Senate Passes Iran Sanctions Bill
May 24, 2012
On May 21, 2012, the Senate unanimously passed, by voice vote, the Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Human Rights Act of 2012 (S.2101). The bipartisan bill, introduced by Senator Tim Johnson (D- SD) on February 13, 2012 and co-sponsored by Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), includes sanctions targeting the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps., financial institutions, and Iran’s energy sector. The expanded sanctions cover persons knowingly participating in energy joint ventures with Iran, persons who provide goods and services used for development of refining programs (lowering the threshold on sanctionable transactions to those aggregating to $5 million or more), and persons who provide shipping services or insurance for terrorism-related materials. S.2101 imposes civil penalties on U.S. companies if a foreign subsidiary violates U.S. sanction laws and additional travel restrictions on Iranian officials. While the bill indicates that military action may be an option should Iran seek to build a nuclear weapon, it also expressly states that the measure does not authorize military action. The bill will now go to conference before being sent to the President, as the House of Representatives passed similar, but not identical legislation last December.
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