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U.S. Senators Seek To Block White House From Easing Rules For Iran

Two Republican senators opposed to the Iran nuclear deal introduced legislation to prevent the White House from easing U.S. rules that make it hard for Iran to get promised sanctions relief.

Marco Rubio and Mark Kirk on April 6 introduced a bill to prohibit the president from issuing a license for banks to operate an offshore U.S. dollar clearing system for Iranian transactions.

The bill would also prohibit the U.S. Treasury from providing U.S. dollars for such offshore operations and would impose secondary sanctions on financial institutions that participate in such operations with Iran.

Administration officials have denied they are considering giving Iran direct access to dollars or to the U.S. financial system to ensure Iran gets promised sanctions relief. But they have left open the possibility of easing some rules on the indirect use of dollars for transactions with Iran.

Republican leaders appear to be behind the bill. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce charged that the White House's plan to help Iran experience sanctions relief would allow Tehran "to launder dollars while the administration looked the other way," in a Washington Post opinion piece on April 6.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters