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Congress sets up first showdown of the year over Iran deal

The Obama administration says it "strongly opposes" sanctions bill scheduled for an initial vote Jan. 7.
U.S. President Barack Obama, with Secretary of State John Kerry (2nd R) at his side, meets with a group of veterans and Gold Star Mothers to discuss the Iran nuclear deal at the White House in Washington September 10,  2015. Gold Star Mothers is an organization of mothers whose children have died while serving the U.S. in war or times of conflict.   REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque  - RTSIDU

The Obama administration tells Al-Monitor that it "strongly opposes" an Iran sanctions bill that is scheduled for an initial vote this week, setting the scene for the first of what promises to be a long list of showdowns over Iran policy in 2016.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Jan. 7 is set to mark up legislation from Rep. Steve Russell, R-Okla., that would restrict the administration's ability to lift sanctions on Iranian financial institutions as called for under the Iran deal. Administration officials say the bill is a transparent attempt to derail the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

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