US lawmakers reach deal on Iran sanctions

2012-07-31 10:01


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - US lawmakers moved a step closer to finalising new sanctions aimed at further restricting Iran's oil revenues after negotiators from the Senate and House of Representatives agreed on a compromise bill on Monday.

The bill includes several new provisions seeking to crack down on those who ship or insure Iranian oil cargoes, or who pay for oil using gold. It also seeks to curtail efforts to evade sanctions by reflagging ships or turning off tracking systems.

It aims as well to stop Iran from repatriating revenues from oil sales, which would further squeeze government funds.

If passed, the sanctions would add further pressure on top of penalties imposed by the United States and European Union earlier this year on countries that fail to slash purchases of Iranian oil - sanctions the West hopes will prevent Tehran from building nuclear weapons.

"The expanded energy sanctions contained in this critical legislation effectively blacklist the Iranian energy sector and anyone doing business with it," Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Republican chairperson of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement.

Iran has maintained its nuclear programme is for civilian purposes. Its economy has been damaged by existing sanctions and its oil production has slipped to the lowest level since 1988.

Draft released

"Unless [Iranian leaders] come clean on their nuclear programme, end the suppression of their people, and stop supporting terrorist activities, they will face deepening international isolation and even greater economic and diplomatic pressure," Tim Johnson, Democratic chairperson of the Senate Banking Committee, said in a statement.

Senate and House leaders have said they would like to pass the sanctions by the end of the week, when lawmakers are set to leave for an extended recess.

The draft text of the compromise bill was released by the House late on Monday and a Republican aide confirmed members would vote on the floor this week, although the date had not been set.

It was not immediately clear whether a vote would be held in the US Senate, where an earlier version of the bill was held up in May by Republicans who sought tougher measures.

One senior congressional source characterised the bill as "incremental" and said the new measures would not be enough to force Tehran to abandon its nuclear programme, or prevent Israel from taking military action.

President Barack Obama would need to sign the bill for the measures to take effect. The White House did not publicly comment on the legislation as it was being developed, and has not yet commented on the compromise bill.


The compromise scaled back proposals to sanction satellite service providers to Iran's government, replacing that with non-binding measures urging companies to stop providing the services until Tehran stops jamming certain satellite signals.

Some groups pushing for stricter measures against Iran have said they are worried the compromise weakens sanctions on companies that help Iranian banks transfer money.

The compromise bill includes more provisions aimed at shippers that transport Iran's oil around the globe, as well as on the National Iranian Oil Company, or NIOC, and National Iranian Tanker Company, or NITC.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    us  |  nuclear  |  iran nuclear programme  |  sanctions
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

LIVE: Springboks 54-0 USA
No England contact for White
Boks: Coenie ‘worst dresser’
Think Tank: Why are the minnows so much better?
Traffic Alerts

Relationships and significant connections may play an important role in your day today. Let the warmth of the Leo moon inspire more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.