Congressional aides said the bill was meant to block gasoline exports to
Iran. They said gasoline suppliers could be blocked from the U.S. banking
system in what could prevent them from doing business in many parts of the
"The UN sanctions, though a good first step, are quite tepid," Sen.
Barbara Mikulski said. "The United States therefore has to pass these
The Senate voted 99-0 for the sanctions. Hours later, the House approved
identical legislation by a vote of 408-8.
"This is the most significant legislation passed on Iran to date," Rep.
Brad Sherman, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism,
Nonproliferation and Trade, said. "Once signed into law, it will take a
number of steps to significantly increase the economic pressure on Iran.
Companies that participate in the development or maintenance of Iran’s
energy sector or sell gasoline to Iran will face stiff penalties."
"The illicit nuclear activities of the government of Iran, combined with
its development of unconventional weapons and ballistic missiles and its
support for international terrorism, represent a threat to the security of
the United States, its strong ally Israel, and other allies of the United
States around the world," the bill, titled "Comprehensive Iran Sanctions,
Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010," said.
The sanctions would also penalize foreign banks that work with the
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. IRGC has been deemed as the unit that
directs Iran's strategic programs, including ballistic missiles and nuclear
"Because of this legislation, we will be posing a choice to companies
around the world," Sen. John McCain said. "Do you want to do business with
Iran, or do you want to do business with the United States? We don't think
that's much of a choice, but we will force companies to make it."