Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued this statement on the new package of Iran sanctions the House will vote on today:
"This new legislation takes significant steps to expand sanctions on the Iranian energy sector. Similar to the legislation I introduced earlier this year to declare the entire energy sector a 'zone of proliferation concern,' this bill takes considerable steps toward blacklisting the Iranian energy sector by expanding sanctionable activity to include investments in Iran's petroleum, petrochemical or natural gas sector, including infrastructure support, maintenance and repairs, engineering, insurance or reinsurance, and to those who help Iran evade sanctions by aiding in the reflagging of tankers or provides tankers to Iran. This bill will help tighten the economic noose around this regime by seriously disrupting the major financial lifeline of its illicit nuclear program, as revenue from the Iranian energy sector accounts for more than 70 percent of the regime's operating budget.
"This bipartisan, bicameral legislation also includes the first bill I introduced upon arriving in Congress -- the Iran Transparency and Accountability Act -- which aimed to expedite the process by which sanctionable activity is investigated and determined by requiring companies to disclose their business dealings with Iran to the Securities and Exchange Commission. With vast webs of multinational conglomerates and subsidiaries, it has become all too easy for companies to keep their investments in Iran secret. By publishing this information online, this legislation will not only help shorten the time it takes to impose sanctions, it will empower Americans to divest from businesses whose activities bolster a regime that threatens our national security and poses an existential threat to our ally Israel.
"Finally, this bill will help expose those who aid the Iranian and Syrian regimes in committing the world's most egregious human rights abuses and suppress pro-democracy activists. The Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Abuses Act also includes my legislation cracking down on those individuals responsible for brutal repression of the Iranian and Syrian people. The legislation will also sanction any company that provides these regimes with the technology used to repress free and safe communication.
"By sending this legislation to the President's desk, Congress can initiate an unprecedented crackdown on the Iranian regime. But our work does not end here. These punishing sanctions are a means to an end, and we cannot for one moment take our eye off the end game -- halting Iran's march toward a nuclear weapon."