ADL Welcomes Bipartisan Iran Sanctions Bill

New York, NY, December 19, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed a bipartisan Iran sanctions bill introduced in the Senate and urged Congress to work with the administration as the bill moves forward to ensure that Iran gives up its nuclear weapons program.

The Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act, when implemented, will strengthen existing sanctions and puts forward future sanctions that would be triggered should Iran violate the interim Joint Plan of Action agreed to in Geneva or should the talks fail to reach a final agreement.

The bill calls for further reductions in the purchase of Iranian oil expanding those provisions to include other petroleum products and applying new penalties to other parts of Iran’s economy, including the engineering, mining and construction sectors.

Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director issued the following statement:

This bill further enhances the American strategy of tough sanctions in support of our negotiation efforts.  By putting in place broader and deeper sanctions that would kick in after a year, the legislation makes clear to Iran the severe economic price it will pay if it does not negotiate seriously and plays for time.  It also gives the administration time to pursue negotiations to end Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

We commend the leadership of Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Chair, Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and the other co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle for seeking to strengthen the U.S. hand through well-crafted sanctions.

The administration has also sent a message to those who may think now is the time to pursue new business opportunities with Iran by announcing a series of enforcement actions last week against entities found to be evading sanctions against Iran and providing support for its nuclear program. 

Both branches of government have vital roles to play. Far from being a step which will make war more likely, as some claim, enhanced sanctions together with negotiations will sustain the utmost pressure on a regime that poses a threat to America and our closest allies in the Middle East and offer a greater chance of achieving success through diplomacy.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.