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Obama Strengthens Iran Deal Despite GOP

(Credit: (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)) President Obama is set to close and strengthen nuclear deal with Iran before the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.Obama Strengthens Iran Deal Despite GOP
November 23
6:00 AM 2016

The United States of America's White House and Iran had already taken steps to buttress their landmark nuclear deal even as the House Republican leaders had urged President Barrack Obama to avoid actions that weaken sanctions on Iran before President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration.

Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce wrote in a letter, "We respectfully request that your administration take no further action that bolsters international investment in Iran."

GOP opposition to the agreement, the administration issued licenses to French aircraft producer Airbus to sell 106 commercial planes to Iran Air. The White House is considering licensing more U.S. companies to do business with Iran and lifting more U.S. sanctions.

On the said deal that was signed by Iran in July 2015 with the U.S and five other world powers, American aircraft producer Boeing is exempt from U.S. sanctions that remain in place now but would be lifted in 2023. American aircraft producer Boeing is exempt from U.S. sanctions that remain in place now but would be lifted in 2023.  Boeing announced a $25 billion sale of commercial planes to Iran in June, but the Republican-controlled House passed a bill last week to block U.S. banks from financing it.

The transfer follows a report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency that Iran had 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of heavy water in excess of the 130 metric tons allowed under the deal, which requires Iran's nuclear program to be used only for peaceful purposes. Heavy water is an ingredient that can be used for weapons production.

Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, said that the Obama administration is trying to "make it more difficult for the next administration to vigorously enforce or renegotiate the deal" by tolerating violations and approving more business deals with Iran. He also said that it might be difficult for Trump to reverse the said changes "without causing blowback from key European and Asian allies.

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