Kirk, Menendez, Lieberman Call for Additional Sanctions on Iran
WASHINGTON, DC – Building on current U.S. sanctions they authored to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons capacity, U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL), Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) today called for additional sanctions against the Iranian regime as part of the Senate’s defense authorization bill.
“According to the latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Iranian government continues to defy the international community by expanding its nuclear enrichment capacity and abusing human rights,” Senator Kirk said. “We must prevent the Iranian regime from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability and make it U.S. policy to stand with the Iranian people in the face of oppression. This bipartisan amendment will greatly increase the economic pressure on the Iranian regime and send a clear message of support to the Iranian people.”
Senator Menendez warned that although sanctions currently in place have severely damaged Iran’s currency, crushed their oil exports and forced them back to the negotiating table, Iran has not slowed its enrichment efforts, saying: “Yes, our sanctions are having a significant impact, but Iran continues their work to develop nuclear weapons. By passing these additional measures ending sales to and transactions with Iranian sectors that support proliferation –energy, shipping, ship-building and port sectors as well as with anyone on our specially designated national list -- we will send a message to Iran that they can’t just try to wait us out.”
“Time is running out for diplomacy with Iran,” said Senator Lieberman. “We have a responsibility to do everything in our power to put crippling pressure on the Iranian government, and passing these new sanctions is absolutely critical to that effort.”
The Senators have filed the proposal as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act and are working to have it considered on the Senate floor as part of debate on the bill.
The Menendez-Kirk-Lieberman Iran sanctions amendment has four main components:
1. Designates Iran’s Energy, Port, Shipping, and Ship-Building Sectors as entities of proliferation concern due to the role they play in supporting Iran’s proliferation activities because they both support and fund Iran’s proliferation activities. Under the sanctions – with the exception of permissible petroleum transactions from countries that have significantly reduced their purchases of oil from Iran – these sectors will be off limits. The U.S. will sanction any transactions with these sectors and will block the property of any third party that engages in transactions with these sectors.
2. Imposes sanctions on persons selling or supplying a defined list of commodities to Iran – commodities that are relevant to Iran’s ship-building and nuclear sectors such as graphite, aluminum, steel, metallurgical coal and software for integrating industrial processes. The amendment also prevents Iran from circumventing sanctions on its Central Bank by receiving payment in precious metals.
3. Designates the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting entity and its President as human rights abusers for their broadcasting of forced televised confession and show trials and thereby block their assets and prevent other entities from doing business with the IRIB.
4. To address concerns about access to humanitarian goods in Iran there are exceptions for the provision and sale to Iran of food, agricultural commodities, medicine, medical devices and other humanitarian goods AND the amendment imposes new human rights sanctions on those in Iran who are engaged in corruption or the diversion of resources related to these goods and that are preventing them for reaching the Iranian people.
Summary of Menendez-Kirk-Lieberman Sanctions on Iran
Section 1253. Declaration of Policy on Human Rights
Section 1254. Imposition of Sanctions on Iran’s Energy Sectors, Port, Shipping and Ship-Building Sectors
Designates Iran’s Energy, Port, Shipping, and Ship-Building Sectors as entities of proliferation concern due to the role they play in supporting Iran’s proliferation activities. Designation explicitly includes NIOC, NITC, and IRISIL.
c. Blocking of Property: Pursuant to the proliferation designation, the amendment would block and prohibit all transactions in property in the United States by any person that is part of Iran’s energy, port, shipping, ship-building sectors, or that knowingly provides support to those sectors or to any person on the specially designated nationals list (other than non-designated banks).
d. Sanctions Transactions with Iran’s Energy, Shipping, and Ship-Building Sectors
Imposes either ISA sanctions on the sale, supply, or transfer or correspondent account sanctions on anyone who conducts or facilitates a financial transaction for goods or services used in connection with Iran’s energy, shipping or shipbuilding sectors, including NIOC, NITC and IRISIL.
· Petroleum Purchases from Iran Pursuant to 1245(d)(4)(D) exception (countries with an exception for significantly reducing)
· Natural Gas Purchases from Iran so long as the purchasing country holds the payment for Iran in an account to be drawn on for permissible trade.
· Food, Agricultural Commodities, Medicine, Medical Device, Humanitarian Assistance
Waiver of sanctions for interests vital to the national security of the United States
Section 1255. Sanctions on the Sale, Supply, Transfer of Certain Materials to Iran
Imposes ISA or correspondent account sanctions for sale, supply or transfer to Iran or for facilitating or conducting a transaction with Iran for graphite, precious metals, raw or semi-finished metals, such as aluminum and steel, metallurgical coal and software for integrating industrial processes in connection with Iran’s energy, shipping and ship-building industries. Waiver of sanctions for interests vital to the national security of the United States
Section 1256 Sanctions on Insurance and Reinsurance Providers
Imposes ISA sanctions on any insurance of reinsurance provider that knowingly provides underwriting service, insurance of reinsurance for activities for which sanctions have been imposed under IEEPA or U.S law, to any person in the energy, shipping or ship-building sector in Iran, any person designated for WMD, proliferation of terrorism, or an person on the SDN list (other than non-designated banks)
· Exceptions: Humanitarian, Due Diligence for Underwriters and Insurers
Waiver of sanctions for interests vital to the national security of the United States
Section 1257 Foreign Financial Institution Sanctions for Transactions on Behalf of Specially Designated Iranian Nationals:
Sanctions foreign financial institutions for knowing transactions on behalf of any Iranian person included on the SDN list (except for non-designated banks). Exception provides for humanitarian transactions and 1245 petroleum sales. Waiver of sanctions for interests vital to the national security of the United States
Section 1258. Sanctions Pertaining to Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting and Jamming by Iran
Finds that the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting entity has contributed to the infringement of individuals’ human rights by broadcasting forced televised confession and show trials and designates and sanctions the IRIB and the President of IRIB, Ezzatollah Zargami, as human rights violators under section 105 of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010.
Section 1259. Sanctions for Diversion of Humanitarian Goods
Includes on the list of Iranian human rights abusers persons or organizations that are engaging in corruption or the diversion of resources related to the procurement, sale or re-sale of goods, including food, agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical devices.
Section 1260. Reporting Requirement in NDAA to include exceptional circumstances
Alters the report to Congress in NDAA 1245 to require a certification that the non-compliant country faced exceptional circumstances that prevented it from significantly reducing purchases of petroleum.
Section 1261 Unify the Statute of Limitations for Civil Actions in Terrorist Attacks
Unifies the statute of limitations for American citizens (currently 4 years) with that of foreign citizens (currently 10 years) in the bringing of civil suits related to terrorist attacks.
Section 1262. Reports on Use of Iranian Seaports by Foreign Vessels and Use of Foreign Airports by Sanction Iranian Air Carriers.