularly with regard to Syria and that could very well cross over to the Iranian policy,” he stated.

“I think Donald Trump’s desire to improve relations with Russia and to join forces with Russia to combat ISIL (Daesh), that may undermine Republicans and the necon and the Jewish Zionist interests within the Republican Party to reestablish hegemonic policy in the Middle East and to push for regime change in Syria,” he added.

“What may happen is that Donald Trump may say hold off on any of these actions until he can get his foreign policy team in place and until he can put together his own coalition internationally which is most likely to include some cooperation with Russia, and we know Russia is fully committed to the alliance with President Assad and with Iran,” the analyst stated.

Martin predicted that a “fracture” might emerge between congressional Republicans and Trump, “a populist and a nationalist” who used “the Republican Party’s political machinery to run.”

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