US congress critical to timing of lifting of Iran sanctions

US Congress, which is dominated by opponents of President Obama’s Iran policy, will not be able to block but will definitely slow the lifting of US, UN and EU Sanctions on the Islamic republic, analysts say.

The joint comprehensive plan of action (JCPOA) agreed today says that implementation of the agreement will take place 90 days or earlier after it is approved by the UN.

But it is likely that the US will not vote for a UN security council resolution approving the agreement until it has been debated by congress.

This will take at least 30-60 days as congress will hold hearings on it.

“Congress will almost certainly pass a joint resolution of disapproval of the deal, but be incapable of overriding President Obama’s veto of it,” program director for economic statecraft, sanctions and energy markets at the Center on Global Energy Policy Richard Nephew said in a post on Gulf2000 today.

Nephew said he believed work on the details of the implementation of the agreement will not even start until after 90 days from now.

Finally, the lifting of sanction will require further detailed agreements between Iran and US and other agencies.

Analysts say that the EU will not lift sanctions until the UN agrees the JCPOA and this won’t happen until the US itself approves the deal.

This will probably take at least six months, analysts say. Companies seeking to do business with Iran could face penalties under the sanctions regime until sanctions are finally and fully lifted.