Republican senator queries Obama on Iran sanctions

January 4, 2012 01:28

WASHINGTON - A Republican senator on Tuesday questioned President Barack Obama's commitment to new sanctions on Iran's central bank, noting the president had claimed the right to sidestep some of the requirements when he signed them into law last week.

In a statement issued as he signed a defense bill into law on Saturday, Obama said several provisions including the sanctions that target Iran's central bank "would interfere with my constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations."

The president, a Democrat, said in his statement that if any application of these provisions conflicted with his constitutional authorities, "I will treat the provisions as non-binding."

Senator Mark Kirk, one of the authors of the new sanctions on Iran, said on Tuesday that Obama was challenging the entire US Senate if he did not implement the new sanctions, because senators approved them unanimously before they were appended to the defense bill.

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