House Votes to Impose Tough Sanctions Against Iran

The House of Representatives approved strong, new sanctions against Iran Thursday. The bill punishes foreign energy and financial firms that do business with the rogue regime.

Though it has ample oil reserves, Iran does not have much refining capacity. The sanctions act empowers the president to penalize foreign firms that export gasoline and other refined petroleum products to Iran as a way to exploit that weakness. The measure also prohibits U.S. banks from doing business with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Congress and the White House hope it cane force the regime to abandon its quest for nuclear weapons by attacking Iran’s energy and financial sectors. The sanctions legislation is intended to compliment a fourth round of U.N. Security Council sanctions. Those penalties also took aim at Iran’s Revolutionary Guard along with its investments in ballistic missile and nuclear materials.

The House okayed the package 408-8. Six Democrats and two Republicans voted nay. They were Reps. Ron Paul (R-TX), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Pete Stark (D-CA), John Conyers (D-MI), Brian Baird (D-WA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) voted present.

Earlier Thursday, the Senate approved the sanctions act 99-0.

The bill now heads to President Obama’s desk for his signature.