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Berkley Praises House Approval of Tough New Iran Sanctions Bill

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Congresswoman Shelley Berkley today hailed passage of The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (H.R. 2194). The bill, which was approved on a vote of 408 to 8, tightens restrictions on the sale of gasoline and other refined petroleum products to Iran, blocks the transfer of technology and places other limits on U.S. firms and their overseas partners doing business with the hostile regime in Tehran.

"These economic sanctions are meant to put a halt to Iran's drive to acquire nuclear weapons. With passage of this package, the U.S. is saying to Iran: we will not be intimidated, we will not be fooled, and we will not allow your nation to gain a nuclear weapon," said Berkley. "No option is off the table and passage of these sanctions demonstrates to the Iranian regime that America and its allies will use every tool at our disposal to thwart their ambitions of dominating the Middle East," said Berkley. "Iran's nuclear program represents as much of a threat to the United States, to Europe, and to the Middle East as it does to Israel."

Berkley is a cosponsor of The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010. Major highlights of the Act include:

* Expanding the scope of sanctions now authorized by imposing restrictions on foreign companies -- including insurance, financing and shipping companies -- that sell Iran goods, services, or know-how that assists it in developing its energy sector;
* Banning U.S. banks from engaging in financial transactions with foreign banks doing business with the IRGC or facilitating Iran's illicit nuclear program or its support for terrorism;
* Imposing significant financial penalties and travel restrictions on Iran's human rights abusers;
* Establishing three new sanctions, including: (1) a prohibition on access to foreign exchange in the U.S.; (2) a prohibition on access to the U.S. banking system; and (3) a prohibition on property transactions in the U.S.;
* Banning U.S. government procurement contracts for any foreign company that exports to Iran technology used to restrict the free flow of information or to disrupt, monitor, or otherwise restrict freedom of speech;
* Requiring a certification from a company bidding on a U.S. government procurement contract that it is not engaged in sanctionable conduct;
* Providing a legal framework by which U.S. states, local governments, and certain other investors can divest their portfolios of foreign companies involved in Iran's energy sector. Strengthen efforts to stop black-market diversion of sensitive technologies to Iran;
* Strengthening the U.S. trade embargo against Iran by codifying longstanding executive orders and limiting the goods exempted from the embargo;
* Increasing substantially the criminal penalties for sanctions violations by U.S. entities.

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