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U.S. House of Representatives Votes Overwhelmingly on Iran Sanctions Renewal | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his American counterpart John Kerry (Reuters)

Washington- The United States House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday for the extension of the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for another ten years.

ISA, which was first adopted in 1996, punishes investments in Iran’s energy industry and deters the country’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.

The House of Representatives voted 419 to one for a 10-year renewal of the legislation, which needs Senate approval and President Barack Obama’s signature before the end of the year, when American sanctions are set to expire.

Lawmakers from both parties said they hoped bipartisan support for a tough line against Iran would continue under the new president.

Republican Representative Ed Royce, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, the bill’s lead sponsor, called the ISA “a critical tool.”

“Its expiration would compound the damage done by the president’s dangerous nuclear deal and send a message that the United States will no longer oppose the destructive role of Iran in the Middle East,” he said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan expressed his support to the legislation renewal.

In a statement issued following the session, Ryan said: “The Iranian regime continues to finance terrorism, test-fire ballistic missiles, abuse its people, and, as recently as last week, violate the nuclear agreement.”

“Today’s bipartisan vote will help maintain our ability to immediately reinstate sanctions against Iran over the next decade. I appreciate Chairman Royce and his entire committee for their work on this important bill, and hope the president will agree to sign it”, he added.

The House also passed by voice vote a bill that would sanction the government of Syria, and supporters including Russia and Iran, for war crimes and crimes against humanity.