H.R. 850: Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013

H.R. 850

Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013

Sponsor
Rep. Ed Royce

Date
July 31, 2013 (113th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, July 31, 2013 the House will consider H.R. 850, the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013, under a suspension of the rules.  The bill was introduced on February 27, 2013 by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) and referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, which ordered the bill to be reported, as amended by unanimous consent.  The bill was also referred to the Committees on Judiciary, Financial Services, Oversight and Government Reform, and Ways and Means, all of which waived consideration.

Bill Summary

H.R. 850 is intended to impose additional human rights and economic and financial sanctions on Iran.  This legislation strengthens existing sanctions by compelling countries to reduce their combined purchases of crude oil by 1,000,000 barrels.  In addition, it continues to put an economic squeeze on foreign financial institutions, corporations, and individuals who make large economic exchanges with the Iranian government.  Moreover, it places further sanctions on Iranian industry and further limits Iran’s ability to engage in international commerce while preventing Tehran from accessing overseas foreign currency reserves.  The bill is broken into three major sections.

Title I of H.R. 850 concerns sanctions related to human rights and terrorism.  First, it directs the Secretary of State to determine if Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) meets the criteria to be designated as a foreign terrorist organization, and if so, designate it as such.  If it does not meet the criteria, a report must be submitted to Congress outlining which criteria it does not meet.  Next, it expresses the finding and sense of Congress regarding imposing further sanctions on Iranian government officials who are responsible or complicit in human rights abuses.  Furthermore, it amends the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 to establish mandatory sanctions with respect to financial institutions that engage in certain transactions on behalf of persons involved in human rights abuses or that export sensitive technology to Iran.

Title II of H.R. 850 concerns economic and financial sanctions.  First, it amends the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 to authorize the President to impose sanctions on a foreign national who has conducted a significant transaction with the Central Bank of Iran or another Iran financial institution subject to sanction for the purchase of goods (other than petroleum or petroleum products) or services.  It excludes the sale of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, or medical devices to Iran.  Next, it directs the President to impose specified sanctions on foreign financial institutions that knowingly facilitated a financial transaction on behalf of any person included on the list of blocked persons maintained by the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.  Finally, it expresses the sense of Congress that the President should coordinate with the European Union (EU) and its member states to restrict Iran’s access to the euro.

Title III directs the President to submit a report in 60 days regarding the progress of Iran’s nuclear program as well as on the effects of economic sanctions upon Iran.  In addition, it directs the President to develop a National Strategy on Iran that provides strategic guidance for addressing threats posed by Iran.  Finally it requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to report to Congress regarding the President’s implementation of specified sanctions on Iran.

Background

The legislation has been drafted in response to further non-compliance by the Government of Iran regarding the development of nuclear weapons.  The United States has imposed a series of sanctions against Iran.  On June 3, the Obama Administration imposed a new set of sanctions which went into effect July 1, 2013.  These sanctions were in response to Iran’s “continued failure to meet its international obligations,” in clear reference to its nuclear energy program.[1]  Included were further sanctions upon foreign financial institution who have conducted significant transactions in Iran’s national currency, companies or individuals who do business with Iran’s automotive industry, Iranian companies with American assets, and foreign companies that help Iran evade sanctions.  The cumulative effect of sanctions has been significant: its major currency, the rial, has lost about half of its value since a year ago.

Cost

The CBO estimates that H.R. 850 would have discretionary costs of about $22 million over the 2014-2018 period, assuming appropriation of the estimated amounts.[1] 

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.