US senate on Thursday resolved to hit Iran with new sanctions if it was seen violating terms of the nuclear deal it will sign with world powers should talks currently underway succeed.
The resolve, contained in an amendment to the budget bill passed by the senate, is largely symbolic as it’s not law and is aimed at turning up pressure on Iran to sign.
Negotiations resumed Thursday in Lausanne, Switzerland with US secretary of state John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart meeting for a one-on-one for three hours.
Negotiations face a deadline of March 31, and while a deal has not been signed yet, opponents, mostly from the Republican party and some Democrats are already lining up.
The are at least two bills that will be tabled in the senate if the talks were to fail, to ratchet up sanctions on Iran. Their sponsors had wanted to move them much earlier.
If talks succeed and a deal is signed, Iran will be on notice for the resolution passed Thursday by the seante, but only symbolically so, as said before.
“If we find out that there's further development in the Iran nuclear program, it will allow me to remind 100 senators that they voted with me today,” the amendment’s sponsor, Republican senator Mark Kirk, told AFP.
The amendment passed 100-0.