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WASHINGTON, DC – Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer issued the following statement after the State Department announced sanctions on eight Iranian officials implicated in human rights violations and on the Naftiran Intertrade Company (NICO), which has spent millions in the Iranian petroleum sector. President Obama has also secured the commitment of major oil and gas companies, including Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Statoil, and ENI, to end their business dealings with Iran.
“With his Administration's action today, President Obama is now the first president to ever enforce Congressionally-mandated sanctions on Iran. This hard-hitting action demonstrates how serious the President and the Democratic Congress are about halting Iran’s dangerous pursuit of nuclear weapons. The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act, passed by this Congress and implemented by President Obama, brings strong economic pressure to bear on Iran, sending an unambiguous message to the regime in Tehran about the high costs of their nuclear pursuit. By imposing sanctions on Iranian officials who have violated the human rights of their own people, and on companies who invest in Iran’s energy sector, the United States is making crystal clear that we will not stand for Iran’s failure to comply with its international obligations or engage in constructive dialogue on its nuclear program.
“A nuclear Iran would pose a grave threat to regional stability and to the security of the United States and its allies—which is why President Obama has indicated that he intends to continue using the tools approved by Congress to put strong pressure on Iranian officials and companies. I hope that this unprecedented action to confront Iran will convince its leaders that continued pursuit of nuclear weapons, in defiance of the international community, results in severe consequences, including both increased economic pressure and international isolation. I strongly support the President’s actions today, which were clearly done with U.S. national security in mind.”