Blumenthal Leads Senators in Calling for Clean Reauthorization of Iran Sanctions Act as Expiration Looms

[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today led a group of seven Senators calling for the clean reauthorization of the Iran Sanctions Act before it expires on December 31, 2016. This legislation is critical to deterring support of Iran’s nuclear weapons development and ensuring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action continues to prevent Iran from pursuing its nuclear ambitions. Today, the Senators sent a letter urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to prioritize passing the reauthorization of ISA when the Senate returns next month. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) also received a copy of the letter.

“We write to urge you to ensure the immediate, clean reauthorization of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (ISA), as it remains a critical tool to deter and impede individuals and entities supporting Iran’s development of conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction,” the Senators wrote. “Passing this vital legislation before its expiration is crucial to ensuring with the utmost certainty that the United States will continue to have the sanctions enforcement mechanism our national security demands.”

Today’s letter was also signed by: U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), U.S. Senator Jeffrey Merkley (D-OR), U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI).

Text of the letter is available here and copied below.

Dear Leader McConnell:

            We write to urge you to ensure the immediate, clean reauthorization of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (ISA), as it remains a critical tool to deter and impede individuals and entities supporting Iran’s development of conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction. During the remaining days of the 114th Congress, it is crucial that we act to renew this legislation before it expires on December 31, 2016. As cosponsors of S.3281 – which simply and cleanly reauthorizes ISA for another ten years – we implore you to prioritize passing S.3281 when the Senate returns to session next month. Passing this vital legislation before its expiration is crucial to ensuring with the utmost certainty that the United States will continue to have the sanctions enforcement mechanism our national security demands.

Furthermore, ISA renewal is essential to ensuring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) continues to prevent Iran from realizing its nuclear ambitions. For the United States to maintain its unambiguous ability to immediately snapback sanctions in the coming years, ISA must be renewed or we will surrender this critical capability. Reauthorization is a significant step that will send a strong signal to Iran that the United States remains fully committed to vigorously enforcing the JCPOA.

Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to working with you on this matter of crucial importance to our national security.

cc: Chairman Richard Shelby, Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

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