RJC alerts on Iran sanctions


The Republican Jewish Coalition is urging its members to call their senators about an appropriations bill amendment. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. John Kyl (R-Ariz.), would prevent any appropriated funds from going to companies that help the Islamic Republic of Iran import or export energy or energy-related goods or materials. Here’s the action alert:

TO:         RJC Members
FROM:     RJC Legislative Affairs Committee
SUBJECT:  Urge Your Senators — Support Sen. Kyl’s Iran Sanctions Amendment.
 This week, the United States Senate is debating a massive appropriations bill to fund most government operations during the remaining months of the current fiscal year.

Yesterday, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) offered a critical amendment to ensure that none of the funds to be appropriated can go to companies that help the Islamic Republic of Iran import or export energy or energy-related goods or materials.

The Senate is expected to vote on the Kyl amendment as soon as today.Take Action:Contact both of your U.S. Senators and demand that they support the Kyl amendment and oppose any parliamentary effort to kill it or set it aside.

Information about how to contact your U.S. Senators can be found at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm — or by calling 202-224-3121.BackgroundDifficult as it may be to believe given the Iranian regime’s nuclear proliferation track record, energy-related assistance has flowed to it from the Export-Import Bank of the United States — to the tune of $900 million. The Bank claims that, absent a specific directive from Congress, its mandate precludes taking into account the fact that its assistance will materially aid Iran’s effort to obtain nuclear weapons with which it can threaten America and our allies.

As recently as this week, public reports have identified European corporations assisting Iran’s energy sector.

Although Iran produces a surplus of crude oil, it lacks the capacity to refine that oil into usable fuel.  As a result, it must import some 40 percent of the gas it needs.

During the presidential campaign last fall — including in the debates — then-Senator Obama urged sanctions aimed at exploiting this weakness as a way of pressuring Iran short of war:  "If we can prevent them from importing the gasoline that they need… that starts putting the squeeze on them."

More details on the Iranian regime’s refined petroleum vulnerability and efforts already undertaken by some policymakers to apply pressure there can be found in this very informative article by scholar Orde Kittrie.
Senate leaders will likely move to call a vote on the Kyl amendment — or initiate a parliamentary maneuver to kill it — today.  Your Senators need to hear from you as soon as possible.

Thanks for your support for this vital measure.

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