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Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-CA) and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced stiff sanctions today targeting Iran’s IRGC and energy sector.
“With Iran pursuing a menacing nuclear program while thumbing its nose at the international community, Tehran must be further isolated,” said Howard Berman, Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Iran leaves us no choice but to move forward with tough legislation further targeting the IRGC and their energy sector.”
“It is clear that Iran has not deviated from its course nor abated its efforts to achieve nuclear weapons capability,” said Robert Menendez, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the author of Senate legislation sanctioning Iran. “We will continue adapting our efforts to counter the regime’s workarounds and take every possible step to impose real sanction on Iran’s energy sector, the IRGC and its related entities.”
The Berman-Menendez legislation seeks to impose penalties on the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) if they are determined to be affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The sanctions would penalize foreign financial institutions that facilitate financial transactions involving NITC or NIOC.
The bill instructs the Treasury Department to investigate and determine the business relationship between the two companies and the IRGC. The U.S. government has sanctioned the IRGC for proliferation-related activities, as well as for supporting and engaging in human rights abuses.
The Berman bill was introduced in the House of Representatives today, and the Menendez measure is an amendment to legislation before the Senate Banking Committee that will be voted upon this Thursday.