Press Release

Gillibrand Takes Action to Toughen Sanctions Against Iran

Apr 30, 2009

– U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, today co-sponsored legislation to provide President Obama with
expanded authority to stop Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.  The Iran
Refined Petroleum Act
explicitly empowers the President to impose tough new
economic sanctions on foreign firms involved in exporting gasoline and other
refined petroleum products to Iran.

“Iran is one of the most serious national security challenges facing America
and the entire international community,” Senator Gillibrand said. “The
seriousness of their actions and the words of President Ahmadinejad should not
be tolerated and deserve serious response. This legislation will give President
Obama the authority he needs to cut Iran’s economy off from support from abroad
and curb their pursuit of nuclear weapons. Until Iran halts its nuclear
ambitions, it will be denied the benefits of access to the global economy.”

its immense oil reserves, Iran lacks the refining capacity to meet domestic
consumption, forcing it to import up to 40 percent of its gasoline from other

Iran Refined Petroleum Act targets foreign companies providing the
following services that would support Iran’s economy:

  • Sell
    gasoline or other refined petroleum products to Iran;
  • Provide
    ships, shipping services or insurance for this trade;
  • Finance
    or broker any such activity; and
  • Assist
    Iran’s efforts to increase domestic refining capacity.

The legislation also authorizes stronger penalties against these firms,
including a ban on conducting business in the United States. 

Senator Gillibrand joins a broad, bi-partisan group of her Senate colleagues
co-sponsoring the Iran Refined Petroleum Act, including Senators Evan
Bayh (D-IN), Joe Lieberman (ID-CT), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Kit Bond (R-MO), Barbara
Boxer (D-CA), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Richard Burr (R-NC), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom
Coburn (R-OK), Susan Collins (R-ME), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Lindsey Graham
(R-SC), James Inhofe (R-OK), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mary
Landrieu (D-LA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Patty Murray
(D-WA), James Risch (R-ID), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI),
John Thune (R-SD), David Vitter (R-LA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).