August 2, 2012 – New York – AJC welcomed expanded Iran sanctions legislation adopted overwhelmingly last night by the House and Senate.
The bill passed in the Senate unanimously and in the House by a vote of 421-6. It builds on and tightens existing measures that aim to punish financial institutions and companies that deal with Iran's petroleum, petrochemical or natural gas sector.
In a letter to supporters, Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, a leading proponent of the legislation, praised a section he authored "to impose penalties on those who own, control, and operate vessels that evade our sanctions and to prohibit these vessels from entering U.S. ports." He added that "the legislation also contains a provision that will allow victims of Iranian acts of terror to fulfill their judgments against Iran by permitting attachment of Iranian assets located in the United States."
"The more such sanctions are imposed on Iran, the higher the price Iran will pay for its defiance of the international community," said AJC Executive Director David Harris.
"The U.S. Congress has demonstrated once again that they are determined not only to confront an Iranian regime that today is the leading exporter of terror and threat to global security, but also to name and shame those companies and regimes seeking to undermine the sanctions. Sanctions busters and their friends should be aware that the U.S. Congress is watching them closely," Harris concluded.
Congressional action came a day after the White House announced new sanctions targeting Iran's banking and energy sectors and foreign companies that do business with them, and was approved just before members of Congress depart for their August recess.