House passes bill to expand sanctions on Iran

Reuters News
|
Posted: Dec 14, 2011 7:03 PM
House passes bill to expand sanctions on Iran

By Susan Cornwell

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation on Wednesday that would expand sanctions on Iran, cracking down on a wider range of energy issues and closing some loopholes in existing energy and financial sanctions.

Some senators in both parties are also working on legistlation to tighten sanctions on Iran, the world's fifth biggest oil exporter, because of concerns it is developing a nuclear bomb.

In a 410-11 vote, the House passed a bill that would expand sanctions on companies involved in the oil industry, including on investments, selling Iran goods or services used in refineries, or providing Iran with refined products worth $5 million or more in a year.

The bill would also place sanctions on developing infrastructure or ports, or buying Iranian sovereign debt.

Earlier this week, congressional leaders agreed to legislation on new sanctions on Iran's central bank that they hope to quickly pass.

(Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton)