Press Release

Gillibrand Announces New Bipartisan Iran Bill Includes Her Proposals to Toughen Sanctions Against Iran

Jan 31, 2012

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced that three of her measures to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions and strengthen economic sanctions against Iran are included in the Senate Banking Committee’s new Iran sanctions bill. Senator Gillibrand’s proposals would impose sanctions against those who aid in Iran’s human rights abuses and require companies that trade on the U.S. stock exchange to disclose any sanctionable business activities with Iran to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  The bill’s target of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps is based on Gillibrand language in the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Sanctions Consolidation Act of 2011. This Thursday, the Senate Banking Committee plans to mark up and vote on the new Iran sanctions legislation. 

“The Iranian regime is becoming an existential threat to the United States and our allies and we must quickly act to enforce a broader set of sanctions,” said Senator Gillibrand. “We must send a clear message that Iran must halt its nuclear weapons program and stop its human rights abuses. If we can isolate Iran and bring greater transparency to any investment being made in Iran, we can help defund the nuclear militarization of one of the world’s most hostile nations.” 

In testimony today, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper revealed that the U.S. intelligence community believes that Iran is prepared to launch attacks in America and is expanding its uranium enrichment capabilities, which can be used to develop nuclear weapons. 

Senator Gillibrand’s proposals included in the new Iran bill are listed below: 

Enforces sanctions against individuals or companies that aid Iran’s human rights abusers. Broad sanctions, including freezing assets and denying visas, would be imposed on individuals or companies that supply Iran with technology– including weapons, rubber bullets, tear gas, and monitoring and surveillance equipment – which the President determines are likely used by Iranian security forces to commit human rights abuses. Those who engage in censorship and blocking of humanitarian aid are also subject to sanctions. Senator Gillibrand introduced the measure in May 2011. 

Requires companies that trade on U.S. stock exchange to disclose Iran-related business to the SEC. In an effort to close banking and securities law loopholes, Gillibrand’s proposal introduced in February 2011, extends the SEC’s authority to require detailed public disclosure of companies’ business dealings in Iran. All companies and their subsidiaries that trade on the U.S. stock exchange must disclose any sanctionable Iran-related activity – from doing business with Iran’s energy sector to transferring weapons and certain other technologies to Iran. Past studies indicated that at least eight companies with listed affiliates on the NYSE or NASDAQ support Iran’s energy sector, in addition to more than a dozen U.S. banks that do business with foreign banks that also service Iranian institutions. Those who fail to disclose would be penalized. 

Targets Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. The legislation, based on a provision which Senator Gillibrand drafted as part of the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Sanctions Consolidation Act of 2011, would impose sanctions against persons assisting or engaging in any significant transaction with the Revolutionary Guard Corps or its agents or affiliates.