The U.S. House of Representatives again overwhelmingly approved Iran sanctions legislation. The bill approved Friday evening in a voice vote was a consolidation of two other bills the House had already approved in this Congress, now winding down its business ahead of the general election. The two other bills, strongly supported by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, had been stymied in the U.S. Senate by Republican parliamentary maneuvers, and the vote Friday was a last-ditch attempt by Democrats to ram through new sanctions legislation. Like the earlier bills, the new measure would close loopholes allowing U.S. companies to operate foreign subsidiaries that deal with Iran, expand the range of sanctions against foreign entities that deal with Iran and facilitate divestment from Iran for pensions. The White House had opposed the legislation because of its encroachment on the president’s foreign policy prerogatives, but it was never clear why Senate Republicans — who voice support for sanctions — opposed it. Senate Democrats accused the GOP of seeking to deny a legislative victory to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who authored the divestment language and is running this year for president. The new legislation also nods to concerns about a posture against Iran that could exacerbate tensions in the effort to get the Islamic Republic to end its suspected nuclear weapons program. “The legislation before us also reaffirms our nation’s commitment to multilateral diplomacy to increase pressure on Iran to give up its nuclear weapons program, and it explicitly states that nothing in this act authorizes the use of force,” said U.S. Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee in introducing the legislation Friday.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.