News / Middle East

US House Approves Tough New Sanctions on Iran

Petrochemical plant at an Iranian port. (2011 photo)  New sanctions target Iran's oil-dependent economyPetrochemical plant at an Iranian port. (2011 photo) New sanctions target Iran's oil-dependent economy
x
Petrochemical plant at an Iranian port. (2011 photo)  New sanctions target Iran's oil-dependent economy
Petrochemical plant at an Iranian port. (2011 photo) New sanctions target Iran's oil-dependent economy
TEXT SIZE - +
Cindy Saine
CAPITOL HILL — The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed tough new economic sanctions designed to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.  The bill passed the House by a vote of 421 to 6.  It was crafted with the Senate, which is expected to approve the measure this week.

House Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican from Florida, hailed the unity in both chambers of Congress behind a bill to take more action against the Tehran government.

"This bipartisan, bicameral agreement seeks to tighten the choke hold on the regime beyond anything that has been done before," Ros-Lehtinen said.

The bill would blacklist anyone who mines uranium with Iran, provides oil tankers to Iran or provides insurance to the state-run shipping line.  The bill would also make it difficult for Iran to repatriate money earned from oil sales, depriving the country of 80 percent of its hard currency income.  It also would prohibit any commercial activity with Iran's oil and natural gas sectors.

The United States and several European Union countries say that depriving the Tehran government of oil revenues is a way of deterring Iran from its suspected efforts to develop a nuclear weapon.  Iran says that its nuclear program is for peaceful, civilian purposes.

The bill enjoys broad and enthusiastic support among Democrats and Republicans.  But there were two strong voices of dissent -- Democratic Representative Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and Republican Representative Ron Paul of Texas.

Paul said the calls for tough sanctions amount to an act of war, and that it sounds all too familiar to him.

"It is so similar to what we went through in the early part of this last decade when we were beating the war drums to go to war against Iraq.  And it was all a facade.  There was no danger from Iraq.  So this is what we are doing, beating the war drums once again," Paul said.

Paul and Kucinich said the sanctions would hurt the Iranian people, and that they would put the United States on a path to war with Iran.

Democratic Representative Howard Berman of California strongly disagreed, pointing out that the International Atomic Energy Agency also is concerned about Iran's nuclear program.

"This is not the next step to war.  This is the alternative to war.  Iran having a nuclear weapon is unacceptable for many, many reasons.  It means the end of the nonproliferation regime," Berman said

The House vote comes one day after President Barack Obama announced additional sanctions against Iran, targeting its oil and petrochemical sector and two foreign banks that have been conducting transactions on Iran's behalf.  The White House says Iran has an opportunity through diplomacy to meet international obligations on its nuclear program, but that if Tehran fails to meet its obligations, the global community will keep ratcheting up the pressure.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Nora from: USA
August 01, 2012 8:41 PM
hey Obama... you start to look ridiculous... ANOTHER sanction... ??? idiot

In Response

by: Anonymous
August 02, 2012 2:58 AM
Do you know what sanctions do Nora? It cripples their economy, it is a great tactic before a war. Let them weaken for a few years first.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid