Kerry advises against hitting Iran with more sanctions now

Kerry told Congress they should refrain from leveling further sanctions against Iran, despite its belligerent conduct.

By: AP and World Israel News Staff

Secretary of State John Kerry says slapping Iran with additional sanctions right now would not be helpful.

In testimony Wednesday before a Senate panel, Kerry says he’d prefer to wait and see how implementation of the landmark nuclear deal goes before making a decision on imposing additional measures to punish Tehran for its belligerent behavior.

Lawmakers are considering legislation that would address Iran’s ballistic missile tests, human rights violations and a reauthorization of the Iran Sanctions Act.

Since the signing of the nuclear accord, Iran has conducted several tests with long-range missile, in breach of UN Security Council resolutions and possibly in breach of the accord itself.

Lawmakers are especially incensed over Iran’s detention of US sailors last month who entered Iranian territorial waters near Farsi Island, an outpost in the middle of the Gulf. The sailors were released in less than a day, though Iranian state media aired footage of the sailors’ capture, angering US politicians.

The longstanding Iran Sanctions Act will expire at the end of the year. Kerry says a reauthorization of the sanctions act could be quickly passed.

Senator Lindsey Graham, the panel’s Republican chairman, is one of several Republicans who support stricter sanctions.