House and Senate members have spearheaded initiatives to strengthen economic sanctions on Iran in order to prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.
By a resounding vote of 99-0, the Senate on May 22 passed a resolution (S. Res. 65) declaring that: (1) prevention of an Iranian nuclear weapon remains American policy; (2) it is essential to step up enforcement of sanctions against Iran; and (3) the United States will stand by Israel should the Jewish state feel compelled to take military action in its own defense against Iran. The resolution was co-authored by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
Similarly, by a resounding vote of 400-20, the House on July 31 passed the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013 (H.R. 850), which will strengthen enforcement of current U.S. sanctions on Iran, expand sanctions targeting Iran’s human rights violations, and, for the first time, specifically authorize the president to impose sanctions on any entity that maintains significant commercial ties to Iran. The bill, which received 379 cosponsors
, was introduced by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY). A Senate version of the bill remains pending.
In addition to this legislation, 76 senators signed a letter by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that urges President Obama to toughen sanctions against Iran and bring a “renewed sense of urgency to the process” of stopping Tehran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability. Click here to view the text and signatories of the letter.