US Senate Advances Iran Sanctions Bill

June 8, 2017
Updated

On June 7, the U.S. Senate voted 92-7 to advance a bill that would impose new sanctions on Iran. The legislation aims to hold Iran accountable for its destabilizing behavior in the Middle East by sanctioning “Iran’s ballistic missile program, applying terrorism sanctions to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, imposing sanctions on Iranians engaged in human rights abuses, and tightening enforcement on arms embargoes on the Iranian regime,” Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said.

The vote came on the same day that 12 people were killed in twin terrorist attacks in Tehran. Some senators called to delay the vote given the timing. "The country has just suffered from two significant terrorist attacks after electing a moderate government with 57 percent of the vote — we need to give Iran the opportunity to recover and set a new course," Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said in a statement. “I would urge us to consider delaying further action on this Iran sanction measure. Today. Or this week. The term insult to injury comes to mind,” said Tom Carper (D-DE). But the Senate voted to end debate on the bill, S.722 Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017, which will be voted on later.

Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that he and his colleagues expected to add a “strong new package” of sanctions on Russia to the legislation. The following is a summary of the bill authored by the Congressional Research Service with floor statements by senators and reactions from Iranian officials, who viewed the move as a violation of the nuclear deal. 

 

Countering Iran's Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017

This bill directs the Departments of State, Defense, and Treasury and the Director of National Intelligence to submit a strategy every two years for deterring conventional and asymmetric Iranian activities that threaten the United States and key allies in the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond.

The President shall impose asset blocking and U.S. exclusion sanctions against any person that materially contributes to: (1) Iran's ballistic missile or weapons of mass destruction programs, or (2) the sale or transfer to Iran of specified military equipment or the provision of related technical or financial assistance.

The President shall impose against Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and affiliated foreign persons sanctions with respect to blocking property of, and prohibiting transactions with, foreign persons who commit or support terrorism.

The President may impose asset blocking sanctions against any person identified by the State Department as responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights committed against certain individuals in Iran.

The bill requires specified existing sanctions against persons for materially contributing to Iran's ballistic missile program or for supporting Iran's acts of international terrorism to continue until 90 days after the President certifies that such activities ceased during the immediately preceding three-month period.

The bill exempts certain humanitarian and national security activities from sanctions.

The President may temporarily waive the imposition or continuation of sanctions under specified circumstances.

The bill sets forth reporting requirements with respect to: (1) persons contributing to Iran's ballistic missile program, (2) U.S.-European Union sanctions coordination, (3) U.S. citizens detained by Iran, and (4) each use of the waiver authority.

 

Tom Carper (D-DE)

I understand that we had originally scheduled, in about one minute, a vote on, a cloture on a new Iran sanctions bill. I understand that that Quorum call – has been delayed – not a Quorum call a Cloture vote, until early this afternoon. This comes on the heels of an announcement, very sad news from Iran. And I would be certainly among the first to note that some of the people in Iran, the Revolutionary Guard, some of their leadership, support terrorism. They wish ill for us and for our country. But that same country had some elections two weeks ago and the results of those elections were surprising, even for me, but encouraging. And the results of the election found that President Rouhani one of the leaders of the reformer moderate elements within that country, was reelected by a resounding majority, close to 6o% of the vote. Although the Supreme Leader there thought he had narrowed the field so that it would be a one on one race for the presidency, and in spite of that President Rouhani was reelected, and we congratulate him. And there were a number of elections across the country – municipal elections – most prominently in Tehran, where the hardline mayor of Tehran has been ousted. And in municipal elections across the country the number of moderate forces, reform forces, seem to have made real progress, encouraging progress certainly from perspective.

The Iranians, one of the things that they do that is troubling to me and I think to others in this country, is that they are continuing to test ballistic missiles and what we believe is in violation of the United Nations’ decision. The Iranians are not violating the agreement that was entered into between five nations, including the US. And Iran roughly two years ago, Iran’s nuclear deal, in joint agreement, they are not violating that, but they are violating other UN sanctions. This revised sanctions bill that was scheduled to be debated today and maybe voted on later this week, at least the start up of the debate, on whether of not we are going to pursue the bill has been delayed until this afternoon.

I would urge us to consider delaying further action on this Iran sanction measure. Today. Or this week. The term insult to injury comes to mind. If – I always try to use the Golden Rule to figure out what I should do, how we – how I should behave as a human being. And I think we maybe should consider the Golden Rule in this case as well.

