In November and December both houses of Congress voted almost unanimously to extend the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA). As a response to this, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claimed that the U.S. is breaching its agreement with them.
He is now flexing his muscles in an attempt to intimidate Obama into letting the sanctions expire and not allowing them to be renewed. This attempt includes Iran threatening to resume all nuclear activities including those that they supposedly halted. It also includes Rouhani’s order to Iranian scientists to proceed on developing nuclear marine vessels. Rouhani also demanded that Obama not sign the U.S. extension of the sanctions into law saying that the international agreement makes the sanctions illegal.
However it appears that the U.S. may keep the sanctions in place regardless. White House Spokesman Josh Earnest claimed Washington knows about Iran’s’ plans for these vessels but they are not in violation of the international agreement which prevents Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
John Kirby, the State department spokesman said that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would be able to see if Iran is in compliance with the deal or not. The State department is not troubled by the possibility Iran will create a nuclear propulsion program. Such a project would take decades to come to fruition as it is a major undertaking.