Washington, D.C. – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) released the following statement today after passage of H.R. 2194, Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act:
“Today, Congress takes an important and forceful step to address one of the most serious national security challenges to America and our allies. A nuclear armed Iran would pose an intolerable threat to our ally Israel, risk igniting an arms race in what is already one of the world’s most dangerous regions, and undermine our global effort to halt the spread of nuclear weapons.
“That is why, as part of a comprehensive and international effort to persuade Iran alter its current dangerous course, we in Congress have worked together to pass tough new sanctions that will increase the cost that Iran must pay for its continued defiance the international community. The bill moves us closer toward accomplishing the shared goal of Congress, the Administration, and the international community -- to bring maximum leverage to bear on Iran to change its behavior and abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions.
“In particular, this legislation targets businesses involved in refined petroleum sales to Iran, support for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, and Iran’s nuclear program. It imposes strong penalties on those in the Iranian government who have abused the rights of their own people. It tightens the enforcement of those sanctions already on the books. And it takes important steps to ensure that companies receiving U.S. government contracts are not also doing business that enables, directly or indirectly, Iran’s nuclear program.
“President Obama has gone out of his way to extend a hand to the Iranian people and engage the regime. But if Iran hopes to seize upon this opportunity, the Iranian regime must abandon its nuclear ambitions. The United States will continue marshal all of its resources to encourage the Iranian regime to change its behavior.”