House representatives have recently passed legislation to impose further sanctions on Iran for its missile work, human rights violations and acts of terrorism.
Sanctions were, however, not imposed for Iran's nuclear program. The bill drafters avoided the proposal of any actions contrary to Iran's nuclear agreement. The agreement bars new nuclear sanctions but not sanctions for other purposes.
Two bills were passed by the House recently. The first bill, HR 5631, provides for new sanctions. The second bill, HR 4992, serves to prevent Iran from gaining access to the U.S. financial system.
The first House bill imposes sanctions on Iran's Supreme Leader, the president and other senior officials of the Islamic Republic. These individuals are barred from obtaining visas. The visa ban is, however, lifted on visits to the United Nations. Furthermore, any assets belonging to them which may be found in the United States will be frozen. A recent report has been issued by the Treasury Department and indicates that no assets have been frozen in the United States for any person sanctioned for acts of terrorism. These sanctions have little if any impact and are not very practical.
The first House bill also insists on the Treasury Department drawing up a list of the Pasdaran's assets in Iran. A list of assets will make it easier for foreign firms to invest in Iran and not accidentally do business with the Pasdaran. Should this happen, a foreign firm would be able to defend itself in saying that the U.S. Treasury was not aware that the investment was Pasdar-owned, and it is thus not possible for them to have access to such information either.
The first bill also outlines what exactly is intended by the "policy of the United States." Six goals for first bill include:
To support the efforts of the people of Iran in promoting the establishment of basic freedom in Iran.
To lay the foundation for a freely elected, open, and democratic political system in Iran to emerge. One which is not a threat to neighboring countries or the United States and to work with the citizens of Iran who agree with such a political system.
Support the emergence of a government in Iran that does not oppress its people or persecute, intimidate, arrest, imprison, or execute dissidents or minorities.
To serve as advocates on behalf of Iranians persecuted for their religion or belief.
Assist the people of Iran so that they may produce, access, and share information with one another freely and safely via the Internet and other media.
Defeat the attempts by the Government of Iran to obstruct international satellite broadcast signals.
One day before the passing of the two bills, House passed another piece of legislation which forbids the US government from purchasing any heavy water from Iran. Shortly before the legislation was passed, both nations confirmed that the United States had purchased 32 tons of heavy water from Iran for $8.5 million.