Senators Collins, Nelson Lead Bipartisan Letter Urging Administration to Preserve Maximum Strength of Sanctions Until Iran Abandons Its Illicit, Non-Nuclear Activities

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) led a bipartisan letter to President Barack Obama urging his Administration to ensure that sanctions imposed on Iran for illicit, non-nuclear activities, such as its material support for terrorism, development of ballistic missiles, and human rights abuses are rigorously enforced.  The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) does not require these sanctions to be waived.  The letter was signed by 35 Senators.

“Iran’s nefarious activities remain a threat to the integrity of the international financial system today,” the Senators wrote.  “It is one of two countries on the Financial Action Task Force’s blacklist of high-risk, non-cooperative countries for refusing to assist in the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.  Iran remains the number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world.”

“We urge you to ensure the maximum strength of existing sanctions on Iran, including the restriction on dollar-based transactions for Iran, until Iran changes its nefarious behavior,” the Senators continued.  “If Iran wants direct or indirect access to the U.S. financial system Iran can cease money laundering, proliferating weapons, developing ballistic missiles, and supporting terror.”

Click HERE to read the signed letter.  The full text of the letter is below:

Dear Mr. President:

            We write to express our concern that your Administration is considering accommodation of certain dollar-based transactions for Iran following implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), despite sanctions imposed on Iran because of illicit activity separate from its nuclear enrichment program.

            The prohibitions on Iran’s access to the U.S. financial system and the dollar were put in place, not only because of Iran’s illicit nuclear enrichment activities, but also because of Iran’s proliferation of weapons, development and testing of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, support for terrorism, sanctions evasion, and money laundering—activities that threatened the integrity of the international financial system as a whole.

            Iran’s nefarious activities remain a threat to the integrity of the international financial system today.  It is one of two countries on the Financial Action Task Force’s blacklist of high-risk, non-cooperative countries for refusing to assist in the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.  Iran remains the number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Additionally, Iran continues to transfer arms and test ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

            We welcome your Administration’s assurance that Iran will not gain direct access to the U.S. financial system.  As Iran seeks greater access to the global financial system, we urge you to take all action necessary to preserve the strength of U.S. sanctions imposed for Iran’s illicit non-nuclear activities—including preventing any indirect access to the U.S. financial system or the illegal use of dollars in Iranian trade.

            We urge you to ensure the maximum strength of existing sanctions on Iran, including the restriction on dollar-based transactions for Iran, until Iran changes its nefarious behavior.  If Iran wants direct or indirect access to the U.S. financial system, Iran can cease money laundering, proliferating weapons, developing ballistic missiles, and supporting terror.

Sincerely,