AJC Hails House Passage of Expanded Iran Sanctions

August 1, 2013 – New York – AJC saluted the U.S. House of Representatives for overwhelmingly passing a bold measure tightening sanctions against Iran. The Nuclear Iran Prevention Act, which passed by a vote of 400 to 20, would, if fully enforced, severely curtail what is left of Iran’s ability to export oil.

“The U.S. House of Representatives has sent a clear message that implementing ever-tightening sanctions will continue until Tehran comes clean on its nuclear program, and honors the numerous international calls for it to desist from pursuing nuclear weapons capability,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “While some remain hopeful that incoming president Hassan Rouhani will alter Iran’s course, we urge the Senate to move expeditiously after the recess and adopt the measure in September and for President Obama to sign it into law.”

The bill, if enacted, would lead to a further reduction of Iran’s oil exports by another one million barrels a day. Previous U.S. and EU sanctions have already severely cut Iran’s oil exports. Importantly, the new legislation also threatens to impose heavy penalties on current Iranian customers if they do not find alternative suppliers.

In addition, the bill would further limit Iran’s already diminished ability to access money in overseas accounts, and penalize countries doing business with Iran’s automotive, mining, construction and engineering industries.

AJC has long advocated for ever-tightening economic and political sanctions by the U.S., EU and other countries concerned by the grave threat to regional and global security that an Iran with nuclear-weapons capability would present. To date, Iran has ignored UN Security Council and International Atomic Energy Agency measures.

“There is no doubt that maximum pressure by the international community on Iran continues to be necessary, and once again the U.S. Congress is demonstrating admirable leadership,” said Harris.