The United States is risking war with Iran. That is, according to Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei who was quoted as saying recently that a ten year extension of sanctions on world’s leading state sponsor of terror would result in severe retaliation.

Iran Sanctions Act

According to a report by Reuters, The U.S. House of Representatives last week re-authorized the Iran Sanctions Act, or ISA for another ten years. Initiated in 1996, the law is intended to curb investment in Iran’s energy sector thereby reducing their nuclear energy capabilities for anything other than peaceful means.

That said, financial restrictions lodged against Iran’s energy and other financial sectors have been on-going since 1979 in the immediate aftermath of the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran. If not renewed at the end of this year by the Senate along with outgoing President Barack Obama’s signature, the 1996 law will expire.

U.S. has breached the Nuclear deal says Khamenei

In 2015, a coalition of the world’s leading nuclear powers concluded an agreement known as the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) which is intended to place a hold on Iran’s nuclear program and their ability to produce a feasible bomb for more than a decade.

In theory, the agreement allows for sanctions against the country to be eased. The ongoing sanctions are said to have crippled Iran’s economy.

Since the signing of the agreement, the U.S. has handed over billions of dollars to Iran, some of it in cash. Despite all this, Khamenei, in addressing an assembly of Revolutionary Guards, stated that the U.S. government has breached the nuclear deal on many occasions.

He also claimed that if ISA is extended for another decade, it will not only result in a serious violation against the JCPOA, but that the Islamic Republic of Iran would have no choice but to retaliate. A threat that suggests Khamenei is not averse to initiating war against the U.S. if so provoked.

Tough stance against hostage taking Iran

Since the passing of the JCPOA, Iran has detained indefinitely four Americans, reports the Washington Post.

One of them, Reza “Robin” Shahini, 46, of Sand Diego, maintains dual citizenship with both Iran and the U.S. Yet after fulfilling his dream to seek out the place of his birth, he was arrested and detained by Iranian authorities as a spy. Thus far, U.S. negotiations for his release, and the release of the other three hostages, has amounted to nothing more than frustration, leading some skeptics to believe Iran is seeking out a hefty ransom payment.

With President-elect Donald Trump about to be sworn into office in late January of 2017, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are hoping for a tough bipartisan agreement that would extend the Iran sanctions for the next ten years.

The extension would be consistent with one of Trump’s most prominent campaign promises which stipulated his ripping up of the Iran nuclear agreement as soon as he begins his first term. Trump has often referred to the agreement as one of the most catastrophic deals ever initiated in U.S. history. Khamenei, who views Trump as a threat to his country’s financial and military ambitions, said that if Trump reneges on the agreement, that he will set fire to the bargain.

Sale of aircraft to Iran doesn’t fly with the House

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would potentially invalidate the sale of commercial aircraft manufactured by both Airbus and Boeing to Iran.

Sensing his time as President quickly winding down, Barack Obama is eager to initiate further business dealings with Iran. He has also indicated that the House legislation violates the nuclear pact and that he would be quick to veto it should it pass in the Senate. The move is viewed by many Republicans and some Democrats as further appeasement to the world’s leading sponsor of terror.

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