Congress Seeks Yet More Iran Sanctions

Congressmen Seek to Punish Companies Doing Business in Iran

Members of the House and Senate are today seeking to increase the level of unilateral American sanctions directed against Iran, insisting that companies that do business with the nation would be punished.

In a statement issued by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D – NY), she declared that the new sanctions would “send a strong, clear signal” that Iran would have to abandon its nuclear program, or else it would “be denied the benefits of access to the global economy.”

The House of Representatives is also considering a bill that would revise the 1996 Iran Sanctions Act, requiring that the president investigate potential violations and submit a list of “known offenders” to Congress. The act threatens punishment to non-US companies doing business with Iran’s petroleum industry.

At least that is the theory. In practice the Obama Administration is lobbying hard for the so-called “China exemption,” which would exempt companies from China and other permanent members of the UN Security Council from the sanctions.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.