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U.S. Sanctions Legislation

Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013 (S. 1881)

The Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013 was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Menendez (D-NJ) and Kirk (R-IL) on December 19, 2013 and currently has 59 cosponsors (as of 1/14/2014). The prospective sanctions legislation requires further reductions in purchases of Iranian petroleum and applies additional penalties to strategic elements of the Iranian economy, to include the engineering, mining and construction sectors. Simultaneously, it gives the Administration continued flexibility and up to one year from the conclusion of an implementing agreement to pursue a diplomatic track resulting in the complete and verifiable termination of Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program.

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Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013 (HR 850)

The Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013 passed the House by an overwhelming vote of 400-20 on July 31, 2013. The legislation by Reps. Royce (R-CA) and Engel (D-NY) is intended to impose additional human rights and economic and financial sanctions on Iran.  This legislation strengthens existing sanctions by compelling countries to reduce their combined purchases of crude oil by 1,000,000 barrels.  In addition, it continues to put an economic squeeze on foreign financial institutions, corporations, and individuals who make large economic exchanges with the Iranian government.  Moreover, it places further sanctions on Iranian industry and further limits Iran’s ability to engage in international commerce while preventing Tehran from accessing overseas foreign currency reserves.

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Iran Threat Reduction & Syria Human Rights Act of 2012

Signed into law by President Obama on August 10, 2012, the Iran Threat Reduction & Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 increases sanctions against Iran. It blacklists virtually all of Iran’s energy, financial, and transportation sectors, and cuts off companies that keep doing business with Iran from access to our markets in the United States. This legislation also imposes sanctions to prevent Iran from repatriating any proceeds from its oil sales, depriving the Iranian regime of 80 percent of its hard currency earnings and half of the funds that support its budget. 

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National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012

Signed into law by President Obama on December 31, 2011, the NDAA included provisions that imposed sanctions on financial institutions conducting business with the Central Bank of Iran.

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Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act of 2010

Passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support in June 2010, and signed into law by President Obama on July 1, 2010, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act requires the president to impose sanctions on Iran's entire refined petroleum supply chain. The bill prohibits the sale of technology, goods and services to Iran's oil and natural gas industry, prevents the U.S. government from awarding contracts to companies that do business in Iran, and targets energy-related joint ventures, investments, and partnerships involving Iranian entities. The president can waive sanctions under certain conditions.

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Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act of 2009 (H.R. 2194)

Passed by the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support in December 2009, the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act of 2009 (IRPSA) gives the president the power to levy sanctions against entities that support Iran's energy sector, including its refined petroleum supply. The bill provides that any company involved in the supply of gasoline to Iran, including transportation companies and insurance providers, may be at risk for sanctions.

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The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2009 (S. 2799)

The Senate's Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2009 was passed in January 2010. Similar to H.R. 2194, the legislation targets Iran's refined petroleum supply. Additionally, the Senate version enables states and local governments to divest assets from companies active in Iran's energy sector and prevents the transshipment of sensitive items to Iran.

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Iran Sanctions Act

The Iran Sanctions Act was passed in 2006 when Congress removed Libya from the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act (see below).

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Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996

The Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996 (ILSA) became the Iran Sanctions Act in 2006 when Libya was removed from the bill's consideration. The legislation linked Iran's energy sector with its support for terrorism and nuclear weapons aspirations by giving the President the authority to levy sanctions against any person who invests in Iran's petroleum resources.

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