Roe Votes to Pass Iran Sanctions Conference Report
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Phil Roe, M.D. (TN-1) voted to impose sanctions on Iran in response their continued nuclear enrichment program.
“Passage of this legislation is essential to the enactment of new economic penalties aimed at forcing Iran to change its conduct, especially ending what everyone believes is a nuclear weapons program,” said Roe. “I believe this was an important vote in order to strengthen our national security. Our nation has a responsibility to provide strong leadership to head off the Iranian threat, and I believe we are taking a step in the right direction towards that goal through passage of these sanctions.”
The House passed H.R. 2194 on December 15, 2009, by a vote of 412—12. The Senate passed the bill with an amendment by unanimous consent on March 11, 2010. This conference report was filed on June 23, 2010.
This legislation would amend the Iran Sanctions Act to impose new economic penalties aimed at forcing Iran to change its conduct, especially ending its nuclear weapons program. Some of the targets for these sanctions include business entities involved in refined petroleum sales to Iran; support for Iran’s domestic refining efforts; banking institutions involved with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps; and with Iran’s illicit nuclear program or its support for terrorism.
The Iran Sanctions Act would strengthen the U.S. sanctions regime by requiring severe limitations on U.S. banking for foreign financial institutions doing business with relevant Iranian banks. The legislation further strengthens existing legislation by broadening the categories of transactions that trigger sanctions, by increasing the number of sanctions the president can impose on foreign companies whose activities trigger sanctions, and by requiring the president to investigate reports of sanctionable activities to determine whether sanctionable activity has occurred.
The bill primarily focuses on sales to Iran of refined petroleum and assistance to Iran for its own domestic refining capacity. Companies engaged in either of these activities would be subject to the same sanctions as companies that invest $20 million or more in Iran’s energy sector (the original category of sanctionable activity established under the Iran Sanctions Act). Imposition of refined petroleum-related sanctions could have a powerful impact on Iran’s economy and, as a result, on its decision-making regarding its nuclear program.