Hoeven: Meeting With Netanyahu Reaffirms Need for Full and Timely Iran Sanction

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today said that his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reaffirmed the need to fully implement U.S. sanctions on Iran in a timely manner.

Hoeven, along with a bipartisan delegation of senators including Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), met with Netanyahu this week in Jerusalem to discuss the steps needed to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability. Hoeven, along with Senator Graham and 34 other senators, sponsored a resolution Feb. 16 calling for timely imposition of sanctions Congress passed in December to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

“It’s clear that Iran is continuing to work toward nuclear capability, which poses a threat not just to Israel but the world. If Iran were to succeed, it would create an arms race in the Middle East for other countries to develop these weapons of mass destruction as well. The sanctions we’ve passed in the Senate can be effective but must be fully implemented to work,” Hoeven said. “We’ve sponsored the new resolution to press for full implementation of the sanctions, and to provide support for the Obama Administration to resist diplomatic pressure not to implement the sanctions fully.”

The Administration has until June to implement them and has authority to provide exemptions, but Hoeven and others want President Obama to move aggressively in light of recent events in Iran.

Passed in December as part of the Defense Authorization bill, these sanctions would bar any country or company that does business with the Iranian Central Bank from doing business with the United States banking system. Since Iran receives payments for its oil sales through the Iranian Central Bank, sanctions would prevent companies and countries from paying for Iranian oil, unless they were willing not to do business with the United States banking system. The sanctions would therefore make it very difficult for Iran to sell its oil to countries throughout the world, which would severely impact the country’s revenues, forcing Iran to discontinue its nuclear ambitions.