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Democrats offer plan to track Iran nuclear compliance

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Acutely aware of Republican fury over the Iran nuclear deal, US Senate Democrats introduced a plan Thursday that helps prevent Tehran from cheating on its obligations under the agreement and boosts security for Israel.

The measure is sponsored by nine Democrats, including senior Senators Ben Cardin and Chuck Schumer, who both opposed the landmark accord that reins in Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for an easing of sanctions.

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Congress endured a brutal, weeks-long debate over the nuclear agreement. With every Republican voting against, the deal earned a majority of disapproval in Congress, although Democrats were able to prevent the pact from being blocked.

“We are concentrating on tomorrow, not the past, to ensure that the agreement is enforced, that Iran is permanently prevented from obtaining a nuclear weapon. That’s our objective,” said Cardin, top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Sponsors said the Iran Policy Oversight Act would allow for tracking of funds that Iran gained from sanctions relief under the deal, to monitor whether or not the tens of billions of dollars is used for nefarious purposes including financing terrorist operations.

“We need to watch those funds like a hawk, and ensure that they’re not going to fund terror in the Middle East,” Schumer said.

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While the accord would lift economic sanctions, the new legislation reaffirms lawmakers’ commitment to maintaining Iranian sanctions related to terror financing and human rights abuses.

And it “reassures that our allies, especially Israel, will be provided with enhanced assets needed to deter Iran,” Senator Richard Blumenthal said.

The measure reaffirms the use of the military option to ensure that Iran does not develop a nuclear weapons capability.

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It also would require the US administration to present a strategy for countering Iranian threats in the Middle East every two years, as well as reports detailing Iran’s use of funds gained through sanctions relief, its nuclear research and development activities and nuclear weapon capability breakout time.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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