Sen. Alexander (R-Tenn.) cosponsors legislation regarding sanctions against Iran

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) announced on Wednesday that he would cosponsor legislation to place sanctions against the Iranian government if it violates its new interim deal with the United States.

The Obama Administration recently negotiated an interim agreement with the Iranian government to relieve some sanctions for six months if the country slowed its nuclear program. The proposed legislation states that the U.S. would reenact its sanctions if the Iranian government does not abide by the terms of the new deal or fails to finalize an agreement with the U.S. government.

"Sanctions are what brought Iran to the negotiating table in the first place, and we should remain skeptical of this untrustworthy regime until we permanently halt its progress towards a nuclear weapon," Alexander said. "The best solution is a diplomatic solution, but we need to keep the pressure on Iran. This legislation allows Congress to take an active role in making sure the Obama Administration holds Iran accountable, and provides a safeguard if a final deal with the Iranians falls apart."

The legislation was proposed by Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), and is cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 27 U.S. senators. The sanctions to be enacted include restrictions on Iran's petroleum, engineering, construction and mining sectors.

"I am skeptical of any agreement that does not require Iran to permanently halt progress towards a nuclear weapon," Alexander said. "Sanctions should remain until a full inspection regime is in place and there is progress in terminating Iran's nuclear weapons program."