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Letter to Barack Obama, President of the United States - Central Bank of Iran

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, and House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Howard Berman wrote a letter to President Barack Obama today calling on him to determine if the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) is involved in "transactions that facilitate weapons of mass destruction or terrorism-related activities, that support the activities of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, or that assist other banks to circumvent Iran-related sanctions." The letter was also signed by Speaker John Boehner, Republican Whip Eric Cantor and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Should a review confirm the activities, the Congressional leaders urge President Obama "to quickly designate CBI as a facilitator of Iran's weapons of mass destruction proliferation and terrorist activities for the purpose of imposing sanctions on persons that do business with CBI" and "make the Central Bank of Iran's involvement in proliferation and terrorist activities the target of coordinated multilateral sanctions."

The full text of the letter is below.

November 17, 2011

President Barack H. Obama
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

The latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report makes clear that Iran has made determined progress in its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability. Iran has steadily increased its stock of enriched uranium and its production of higher grades of enriched uranium. It is also mastering other key aspects of building a nuclear device, such as weapons design, detonators, and warhead integration into a missile delivery system. And, for the first time, the IAEA reports that Iran may be preparing for a future test of a nuclear explosive device. These activities -- which violate multiple UN Security Council resolutions and Iran's obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty -- require that the United States and the international community act with a sense of urgency. Clearly, the time available for the United States and responsible nations to prevent Iran's acquisition of a nuclear capability is running short. Moreover, the Iranian regime remains the world's most active state sponsor of terrorism, most recently accused of plotting to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S. on American soil. We understand Iran also continues to provide lethal support to terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan who target American soldiers. These alarming developments require an equally strong response.

Sanctioning the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) would impose powerful financial pressure on Iran to curb its dangerous and illegal activities. Therefore, we are writing to request that you expeditiously determine whether the CBI is involved in transactions that facilitate weapons of mass destruction or terrorism-related activities, that support the activities of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, or that assist other banks to circumvent Iran-related sanctions. We believe a review of this matter would show that CBI is involved in those activities.

If a review of the facts confirms that CBI is involved in illicit activities linked to Iran's nuclear program and terrorist activities, we urge you to quickly designate CBI as a facilitator of Iran's weapons of mass destruction proliferation and terrorist activities for the purpose of imposing sanctions on persons that do business with CBI. We also urge you to make the Central Bank of Iran's involvement in proliferation and terrorist activities the target of coordinated multilateral sanctions.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. Please know you can continue to count on bipartisan support in Congress for policies that hold the Iranian regime accountable for its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, its support for terrorism, and its appalling human rights record.


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