WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With the U.S. and its key European allies soon to enter negotiations over Iran’s unlawful nuclear activities, Congress has enacted a series of new sanctions that will strengthen Washington’s hand considerably.
“It will pressure the regime insiders, who run corruption rackets to enrich themselves while preventing food and medicine from reaching the Iranian people.”
FDD commends Congress on passing sanctions co-authored by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), in an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, toughening sanctions on Iran in several key areas. Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and John McCain (R-AZ), and Reps. Buck McKeon (R-CA) and Adam Smith (D-WA), led the overall NDAA from their leadership positions at the Senate and House Armed Services Committees.
Senators Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Richard Shelby (R-AL), and Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Ed Royce (R-CA), Robert Dold (R-IL), Howard Berman (D-CA), and Eliot Engel (D-NY), also advanced the new legislation.
The amendment passed the House on Thursday by a vote of 315 to 107, and the Senate by a vote of 81 to 14 on Friday.
With the Iranian government conceding that U.S.-led sanctions have contributed to a 50 percent drop in the country’s oil exports, the Menendez-Kirk-Lieberman amendment will broaden those measures still further. It will blacklist Iran’s energy, ports, and shipping sectors, denying Tehran funding for its nuclear program and terrorist activities.
“Iranian nuclear physics is still beating western economic pressure, and the U.S. and its allies need to bring massive new pressure on the Iranian regime,” said Mark Dubowitz, Executive Director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and head of its Iran sanctions and human rights projects.
“The new legislation is a forceful assault on the Iranian regime’s human rights abuses, and the funding for its nuclear program and Revolutionary Guards,” Dubowitz continued. “It will pressure the regime insiders, who run corruption rackets to enrich themselves while preventing food and medicine from reaching the Iranian people.”
To speak with FDD’s scholars, please contact David Donadio at firstname.lastname@example.org. Experts include Mark Dubowitz, FDD’s Executive Director, an Iran sanctions specialist; Reuel Marc Gerecht, FDD senior fellow and former CIA officer; John Hannah, FDD senior fellow and former national security advisor to Vice President Cheney.
The Foundation for Defense of Democracies is a Washington-based non-profit, non-partisan policy institute dedicated to promoting pluralism, defending democratic values, and fighting the ideologies that drive terrorism.