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September 09, 2008 

White House Threatens to Veto Defense Authorization Act Over Iran Sanctions Provisions

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) today indicated that the Bush Administration opposes the current version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (S. 3001) that is being considered in the Senate for a variety of reasons, including the inclusion of sanctions-related provisions that "would restrict the ability of the United States to deal effectively with the threats to regional security posed by the conduct of Iran."

With respect to Iran, the Statement of Administration Action on S. 2001 states:

The Administration strongly opposes proposed Iran sanctions legislation recently reported out of both the Senate Finance and Banking Committees. Most objectionable are certain provisions in the bill reported out of the former committee that would ban completely, until conditions are fulfilled, nuclear cooperation under proposed agreements for cooperation. The Administration has firmly and consistently maintained that conforming nuclear cooperation agreements should be dealt with only in accordance with existing provisions of section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act. The bills [sic] would also serve, if enacted, to divide the multilateral coalition that has come together to oppose Iran’s nuclear programs, by requiring the Administration to submit “blacklists” of foreign companies investing in Iran’s energy sector and determine whether each reported investment qualifies a sanctionable offense under the Iran Sanctions Act. The Administration continues to stress with our international partners that “business as usual” with Iran is ill-advised. As a result of our pressure and that of our international partners, several foreign firms have announced they will not be making further investments in Iran’s energy sector.




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