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Senator Kirk joins bill for Iran sanctions on Royal Dutch Shell

Senator Mark Kirk supports a measure for sanctions against companies doing business with Iran. (Getty Images)

FEBRUARY 17, 2011

Bi-partisan members of Congress, including an Illinois senator, are supporting a measure that aims to toughen sanctions against businesses that have relations with Iran.

The bill would require companies to report to the Securities and Exchange Commission any sanctionable investments in Iran and require U.S. Banks to report sanctionable activities by their banking customers.

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk says only one business has faced sanctions since an embargo against doing business with Iran was made law in 1996. Additional legislation was passed last year to make companies divest from Iran’s energy sector or face economic sanctions. The U.S. and other nations have been pressuring Iran to drop its uranium enrichment programs and prove the intent of their nuclear program.

Kirk says the Congressional Research Service has found 25 companies in possible violation of sanctions and the Government Accountability Office has identified 41.

Kirk says he hopes that the bill passes rapidly so that lawmakers can move on to a bigger issue. “I would hope we get this passed rapidly and then move on with the big thing, which is the United States cutting off the gasoline supply of Iran which is the only sanction which would really fully cripple the regime,” Kirk said.

At least 18 banks have been found to be in possible violation of Iran sanctions including Bank of America, Credit Suisse, HSBC USA , J.P. Morgan Chase, and BNY Mellon. Some companies include Alcatel-Lucent, Mitsubishi, and Royal Dutch Shell Netherlands.

Other members of Congress joining Kirk on this bill are U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Congressmen Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and Dan Burton (R-Ind.).

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