New Penalties on Iran in Defense Bill

January 7, 2013

            On January 3, President Barack Obama signed a $633 billion defense bill for fiscal year 2013. The comprehensive appropriations bill will help “ensure the United States will continue to have the strongest military in the world,” Obama said.

            The legislation also contained tightened sanctions on Iran’s energy, shipbuilding and shipping sectors for producing revenue used for nuclear proliferation. In the bill, Congress expressed support for the Iranian people’s efforts to build a democratic political system and access information freely. The following are excerpts from the bill related to Iran, followed by a link to the full text.
 
Subtitle C—Matters Relating to Iran
SEC. 1231. REPORT ON UNITED STATES CAPABILITIES IN RELATION
TO CHINA, NORTH KOREA, AND IRAN.
(a) REPORT.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and not later than March 31, 2014, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in consultation with the
commanders of the relevant geographical and functional combatant commands, shall submit to the congressional defense committees a report on United States capabilities in relation to the People’s Republic of China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Iran…
 
SEC. 1233. SENSE OF CONGRESS WITH RESPECT TO IRAN.
It is the sense of Congress that the United States should be prepared to take all necessary measures, including military action if required, to prevent Iran from threatening the United
States, its allies, or Iran’s neighbors with a nuclear weapon.
 
SEC. 1234. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.
Nothing in this Act shall be construed as authorizing the use of force against Iran.
 
Subtitle D—Iran Sanctions
SEC. 1241. SHORT TITLE.
This subtitle may be cited as the ‘‘Iran Freedom and Counter-
Proliferation Act of 2012’’…
 
SEC. 1243. SENSE OF CONGRESS RELATING TO VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS BY IRAN.
(a) FINDING.—Congress finds that the interests of the United States and international peace are threatened by the ongoing and destabilizing actions of the Government of Iran, including its massive, systematic, and extraordinary violations of the human rights of its own citizens.
(b) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—It is the sense of Congress that
the United States should—
(1) deny the Government of Iran the ability to continue to oppress the people of Iran and to use violence and executions against pro-democracy protestors and regime opponents;
(2) fully and publicly support efforts made by the people of Iran to promote the establishment of basic freedoms that build the foundation for the emergence of a freely elected,
open, and democratic political system;
(3) help the people of Iran produce, access, and share information freely and safely via the Internet and through other media; and
(4) defeat all attempts by the Government of Iran to jam
or otherwise obstruct international satellite broadcast signals.
 
SEC. 1244. IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE
ENERGY, SHIPPING, AND SHIPBUILDING SECTORS OF
IRAN.
(a) FINDINGS.—Congress makes the following findings:
(1) Iran’s energy, shipping, and shipbuilding sectors and Iran’s ports are facilitating the Government of Iran’s nuclear proliferation activities by providing revenue to support proliferation activities…
(A) IN GENERAL.—On and after the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall block and prohibit all transactions in all property and interests in property of any person described in paragraph
(2) if such property and interests in property are in the United States, come within the United States, or are or come within the possession or control of a United
States person.
(B) EXCEPTION.—The requirement to block and prohibit all transactions in all property and interests in property under subparagraph (A) shall not include the authority to impose sanctions on the importation of goods…
(e) HUMANITARIAN EXCEPTION.—The President may not impose sanctions under this section with respect to any person for conducting or facilitating a transaction for the sale of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, or medical devices to Iran or for the provision of humanitarian assistance to the people of Iran…
 
SEC. 1245. IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE SALE,
SUPPLY, OR TRANSFER OF CERTAIN MATERIALS TO OR
FROM IRAN.
(a) SALE, SUPPLY, OR TRANSFER OF CERTAIN MATERIALS.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—The President shall impose 5 or more of the sanctions described in section 6(a) of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (Public Law 104–172; 50 U.S.C. 1701 note) with respect to a person if the President determines that the person knowingly, on or after the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, sells, supplies, or transfers,
directly or indirectly, to or from Iran—
(A) a precious metal;
(B) a material described in subsection (d) determined pursuant to subsection (e)(1) to be used by Iran as described in that subsection;
(C) any other material described in subsection (d) if—
(i) the material is—
(I) to be used in connection with the energy, shipping, or shipbuilding sectors of Iran or any
sector of the economy of Iran determined pursuant to subsection (e)(2) to be controlled directly or indirectly by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps;
(II) sold, supplied, or transferred to or from an Iranian person included on the list of specially
designated nationals and blocked persons maintained by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Department of the Treasury (other than an Iranian financial institution described in subsection
(b)); or
(III) determined pursuant to subsection (e)(3) to be used in connection with the nuclear, military, or ballistic missile programs of Iran; or
(ii) the material is resold, retransferred, or otherwise
supplied—
(I) to an end-user in a sector described in
subclause (I) of clause (i);
(II) to a person described in subclause (II)
of that clause; or
(III) for a program described in subclause (III)
of that clause.
(2) EXCEPTION.—The requirement to impose sanctions under paragraph (1) shall not include the authority to impose sanctions relating to the importation of goods under paragraph
(8)(A) or (12) of section 6(a) of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996,
and any sanction relating to the importation of goods shall
not count for purposes of the requirement to impose sanctions
under paragraph (1).
(b) IRANIAN FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS DESCRIBED.—An Iranian financial institution described in this subsection is an Iranian financial institution that has not been designated for the imposition of sanctions in connection with—
(1) Iran’s proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or
delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction;
(2) Iran’s support for international terrorism; or
(3) Iran’s abuses of human rights…
 
SEC. 1247. IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO FOREIGN
FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS THAT FACILITATE FINANCIAL
TRANSACTIONS ON BEHALF OF SPECIALLY DESIGNATED
NATIONALS.
(a) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in this section, the President shall prohibit the opening, and prohibit or impose strict conditions on the maintaining, in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account by a foreign financial institution that the President determines has, on or after the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, knowingly facilitated a significant financial transaction on behalf of any Iranian person included on the list of specially designated nationals and blocked persons maintained by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Department of the Treasury (other than an Iranian financial institution described in subsection (b)).
(b) IRANIAN FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS DESCRIBED.—An Iranian financial institution described in this subsection is an Iranian financial institution that has not been designated for the imposition of sanctions in connection with—
(1) Iran’s proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or
delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction;
(2) Iran’s support for international terrorism; or
(3) Iran’s abuses of human rights…
 
SEC. 1248. IMPOSITIONS OF SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE
ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN BROADCASTING.
(a) FINDINGS.—Congress makes the following findings:
(1) The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting has contributed to the infringement of individuals’ human rights by broadcasting forced televised confession and show trials.
(2) In March 2012, the European Council imposed sanctions on the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Ezzatollah Zargami, for broadcasting forced confessions of
detainees and a series of ‘‘show trials’’ in August 2009 and December 2011 that constituted a clear violation of international law with respect to the right to a fair trial and due process.
(b) IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—The President shall, after the date of
the enactment of this Act—
(A) impose sanctions described in section 105(c) of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (22 U.S.C. 8514(c)) with respect to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting and the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Ezzatollah Zargami; and
(B) include the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting and the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Ezzatollah Zargami, on the list of specially designated
nationals and blocked persons maintained by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Department of the Treasury.
(2) EXCEPTION.—The requirement to impose sanctions under paragraph (1)(A) shall not include the authority to impose sanctions on the importation of goods.
 
Click here for the full text of the bill.