Representatives Eliot Engel (D-NY-17), Shelley Berkley (D-NV-01) and Ron Klein (D-FL-22) released the following statement in reaction to the United Nations Security Council's (UNSC) vote to impose strict sanctions on Iran for developing nuclear weapons.
The resolution reinforces economic, technological and military sanctions against Iran and severely targets the Iranian atomic energy agency and the military. Other provisions include a travel ban, an asset freeze, and a tougher cargo inspection framework. This is the fourth set of sanctions imposed by the UNSC in the last four years, and the strongest of them all.
"Today's passage of a resolution in the United Nations Security Council imposing sanctions on Iran is a critical step in the effort to press Iran to end its drive toward a nuclear weapons capability. The message has been clearly sent to the Iranian government that the international community has run out of patience with them. Although in a perfect world, these sanctions would be even tougher, today's resolution markedly tightens current restrictions and sends a powerful signal to Iran and the world that Teheran's illegal nuclear program won't be tolerated.
"We offer our strong praise and congratulations to President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton and Ambassador Rice. Without their hard and diligent work, this resolution would not have passed with such a clear endorsement by the UNSC. Only last year it seemed impossible that both China and Russia would vote for sanctions on Iran, but due to the excellent diplomacy of the Administration, both permanent members of the UNSC voted in favor. At the same time, we are very disappointed that Brazil and Turkey voted to turn a blind eye to Tehran's continued efforts to build a nuclear bomb and threaten free nations across the globe.
"The United States and the international community have made it clear to Iran that there is a path out of its increasing isolation: End the nuclear adventurism and come into compliance with the mandates laid down by the UNSC and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Failure to take that path will result in a continued rift. Iran has chosen to stay isolated, and now unfortunately, its people will continue to pay the price of its government's stubbornness.
"Now, the President must fully enforce current Iran sanctions law, and Congress must pass, and the President must sign, the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act to step up pressure on the Iranian regime. Our allies in Europe and around the world should also immediately adopt crippling sanctions to press Iran to halt its drive to a nuclear weapons capability."