US Congress has overwhelmingly passed tough new sanctions against Iran, targetting the Islamic Republic’s powerful Revolutionary Guards and country’s imports of gasoline and other refined energy products.
The bill now goes to the White House for President Barack Obama’s signature.
The Senate and House of Representatives in quick succession passed the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act. The House passed it by 408 to 8 votes.
Businesses that help supply Iran with refined petroleum or help develop the country’s own refining capacity would be penalised by the legislation.
In addition, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps comes under more scrutiny.
Any financial institutions found to be doing business with the Guard or with blacklisted Iranian banks could be denied access to the US financial system under the bill.
“The Senate is taking an important step forward today as we pass a conference report that will impose tough new sanctions on Iran. We are passing these sanctions because we believe we must stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon — a weapon that would threaten the national security of the US and of Israel,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
“Our goal is to target Iran where it will hurt the regime the most. These sanctions are related to Iran’s refined petroleum sector and international financial institutions that do business with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard and Iranian banks,” he said.