Congressman Brad Sherman, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade, today issued the following statement on the passage of Iran sanctions legislation by the U.S. House of Representatives:
"This is the most significant legislation passed on Iran to date. Once signed into law, it will take a number of steps to significantly increase the economic pressure on Iran. Companies that participate in the development or maintenance of Iran's energy sector or sell gasoline to Iran will face stiff penalties.
"The bill takes aim at the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps by preventing banks that do business with them from doing business in the United States. It also includes provisions based on legislation that I introduced in the House, such as the provisions of Title III which target countries whose lax export controls allow Iran to receive nuclear and other sensitive technology.
"It also includes provisions that Senator Schumer and I introduced prohibiting federal contracts for companies that sell the Iranian government technologies which allow them to spy on or repress the speech of dissidents.
"However, the legislation will have to be rigorously enforced to be fully effective. The State Department's record on enforcement of the existing Iran Sanctions Act is abysmal. We will need to hold their feet to fire through strong oversight and tough hearings.
"We should also recognize that, as strong as this bill is, there are other measures that may prove necessary to increase the pressure on Iran's leaders to the point where they abandon the dream to possess nuclear weapons. This should not be viewed as Congress' last word on Iran sanctions. If it takes more to succeed, then we should be willing to do more in Congress to isolate Iran."