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
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

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to an enhancement or regression of democracy on the Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents 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.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid