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Obama faces ‘risk’ in ignoring sanctions, Kirk warns

JTA

January 4, 2012 | 5:04 pm

President Barack Obama in Cleveland, Ohio on Jan. 4. Photo by REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

President Barack Obama in Cleveland, Ohio on Jan. 4. Photo by REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

An author of the new Iran sanctions law warned that President Obama would face “overwhelming opposition” if he ignored some parts of the measure.

Obama, who signed the Defense Authorization Act on Saturday, listed in his signing statement a number of amendments he said he would reserve the right to ignore as unconstitutional. Among these was the amendment imposing sanctions on third parties that deal with Iran’s financial and energy sectors.

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who co-authored the amendment with Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), suggested that ignoring it could cost the president politically, considering that the amendment passed unanimously in the Senate.

“With the Senate voting 100-0 to cripple the Central Bank of Iran, the President’s signing statement hinting he will ignore parts of this law risks overwhelming opposition in the Congress,” Kirk said in a statement to the Washington Jewish Week.

A senior Kirk aide added that “Republicans and Democrats are committed to sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran. Is the president?”

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