July 18, 2008


WASHINGTON, DC – Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Richard Shelby (R-AL), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, today announced that the Committee passed “The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2008” by a vote of 19 to 2.  The Banking Committee exercises jurisdiction over virtually all aspects of U.S financial and economic sanctions policy toward Iran, including the U.S. trade and investment ban administered by the Treasury Department; sanctions against foreign companies that invest substantially in the energy sector; and targeted financial measures, including freezing the assets of individuals involved in proliferation.
“This bipartisan legislation will strengthen America’s leadership in the effort to bring peace and stability to the Middle East,” said Dodd.  “Targeted and strategic, the bill is designed to maximize the economic leverage on Iran’s leaders to bring them to the negotiating table by tightening economic sanctions and authorizing divestment from companies that do business with Iran’s key oil sector.  The legislation also cracks down on the illegal diversion of sensitive U.S. technologies to Iran. I look forward to working with Majority Leader Reid, Republican Leader McConnell and Senator Shelby to bring this bipartisan legislation to the Senate floor, and hope it will be acted upon by the full Senate soon.”
“Given the magnitude of the threat Iran poses to American interests and global stability, it is essential that the Congress arm the Executive branch with the tools necessary to deter and change Iran's current behavior in a manner that promotes peace,” said Shelby.  “In my judgment, this legislation gives the President additional leverage to meet that goal, and I look forward to working with Chairman Dodd and leadership to advance it through the legislative process.”
A detailed summary of the legislation is attached.