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H.R. 282 (109th): Iran Freedom Support Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

4/26/2006--Passed House amended. Iran Freedom Support Act - Title I: Codification of Sanctions Against Iran - (Sec. 101) States that: (1) U.S. sanctions, controls, and regulations with respect to Iran imposed pursuant to Executive Order 12957, sections 1(b) through 1(g) and sections 2 through 6 of Executive Order 12959, and sections 2 and 3 of Executive Order 13059, as in effect on January 1, 2006, shall remain in effect until the President certifies to the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate that the government of Iran has verifiably dismantled its weapons of mass destruction programs; and (2) such certification shall have no effect on specified sanctions relating to Iranian support of international terrorism.

(Sec. 102) States that in cases where an entity engages in an act outside the United States which, if committed in the United States or by a U.S. person, would violate Executive Order 12959, Executive Order 13059, or any other prohibition on transactions with Iran imposed under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and if that entity was created for the purpose of engaging in such an act, the parent company of that entity, if a U.S. person, shall be subject to the penalties for such violation to the same extent as if the parent company had engaged in that act.

Defines "parent company" and "entity."

Title II: Amendments to the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996 and Other Provisions Related to Investment in Iran - (Sec. 201) Amends the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996 to revise multilateral regime reporting requirements to direct the President to report every six months to the appropriate congressional committees regarding diplomatic and related efforts to establish multilateral pressure on Iran, including a list of countries that have agreed to undertake measures to deny Iran the ability to support acts of international terrorism and fund the development and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by limiting Iran's ability to exploit its petroleum resources for such purposes.

Authorizes waiver of sanctions (up to six months) against nationals of a country if the President certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that: (1) the waiver is vital to U.S. security interests; and (2) such country has undertaken substantial measures to prevent Iran's acquisition and development of weapons of mass destruction.

Directs the President to initiate an investigation leading to the possible imposition of sanctions against a person upon receipt by the United States of credible information that such person is engaged in prohibited petroleum investment activity in Iran.

(Sec. 202) Eliminates the requirement that an entity have "actual knowledge" of its investment in the Iranian petroleum sector before sanctions could be imposed.

Imposes (two or more) mandatory sanctions on a person or entity that aids Iran acquire or develop weapons of mass destruction or destabilizing types and numbers of conventional weapons.

Eliminates the "actual knowledge" requirement in the case of certain affiliates, parents or subsidiaries.

Enlarges the scope of sanctionable entities to include private or government lenders, insurers, underwriters, or guarantors of the person (who has carried out proscribed activities) if the private or government lenders, insurers, underwriters, or guarantors themselves engaged in the prohibited activities.

(Sec. 203) Adds a requirement that Iran be determined to pose no significant threat to U.S. national security, interests, or allies in order to lift sanctions against entities investing in Iran's petroleum industry.

(Sec. 204) Eliminates the sunset provision.

(Sec. 205) Enlarges the definition of "person" to include financial institutions, insurers, underwriters, guarantors, any other business organizations, including any foreign subsidiaries.

(Sec. 206) Directs that the President, not later than six months after the date of the enactment of this Act and every six months thereafter, ensure Federal Register publication of a list of all U.S. and foreign entities that have invested more than $20 million in Iran's energy sector between August 5, 1996, and the date of such publication.

Expresses the sense of Congress that, upon Federal Register publication of U.S. and foreign entities that have invested in Iran's energy sector, managers of U.S. government pension plans or thrift savings plans, private sector pension plans, and mutual funds should initiate efforts to divest from any listed entity, and make no future investments in such entities.

(Sec. 207) Renames the the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996 as the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996.

Title III: Diplomatic Efforts to Curtail Iranian Nuclear Proliferation and Sponsorship of International Terrorism - (Sec. 301) Expresses the sense of Congress that the President should instruct the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations to secure U.N. Security Council support for a sanctions resolution on Iran as a result of repeated breaches of its nuclear nonproliferation obligations, which shall remain in effect until Iran has verifiably dismantled its weapons of mass destruction programs.

Provides that, if, on or after April 13, 2005, a foreign person or agency or instrumentality of a foreign government has more than $20 million invested in Iran's energy sector the President shall, until termination of such investment, withhold assistance under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to the government of the country to which such person owes allegiance or to which control is exercised over such agency or instrumentality. Authorizes a national security waiver.

(Sec. 302) Declares that it should be U.S. policy to support diplomatic efforts to end Iran's manipulation of Article IV of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty without undermining the Treaty itself.

Title IV: Democracy in Iran - (Sec. 401) Declares that it should be U.S. policy to support independent human rights and peaceful pro-democracy forces in Iran.

States that nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize the use of force against Iran.

(Sec. 402) Authorizes the President to provide financial and political assistance to eligible foreign and domestic individuals and groups that support democracy in Iran, including assistance for radio and television broadcasting into Iran. Prohibits assistance from being used to support the use of force against Iran.

States that assistance may be provided only to an individual, organization, or entity that: (1) officially opposes the use of violence and terrorism and has not been designated as a foreign terrorist organization during the preceding four years; (2) advocates Iran's adherence to nonproliferation regimes for nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and materiel; (3) supports adoption of a democratic government in Iran; (4) is dedicated to respect for human rights, including equality of women; (5) works to establish equality of opportunity for people; and (6) supports freedoms of press, speech, association, and religion.

Expresses the sense of Congress that contacts should be expanded with eligible opposition groups in Iran.

Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 403) Authorizes the Secretary of State to obtain a license for the export to, or by, any person to whom the Department of State has provided a grant under a program to promote democracy or human rights abroad, any item which is commercially available in the United States without government license or permit, to the extent that such export would be used exclusively for carrying out the purposes of the grant.