Today, Rep. Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Eliot Engel, the Committee's Ranking Member, will introduce bipartisan sanctions legislation aimed at preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability, and further increasing economic pressure on Iranian leaders as the regime develops its nuclear program and commits gross human rights violations.
The bipartisan legislation, the "Nuclear Iran Prevention Act," broadens economic sanctions, strengthens human rights sanctions, and increases oversight of the implementation and enforcement of existing sanction.
Chairman Royce said: "Iran's continued march toward nuclear weapons is the gravest threat facing the United States and our allies. This bipartisan legislation ramps up the pressure on Iran's regime, especially targeting those brutalizing the many Iranians demanding their human rights. We must build on existing sanctions to maximize economic pressure and prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability."
Ranking Member Engel said: "We will continue to tighten the screws on Iran until the regime abandons its nuclear weapons program. I hope this crisis can be resolved through diplomacy, but words cannot be a substitute for action, and the U.S. must keep all options on the table."
The bill expands current sanctions against Iranian human rights violators, those who transfer to Iran certain technologies used to abuse human rights, those who engage in censorship and related activities against Iranian citizens, and corrupt officials who confiscate humanitarian goods. This includes the expansion of financial sanctions.
Specifically, the bill requires the Secretary of State to determine whether the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is a foreign terrorist organization. If so, the IRGC would be subject to additional sanctions.
Additionally, the legislation strengthens existing sanctions by authorizing the President to restrict significant commercial trade with Iran. The legislation utilizes the same model -- sanctioning transactions through the Central Bank or a designated Iranian bank -- that has successfully targeted Iran's oil trade over the past year.
The legislation also seeks to deny the Iranian regime hard currency by calling on the Administration to work closely with European allies to work toward ceasing Euro-denominated transactions.