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Congress & the Middle East:
Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996

(January 3, 1996)


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In January 1996, the House of Representatives passed the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act . The law imposes sanctions on foreign companies that invest $40 million or more in these two countries' energy sectors and was created in response to these two countries' support for international terrorism, their efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction, and their efforts to derail the peace process. The bill was signed into law on August 5, 1996 and was renewed in July 2001.

H.R.3107

An Act

To impose sanctions on persons making certain investments directly and significantly contributing to the enhancement of the ability of Iran or Libya to develop its petroleum resources, and on persons exporting certain items that enhance Libya's weapons or aviation capabilities or enhance Libya's ability to develop its petroleum resources, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

The Congress makes the following findings:

(1) The efforts of the Government of Iran to acquire weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them and its support of acts of international terrorism endanger the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and those countries with which the United States shares common strategic and foreign policy objectives.

(2) The objective of preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and acts of international terrorism through existing multilateral and bilateral initiatives requires additional efforts to deny Iran the financial means to sustain its nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile weapons programs.

(3) The Government of Iran uses its diplomatic facilities and quasigovernmental institutions outside of Iran to promote acts of international terrorism and assist its nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile weapons programs.

(4) The failure of the Government of Libya to comply with Resolutions 731, 748, and 883 of the Security Council of the United Nations, its support of international terrorism, and its efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction constitute a threat to international peace and security that endangers the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and those countries with which it shares common strategic and foreign policy objectives.

SEC. 3. DECLARATION OF POLICY.

(a) POLICY WITH RESPECT TO IRAN - The Congress declares that it is the policy of the United States to deny Iran the ability to support acts of international terrorism and to fund the development and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them by limiting the development of Iran's ability to explore for, extract, refine, or transport by pipeline petroleum resources of Iran .

(b) POLICY WITH RESPECT TO LIBYA - The Congress further declares that it is the policy of the United States to seek full compliance by Libya with its obligations under Resolutions 731, 748, and 883 of the Security Council of the United Nations, including ending all support for acts of international terrorism and efforts to develop or acquire weapons of mass destruction.

SEC. 4. MULTILATERAL REGIME.

(a) MULTILATERAL NEGOTIATIONS- In order to further the objectives of section 3, the Congress urges the President to commence immediately diplomatic efforts, both in appropriate international fora such as the United Nations, and bilaterally with allies of the United States, to establish a multilateral sanctions regime against Iran , including provisions limiting the development of petroleum resources, that will inhibit Iran's efforts to carry out activities described in section 2.

(b) REPORTS TO CONGRESS- The President shall report to the appropriate congressional committees, not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, and periodically thereafter, on the extent that diplomatic efforts described in subsection (a) have been successful. Each report shall include--

(1) the countries that have agreed to undertake measures to further the objectives of section 3 with respect to Iran , and a description of those measures; and

(2) the countries that have not agreed to measures described in paragraph (1), and, with respect to those countries, other measures (in addition to that provided in subsection (d)) the President recommends that the United States take to further the objectives of section 3 with respect to Iran .

(c) WAIVER- The President may waive the application of section 5(a) with respect to nationals of a country if--

(1) that country has agreed to undertake substantial measures, including economic sanctions, that will inhibit Iran's efforts to carry out activities described in section 2 and information required by subsection (b)(1) has been included in a report submitted under subsection (b); and (2) the President, at least 30 days before the waiver takes effect, notifies the appropriate congressional committees of his intention to exercise the waiver.

(d) ENHANCED SANCTION-

(1) SANCTION- With respect to nationals of countries except those with respect to which the President has exercised the waiver authority of subsection (c), at any time after the first report is required to be submitted under subsection (b), section 5(a) shall be applied by substituting `$20,000,000' for `$40,000,000' each place it appears, and by substituting `$5,000,000' for `$10,000,000'.

(2) REPORT TO CONGRESS- The President shall report to the appropriate congressional committees any country with respect to which paragraph (1) applies.

(e) INTERIM REPORT ON MULTILATERAL SANCTIONS; MONITORING-The President, not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, shall report to the appropriate congressional committees on--

(1) whether the member states of the European Union, the Republic of Korea, Australia, Israel, or Japan ha ve legislative or administrative standards providing for the imposition of trade sanctions on persons or their affiliates doing business or having investments in Iran or Libya ;

(2) the extent and duration of each instance of the application of such sanctions; and

(3) the disposition of any decision with respect to such sanctions by the World Trade Organization or its predecessor organization.

SEC. 5. IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS.

