FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 21, 2011
CONTACT: Genevieve Frye Rozansky
Bank is the Primary Financier Responsible for Iran’s Illicit Activities
Mesa, Arizona – Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents Arizona’s Sixth District, today along with Congressman Mike McIntyre of North Carolina will introduce a bill aimed at preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons by allowing the President to levy U.S. economic sanctions on foreign financial institutions that conduct business with the Central Bank of Iran, the financier primarily responsible for facilitating Iran’s illicit activities.
These sanctions would include a prohibition on the opening or maintenance in the U.S. of an account by a foreign institution that does business with the Central Bank of Iran and would freeze any assets in the U.S of those institutions. In an effort to avoid a dangerous spike in oil prices, transactions pertaining to petroleum would be subject to sanctions six months after the legislation takes effect. The legislation also contains a national security waiver and a provision to ensure efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to Iran are not hampered by the sanctions law.
The International Atomic Energy Agency issued a report on November 8th that found Iran has developed technologies and conducted research to produce nuclear weapons and deliver them. It was announced today that the United Kingdom and Canada will be levying economic sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank.
“With Iran being so dangerously close to acquiring nuclear weapons, anything we can do to isolate the funding sources for the regime’s illicit activities could be meaningful,” said Flake. “The targeted sanctions in this bill have the potential to tie off funding for Iran’s nuclear programs and to stymie a growing threat to the Middle East.”
Last week, Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois filed identical legislation as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which is currently under consideration in the Senate.