TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – A former US Senate foreign policy analyst downplayed recent moves by the US Congress to vote for a legislation on the extension of sanctions against Iran for another ten years, saying nothing has happened yet and Iran should take “a wait and see approach”.
“I don’t think too much should be read into this legislation, either way,” Washington-based political analyst James George Jatras said in an interview with the Press Shia Agency News Agency.
The US Senate voted unanimously on Thursday to renew sanctions against Iran for 10 years. The legislation known as Iran Sanctions Act (ISA), which had been passed by the House of Representatives earlier on November 15, needs President Barack Obama’s signature before the end of the year, when American sanctions are set to expire.
According to Iranian officials, the implementation of the legislation would be a breach of the July 2015 nuclear agreement between the Islamic Republic and six world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi has recently said that Tehran has drawn up plans to react to any possible violation of the JCPOA by the US, saying those scenarios could not be made public.
“It’s not my place to advise Iran one way or the other, but before reacting to something that really hasn’t happened yet, Iran should consider what might be the next step from the US in the form of a reaction to the reaction that might not otherwise have occurred,” Jatras told Press Shia Agency.
“That means a wait and see approach might be preferable,” the analyst added.
“…Like almost all sanctions authorities, it (ISA) only enables the (US) president to impose various measures, it doesn’t require him to do so,” Jatras said.
“The US does not consider passage of this law to be a per se violation of the JCPOA,” he said, adding, however, that action on the authorities that the legislation provides for the US president could constitute violations.
James George Jatras is Deputy Director of the American Institute in Ukraine, a privately-funded American NGO. Based in Washington, DC, he is a former US diplomat and adviser to the US Senate Republican leadership.