Iran is not necessarily our close friend, they are not a close ally. I think the potential is there for becoming – for having a much better relationship as a young generation of Iranians grows up and eventually assumes the leadership of their country. But it’s a country of 80 million people. Over half of them are under the age of 25. They had a revolution in 1979. They captured our embassy. We have not had relations with them. They held our people for a year or more. Until after the 1980 presidential election. And our relations with Iran have been difficult, since that time. But more encouraging of late. What is happening is again- a young country, 80 million people, more than half under the age of 25 – the young people there, the younger generation, they want to have a good relationship with the rest of the world. A better relationship with the rest of the world. And certainly a better relationship with us. I’ve talked to any number of Americans, including American leaders – senior American leaders – who have been to Iran in recent years and were surprised by the warm welcome that they received. …

If [our Vietnamese] relationship can change then I think there is reason to hope that our relationship with Iran can change. And if we are left up to the younger people there, we have a bunch of new Pages here, but if we are left up to a generation that runs on the ages of our Pages, maybe their parents, then it would be a brand new day in Iran. But change is happening there. And the question is, on the heels of this attack by ISIS, with whom we have bitter differences and a hotly contested armed conflict – for us to somehow on the heels of two attacks by ISIS in Iran, one on the parliament and the other apparently on the mausoleum for the reformer Ayatollah where a dozen or more people killed, 40 something people wounded, does it make sense for us to take up an Iran sanctions bill today? I don’t think so. My reading of the Golden Rule - treat other people the way we want to be treated- would suggest that this might not be the right day to do this. This might not be the right day to do this. Next week maybe? Today, no. I would just call on our leadership to hit the pause button. There’s not a need to rush on this.

The idea of – if we are going to do something – the Iran sanctions bill that is coming to us today is a much more thoughtful approach than was originally contemplated by the Foreign Relations Committee here. They’ve done a very nice job improving what I thought was a badly flawed, earlier effort. But this might be a good day to hit the pause button. And for us to- instead of us sort of like rubbing salt into a wound, just to say let’s wait a few days and we’ll consider what to do. If we were in their shoes, I think we would appreciate that jester. If we were in their shoes, I think the idea of them sort of taking this kind of action or step against us, on a day that we had been attacked by ISIS would not, would not be well received. Would not be well received. It’d be badly received. So I think we ought to treat them the same way.

 

John McCain (R-AZ)

Mr. President, I rise in the Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017. For too long the myopic focus on the Iran deal blinded the United States to Iran’s persistent campaign to destabilize the Middle East and undermine America’s national security interests. Iran has been given a free pass to detain U.S. sailors in clear violation of international law, conduct ballistic missile tests in violation of the United Nations resolutions, support terrorist groups across the region, and prop up the murderous Assad regime in Syria. It’s long past time for the United States and international community to hold Iran accountable, not just for its commitments under the Nuclear Deal but for its destabilizing behavior across the Middle East. This legislation begins to do just that. By imposing new sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program, applying terrorism sanctions to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, imposing sanctions on Iranians engaged in human rights abuses, and tightening enforcement on arms embargoes on the Iranian regime.

I want to thank the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Committee Senator Corker and Senator Cardin for bringing this bill to the floor. They recognize that the United States must not stand idly by when hostile regimes undermine and attack our interests and that of our allies. They recognize that regimes that aid and abet crimes against humanity must be held accountable. They recognize the weakness in the face of aggression as provocative. These are the reasons that we must pass this legislation.

 

Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

So Mr. President, Senators today will have an opportunity to advance an important bipartisan Iran sanctions legislation. As we consider this bill, we’ll anticipate that amendments addressing Russia sanctions are likely to be offered. I’m encouraged that the chairman of the Foreign Relations and Banking Committees, Sen. Corker and Sen. Crapo, have already been in discussion with their respective ranking members to work toward a bipartisan agreement. I support that effort, and I’ll have more to say about the underlying legislation tomorrow.

 

Christopher Murphy (D-CT)

Moving forward, a piece of legislation that I support. We voted out of the Foreign Relations Committee last week, a new sanctions bill against the Iranian regime for their continued movement towards a ballistic missiles program that could ultimately threaten the security of the Middle East, and that could threaten the security of our sacred ally in the region, Israel. It also speaks to Iran’s continued problematic human rights record and their support for terrorism in the region.

