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S.Res. 580 (110th): A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate on preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.

The text of the bill below is as of Jun 2, 2008 (Introduced).



2d Session

S. RES. 580


June 2, 2008

(for himself, Mr. Thune, and Mr. Smith) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


Expressing the sense of the Senate on preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.

Whereas Iran is a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, done at Washington, London, and Moscow July 1, 1968, and entered into force March 5, 1970 (commonly referred to as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) and, by ratifying the Treaty, has foresworn the acquisition of nuclear weapons;

Whereas Iran is legally bound to declare all its nuclear activity to the International Atomic Energy Agency and to place such activity under the constant monitoring of the Agency;

Whereas for nearly 20 years Iran had a covert nuclear program, until the program was revealed by an opposition group in Iran in 2002;

Whereas the International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed that the Government of Iran has engaged in such covert nuclear activities as the illicit importation of uranium hexafluoride, the construction of a uranium enrichment facility, experimentation with plutonium, the importation of centrifuge technology and the construction of centrifuges, and the importation of the design to convert highly enriched uranium gas into a metal and to shape it into the core of a nuclear weapon, as well as significant additional covert nuclear activities;

Whereas the Government of Iran continues to expand the number of centrifuges at its enrichment facility and to enrich uranium in defiance of 3 binding United Nations Security Council resolutions demanding that Iran suspend its uranium enrichment activities;

Whereas the Government of Iran has announced its intention to begin the installation of 6,000 advanced centrifuges, which, when operational, will dramatically reduce the time it will take Iran to enrich uranium;

Whereas the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate reports that the Government of Iran was secretly working on the design and manufacture of a nuclear warhead until at least 2003 and that Iran could have enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon as early as late 2009;

Whereas allowing the Government of Iran to obtain a nuclear weapons capability would pose a grave threat to international peace and security;

Whereas allowing the Government of Iran to obtain a nuclear weapons capability would fundamentally alter and destabilize the strategic balance of power in the Middle East;

Whereas, if it were allowed to obtain a nuclear weapons capability, the Government of Iran could share its nuclear technology, raising the frightening prospect that terrorist groups and rogue regimes might possess nuclear weapons capabilities;

Whereas allowing the Government of Iran to obtain a nuclear weapons capability would severely undermine the global nuclear nonproliferation regime that, for more than 4 decades, has contained the spread of nuclear weapons;

Whereas it is likely that one or more Arab states would respond to Iran obtaining a nuclear weapons capability by following Iran’s example, and several Arab states have already announced their intentions to pursue peaceful nuclear programs;

Whereas the spread of nuclear weapons capabilities throughout the Middle East would make the proliferation of nuclear weapons elsewhere around the globe much more likely;

Whereas allowing the Government of Iran to obtain a nuclear weapons capability would directly threaten Europe and ultimately the United States because Iran already has missiles that can reach parts of Europe and is seeking to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles;

Whereas the Government of Iran has repeatedly called for the elimination of our ally, Israel;

Whereas the Government of Iran has advocated that the United States withdraw its presence from the Middle East;

Whereas the United Nations Security Council has passed 3 binding resolutions under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter that impose sanctions on Iran for its failure to comply with the mandatory demand of the Security Council to suspend all uranium enrichment activity;

Whereas the United States, the Russian Federation, the People's Republic of China, France, the United Kingdom, and Germany have offered to negotiate a significant package of economic, diplomatic, and security incentives if Iran complies with the Security Council’s demands to suspend uranium enrichment;

Whereas the Government of Iran has consistently refused such offers;

Whereas, as a result of the failure of the Government of Iran to comply with the Security Council resolutions, the international community began taking steps in 2006 that have begun to have an impact on the economy of Iran, but the rapid development of nuclear weapons capabilities by the Government of Iran is outpacing the slowly increasing economic and diplomatic sanctions on Iran;

Whereas the Government of Iran has used its banking system, including the Central Bank of Iran, to support its proliferation efforts and to assist terrorist groups;

Whereas, as a result of that use of Iran's banking system, the Secretary of the Treasury has designated 4 large Iranian banks as proliferators and supporters of terrorism and restricted the ability of those banks to conduct international financial transactions in United States dollars; and

Whereas Iran must import around 40 percent of its daily requirements for refined petroleum products: Now, therefore, be it

That the Senate—


declares that preventing the Government of Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability, through all appropriate economic, political, and diplomatic means, is a matter of the highest importance to the national security of the United States and must be dealt with urgently;


urges the President, in the strongest of terms, to immediately use the President's existing authority to impose sanctions on—


the Central Bank of Iran and any other Iranian bank engaged in proliferation activities or support of terrorist groups;


international banks that continue to conduct financial transactions with sanctioned Iranian banks;


energy companies that have invested $20,000,000 or more in the petroleum or national gas sector of the economy of Iran in any given year since the date of the enactment of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (Public Law 104–172; 50 U.S.C. 1701 note); and


companies that continue to do business with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran;


demands that the President lead an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the pressure on the Government of Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by, among other measures, banning the importation of refined petroleum products to Iran; and


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