Menendez Calls for More Iran Sanctions

Menendez Calls for More Iran Sanctions

Washington - In response to a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency released today that provides strong evidence that Iran has the technology, materials, and knowledge to build a nuclear weapons program,U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee and Banking Committees, renewed his call for additional sanctions and consideration by the Senate of his legislation to strengthen U.S. sanctions policy. Menendez released the following statement:

"Today is the last day that the world can bury its head in the sand and pretend that Iran has no intention of doing whatever it takes to acquire a nuclear weapon. And today's IAEA report should convince anyone but the most biased observer that Iran's nuclear program is not just for peaceful purposes. The report makes clear that Iran is using back channels to acquire dual-use technology, materials and information critical to the development of a nuclear weapon and that Iran may be working on an indigenous design for a nuclear payload small enough to fit on Iran's long-range Shahab 3 missile - a missile capable of reaching Israel.

"The Iranian regime is a growing threat that must be deterred. The international community must take steps now - not tomorrow - to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. We need to respond to Iran with even tougher sanctions, make the U.S. an Iranian oil free zone, step up sanctions on the IRGC, and sanction the Iranian Central Bank and countries like China and Russia that flaunt our sanctions and have provided critical scientific knowledge to the Iranians.

"In May, along with Senators Lieberman, Kyl, Gillibrand, Casey, Kirk, and Collins, I introduced the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Sanctions Consolidation Act of 2011, a bill that recognizes that if Iran's principal goal is to acquire weapons of mass destruction, then it must also be the policy of the United States to prevent the Islamic Republic of Iran from acquiring the capability to threaten its neighbors. We are also working closely with the Banking Committee to move this legislation forward and I call on my colleagues to immediately pass enhanced sanctions legislation and cut off the head of the dragon that threatens Israel and the world before it is too late."