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Congress & the Middle East:
Senate Resolution Calling for Full Implementation of Iran Sanctions

(May 22, 2013)


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In May 2013, the Senate unanimously passed S.Res.65 supporting the full implementation of U.S. and international sanctions on Iran and urging the President to continue to strengthen enforcement of sanctions legislation. The resolution also reiterated the bonds of cooperation between the U.S. and Israel and urged the government to provide Israel with all diplomatic, military and economic support it should need in the event of an attack on or by Iran.
The resolution - sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham [R-SC] with 91 cosponsors - passed by a vote of 99-0.

S.Res. 65

Strongly supporting the full implementation of United States and international sanctions on Iran and urging the President to continue to strengthen enforcement of sanctions legislation.

Resolution:

Strongly supporting the full implementation of United States and international sanctions on Iran and urging the President to continue to strengthen enforcement of sanctions legislation.

Whereas, on May 14, 1948, the people of Israel proclaimed the establishment of the sovereign and independent State of Israel;

Whereas, on March 28, 1949, the United States Government recognized the establishment of the new State of Israel and established full diplomatic relations;

Whereas, since its establishment nearly 65 years ago, the modern State of Israel has rebuilt a nation, forged a new and dynamic democratic society, and created a thriving economic, political, cultural, and intellectual life despite the heavy costs of war, terrorism, and unjustified diplomatic and economic boycotts against the people of Israel;

Whereas the people of Israel have established a vibrant, pluralistic, democratic political system, including freedom of speech, association, and religion; a vigorously free press; free, fair, and open elections; the rule of law; a fully independent judiciary; and other democratic principles and practices;

Whereas, since the 1979 revolution in Iran, the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran have repeatedly made threats against the existence of the State of Israel and sponsored acts of terrorism and violence against its citizens;

Whereas, on October 27, 2005, President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for a world without America and Zionism;

Whereas, in February 2012, Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei said of Israel, `The Zionist regime is a true cancer tumor on this region that should be cut off. And it definitely will be cut off.';

Whereas, in August 2012, Supreme Leader Khamenei said of Israel, `This bogus and fake Zionist outgrowth will disappear off the landscape of geography.';

Whereas, in August 2012, President Ahmadinejad said that `in the new Middle East . . . there will be no trace of the American presence and the Zionists';

Whereas the Department of State has designated the Islamic Republic of Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1984 and has characterized the Islamic Republic of Iran as the `most active state sponsor of terrorism' in the world;

Whereas the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has provided weapons, training, funding, and direction to terrorist groups, including Hamas, Hizballah, and Shiite militias in Iraq that are responsible for the murder of hundreds of United States service members and innocent civilians;

Whereas the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has provided weapons, training, and funding to the regime of Bashar al Assad that has been used to suppress and murder its own people;

Whereas, since at least the late 1980s, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has engaged in a sustained and well-documented pattern of illicit and deceptive activities to acquire a nuclear weapons capability;

Whereas, since September 2005, the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has found the Islamic Republic of Iran to be in non-compliance with its safeguards agreement with the IAEA, which Iran is obligated to undertake as a non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, done at Washington, London, and Moscow July 1, 1968, and entered into force March 5, 1970 (NPT);

Whereas the United Nations Security Council has adopted multiple resolutions since 2006 demanding of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran its full and sustained suspension of all uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and its full cooperation with the IAEA on all outstanding issues related to its nuclear activities, particularly those concerning the possible military dimensions of its nuclear program;

Whereas the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has refused to comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions or to fully cooperate with the IAEA;

Whereas, in November 2011, the IAEA Director General issued a report that documented `serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear programme,' and affirmed that information available to the IAEA indicates that `Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device' and that some activities may be ongoing;

Whereas the Government of Iran stands in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for denying its citizens basic freedoms, including the freedoms of expression, religion, peaceful assembly and movement, and for flagrantly abusing the rights of minorities and women;

Whereas in his State of the Union Address on January 24, 2012, President Barack Obama stated, `Let there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal.';

Whereas Congress has passed and the President has signed into law legislation imposing significant economic and diplomatic sanctions on Iran to encourage the Government of Iran to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons and end its support for terrorism;

Whereas these sanctions, while having significant effect, have yet to persuade Iran to abandon its illicit pursuits and comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions;

Whereas more stringent enforcement of sanctions legislation, including elements targeting oil exports and access to foreign exchange, could still lead the Government of Iran to change course;

Whereas, in his State of the Union Address on February 12, 2013, President Obama reiterated, `The leaders of Iran must recognize that now is the time for a diplomatic solution, because a coalition stands united in demanding that they meet their obligations. And we will do what is necessary to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon.';

Whereas, on March 4, 2012, President Obama stated, `Iran's leaders should understand that I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.';

Whereas, on October 22, 2012, President Obama said of Iran, `The clock is ticking . . . And we're going to make sure that if they do not meet the demands of the international community, then we are going to take all options necessary to make sure they don't have a nuclear weapon.';

Whereas, on May 19, 2011, President Obama stated, `Every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself, by itself, against any threat.';

Whereas, on September 21, 2011, President Obama stated, `America's commitment to Israel's security is unshakeable. Our friendship with Israel is deep and enduring.';

Whereas, on March 4, 2012, President Obama stated, `And whenever an effort is made to delegitimize the state of Israel, my administration has opposed them. So there should not be a shred of doubt by now: when the chips are down, I have Israel's back.';

Whereas, on October 22, 2012, President Obama stated, `Israel is a true friend. And if Israel is attacked, America will stand with Israel. I've made that clear throughout my presidency . . . I will stand with Israel if they are attacked.';

Whereas, in December 2012, 74 United States Senators wrote to President Obama `As you begin your second term as President, we ask you to reiterate your readiness to take military action against Iran if it continues its efforts to acquire a nuclear weapon. In addition, we urge you to work with our European and Middle Eastern allies to demonstrate to the Iranians that a credible and capable multilateral coalition exists that would support a military strike if, in the end, this is unfortunately necessary.'; and

Whereas the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-150) stated that it is United States policy to support Israel's inherent right to self-defense: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved,

SECTION 1. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

(1) reaffirms the special bonds of friendship and cooperation that have existed between the United States and the State of Israel for more than sixty years and that enjoy overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress and among the people of the United States;

(2) strongly supports the close military, intelligence, and security cooperation that President Obama has pursued with Israel and urges this cooperation to continue and deepen;

(3) deplores and condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the reprehensible statements and policies of the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran threatening the security and existence of Israel;

(4) recognizes the tremendous threat posed to the United States, the West, and Israel by the Government of Iran's continuing pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability;

(5) reiterates that the policy of the United States is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon capability and to take such action as may be necessary to implement this policy;

(6) reaffirms its strong support for the full implementation of United States and international sanctions on Iran and urges the President to continue and strengthen enforcement of sanctions legislation;

(7) declares that the United States has a vital national interest in, and unbreakable commitment to, ensuring the existence, survival, and security of the State of Israel, and reaffirms United States support for Israel's right to self-defense; and

[Struck out->] (8) urges that, if the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in self-defense, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence. [<-Struck out]

(8) urges that, if the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in legitimate self-defense against Iran's nuclear weapons program, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide, in accordance with United States law and the constitutional responsibility of Congress to authorize the use of military force, diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence.

SEC. 2. RULES OF CONSTRUCTION.

Nothing in this resolution shall be construed as an authorization for the use of force or a declaration of war.


Sources: Library of Congress

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