ADL Welcomes U.S. Senate And European Union Decisions To Pursue Additional Sanctions Against Iran

New York, NY, December 2, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed the U.S. Senate's unanimous approval of sanctions aimed at Iran's Central Bank, and the European Union decision in principle to adopt severe sanctions against Iran's financial system and energy sector.

The Menendez-Kirk amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, unanimously approved by the Senate in a strong show of bipartisanship, would sanction financial institutions that do business with Iran's Central Bank, Iran's clearing house for oil export transactions. The intent of the legislation is to progressively impair the regime's ability to sell oil, allowing buyers some time to find other sources and avoiding shocks to the global oil market.

"The Menendez-Kirk amendment presents financial institutions with a choice: do business in the U.S. or with Iran. By targeting the lifeblood of the Iranian regime, its oil revenue, the regime will be forced to choose between abandoning its nuclear weapons program and economic collapse," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Only such severe sanctions have a chance of compelling the regime to give up its nuclear weapons ambitions, and we look forward to the legislation's enactment."

The League congratulated the legislation's co-sponsors, Sens. Robert Menendez, D-NJ, and Mark Kirk, R-IL, and praised members of the Senate for demonstrating strong bipartisan determination to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capacity.

Meanwhile, meeting in Brussels, the E.U.'s Foreign Affairs Council adopted a statement in which the council agreed to develop severe sanctions aimed at the Iranian financial, transport and energy sectors.

"The United Kingdom has taken the lead by unilaterally sanctioning Iran's Central Bank and the E.U. should follow," said Mr. Foxman. "An E.U.-wide ban on importing Iranian oil would have a significant financial impact on Iran and also prove that targeting Iran's oil export revenue is a real option to compel the regime to abandon its nuclear weapons program."

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