We should move forward on this piece of legislation, but I would recommend that we do not do so today. There is reason to have this debate, but given the terrorist attack that occurred in Iran, given the fact that today we know that there are 12 dead and 40 wounded in two very coordinated attacks, my worry is that literally at the moment of grieving in Iran that this resolution would look not directed at the regime, which it is, but at the Iranian people. It would seem intemperate and ultimately do more damage than good. This is an important resolution to debate. We can find the time to get this done. But given the unfortunate timing, obviously not intentional, of moving this forward this week given those attacks that just occurred – ISIS has claimed responsibility – I would hope that we could find a way to move this to another time. I think it’s really important because ultimately it is in the US national security interests, for the will of the Iranian people, who are, broadly speaking, Western oriented. Who, broadly speaking, want a democratic internationalist future, to get their way. And in everything we do, we need to make it clear that we have deep disagreements with the Iranian regime. Their rhetoric towards Israel. Their inflaming of tensions. Their funding of proxy wars in the region. But our beef is not with the people of Iran. And that is sometimes a difficult distinction to make, but it is a very important distinction to make.

By choosing to postpone this debate, this vote to another time, I think we’d send an important message to the Iranian people that we want to give them time to grieve, that we want to give them time to understand the scope of this attack. I don’t think that it comes at much of a cost or loss to us. It is important to remember that when were attacked on September 11th, there were vigils throughout Iran. The regime itself weren’t sponsoring those, but the Iranian people did stand up and in substantial numbers display common cause with the people of this country. Again, another sign that this disagreement is not with the people of Iran, but with the regime.

So I – despite having some reservations about this legislation – I don’t endorse it wholeheartedly, but am a supporter of it and will vote for it when it comes to the floor of the Senate, would hope that the leadership of both sides of the aisle might find a path to give the people of Iran some grieving space, to make sure that we are not sending the wrong message with this vote this afternoon, find some time to later this summer to take up this very, very important issue.

 

Bob Menendez (D-NJ)

Madame President I rise today in strong support of Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017. But first, I would like to offer my strongest condemnation of the terrorist attack allegedly carried out by ISIS this morning in Tehran, which claimed the lives of 12 people. Attacks on civilians in any corner of the world must be strongly condemned by the United States. And I offer my condolences to the people of Iran and the families who lost loved ones in this latest act of terror.

If anything, these events remind us that the entire Middle East is increasingly under siege. And the United States and the entire international community must unite to confront terrorism and extremism in all of its forms. And that means holding governments that continue to ferment, fund, and encourage terrorism accountable. And while the people of Iran suffered a heinous attack today, the unfortunate reality is that the violence, volatility, and profound human suffering that imperils the Middle East is all too often linked back to the government of Iran. Across the region, this regime continues to pursue policies that threaten the national security interests of the United States. It continues to support terrorism and exert influence through the growing power of proxy actors throughout the Levant and Yemen. And even as it continues to supply terrorist across the region with money, weapons and resources, the people of Iran continue to suffer under a repressive regime with absolutely no respect for basic human rights.

We all know that the United States faces a multitude of threats at home and abroad. From Russia’s cyberattack on our election, to North Korea’s continued belligerence, to new questions about America’s leadership in the world. But even as Congress rightly remains focused on these challenges, we must not lose sight of Iran’s ongoing, ever growing efforts to exert more control, more power, and more influence throughout the Middle East. Whether we are talking about an adversary like Russia, or Iran, or an international challenge, like climate change or the refugee crisis, we cannot let issues of such importance be obscured by partisan politics, be derailed by divisive tweets or lost amid the revelations of our relentless 24-hour news cycle. I’ve always believed that politics must stop at the water’s edge. And I know that many of my colleagues share that principle. That’s why there is such broad, bi-partisan support for the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act. I’m pleased to have worked with Senators Corker, Cardin and a number of other colleagues on legislation that has earned the support of nearly 60 cosponsors. We crafted this legislation by listening to an array of different voices, with experience addressing Iran’s destabilizing influence.

But let me be clear. This bill is not, is not about Iran’s nuclear program. This bill is not about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. With the regime’s tentacles reaching across the region from its support of a Shia proxy network in Iraq, to its growing influence in Afghanistan, to its continued sponsorship of terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, we need a strategic approach. One that energizes our partners in the region and recognizes their capacity to counter Iran’s behavior. That is exactly what the Countering Iran Destabilizing Activities Act does. Our legislation calls on the President of the United States to develop a regional strategy to counter Iran’s asymmetric and conventional threats across the Middle East.

