US President Barack Obama has declined to sign a bill renewing existing sanctions against Iran, but allowed the legislation to become law, in an apparent effort to alleviate the Islamic Republic’s concerns that Washington is backtracking on the nuclear agreement.
The US Senate passed a 10-year extension of the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) on December 1, sending the measure to the White House for Obama to sign into law.
The House of Representatives voted 419 to 1 last month to reauthorize ISA, which was first introduced in 1996 to punish investments in Iran’s energy industry based on accusations that Tehran was pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Under the US Constitution, the president has 10 days after Congress passes legislation to sign it, reject it or do nothing.
The White House had said that the US president was expected to sign the bill into law, but Obama did not approve the measure as the Wednesday midnight deadline…