Today, the Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL) praised the passage of the Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Human Rights Act of 2012 in the full Senate. The bill, which passed with unanimous bipartisan support, will put further economic pressure on Iran's leaders to abandon their illicit nuclear program and support for international terrorism.
"With these new sanctions, as negotiations on Iran's nuclear program are renewed this week in Baghdad, we are reminding Iran's military and political leaders that they must make a clear choice," said Chairman Johnson. "They can come clean on their nuclear program, and end the suppression of their people and stop supporting terrorist activities around the globe. Or they can continue to face sustained multilateral economic and diplomatic pressure, and deepen their international isolation. I thank Senator Shelby for his support in crafting this bipartisan bill. I also appreciate the effort of all members of the Committee on this legislation. In particular, I would like to acknowledge the work of Senator Menendez for his extremely important input into this legislation, along with Senators Brown, Gillibrand, Schumer, Lautenberg and others."
"We must continue to apply increasing pressure on Iran to abandon its support of terrorism and aim to build nuclear weapons," said Ranking Member Shelby. "This legislation significantly expands the network of those subject to sanctions for conducting business with that country. It is my hope that these tougher sanctions will help force Iran's leaders to engage in serious negotiations that result in a peaceful settlement."
The Senate Banking Committee has jurisdiction over sanctions legislation. In 2010, the Committee passed sanctions legislation which became law and provided the President with powerful new tools to counter the Iranian threat. These new sanctions together with other international efforts have prompted many foreign firms to withdraw from Iran, and slowed Iran's illicit nuclear program.
Even so, the steps taken thus far by the international community have not been sufficient to force Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions. Senators Johnson and Shelby teamed up months ago and started working on this additional bipartisan legislation.
The Johnson-Shelby bill provides for a range of new measures for the President to increase pressure on Iran to comply with its international obligations. The legislation will broaden the list of available sanctions, require intensified targeting of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, require firms traded on US stock exchanges to disclose Iran-related activity to the Securities and Exchange Commission, sanction energy and uranium mining joint ventures with Iran's government outside of Iran, penalize US parent firms for certain Iran-related activities of their foreign subsidiaries, mandate sanctions for those who supply Iran with weapons and other technologies used to commit human rights abuses, and provide other similar measures designed to increase pressure on Iran's government.