Bennet: New Sanctions Will Send Strong Message that Iran Leadership's Pursuit of Nuclear Weapons Unacceptable

President Signs Legislation To Help Deter Iran from Pursuing Nuclear Weapons

Washington, DC – Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado, today released the following statement on President Obama’s signing of a new, comprehensive set of sanctions against Iran.  The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 gives the President the power to enact a series of economic sanctions on companies that do business with Iran’s refined petroleum sector and banks that support the current Iranian regime.  This legislation expands the scope of sanctions already available to the President.

“With this legislation, the President has an important tool to make the leaders of Iran reevaluate the consequences of continuing to work toward the development of nuclear weapons,” Bennet said. “Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons are a threat to our national security and the security of our allies, and these sanctions should make Iran’s leadership think twice and think hard about the consequences of pursuing a nuclear weapon.”

The legislation expands upon the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) of 1996, and includes both energy and banking sanctions.  The new sanctions would target foreign companies that insure, finance, or ship refined petroleum for Iran, or assist in the development of its energy sector.  Currently, Iran imports about 35 percent of its gasoline, and the energy sector provides about 80 percent of the government’s revenues.  In addition, the new sanctions would go after banks that do business with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) or stakeholders in its nuclear weapons program.

The bill also imposes financial penalties and travel restrictions on major human rights abusers within Iran.

Last year, Bennet cosponsored a bill that comprises many of the petroleum-related provisions included in the package.  Bennet also helped pass the underlying bill of comprehensive sanctions in the Banking Committee last year as well as in the full Senate in January.