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U.S. House Passes New Iran Sanctions

The U.S. House of Representatives passed new Iran sanctions and President Obama indicated he would not veto the bill.

The sanctions targeting Iran’s Central Bank were rolled into a massive Defense Authorization Bill passed Wednesday evening.

The Senate will likely pass the same bill before week’s end, and the White House released a statement on the bill Wednesday night that pointedly did not include a threat of veto, although the Obama administration had a number of concerns about some aspects of the bill, including the sanctions measures.

The White House’s expression of dismay over parts of the bill that “threaten the foreign policy prerogatives of the President” was an allusion to the sanctions, among other measures.

In recent days, House-Senate conferees agreed to maintain the strength of the sanctions, which would effectively cut off Iran from much of the Western economy, but to also include leeway for the president to apply the sanctions when he sees fit.

White House officials have suggested that applying the sanctions in the absence of coordination with other countries could backfire and send oil prices spiraling.

Jewish groups praised passage of the sanctions.

“Previous sanctions have helped disrupt Tehran’s nuclear program but have not done enough to ensure the security of the United States and our allies in the Middle East,” Kathy Manning, chair of The Jewish Federations of North America’s Board of Trustees, said in a statement. “This bill is an important measure to block Iran from finishing its nuclear weapons program.”

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