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S. 908 (111th): Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act

The text of the bill below is as of Apr 28, 2009 (Introduced).


II

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 908

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

April 28, 2009

(for himself, Mr. Kyl, Mr. Lieberman, Ms. Mikulski, Mr. Wyden, Mr. Vitter, Mr. Burr, Mr. Feingold, Mr. Thune, Ms. Stabenow, Mr. Menendez, Ms. Collins, Mr. Brownback, Mr. Johanns, Mrs. Boxer, Mr. Cardin, Mr. Risch, Mrs. Murray, Mr. Graham, Ms. Landrieu, Mr. Schumer, Mr. Bond, Mr. Inhofe, Ms. Klobuchar, and Mr. Coburn) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

A BILL

To amend the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 to enhance United States diplomatic efforts with respect to Iran by expanding economic sanctions against Iran.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act.

2.

Findings; sense of Congress

(a)

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

The illicit nuclear activities of the Government of Iran represent a serious threat to the security of the United States and our allies in Europe, the Middle East, and around the world.

(2)

The United States and the international community have a vital interest in working together to prevent the Government of Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.

(3)

The international community, acting through the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United Nations, has already adopted a range of sanctions designed to encourage the Government of Iran to cease its unlawful nuclear activities and comply with its obligations under the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (commonly known as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty).

(4)

As a presidential candidate, then-Senator Obama stated that additional sanctions, especially those targeting Iran’s dependence on imported refined petroleum, may help to persuade the Government of Iran to abandon its illicit nuclear activities.

(5)

On October 7, 2008, then-Senator Obama stated, Iran right now imports gasoline, even though it’s an oil producer, because its oil infrastructure has broken down. If we can prevent them from importing the gasoline that they need and the refined petroleum products, that starts changing their cost-benefit analysis. That starts putting the squeeze on them..

(6)

On June 4, 2008, then-Senator Obama stated, We should work with Europe, Japan, and the Gulf states to find every avenue outside the UN to isolate the Iranian regime—from cutting off loan guarantees and expanding financial sanctions, to banning the export of refined petroleum to Iran..

(7)

Our allies in the international community have expressed support for additional sanctions should the Government of Iran fail to verifiably suspend its illicit nuclear activities.

(8)

On March 17, 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown stated, [L]et me be equally clear that Iran’s current nuclear program is unacceptable. Iran has concealed nuclear activities, refused to cooperate with the IAEA, and flouted UN Security Council Resolutions. Its refusal to play by the rules leads us to view its nuclear program as a critical proliferation threat. Iran therefore faces a clear choice—continue in this way and face further and tougher sanctions, or change to a UN overseen civil nuclear energy program that will bring the greatest benefits to its citizens..

(9)

On February 7, 2009, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband stated, We welcome US willingness to talk to Iran. But if Iran doesn't respond we will need to be ready to impose much tougher sanctions, even if that imposes costs on us here in Europe. In this instance, nuclear security must come above commercial interests..

(10)

On February 7, 2009, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated, Let me be quite clear. We have offered to enter into negotiations with Iran and we want a diplomatic solution. These offers are on the table. … We’re prepared to travel along this road together, but we are also prepared to consider tougher sanctions should there be no progress. It’s imperative that we prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons..

(11)

On June 23, 2008, French President Nicolas Sarkozy stated, So that things are clear and there is no ambiguity, I want to say that Iran’s military nuclear program demands an extremely firm response by the entire international community. … France is determined to pursue with her partners a policy of increasingly tough sanctions until there is a shift in position..

(12)

The serious and urgent nature of the threat from Iran demands that the United States work together with our allies to do everything possible—diplomatically, politically, and economically—to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.

(b)

Sense of Congress

It is the sense of the Congress that—

(1)

the United States should continue to support diplomatic efforts in the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United Nations Security Council to end Iran’s illicit nuclear activities;

(2)

diplomatic efforts with Iran are more likely to be effective if the President is empowered with the explicit authority to impose additional sanctions on the Government of Iran;

(3)

it should be the policy of the United States to encourage foreign governments to direct state-owned entities to cease all investment in, and support of, Iran’s energy sector and all exports of refined petroleum products to Iran;

(4)

it should be the policy of the United States to encourage foreign governments to require private entities based in their territories to cease all investment in, and support of, Iran’s energy sector and all exports of refined petroleum products to Iran;

(5)

the President is urged to impose sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran and any other Iranian bank or financial institution engaged in proliferation activities or support of terrorist groups;

(6)

the Department of the Treasury should continue to work with our allies to take appropriate measures to protect the international financial system from deceptive and illicit practices by Iranian banks and financial institutions involved in proliferation activities or support of terrorist groups;

(7)

the concerns of the United States regarding Iran are strictly the result of the actions of the Government of Iran; and

(8)

the people of the United States—

(A)

have feelings of friendship for the people of Iran;

(B)

regret that developments in recent decades have created impediments to that friendship; and

(C)

hold the people of Iran, their culture, and their ancient and rich history in the highest esteem.

3.