(a) SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO IRAN - Except as provided in subsection (f), the President shall impose 2 or more of the sanctions described in paragraphs (1) through (6) of section 6 if the President determines that a person has, with actual knowledge, on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, made an investment of $40,000,000 or more (or any combination of investments of at least $10,000,000 each, which in the aggregate equals or exceeds $40,000,000 in any 12-month period), that directly and significantly contributed to the enhancement of Iran's ability to develop petroleum resources of Iran .

(b) MANDATORY SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO LIBYA -

(1) VIOLATIONS OF PROHIBITED TRANSACTIONS- Except as provided in subsection (f), the President shall impose 2 or more of the sanctions described in paragraphs (1) through (6) of section 6 if the President determines that a person has, with actual knowledge, on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, exported, transferred, or otherwise provided to Libya any goods, services, technology, or other items the provision of which is prohibited under paragraph 4(b) or 5 of Resolution 748 of the Security Council of the United Nations, adopted March 31, 1992, or under paragraph 5 or 6 of Resolution 883 of the Security Council of the United Nations, adopted November 11, 1993, if the provision of such items significantly and materially--

(A) contributed to Libya's ability to acquire chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons or destabilizing numbers and types ofadvanced conventional weapons or enhanced Libya's military or paramilitary capabilities;

(B) contributed to Libya's ability to develop its petroleum resources; or

(C) contributed to Libya's ability to maintain its aviation capabilities.

(2) INVESTMENTS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF PETROLEUM RESOURCES- Except as provided in subsection (f), the President shall impose 2 or more of the sanctions described in paragraphs (1) through (6) of section 6 if the President determines that a person has, with actual knowledge, on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, made an investment of $40,000,000 or more (or any combination of investments of at least $10,000,000 each, which in the aggregate equals or exceeds $40,000,000 in any 12-month period), that directly and significantly contributed to the enhancement of Libya's ability to develop its petroleum resources.

(c) PERSONS AGAINST WHICH THE SANCTIONS ARE TO BE IMPOSED-

The sanctions described in subsections (a) and (b) shall be imposed on--

(1) any person the President determines has carried out the activities described in subsection (a) or (b); and

(2) any person the President determines--

(A) is a successor entity to the person referred to in paragraph (1);

(B) is a parent or subsidiary of the person referred to in paragraph

(1) if that parent or subsidiary, with actual knowledge, engaged in the activities referred to in paragraph (1); or

(C) is an affiliate of the person referred to in paragraph (1) if that affiliate, with actual knowledge, engaged in the activities referred to in paragraph (1) and if that affiliate is controlled in fact by the person referred to in paragraph (1).

For purposes of this Act, any person or entity described in this subsection shall be referred to as a `sanctioned person'.

(d) PUBLICATION IN FEDERAL REGISTER- The President shall cause to be published in the Federal Register a current list of persons and entities on whom sanctions have been imposed under this Act. The removal of persons or entities from, and the addition of persons and entities to, the list, shall also be so published.

(e) PUBLICATION OF PROJECTS- The President shall cause to be published in the Federal Register a list of all significant projects which have been publicly tendered in the oil and gas sector in Iran .

(f) EXCEPTIONS- The President shall not be required to apply or maintain the sanctions under subsection (a) or (b)--

(1) in the case of procurement of defense articles or defense services--

(A) under existing contracts or subcontracts, including the exercise of options for production quantities to satisfy requirements essential to the national security of the United States;

(B) if the President determines in writing that the person to which the sanctions would otherwise be applied is a sole source supplier of the defense articles or services, that the defense articles or services are essential, and that alternative sources are not readily or reasonably available; or

(C) if the President determines in writing that such articles or services are essential to the national security under defense coproduction agreements;

(2) in the case of procurement, to eligible products, as defined in section 308(4) of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (19 U.S.C. 2518(4)), of any foreign country or instrumentality designated under section 301(b)(1) of that Act (19 U.S.C. 2511(b)(1));

(3) to products, technology, or services provided under contracts entered into before the date on which the President publishes in the Federal Register the name of the person on whom the sanctions are to be imposed;

(4) to--

(A) spare parts which are essential to United States products or production;

(B) component parts, but not finished products, essential to United States products or production; or

(C) routine servicing and maintenance of products, to the extent that alternative sources are not readily or reasonably available;

(6) to information and technology essential to United States products or production; or

(7) to medicines, medical supplies, or other humanitarian items.

SEC. 6. DESCRIPTION OF SANCTIONS.

The sanctions to be imposed on a sanctioned person under section 5 are as follows:

(1) EXPORT-IMPORT BANK ASSISTANCE FOR EXPORTS TO SANCTIONED PERSONS- The President may direct the Export-Import Bank of the United States not to give approval to the issuance of any guarantee, insurance, extension of credit, or participation in the extension of credit in connection with the export of any goods or services to any sanctioned person.

