Senators urge Hillary to implement sanctions on Iran and China
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Last Updated: Wednesday, September 29, 2010, 10:35
Washington: Noting that Tehran is buying time by once again trying to enter negotiations on its controversial nuclear weapons programme, two Senators urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to toughen sanctions against Iran.

In a letter to Clinton, the two Senators John Kyl and Chuck Shumer, also called for taking actions against the Chinese companies who are continuing to do business with Iran in violations of the sanctions.

"We urge the Administration to take a firm position that until Iran agrees to halt all uranium enrichment, which is occurring in violation of UN Security Council Resolutions, and is fully in compliance with its IAEA safeguards commitments, the Administration will relentlessly pursue the strengthening of the web of sanctions against the regime,? The Senators said.

"We urge your Department, and we hope you will urge the rest of the Administration, to ensure, consistent with the new sanctions law passed by both Houses of Congress with virtual unanimity, and signed into law in July, that it will promptly penalize those companies that are continuing to supply Iran with refined petroleum products since the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions and Accountability and Divstment Act was signed into law".

According to reports, these would include Turkey's Turpas and China's Sinopec, National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), and Zhuhai Zhenrong.

The Senators also urged Clinton to designate banks, pursuant to the rule promulgated by the Treasury Department in July, to ensure Iranian banks are not able to participate in the international banking system; and impose sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran, also known as Bank Markazi, which for years has served as a channel for Iranian business and banks blacklisted by sanctions to access foreign markets, including markets in the US and Europe.

Both the senators also urged Clinton to prohibit companies that export sensitive communications jamming or monitoring technology to Iran, from entering into procurement contracts with the federal government.

"Last year the China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) reportedly replaced the Japanese firm Inpex and agreed to invest around USD 2 billion to develop the South Azadegan fields.

"CNPC and its subsidiary companies have also reportedly shipped gasoline to Iran and signed agreements to invest billions in other areas of Iran's energy sector," they wrote.

Observing that the window to stop the Iranian regime from obtaining a nuclear weapons capability through sanctions is rapidly closing, the Senators said: "We must do everything in our power to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability and keep this capability out of the hands of the violent extremist in Tehran".


First Published: Wednesday, September 29, 2010, 10:35

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