Speed Reads

Tough talk

Iran promises a 'firm response' if new U.S. sanctions are enacted

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday urged President Obama to reject a bill extending sanctions on Iran which passed the U.S. Senate on Thursday in a 99-0 vote.

"America's president is obliged to exercise his authority by preventing [the bill's] approval and particularly its implementation," Rouhani said in a parliamentary speech, "and if this gross violation is carried out we will firmly respond."

The White House has said it does not believe the sanctions violate the Iran deal, as Rouhani claims, and Obama is expected to sign the bill. If approved, the extended Iran Sanctions Act will permit the president stop investment in key Iranian industries, including its energy sector. President-elect Donald Trump has expressed dissatisfaction with "terrible" Iran deal, promising to renegotiate it on better terms for the United States.