Iran Nuclear News US lawmakers introduce new Iran sanctions bill

US lawmakers introduce new Iran sanctions bill


AFP: US lawmakers were introducing legislation Wednesday that would tighten sanctions on Iran, even as Tehran agreed to future talks with world powers over its contested nuclear drive. WASHINGTON (AFP) — US lawmakers were introducing legislation Wednesday that would tighten sanctions on Iran, even as Tehran agreed to future talks with world powers over its contested nuclear drive.

The bipartisan House bill would allow President Barack Obama to impose penalties on foreign entities that provide Iran with goods to help maintain its struggling economy.

The Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013 also would provide Obama with broader authority to target strategic imports, such as mining or power generating equipment that could help Iran with its nuclear program, which the West and Israel say is a front for weapons development.

“Iran’s continued march toward nuclear weapons is the gravest threat facing the United States and our allies,” said bill sponsor Ed Royce, Republican chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Co-sponsor Eliot Engel, the committee’s top Democrat, added that the bill aims to “tighten the screws on Iran until the regime abandons its nuclear weapons program.

“I hope this crisis can be resolved through diplomacy, but words cannot be a substitute for action, and the US must keep all options on the table,” he added.

The bill would designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization.

Such designations are made through the State Department, but the bill, should it pass Congress, would compel the secretary of state to determine whether the group should be placed on its list of foreign terrorist groups.

Such a listing would subject the IRGC to additional sanctions. The Revolutionary Guards are already subject to United Nations sanctions.

Similar language was inserted into Senate legislation in 2007, sparking intense debate, but the bill never became law.

The House legislation also provides for stiffer penalties for human rights violators by applying existing financial sanctions to transactions that involve such violators.

“This bipartisan legislation ramps up the pressure on Iran’s regime, especially targeting those brutalizing the many Iranians demanding their human rights,” Royce said.

Iran is already under the toughest sanctions regime ever devised, including four separate UN resolutions. The measures are aimed at forcing the country to rein in its nuclear program, which Tehran insists is purely peaceful.

The sanctions are biting hard, slashing oil revenue and pushing the country close to recession as it seeks ways such as bartering to stay afloat, a US Government Accountability Office report said Tuesday.

News of the proposed bill comes just as Iran concluded a key meeting in Kazakhstan with P5+1 powers — the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany — aimed at easing the nuclear standoff.

A revised P5+1 offer reportedly involves easing sanctions on Iran’s gold and precious metals trade while simultaneously lifting some restrictions on its banking operations.

But they still want Iran to halt enriching uranium to 20 percent, which for the international community is the most worrisome part of Iran’s activities.

“Things are taking a turning point and I think the Almaty meeting will be (seen as) a milestone,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in Vienna. The sides agreed to hold new talks in March and April.

Latest news

Tehran’s Rejection of Compromise Is an Invitation to Maximum Pressure

Iran has formally rejected all Western efforts to at compromise during the current impasse over prospective restoration of the...

Iran’s Officials Admit to Playing With the Exchange Rate To Run Their Shattered Economy

'Increasing the price of the dollar and keeping the dollar artificially high is a reality accepted by all elements...

Misogynous Law Bans Iran Ski Coach From Travelling With Her Team

The head coach of Iran’s national Alpine skiing team was banned from accompanying her team to a competition in...

Amnesty on Saravan Protests

Amnesty International said that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards illegally used lethal force to subdue unarmed fuel porters in Saravan, Sistan...

Iran’s Lost Dreams About the New US Administration and Its Crises

On the front pages of Iran’s state-run dailies, especially those affiliated with the faction of Iran’s supreme leader Ali...

Pensioner Protests Hint at Bigger Iran Protests

Iranian pensioners held nationwide protests for the fourth week in a row on Sunday, but this time it coincided...

Must read

Weapons prove Iranian role in Iraq, U.S. says

Washington Post: Iranian-backed militias in Iraq are using more...

Iran brushes off new UN sanctions threat

AFP: Iran on Saturday brushed off the prospect of...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you