We know that Iran, for example, continues to develop sophisticated ballistic missiles technology. They aren’t exactly hiding it. Just a few weeks ago a semi-official news service for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard announced that it had built a third underground facility dedicated to ballistic missiles. And Iran continues to test launch missiles, some of which may be capable of reaching Europe or Israel, both critical allies of the United States. In fact, some of the missiles launched earlier this year had the words written on them, “Israel must be wiped off the Earth,” etched on their sides. That’s why S-722 requires the President to impose sanctions on any person who knowingly engages and materially contributes in support of Iran’s ballistic missiles program. Now some argue that imposing new sanctions on Iran violates the spirit of the JCPOA. But I would argue, that actively building underground ballistic missile facilities does little to promote good will of the spirit of the JCPOA in the region.

Beyond its missile program, Iran remains actively engaged in importing and exporting small and conventional arms to terrorist proxies around the world, and bad actors like North Korea. In January of this year, the outgoing United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern that Iran might have violated an arms embargo by supplying weapons and missiles to Hezbollah. Yet not all of Iran’s violations make high profile news. We know that Iran has ramped up its supply of weapons to Houthi rebels in Yemen and other proxies throughout the region. That’s why this legislation imposes sanctions on any individual who knowingly engages in activity that materially contributes to the supply, sale, or transfers of arms as defined and established by UN standards.

And finally, when it comes to human rights, some try to paint a pretty picture of reform in Iran. But a closer look reveals chilling and deplorable human rights abuses. According to Human Rights Watch, by October of last year Iran had executed more than 250 people. That’s one person sent to death every day. And many were executed for non-violent drug offenses. That’s why our legislation expands the scope of violations eligible for sanctions, including those behind the extrajudicial killings of journalists and activists who seek to expose the oppression of the Iranian people. And finally, this bill calls for a comprehensive report on Americans who suffer at the hands of the Iranian regime, including those who have been unjustly detained and those who have remained missing in Iran for more than a decade. In short, this bill is a (cuts out) of Iran’s ongoing aggression in the Middle East.

Let me turn to a provision that continues to be misrepresented, and that involves the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The IRGC is officially responsible for Iran’s internal security with a ground force of about 100,000. But like many other quasi-military political entities in undemocratic countries throughout the world, the IRGC holds enormous influence in Iran’s economy and public affairs. On paper, the IRGC Quds force is the lead supporter of Iran’s terrorist networks around the world and the US has designated it as such. But the reality is that the IRGC exercises tremendous economic and political power throughout Iran. It pulls the regime’s levers to fund and support terrorists in the Middle East and beyond. That’s why our bill specifically calls for terrorism related sanctions on the IRGC. But it does not- let me repeat - it does not, as some have claimed, label the IRGC a Foreign Terrorist Organization. We heard the concerns of military and intelligence community.

So let me repeat, this bill does not label the IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. What it does do, is require the President to acknowledge the role the IRGC plays in supporting terrorism globally. I know that some of my colleagues have expressed concerns as well about whether this bill gives the green light to the administration’s decidedly confrontational approach to Iran. But that’s precisely why Congress must step up and define our strategy in the Middle East. We need to look at the big picture here. As the United States and our partners work to build democratic governance structures, work to promote tolerance across the region, and protect civilians and refugees living under siege, Iran remains aligned with Russia and Syria actively working to undermine U.S. security interests. Indeed, Putin, Assad and the Ayatollah continue to take advantage of the strife that imperils the region.

Meanwhile, the world continues to struggle with extremism, with mass migration, and with the largest humanitarian crisis since World War 2. With this administration unable to articulate a clear vision for American leadership in the world, the time is right for Congress to assert its influence in our foreign policy. To provide guidance and expertise, a framework for securing our interests in the Middle East. Now is not the time for Congress to turn a blind eye to Iran’s hostile behavior. Now is the time for all of us to demand nothing less than vigorous oversight, constant vigilance and strict enforcement of our entire arsenal of diplomatic tools, including sanctions on Iran. That is our effort outside of the nuclear portfolio to make it very clear that you cannot get a green light to do all of these things because you signed into the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. I think it’s important for us to sign this measure. When an appropriate time comes for this vote, I urge my colleagues to support the measure.

 

Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

First on Iran and Russia. Mr. President, this week we’ll be considering bipartisan legislation to impose sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile testing, for its human rights abuses, for its overt support of terrorism. I support the bill, look forward to a vote on the measure. It’s important we do it.

