Congress Overwhelmingly Passes New Iran Sanctions / jason Ditz

Following a unanimous vote in the Senate earlier today, the House of Representatives tonight voted 408-8 to approve the massive new sanctions against Iran earlier this week, which center on forcing non-US companies to participate in the US embargo on Iran’s energy industry.

In the House of Representatives only two Republicans, Reps. Ron Paul (R – TX) and Jeff Flake (R – AZ), and six Democrats, Rep.s John Conyers (D – MI), Pete Stark (D – CA), Brian Baird (D – WA), Tammy Baldwin (D – WI), Earl Blumenauer (D – OR) and Dennis Kucinich (D – OH) opposed the bill.

Beyond punishing companies that do business with Iran’s oil and gas sector, the new sanctions will also expand the list of Iranian goods that are not allowed to enter the United States, and would encourage state and local governments to ‘divest’ from companies that flaunt the restrictions.

The sanctions are in addition to the sanctions announced last week by the Treasury Department, and the sanctions which the United Nations Security Council announced a week before that. Supporters say the sanctions are meant to “punish” Iran for an attempt to produce a nuclear weapon, though even America’s most recent National Intelligence Estimate says Iran doesn’t have any such program, and Iran is confirmed to not be enriching uranium beyond the level for civilian use.

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