U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, released the following statement today regarding the waiver granted to Spain, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Czech Republic, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland and the United Kingdom under Section 1245 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"While I appreciate the fact that these countries have continued to take steps to reduce their crude oil imports from Iran, the only way to truly effect any substantial change in Tehran's nuclear position is to fully and immediately implement all sanctions.
"If the Administration continues to hand out waivers to foreign governments whose financial institutions continue to do business with the Iranian regime, it allows Tehran to buy that bit of added time it needs to carry on with its nuclear weapons program. At a time when the President is preparing to travel to Israel next week, it is irresponsible and reckless for the Administration to undermine the efficacy of Iran sanctions by granting waivers.
"Simply reducing the volume of crude oil purchases from Iran is not enough and I urge all responsible nations to immediately cease all business dealings with Iran, a designated State Sponsor of Terrorism. Congress must continue to work on a bipartisan effort to revoke these waivers and strengthen sanctions against the regime in Tehran."
NOTE: Ros-Lehtinen was the author of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act in the last Congress, which passed overwhelmingly in both the House and Senate on August 1, 2012, and was signed into law on August 10, 2012.