US barrels toward lifting Iran sanctions

“I think it could come, without being specific, sooner rather than later,” he told reporters at the State Department this week.
The quick pace of implementation comes despite harsh opposition from Capitol Hill, where critics have accused the administration of emboldening Iran by refusing to get tough in the face of aggressiveness from Tehran.


The administration has failed to adequately punish Iran for a pair of ballistic missile tests, lawmakers say, setting a potentially dangerous precedent.


Iran has also recently sent ships within 1,500 yards of a U.S. aircraft carrier traveling through international waters, and failed to protect Saudi Arabian diplomatic buildings from ransacking protesters outraged over the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric.


According to reports, the White House has backed away from an initial plan to levy new sanctions in retaliation for the missile tests, which are considered to be likely violations of United Nations sanctions.


“There was an intention — Congress had been notified or the indication was that this action was going to be taken,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said this week. “And then the decision was made, after pushback from Iran, not to go forward.”


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