(2) EXPORT SANCTION- The President may order the United States Government not to issue any specific license and not to grant any other specific permission or authority to export any goods or technology to a sanctioned person under--

(i) the Export Administration Act of 1979;

(ii) the Arms Export Control Act;

(iii) the Atomic Energy Act of 1954; or

(iv) any other statute that requires the prior review and approval of the United States Government as a condition for the export or reexport of goods or services.

(3) LOANS FROM UNITED STATES FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS-The United States Government may prohibit any United States financial institution from making loans or providing credits to any sanctioned person totaling more than $10,000,000 in any 12-month period unless such person is engaged in activities to relieve human suffering and the lo ans or credits are provided for such activities.

(4) PROHIBITIONS ON FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS- The following prohibitions may be imposed against a sanctioned person that is a financial institution:

(A) PROHIBITION ON DESIGNATION AS PRIMARY DEALER- Neither the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System nor the Federal Reserve Bank of New York may designate, or permit the continuation of any prior designation of, such financial institution as a primary dealer in United States Government debt instruments.

(B) PROHIBITION ON SERVICE AS A REPOSITORY OF GOVERNMENT FUNDS- Such financial institution may not serve as agent of the United States Government or serve as repository for United States Government funds. The imposition of either sanction under subparagraph (A) or (B) shall be treated as 1 sanction for purposes of section 5, and the imposition of both such sanctions shall be treated as 2 sanctions for purposes of section 5.

(5) PROCUREMENT SANCTION- The United States Government may not procure, or enter into any contract for the procurement of, any goods or services from a sanctioned person.

(6) ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS- The President may impose sanctions, as appropriate, to restrict imports with respect to a sanctioned person, in accordance with the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 and following).

SEC. 7. ADVISORY OPINIONS.

The Secretary of State may, upon the request of any person, issue an advisory opinion to that person as to whether a proposed activity by that person would subject that person to sanctions under this Act. Any person who relies in good faith on such an advisory opinion which states that the proposed activity would not subject a person to such sanctions, and any person who thereafter engages in such activity, will not be made subject to such sanctions on account of such activity.

SEC. 8. TERMINATION OF SANCTIONS.

(a) IRAN - The requirement under section 5(a) to impose sanctions shall no longer have force or effect with respect to Iran if the President determines and certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that Iran --

(1) has ceased its efforts to design, develop, manufacture, or acquire--

(A) a nuclear explosive device or related materials and technology;

(B) chemical and biological weapons; and

(C) ballistic missiles and ballistic missile launch technology; and

(2) has been removed from the list of countries the governments of which have been determined, for purposes of section 6(j) of the Export Administration Act of 1979, to have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.

(b) LIBYA - The requirement under section 5(b) to impose sanctions shall no longer have force or effect with respect to Libya if the President determines and certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that Libya has fulfilled the requirements of United Nations Security Council Resolution 731, adopted January 21, 1992, United Nations Security Council Resolution 748, adopted March 31,1992, and United Nations Security Council Resolution 883, adopted November 11, 1993.

SEC. 9. DURATION OF SANCTIONS; PRESIDENTIAL WAIVER.

(a) Delay of Sanctions-

(1) CONSULTATIONS- If the President makes a determination described in section 5(a) or 5(b) with respect to a foreign person, the Congress urges the President to initiate consultations immediately with the government with primary jurisdiction over that foreign person with respect to the imposition of sanctions under this Act.

(2) ACTIONS BY GOVERNMENT OF JURISDICTION- In order to pursue consultations under paragraph (1) with the government concerned, the President may delay imposition of sanctions under this Act for up to 90 days. Following such consultations, the President shall immediately impose sanctions unless the President determines and certifies to the Congress that the government has taken specific and effective actions, including, as appropriate, the imposition of appropriate penalties, to terminate the involvement of the foreign person in the activities that resulted in the determination by the President under section 5(a) or 5(b) concerning such person.

(3) ADDITIONAL DELAY IN IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS- The President may delay the imposition of sanctions for up to an additional 90 days if the President determines and certifies to the Congress that the government with primary jurisdiction over the person concerned is in the process of taking the actions described in paragraph (2).

(4) REPORT TO CONGRESS- Not later than 90 days after making a determination under section 5(a) or 5(b), the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the status of consultations with the appropriate foreign government under this subsection, and the basis for any determination under paragraph (3).

(b) DURATION OF SANCTIONS- A sanction imposed under section 5 shall remain in effect--


Sources: The Library of Congress

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