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Bridget Johnson


July 31, 2012 - 7:06 am

Bipartisan negotiators reached agreement on new sanctions against the Iranian regime that will be voted on by each chamber before Congress leaves for the summer break.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) said the 147-page amendment strengthens current sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program “by leaps and bounds.”

“It updates and expands U.S. sanctions, and counters Iran’s efforts to evade them,” she said. “The bill sends a clear message to the Iranian regime that the U.S. is committed, through the use of sanctions, to preventing Iran from crossing the nuclear threshold.”

The expanded energy sanctions in the bill effectively blacklist the Iranian energy sector and anyone doing business with it. New and expanded sanctions targeting financial institutions, shipping companies, and insurers doing business with Iran will close major loopholes that the regime was taking advantage of to avoid the sting of sanctions.

The bill also blocks Iran’s ability to insulate itself from sanctions through oil-for-gold swaps, other trading and bartering schemes, and selling energy bonds and issuing government debt.

“This legislation incorporates great ideas and specific provisions from bills proposed by members of the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle,” Ros Lehtinen said. “If properly implemented, this bill will impose crippling economic pressure on the Iranian regime in order to force Tehran to abandon its nuclear program and other dangerous policies. The House and Senate will be taking up the bill this week, and I urge President Obama to quickly sign it and vigorously enforce its provisions.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
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