April 12, 2010 | Press Release

House Approves Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2009

House Approves Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2009
Sanctions on gasoline sales to Iran also needed to increase pressure on the regime

Washington, D.C. (October 14, 2009) – The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) today praised the U.S. House of Representatives for approving sanctions legislation targeting investments in Iran’s energy sector.

The House voted 414 to 6 to approve the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2009, which was sponsored by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and has 257 bipartisan cosponsors. The legislation authorizes state and local governments to direct divestiture from, and prevent investment in, companies invested in Iran’s energy sector. It would also protect fund managers from shareholder lawsuits if they divest from energy companies that do business with Iran.

“These sanctions are part of an economic warfare strategy against the Iranian regime,” said FDD Executive Director Mark Dubowitz. “The goal of these sanctions is to ratchet up the economic pressure on a regime which has squandered Iran’s oil wealth through egregious corruption and mismanagement as well as an obsessive drive to build a nuclear bomb at the expense of improving the livelihood of its people.”

“Passage of this legislation is an important step, one that will put the Iranian regime on notice that the U.S. will not allow negotiations to continue indefinitely,” said Dubowitz, who leads FDD’s Iran Energy Project. “There is major legislation now pending in both the House and Senate, including the bipartisan Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act, which will significantly increase the pressure on the regime. Iran must import up to 40% of the gasoline it needs to fuel its economy. Passage of gasoline sanctions legislation will drive up prices, increase inflation, compound Iran’s enormous economic difficulties, and further inflame a population simmering with deep resentment for a tyrannical regime that has lost all political legitimacy.”

On March 12, 2009, FDD Senior Fellow Orde Kittrie testified before a subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee on the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act.

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies has researched the energy companies that supply Iran with gasoline and identified significant points of leverage that can be used to convince them to end their trade. It has also conducted extensive research on the insurance and reinsurance companies that facilitate gasoline sales to Iran.

For more information on FDD’s Iran Energy Project, the companies involved in supplying Iran with gasoline, and ways to significantly reduce Iran’s gasoline imports, please visit IranEnergyProject.org or contact Judy Mayka at
[email protected]
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The Foundation for Defense of Democracies is a non-profit, non-partisan policy institute dedicated exclusively to promoting pluralism, defending democratic values, and fighting the ideologies that drive terrorism. Founded shortly after the attacks of 9/11, FDD combines policy research, democracy and counterterrorism education, strategic communications, and investigative journalism in support of its mission. For more information, please visit www.defenddemocracy.org.