With respect to the pending vote on the Iran sanctions bill, I want to be very clear. Democrats will vote to advance this bill to the floor because we support – most of us support the bill. But also because we expect an amendment process that will follow for a vote on a strong package of Russia sanctions. I’ve talk to the Republican leader about this, and he is amenable to that. Our Republican colleagues should realize it will be very difficult to gather Democratic support for final passage of this bill until we deal with Russia sanctions. We feel strongly that we need tough, effective package of Russia sanctions to move alongside the Iran sanctions. We’re currently negotiating to that end. I have faith that the Majority Leader and I, along with Chairman Corker, Chairman Crapo, Ranking Member Cardin, and Ranking Member Brown, will be able to agree on a way forward that allows for a final vote on Iran sanctions alongside a strong and effective package of Russia sanctions.

 

Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

This body has a dual obligation, to ensure that there are sanctions against Iran for its destabilizing activity around the region, indeed the world, but also sanctions against Russia for its interference with our election, one of the core democratic institutions of our nation, as well as other acts that are hostile to the world order and to world peace. I support Senate 722, the Countering Iran Destabilizing Activity Act, but I strongly believe that it should have Russian sanctions included as well, as the Senate proceeds to this urgently needed measure.

Iran’s own parliament has suffered an ISIS claimed terror attack in Tehran. I condemn that act of terror, on of many that the world has suffered. We are at war with ISIS as we are with terrorist extremism around the world. It intentionally targeted civilians. It used terror. ISIS has been a world terror organization. The fact that Iran’s leaders themselves direct and glorify terrorism against Israel and the United States does not diminish the horror of what has occurred. People of all faiths, from an increasingly diverse number of nations, have become victims of this terror spread by ISIS and Iran. What occurred today is sadly more evidence that Iran’s unconditional support for Assad has directly countered the interest of the Iranian people and our ongoing efforts to defeat ISIS. We must hold Iran accountable. We must hold it accountable for its many malign activities through increasing and enforcing strong, targeted sanctions.

I want to thank my colleagues, including Senator McCain, who just spoke so forcefully on the floor, Senator Menendez, Senator Corker and Cardin, as well as other colleagues who have worked on this cause. I want to say as well, we must hold Iran accountable for the threats its act of terrorism pose to our security and the threat its missile program poses to our allies, including Israel. We must hold Iran accountable for the gross violation of human rights and war crimes that it, together with Russia, are perpetrating in Syria. In the last few months, Iran has tested and fired ballistic missiles, tested a new Russian-made system and harassed United States ships and continues to enable and arm the Hamas Terrorist Organization, the Despotic Assad Regime and the supply of weapons to Hezbollah. It has enabled Hezbollah to amass 150,000 rockets and missiles all aimed at civilians in Israel. Last month the State Department released a report on Iran’s human rights violations, continuing to show a more troubling trend of abuse, noting that Iran has more than 800 political prisoners and has executed at least 469 people just last year.

We know that sanctions must be targeted and continually strengthened to deter Iran. This legislation will impose sanctions on Iran for its support of terrorism, human rights violations, and ballistic missile development. That includes sanctioning those who contribute to Iran’s missile program and it also goes beyond members of the Quds Force who are already sanctioned. In no way – no way does this sanctions program contradict or undermine the Nuclear Agreement with Iran. That agreement provided us and our allies the time and space to now push Iran to end its malign activities without the imminent threat of nuclear weapon. Congress must do everything it can to authorize new measures against Iran and ensure that this new administration effectively enforces them.

 

Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

I have serious concerns about the sanctions on Iran contained in this bill. As we have heard from former Obama administration officials, including Secretary Kerry and Ambassador Sherman, these measures could undermine the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the very important nuclear agreement signed in 2015 between the United States, our P-5 plus partners, and Iran. But above and beyond that, let us be aware and cognizant, that earlier today, the people of Iran suffered a horrific terror attack in their capital Tehran, in which 12 people were killed and many more were injured. The Islamic State has claimed credit for this attack. Mr. President, at a time when tensions are extremely high in that part of the world, our goal must be to find ways to bring people together, to reduce tensions, rather than to exacerbate this very painful and dangerous situation. Let us also remember that the leaders of Iran immediately expressed condolences for the September 11th attacks against the United States, and that hundreds of Iranians held a candle light vigil.

Mr. President, it seems to me to be the right thing to do, that on a day when Iran has been attacked by ISIS, by terrorism, now is not the time to go forward with legislation calling for sanctions against Iran. I would respectfully request that we delay our vote on this bill until next week. Let us tell the people of Iran, that while we have serious disagreements with them on a number of issues, that today, when they are mourning, when they are dealing with the shock of a terrorist attack, today is not the day to go forward this piece of legislation.

