Yesterday, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) voted to expand sanctions against Iran, putting economic pressure on the country to abandon efforts to develop a nuclear weapon.
"The Iranian regime's unabashed pursuit of nuclear weapons poses a direct threat to America's international security and to peace in a region that includes our important ally, Israel," said Rep. Quigley. "Current sanctions have had a very real and damaging effect on Iran's economy and by further expanding them to energy, financial, and transportation sectors, we make it clear to Iranian leaders that the global community will not tolerate its aggression."
The Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 (H.R. 1905) is a bipartisan and bicameral bill that expands sanctions in the Iranian energy sector. It also targets financial institutions, shipping companies, and insurers doing business with Iran in order to close major loopholes that had weakened the effects of sanctions.
The bill further limits transactions with the Central Bank of Iran and clamps down on Iran's oil and gas exports by further targeting the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC).
Finally, the bill includes enhanced sanctions for human rights abusers in Iran and Syria.
Rep. Quigley has repeatedly called for increased sanctions against Iran, specifically urging sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran. He has also been a stalwart supporter of Israel and cosponsored the U.S.-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act (H.R. 4133), which passed in May. In 2011, he spoke out against the unilateral Palestinian bid for statehood and called for direct two-party talks with Israel. In addition, last year he urged Secretary Clinton to oppose U.N. action against Israeli settlements.