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September 28, 2008 

House Passes Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act

In an unusual move, the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday evening passed by a voice vote H.R. 7112, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act.

H.R. 7112 was introduced by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA) at the last minute and was not considered by the Foreign Affairs Committee. This bill is a diluted version of similar legislation that previously passed the House and was attempted to be included without success in S. 3001, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009, by Senators Dodd (D-CT) and Shelby (R-AL) last week.

Among other things, H.R. 7112 does the following:

  • Making a U.S. parent company liable for the violation of U.S. Iran sanctions if the parent company uses a foreign subsidiary to circumvent sanctions;
  • Freezing assets in the U.S. held by Iranians closely tied to the regime;
  • Increasing the ability of the Treasury Department to combat terrorist financing;
  • Authorizing state and local governments to divest from any company that invests $20 million or more in Iran's energy sector or extending this amount of credit;
  • Increasing U.S. export controls on countries that are directly involved in trans-shipment or illegal diversion of sensitive technologies to Iran;
  • Requiring the Administration to report all foreign investments of $20 million or more made in Iran's energy sector and to determine whether each such investment qualifies as sanctionable under the Iran Sanctions Act.




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