Iran Threat Reduction Act set to be approved

The “Iran Threat Reduction Act” which Jim reported on in detail looks like it’s gaining swift approval in congress, just like lead sponsor Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen hoped it would.

As of early Friday morning, S.1048 has been signed by 38 Democrats and 39 Republicans and H.R. 1905 has been signed by 139 Democrats and 211 Republicans.

A reminder of what its enactment could entail if its most draconian measures are not removed:

Among other provisions, it would sharply reduce the president’s authority to waive existing sanctions against any individual, company or country doing business with Iran; expand existing sanctions against companies that sell Iran refined petroleum to include any barter transactions; and impose sanctions against any individual, company or country that conducts a transaction with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which is believed to control as much as 40 percent of the Iran’s national economy.

Three last-minute additions to the bill also attracted special notice.

One provision would eliminate the president’s authority to waive, for humanitarian reasons, sanctions against companies that sell spare parts or repair services to Iran’s civilian aircraft industry, which has suffered more than 1,000 deaths in plane crashes over the past decade, in major part due to faulty or worn-out equipment.

A second provision would ban any contact between any person employed by the U.S. government and any Iranian official or agent unless the president certifies to Congress at least 15 days in advance that a failure to make such a contact “would pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the vital national security interests of the United States”.

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Jasmin Ramsey

Jasmin Ramsey is an Iranian-born journalist based in Washington, DC.