Committee Passes Forceful Iran Sanctions With Menendez-Bennet Amendment to Crack Down on Iran's Nuclear Development Program

Amendment Improves Reporting Requirements on Iran's Energy Sector to Monitor Effectiveness of Sanctions

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) today joined Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) to pass an amendment in committee to crack down on Iran’s nuclear weapons development program. The amendment has been included in the Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Human Rights Act of 2012. The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs accepted the amendment and passed the bill with broad bipartisan support.

“While we know our previous sanctions have been effective, there is still much more we need to do to halt Iran’s nuclear weapons production, especially in the face of such a threat,” said Bennet. “These sanctions will deal another blow to Iran’s energy economy and human rights abusers and continue to undermine the regime’s credibility as an effective government.  An Iranian bomb would endanger our allies, especially Israel, and destabilize the entire region.  My amendment with Senator Menendez will help us better track our progress in isolating Iran’s energy sector by improving reporting requirements as part of a larger package of sanctions.”

The Menendez-Bennet amendment strengthens the sanctions against Iran by requiring the President to report on the imports and exports of Iranian crude oil and refined petroleum products to monitor the effectiveness of the economic sanctions.

Specifically, the amendment requires the President to identify entities that trade with or purchase crude oil from Iran and other sources of financing for Iranian oil and petroleum. It also requires the report to include a list of entities conducting joint ventures with Iran to develop oil production capacity, upgrade facilities, or build new refineries.

The Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Human Rights Act puts further economic pressure on Iran’s leaders to abandon their illicit nuclear program and their support for international terrorism. The bill would broaden the list of available sanctions, require intensified targeting of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, require firms traded on U.S. stock exchanges to disclose Iran-related activity to the Securities and Exchange Commission, sanction any persons knowingly participating in energy and uranium mining joint ventures with Iran’s government, penalize U.S. parent firms for certain Iran-related activities of their foreign subsidiaries, mandate sanctions for those who supply Iran with weapons and other technologies used to commit human rights abuses, and provide other similar measures designed to increase pressure on Iran’s government. For more information on the bill, click here.