 

Iran

Ali Akbar Velayati, Senior advisor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

“The U.S. Senate’s move is unquestionably in breach of both the spirit and the letter of the nuclear deal. The Iranian committee tasked with monitoring the accord will certainly examine the congressional move and come up with a decent response.”

“America is trying to cover up the repeated defeats it has suffered from Iran in Iraq and Syria.”

—June 16, 2017, according to the press

 

Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani

“The continuation of the previous U.S. administration’s unconstructive policies against Iran shows that American leaders make excuses to escalate tension and instability in region by disregarding internationally accepted norms.”

“U.S. hardliners and ISIL are two sides of the same coin; both pursue common objectives by different tolls to leave adverse effects and securitize the internal sphere of Iran.”

“Resistance economy and strengthening the internal power structure of the establishment is Iran’s strategic way for managing economic, political and security changes, with or without sanctions.”

June 18, 2017, according to Mehr News

 

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi

“The passing of new sanctions is in line with the intrinsic animosity of U.S. toward Iran.”

“The government of the United States of America, according to the JCPOA, which is an international document, is under some obligations which should be met completely and with benevolence. In this field, the domestic legislation of countries is irrelevant and governments cannot reach for such regulations to evade their international responsibilities.”

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, is meticulously watching and examining the articles and the text of this Act, its approval procedure in the U.S. congress, and its eminent signing by the U.S. president and the committee to supervise the implementation of the JCPOA will devise the fit counter-measures to secure the national interests of Iran.”

“Iran’s missile program is completely justified and has not contradiction with resolution 2231.”

June 16, 2017, according to Mehr News

“As the Islamic Republic of Iran has fully met its commitments so far and the International Atomic Energy Agency has also confirmed this several times, the whole parties to the JCPOA are duty bound to honor their commitments completely.”

“The delegation supervising the implementation of the JCPOA will decisively take reciprocal and proportionate measures to fulfill the country’ national interests.”

June 16, 2017, according to Tasnim News

“No doubt, such crude and inappropriate remarks are voiced with a futile intention to induce division in the unified Iranian nation or the government. But these attempts are doomed to failure as it was the case in the past four decades.”

“The only way ahead of U.S. officials is to obtain correct understanding of the realities in Iran and the region and to stop the ineffective use of threats and intervention in domestic affairs of Iran and other regional countries. The US needs to adopt realistic, rational and unexcitable outlook toward developments in Iran and the Middle East.”

“The U.S. needs to realize that historical, geographical, and cultural realities, just like sustainable security and stability, are above doing business and bribing regional countries; grasping such realities demand thinking and understanding, and wisdom.”

June 15, 2017, according to Mehr News

Chairman Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Alaeddin Boroujerdi

“The U.S. has once again demonstrated that its political system is unreliable in the international arena.”

“The Iranian committee tasked with supervising the JCPOA implementation has adopted necessary decisions about the recent Senate’s sanctions.”

“I think the bill will receive unanimous votes inside the Parliament to counter the U.S. Senate’s unwise move at odds with JCPOA’s spirit and text.”

June, 17, 2017, according to Mehr News

“Over the past 38 years, U.S. statesmen have always repeated these nonsensical remarks. During these years, the U.S. government has supported the anti-Iran terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization.”

“For years, the U.S. has used all its military, economic and political power in the Middle East against the Islamic Republic but has been defeated in all arenas.”

“We do not care about the recent comments by the U.S. Secretary of State.”

June 18, 2017, speaking to Tasnim News

“The U.S. Senate’s recent approval of sanctions against Iran is undoubtedly in clear violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and contrary to its text and spirit.”

“Since the international document has been signed by all permanent members of the UN Security Council, Germany and the European Union, all these signatories, too, should voice their opposition to the move and US’s reneging.”

June 17, 2017, speaking to Tasnim News

 

Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri, Deputy Chief Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces

“The U.S.’ governing body is a hegemonic, insatiate, extortionist and profiteer regime.”

“Of course, Americans need to change its procedures or Iran will force them to do so.”

“It remains as a historical irony that America calls IRGC forces terrorists while the Iranian body has fought against terrorism since the beginning of its formation and has supported people of Palestine, Iraq and Syria.”

“Measures taken by the U.S., including intensifying sanctions, violation of the JCPOA and accusing IRGC forces of being terrorists, all make Iran more determined to fight the Great Satan.”

June 17, 2017, speaking to IRIB, according to Mehr News

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