Obama Says U.S. to Uphold Sanctions Linked to Iran Support for Hizbullah

President Barack Obama wrote in a letter to Congress that the U.S. will uphold sanctions targeting Iran's non-nuclear activities, such as its support for Hizbullah.

Obama promised Democratic lawmakers that the U.S. will continue to keep economic pressure on Iran — and keep military options open — if his administration's nuclear deal with Tehran goes through.

Obama said in the letter addressed to New York Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler that if Iran rushes to build a nuclear weapon, "all of the options available to the United States — including the military option — will remain available."

The president also said Washington will uphold sanctions targeting Tehran's non-nuclear activities, such as its backing for Hizbullah and what Obama calls Iran's "destabilizing role in Yemen."

The letter emphasized U.S. support for Israel, saying Obama has "consistently viewed Israel's security as sacrosanct."

Obama wrote the letter, dated Aug. 19, from Martha's Vineyard, the tony island off the Massachusetts coast where he is in the midst of a two week vacation. While the president has made no public appearances during his vacation, he has been privately reaching out to Democratic lawmakers in a bid to boost support for the Iran deal.

Congress will vote next month on a resolution of disapproval on the accord to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief. The president is expected to have to veto the measure, but White House officials and Democratic lawmakers have expressed confidence that there is enough support in the party to block GOP override efforts.

Source: Associated Press, Naharnet

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