Congressman Bill Owens voted yesterday for the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012, which imposes strict sanctions on Iran to dissuade the nation from working to acquire nuclear weapons. The legislation, H.R. 1905, ramps up economic pressure on Iran's energy sector, which is the single largest source of funds for the nation's nuclear ambitions. H.R. 1905 passed the House of Representatives yesterday on an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 421-6.
"This legislation bolsters Israel's security and America's allies in the region," said Owens. "Proceeds from Iranian crude oil sales allow the nation to continue its quest for nuclear weapons and sustain its record of human rights violations. We must keep up the pressure on Iran's energy sector and hit them where it hurts. A nuclear Iran is unacceptable."
Last December, the International Atomic Energy Agency released a report providing the agency's first public confirmation that Iran is working toward building a nuclear weapon. H.R. 1905 strengthens previous sanctions against Iran to ensure that current law vigorously addresses the international threat posed by the nation. The bill puts into place the toughest sanctions on a foreign nation during peacetime, and will:
impose sanctions on Iran's energy, financial, and transportation sectors. Foreign and domestic companies that choose to do business with Iran in these sectors risk losing access to American markets.
target the National Iranian Company (NIOC), the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), and Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) for new prohibitive sanctions.
place tough restrictions aimed at preventing Iran from repatriating profits from the nation's oil sales, removing 80 percent of its earnings and half of its national budget.
close loopholes in previous sanctions against Iran to put a stop to the nation's practice of bartering to bypass them.
The House passed an initial version of the bill December 14, 2011, by a vote of 410-11. The Senate amended the bill and passed it by voice vote on May 21. Negotiators in the House and Senate have since agreed on this compromise legislation, which was considered as a House amendment to the Senate-passed bill. The Senate quickly approved the House-passed legislation last night, and sent it to the President's desk to be signed into law.