U.S. Congressman Mike Pence, a member of the Iran sanctions conference committee, issued the following statement regarding the announcement that Congress will miss the May 28 deadline to produce a final version of Iran sanctions legislation:
On April 22, 2010, the House voted 403 – 11 to instruct conferees to complete their work on Iran sanctions no later than May 28.
Despite this overwhelming directive, the House will recess later this week with no such agreement. This is unacceptable.
Iran continues to develop a nuclear weapon and the means with which to deliver it. Given Tehran’s long history of state-sponsored terrorism and outright hatred for our most cherished ally, Israel, time is of the essence.
With the centrifuges spinning in Iran at this very moment, Congress must confront the Iranian regime with bold action to deny Tehran a nuclear weapon. Unless we act now, Iran will soon emerge in the Middle East as a nuclear power that threatens the security of the United States and our allies in the region. Let me say: multilateral negotiations should not delay action by the U.S. Congress.
Congress must remain determined to send tough, meaningful sanctions legislation to the President as soon as possible.
H.R. 2194, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act would impose extensive sanctions on companies that do business in Iran’s energy sector, well beyond what the U.S. is seeking at the U.N. Security Council.
The House passed H.R. 2194 on December 15, 2009. The Senate passed its version, S. 2799, on March 11, 2010. The House and Senate subsequently agreed to form a committee of members of the House and Senate tasked with resolving the differences between the two versions of this legislation before final, compromise legislation can be passed by both chambers and presented to the President for his signature.