New Iran sanctions target oil sales, require president to report on sanctions’ impact

( New Iran sanctions that overwhelmingly passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on July 31 aim to cut Iranian oil sales from 1.25 million barrels per day to 250,000 per day by the end of 2014. The sanctions also establish a formal process requiring the president “to report to Congress every 60 days regarding the Iranian nuclear timetable and the projected economic effects of international sanctions on Iran.”

The Arak IR-40 heavy water reactor in Iran. The House of Representatives passed new Iran sanctions on Wednesday. Credit: Nanking2012/Wikimedia Commons.

The Nuclear Iran Prevention Act (H.R. 850)—authored by U.S. Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Ed Royce (R-CA)—also expands sanctions targeting Iranian human rights violations as well as the country’s automotive and mining industries. The bill authorizes the U.S. president to “impose sanctions on a foreign person that knowingly conducted or facilitated a significant financial transaction with the Central Bank of Iran or other Iranian financial institution subject to sanctions for the purchase of goods (other than petroleum or petroleum products) or services by or from a person in Iran, or on behalf of a person in Iran,” according to the Congressional Research Service.

Calling the House’s passage of the new Iran sanctions “forceful action,” the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) said it “urges the Senate to move quickly on its own version of sanctions legislation.”

“The window is rapidly closing to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability,” AIPAC said in a statement.

The new Iran sanctions came in advance of the Aug. 4 inauguration of Hassan Rouhani as Iran’s new president. Royce believes the leadership change will not alter Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“New president or not, I am convinced that Iran’s Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) intends to continue on this path,” Royce said, according to Reuters.

Posted on July 31, 2013 .