The chief Democratic sponsor of the Menendez-Kirk amendment believes that President Obama will agree with the will of Congress and implement the sanctions against the Iran Central Bank.
On Tuesday, I reported about the language in President Obama’s signing statement for the National Defense Authorization Act where the president indicated that he would treat Section 1245 as "non-binding." Section 1245 governed the provisions implementing sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank, which were unanimously passed 100-0 by the U.S. Senate in December.
In a statement provided exclusively to this blog, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) said that he expects the administration will "fully implement" the sanctions that were approved unanimously by the Senate.
"We expect the administration to fully implement the sanctions regime approved unanimously by the Senate, approved by both Chambers of Congress and signed into law by President Obama, and the administration has indicated that they will," Menendez said in his statement.
On Tuesday, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), the other chief sponsor of the amendment, emphasized in a statement to me that if the president ignored parts of the law, he risked "overwhelming opposition in the Congress."
Judging from what Menendez said, it appears President Obama will not try to upset the 100 senators that unanimously supported the amendment, particularly on an issue like Iran, which will be a major topic in the upcoming presidential election.
In his statement, Menendez also believed that the sanctions implemented by Congress are having a profound impact on Iran’s oil sector and he indicated that more action by Congress might be on the horizon.
"The actions by the Iranian regime over the last days indicate that these sanctions combined with an anticipated EU embargo on Iranian oil are having the intended effect of politically and financially isolating the leaders in Tehran. And when the Congress returns later this month, I intend to pursue passage of my bill, S. 1048, the Iran, North Korea, Syria Sanctions Consolidation Act, to ensure that we use all of the available tools of peaceful diplomacy to terminate Iran’s nuclear weapons program," Menendez said in his statement.