The Banking Committee meets this morning to hear testimony on the issue of re-authorization of the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, commonly known as ILSA. This act, which was passed by Congress in 1996, expires on August 5 of this year unless Congress re-authorizes it. I would like to note for the record that there is strong support in the Congress for a 5-year re-authorization, as 77 Senators have co-sponsored such legislation, led by Senators Chuck Schumer and Gordon Smith who appear before us today. In the House of Representatives, the International Relations Committee on June 20 passed a 5-year re-authorization of ILSA, including a strengthening of the Libyan component of the legislation, by a vote of 41 to 3.
ILSA was enacted in 1996 in response to Iran's support for terrorism and its pursuit of WMD (weapons of mass destruction)--policies that not only threaten the United States but our allies as well. Concerning Libya, ILSA was enacted to compel the regime in Tripoli to abide by all of the UN Security Council resolutions concerning the bombing of the Pan Am 103 flight.
ILSA requires the President of the United States to impose two out of a list of six sanctions against foreign firms that invest more than $20 million and $40 million in the energy sectors of Iran and Libya, respectively. It should be noted that ILSA would end if the President of the United States determines that Libya has fulfilled all UN Security Council resolutions relating to the bombing of Pan Am 103. For Iran, ILSA would terminate if Iran ceases its efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction and is removed from the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism. ILSA also contains a presidential waiver for U.S. national interest reasons or if the parent country of a violating firm agrees to impose economic sanctions on Iran.
Let me now turn to Iran. Iran's support for terrorism continues unabated. Indeed, the latest State Department report, Patterns of Global Terrorism, states: "Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism in 2000. Its Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) continued to be involved in the planning and execution of terrorist acts and continued to support a variety of groups that use terrorism to pursue their goals." Iran is also stepping up efforts to acquire WMD. The latest unclassified CIA report to Congress on world-wide WMD acquisition notes that: "Iran remains one of the most active countries seeking to acquire WMD and ACW (advanced chemical weapons) technology from abroad. In doing so Tehran is attempting to develop an indigenous capability to produce various types of weapons-chemical, biological, and nuclear-and their delivery systems."
As for Libya, it has fulfilled only one aspect of the UN Security Council resolutions related to the Pan Am 103 bombing-handing over suspects for trial. Libya has not fulfilled the requirement to pay compensation for the families of the victims, to accept responsibility for the actions of its intelligence officers and to fully renounce international terrorism. I would like to point out that President Bush on April 19 of this year stated: "We've made it clear to the Libyans that sanctions will remain until such time as they not only compensate for the bombing of the aircraft but also admit their guilt and express remorse."
Because Iran and Libya have clearly not fulfilled the requirements of the ILSA legislation, I think to terminate these sanctions would send the wrong message.
Just last week, indictments were handed down by our Justice Department in the Khobar Towers bombing case in which 19 of our airmen in Saudi Arabia were killed in 1996. Although the Justice Department did not indict Iran, Attorney General Ashcroft stated publicly that Iranian officials "inspired, supported and supervised members of Saudi Hezbollah" which carried out the attack.
I would like now to introduce our distinguished group of witnesses. In our first panel, our colleagues, Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Gordon Smith, will start off with their testimonies. Senator Schumer is a member of this Committee and Senator Smith is a member of the Foreign Relations Committee. Both are the original co-sponsors of the ILSA renewal legislation and are very knowledgeable about the issue. They will be followed by two witnesses from the State Department, the Honorable E. Anthony Wayne, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, and the Honorable James Larocco, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, both of whom will present the Administration's position.
In the second panel we will hear from Mrs. Stephanie Bernstein of the Justice for Pan Am 103 group; Dr. Patrick Clawson, Director for Research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy; Mr. Bradley Gordon, Legislative Director for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee; Mr. William Reinsch, President of the National Foreign Trade Council; and Mr. William Martin, Chairman of Washington Policy and Analysis.
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