Congresswoman Shelley Berkley today voted for legislation that would allow sanctions to be used against firms that provide gasoline and other refined petroleum products to Iran. The House passed the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (H.R. 2194) by a vote of 412 to 12.
"A nuclear Iran poses as much of a threat to the U.S., to Europe, to the Middle East, as it does to Israel. With this bill today, we show the Iranians that we will use every tool we have to stop them from obtaining a nuclear weapon. We want to avoid war, but we must not take any option off the table," said Berkley.
The bill also includes further sanctions on Iran's banking sector, which has already felt the squeeze from existing restrictions placed on that nation's financial sector. The legislation comes in response to growing concerns about Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear weapon and their refusal to engage in real negotiations.
"It is now clear once again that Iran is not serious about negotiation: a new U.S. president tried to take a different approach, extending a handshake to the Iranian regime," said Berkley. "In exchange, the Iranians continued to show their clenched fist of deception and dishonesty. All the while, evidence mounts that Iran gets closer each day to developing a nuclear weapon."
The bill would give the President the power to impose sanctions against companies that supply Iran with -- or support its domestic production of -- gasoline and other refined petroleum products. Berkley is hopeful such restrictions will help prevent Iran from fully developing a nuclear weapons capacity. But the Congresswoman is also not ruling out the need for additional action.
"If this legislation succeeds, the military option won't be necessary. But without this bill, without sanctions, and without an Iranian regime that is willing to negotiate, what other options do we have?" Berkley asked.