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Date: Tuesday, January 05, 2016
GOP senators urge Obama to impose more sanctions on Iran
A group of Republican senators has accused US President Barack Obama of failing to punish Iran over its ballistic missile tests, and called for more sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
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"A continued failure of the administration to impose consequences on Tehran for its ballistic missile tests... will confirm the dangerous perception of the regime [sic] in Iran that it can ignore its obligations with impunity and the Obama administration will do nothing," Republican Senators Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Mark Kirk (Ill.) said on Monday.

A panel of UN experts suggested on December 15 in a confidential report that Iran’s testing of a ballistic missile in October violates a UN Security Council resolution, alleging that the missile is capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

However, next day Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan called the Emad missile a conventional weapon.

Despite Iran’s clarification, the Republican lawmakers accused the Islamic Republic of “developing ICBM capabilities for the sole purpose of enabling delivery of a nuclear weapon to the United States.”

The GOP senators said the Obama administration should introduce a "strong set of sanctions" and refrain from lifting sanctions against Iran.

Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – the US, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany – announced the conclusion of nuclear negotiations in Vienna, Austria, on July 14, 2015.

Under the agreement, Iran has been recognized by the United Nations as a nuclear power, and it will continue its uranium enrichment program, but some restrictions will be placed on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the removal of sanctions.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Monday that the Treasury Department considered sanctions against Iran. 

"This is an option that has been on the table for some time," Earnest said. "Ultimately we will impose those financial penalties, we will impose those sanctions, at a time and place of our choosing."

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