Bloomberg News

U.S. House Panel’s Sanctions Bill Targets Iran’s Oil Sector

November 09, 2011

(Updates with second bill from seventh paragraph.)

Nov. 2 (Bloomberg) -- The House Foreign Affairs Committee voted today to tighten sanctions on Iran, partly by targeting Iran’s oil industry.

The bill, passed by voice vote, is “designed to clamp new and tougher sanctions on Iran’s energy sector,” which funds Iran’s nuclear program, said Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the committee chairman and a Florida Republican.

The Iran Threat Reduction Act, introduced in May, would close loopholes in existing sanctions laws, increase the number of sanctions the Obama administration is required to impose, and deny visas to individuals who do business with Iran’s energy sector, according to a committee press release.

“We have watched the threat develop,” Ros-Lehtinen said of Iran. “Now we must act before time runs out.”

The bill includes an amendment by Representative Howard Berman of California, the panel’s ranking Democrat, that would impose sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran if it is found to support terrorist activities.

The bill, H.R. 1905, has bipartisan support with more than 300 co-sponsors and goes next to the full House for consideration.

The committee, by voice vote, also approved a separate measure to expand the range of sanctions that may be imposed under the Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act.

Among other things, the bill, H.R. 2105, would impose sanctions on individuals who have permitted or facilitated the transfer of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons components to Iran, North Korea or Syria. It would also deny entry in the U.S. to any vessels that have landed in the ports of Iran, North Korea or Syria in the preceding year and would require enhanced inspections of vessels, according to a committee summary.

--Editors: Steven Komarow, Laurie Asseo

To contact the reporter on this story: David Lerman in Washington at dlerman1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net


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