U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) introduced a bipartisan amendment to the FY2014 Budget Resolution to strengthen sanctions against Iran by preventing the expansion of their natural gas exports that helps fund the development of their nuclear weapons program. The amendment encourages additional sanctions to be enacted during the 113th Congress.
"Now is the time for Congress to act and close a sanctions loophole that Iran has exploited in an attempt to sell natural gas to neighboring countries," Senator Manchin said. "Selling natural gas to bordering nations could serve as an economic lifeline for Iran, which ultimately will help our enemy continue to build their dangerous nuclear weapons program.I strongly urge Congress to close this loophole now before Iran has the opportunity to strengthen its financial clout."
"We need to close the natural gas loophole in our Iran sanctions policy and I applaud Sen. Manchin for taking a leadership role on this important issue," Senator Kirk said. "Countries like Turkey and Pakistan need to decide whether they stand with the United States and Europe against Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons or whether they want to subsidize Iran's illicit activities."
Original co-sponsors of the amendment include Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Susan Collins (R-ME) and James Inhofe (R-OK).