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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today praised committee passage of a bill he co-sponsored aimed at increasing pressure on Iran to dismantle its nuclear program amid ongoing negotiations with the United States and five other world powers. The legislation would impose more sanctions on Iran if a final nuclear agreement has not been reached by July, and would continue to increase sanctions for each additional month that an agreement has not been reached.

The Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015 would also require the president to formally submit the text of any final agreement with Iran, as well as a verification assessment report, to Congress within five days of reaching a final agreement.

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs approved the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015 by a bipartisan vote of 18-4 earlier today, Jan. 29, 2015. The measure will now be reported to the full Senate for consideration.

“Iranian leaders have demonstrated time and again that they are unwilling to take the proper steps to dismantle their nuclear program,” said Isakson. “It is critical that we clearly demonstrate to Iran that we will not be lied to, we will not be misled and that we expect them to honor their commitments. A nuclear program in Iran will fuel an arms race in an incredibly unstable region of the world, and the United States will not stand by and allow that to take place, especially at a time when the rest of the world is watching.”

Under the bipartisan legislation, which was introduced by Sens. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and Robert Menendez, D-N.J., following the submission of a potential agreement to Congress by the president, Congress then would have 30 working days to review the new agreement before the president could change current sanctions under the new agreement.

Additionally, the verification assessment report requires the U.S. Secretary of State to evaluate the extent to which the U.S. government will be able to monitor Iranian compliance with a comprehensive agreement.

If no final agreement between the United States and Iran is reached by June 30, 2015, the bill would re-impose sanctions against Iran that had been waived during the interim agreement. Then, the bill would also impose additional sanctions on Iran each month starting in August and ending in December 2015. These provisions close loopholes in existing petroleum sanctions, enhance sanctions on Iran’s oil trade and financial transactions and add sanctions on human rights violators and on Iran’s shipbuilding, automotive, construction, engineering and mining sectors.

The Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015 explicitly states that it is the policy of the United States that Iran will not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon capability, and that a long-term comprehensive solution with Iran will work best if the president consults with Congress. Further, the United States should continue to impose sanctions against Iran and its terrorist proxies for continued sponsorship of terrorism, for Iran’s ongoing abuses of human rights, its actions supporting Bashar al-Assad in Syria and for Iran’s activities related to the sale, procurement and delivery of weapons of mass destruction.

“We need to send a message to Iran with a strong Senate vote on this bill as soon as possible,” Isakson said.

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