Obama administration expands sanctions on Iran (JERUSALEM POST) By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER, JPOST CORRESPONDENT 03/29/12)
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WASHINGTON – The Obama administration slapped new sanctions on Iran’s
shipping industry Wednesday, including on engineering and maritime
The new bans apply to companies with ties to the Iranian
Revolutionary Guard Corp, which the US sees as playing a central role
in Iran’s nuclear program, terror activities and human rights
“By designating the individuals and entities today, the Treasury is
sending a clear signal to the international community that Iran’s
attempts to evade international sanctions will not go unnoticed,”
Adam Szubin, director of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets
Control, said in a released statement.
The move comes on top of sanctions imposed Tuesday on an Iranian air
carrier believed to be bringing arms to Syria for use by President
Bashar Assad against rebels trying to remove him from office.
In addition to the sanctions being implemented by the Treasury and
the rest of the executive branch, many members in the US Congress are
trying to pass legislation to grant the administration further
sanctioning authority and close loopholes that exist under current
That effort suffered a setback Tuesday, however, when Republican
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky prevented a new sanctions bill from
being approved by the Senate by unanimous consent.
The bill, which has significant bipartisan support, focuses on
foreign banks that handle transactions for Iran’s national oil and
tanker companies as well as existing loopholes.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wanted to move the bill without
considering amendments, which he said could drag out the process.
But Rand refused to let the bill advance without considering his
amendment that nothing in the bill could be construed as an
authorization of war against Iran or Syria.
In addition, several other Republicans wanted to offer amendments
toughening the language.
The House has already passed its own version of the bill, and it’s
not clear what avenue Reid will now take to further the legislation.
In the meantime, the steps being taken by the administration against
Iran have been welcomed by several members.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida), the chair of the House Foreign
Affairs Committee, commended the Treasury on the new sanctions, but
said more must be done, particularly given “Iran’s willingness to arm
the Assad regime as it brutally suppresses the Syrian people.”
She continued, “Sanctions must get much tougher, and fast, to be as
effective as we need them to be.”
Reuters contributed to this report. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post
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