US House passes tougher Iran oil sanctions

US House passes tougher Iran oil sanctions
Thu Aug 1, 2013 08:40:15

The US House of Representatives has passed another bill to tighten its illegal sanctions on Iran, a move that came days before President-elect Hassan Rouhani is sworn in.

The bill, which passed 400 to 20, would cut Iran's oil exports by another 1 million barrels per day over a year.

It is the first sanctions bill to put a number on exactly how much Iran's oil exports should be cut.

The measure still has to be passed in the Senate and signed by President Barack Obama before becoming law.

The Senate Banking Committee is expected to introduce a similar bill in September.

However the vote also highlighted a growing divide between Congress and the Obama administration on Iran policy ahead of international talks on the nuclear program in coming months.

The United States has worked with Iran's top oil consumers including China, Japan and South Korea to push them toward alternative suppliers of crude.

Critics of the bill said it shows the US aggressive signal to Iran.

Washington’s previous measures against Iran’s oil sector have sent up global crude prices.

The US has imposed several rounds of illegal sanctions on Iran. Washington claims they are aimed at pressuring Tehran to abandon its nuclear energy program.

The United States, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.

Tehran has categorically rejected the accusation, arguing that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it is entitled to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

In addition, numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities by the IAEA have never found any evidence showing that the Iranian nuclear energy program has been diverted toward non-civilian purposes.


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