Menendez and Kirk Include Language in the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization to Prohibit Assistance That Could Benefit Iran’s Effort to Acquire Nuclear Weapons Technology

Menendez and Kirk Include Language in the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization to Prohibit Assistance That Could Benefit Iran’s Effort to Acquire Nuclear Weapons Technology

Washington - Senators Menendez and Kirk secured passage of critical language in the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act, which will: 1) prohibit the Export-Import Bank from extending guarantees, insurance or extensions of credit to U.S. companies or their subsidiaries that are violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and 2) ban export assistance for foreign projects where a controlling sponsor is doing sanctionable business with Iran.

This amendment will prohibit the Export-Import Bank from assisting entities like India's Reliance Industries, which was selling refined petroleum to Iran. In 2007-08, the Bank provided $900 million in loan guarantees for exports and services to Reliance, including $400 million to help finance the Jamnagar refinery, which was in turn selling refined petroleum products to Iran.

"It is important that we use every opportunity and channel to impede Iran's relentless drive to develop nuclear weapons. The new Iran sanctions law passed by Congress in 2010 and the Obama Administration's efforts to multilateralize sanctions have made a difference, but Iran's mullahs are persistent. Just last week, the IAEA confirmed that Iran is loading P-2 centrifuges at Qom, which will allow Iran to significantly enhance its uranium enrichment capacity. As long as Iran continues on her march toward nuclear weapons, we will continue to expand and enhance our efforts to stall and thwart her achievement," Menendez stated after the business meeting in the Senate Banking Committee.

"This amendment ensures that taxpayer dollars will not help the Iranian government avoid sanctions for building nuclear weapons," said Senator Kirk. "We should now move beyond this step to the one recommended in August by 91 Senators: collapse the Central Bank of Iran."

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