U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today applauded the Obama Administration's implementation of key provisions of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act (TRA), which was signed into law in August 2012. Chairman Menendez was a chief architect of the TRA, as well as the author of the 2011 and 2012 Iran sanctions provisions included in sequential National Defense Authorization Acts.
"I continue to believe that tough economic and political sanctions are the best way to force Iran into real negotiations. While all options remain on the table, a negotiated solution is clearly in our interest. To that end, the forthcoming round of P-5+1 negotiations are an opportunity for Iran to demonstrate that it is serious about meeting its international obligations.
"In the past 13 months, the Congress has passed three major pieces of legislation intended to increase pressure on Iran and to make clear that under no circumstances will Iran be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons capability. The actions taken by the Administration today to implement the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 (TRA), will require nations to continue to reduce their purchases of Iranian petroleum, but additionally will restrict Iran's ability to repatriate revenue and require Iran to instead use these resources for bilateral trade. This measure will greatly limit Iran's ability to finance its nuclear weapons program, while also ensuring that Iran uses its resources to purchase sufficient food, medicine and other necessary supplies for the Iranian people.
"Additionally, I welcome today's designations of Iranian perpetrators of censorship and human rights abusers, particularly the designation of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) and its President, Ezzatollah Zarghami who have engaged in systemic censorship, as well as the broadcasting of show trials and forced confessions."