Foreign Affairs Committee Adopts Two Deutch Bills, Three Amendments Cracking Down on Iranian Nuclear Program
The House Foreign Affairs Committee has passed the Iran Threat Reduction Act, a package of measures cracking down on the Iranian regime's nuclear-weapons program that includes two pieces of legislation authored by Congressman Ted Deutch, the Iran Transparency and Accountability Act of 2011 and the Iran Human Rights and Democracy Promotion Act of 2011. The Iran Transparency and Accountability Act shifts the burden of identifying sanctionable business with Iran from the federal government to the businesses themselves by mandating self-disclosure to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Forced disclosures will trigger State Department investigations into possible violations of U.S. law and accelerate the process of imposing sanctions. The bill also creates a public listing of these companies so American investors can choose whether they invest in companies who continue to support the Iranian regime. The second bill, the Iran Human Rights and Democracy Promotion Act of 2011, enhances US efforts against the Iranian regime’s brutal oppression of its own people. The bipartisan legislation would impose sanctions on companies that sell or service products that enable the Iranian regime to oppress its people and require a strategy to promote Internet freedom in Iran.
The Committee also adopted three amendments introduced by Congressman Deutch to the Iran Threat Reduction Act, in the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act. Deutch’s amendments enhance the federal government’s ability to identify companies that do business with the Iranian regime and enforce the most powerful sanctions possible. With Iran making its intentions clear by plotting attacks on U.S. soil, supporting Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations, and continuing to threaten Israel’s very existence, Congressman Deutch is committed to disabling the network of financial support Iran relies on to advance its nuclear weapons program.
Among the three amendments passed by Congressman Deutch is a measure shortening the timeframe sanctioned companies have to end their business activities in Iran as companies like ENI continue to fulfill existing contracts despite pledging to withdraw from Iran under a Special Rule within CISADA. Congressman Deutch’s amendment shortens the year timeline to 180 days and requires a progress report in an effort to hasten the financial impact of sanctions on the Iranian regime.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee also accepted a Deutch amendment allowing the federal government to consider as credible evidence for launching investigations state-based reports that reveal sanctionable business activities, like those published by the Florida State Board of Administration. As a Florida State Senator, Deutch passed in 2007 the Protecting Florida’s Investments Act to ensure the public pension dollars of Florida workers are not advancing Iran’s illicit quest for nuclear weapons. As a result, the Florida SBA publishes a quarterly report analyzing and identifying companies in violation of U.S. sanctions law.
The third amendment authored by Congressman Deutch and adopted today in committee makes public the name of an entity on which the President waives the imposition of sanctions after he certifies it is in the interest of national security. By publishing the name of the entity in the Federal Registry, the amendment puts the company on notice that the US and the rest of the world are aware of its business dealings in Iran.