Amendments to the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996

(a)

Expansion of sanctions

Section 5(a) of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note) is amended to read as follows:

(a)

Sanctions with respect to the development of petroleum resources of Iran and exportation of refined petroleum to Iran

(1)

Development of petroleum resources of Iran

(A)

Investment

Except as provided in subsection (f), the President shall impose 2 or more of the sanctions described in paragraphs (1) through (6) of section 6(a) if the President determines that a person has, with actual knowledge, on or after the date of this Act, made an investment of $20,000,000 or more (or any combination of investments of at least $5,000,000 each, which in the aggregate equals or exceeds $20,000,000 in any 12-month period), that directly and significantly contributed to the enhancement of Iran’s ability to develop petroleum resources of Iran.

(B)

Production of refined petroleum resources

Except as provided in subsection (f), the President shall impose the sanctions described in section 6(b) (in addition to any sanctions imposed under subparagraph (A)) if the President determines that a person has, with actual knowledge, on or after the date of the enactment of the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act, sold, leased, or provided to Iran any goods, services, technology, information, or support that would allow Iran to maintain or expand its domestic production of refined petroleum resources, including any assistance in refinery construction, modernization, or repair.

(2)

Exportation of refined petroleum resources to Iran

Except as provided in subsection (f), the President shall impose the sanctions described in section 6(b) if the President determines that a person has, with actual knowledge, on or after the date of the enactment of the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act, provided Iran with refined petroleum resources or engaged in any activity that could contribute to the enhancement of Iran’s ability to import refined petroleum resources, including—

(A)

providing ships or shipping services to deliver refined petroleum resources to Iran;

(B)

underwriting or otherwise providing insurance or reinsurance for such activity; or

(C)

financing or brokering such activity.

.

(b)

Description of sanctions

Section 6 of such Act is amended—

(1)

by striking The sanctions to be imposed on a sanctioned person under section 5 are as follows: and inserting the following:

(a)

In general

The sanctions to be imposed on a sanctioned person under subsections (a)(1)(A) and (b) of section 5 are as follows:

; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following:

(b)

Additional sanctions

The sanctions to be imposed on a sanctioned person under paragraphs (1)(B) and (2) of section 5(a) are as follows:

(1)

Foreign exchange

The President shall, under such regulations as the President may prescribe, prohibit any transactions in foreign exchange by the sanctioned person.

(2)

Banking transactions

The President shall, under such regulations as the President may prescribe, prohibit any transfers of credit or payments between, by, through, or to any financial institution, to the extent that such transfers or payments involve any interest of the sanctioned person.

(3)

Property transactions

The President shall, under such regulations as the President may prescribe, prohibit any acquisition, holding, withholding, use, transfer, withdrawal, transportation, importation, or exportation of, dealing in, or exercising any right, power, or privilege with respect to, or transactions involving, any property in which the sanctioned person has any interest by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

.

(c)

Presidential waiver

Section 9(c)(2) of such Act is amended by amending subparagraph (C) to read as follows:

(C)

an estimate of the significance of the provision of the items described in paragraph (1) or (2) of section 5(a) or section 5(b) to Iran’s ability to develop its petroleum resources, enhance its ability to import refined petroleum resources, or develop its weapons of mass destruction or other military capabilities (as the case may be); and

.

(d)

Reports on United States efforts To curtail certain business transactions relating to Iran

Section 10 of such Act is amended by adding at the end the following:

(d)

Reports on certain business transactions relating to Iran

(1)

In general

Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act, and every 6 months thereafter, the President shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees regarding any person who has—

(A)

provided Iran with refined petroleum resources;

(B)

engaged in any activity that could contribute to the enhancement of Iran’s ability to import refined petroleum resources; or

(C)

sold, leased, or provided to Iran any goods, services, or technology that would allow Iran to maintain or expand its domestic production of refined petroleum resources.

(2)

Description

For each activity set forth in subparagraphs (A) through (C) of paragraph (1), the President shall provide a complete and detailed description of such activity, including—

(A)

the date or dates of such activity;

(B)

the name of any persons who participated or invested in or facilitated such activity;

(C)

the United States domiciliary of the persons referred to in subparagraph (B);

(D)

any Federal Government contracts to which the persons referred to in subparagraph (B) are parties; and

(E)

the steps taken by the United States to respond to such activity.

(3)

Form of reports; publication

The reports required under this subsection shall be—

(A)

submitted in unclassified form, but may contain a classified annex; and

(B)

published in the Federal Register.

.

(e)

Clarification and expansion of definitions

Section 14 of such Act is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (13)(B)—

(A)

by inserting financial institution, insurer, underwriter, guarantor, any other business organization, including any foreign subsidiary, parent, or affiliate of such a business organization, after trust,; and

(B)

by inserting , such as an export credit agency before the semicolon at the end; and

(2)

in paragraph (14), by striking petroleum and natural gas resources and inserting petroleum, petroleum by-products, oil or liquefied natural gas, oil or liquefied natural gas tankers, and products used to construct or maintain pipelines used to transport oil or liquefied natural gas.

(f)

Conforming amendment

Section 4 of such Act is amended—

(1)

in subsection (b)(2), by striking (in addition to that provided in subsection (d)); and

(2)

by striking subsection (d).