Congressional resolutions introduced affirming states’ right to sanction Iran

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Three senators introduced a resolution last week reaffirming congressional support for continued sanctions against Iran by state and local governments.

Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a GOP presidential candidate, introduced S.Con.Res.26, which affirms section 202 of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act of 2010 that authorizes state and local governments to “divest from, or prohibit investment of the assets of the state or local government” in persons deemed to engage in investment activities in Iran. The resolution further affirms that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action does not circumvent states’ legal authority to enact sanctions against Iran.


Thirty states and Washington have implemented Iran-related divestment sanctions and 11 of those states have laws or policies in place prohibiting state or local governments from awarding contracts to firms that do business with Iran.

“Iran is the world’s largest sponsor of terror, and we must do everything in our power to ensure that this regime is not able to use the money that it will receive through the Iran nuclear deal to continue its deplorable terrorist actions,” Manchin said in a statement.

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A companion measure was introduced in the House of Representatives on Dec. 1 by Reps. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) and Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), all three of whom are Jewish.

“State-level sanctions, which were authorized under bipartisan legislation signed into law by President Obama in 2010 and target Iran’s illicit non-nuclear activities, in no way contradict the agreement reached by [the negotiating partners] earlier this year,” Roskam said in a statement. “Nevertheless, we must take precautionary action to clarify Congress’s legislative intent to ensure state pension funds and contracts are not used to fund terrorism and atrocities against the Iranian people.”


 

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