Klein Supports Tough Iran Sanctions Bill
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Ron Klein (FL-22) today participated in a Financial Services Committee markup of a critical piece of legislation to toughen economic sanctions on Iran.
The committee considered H.R. 1327, the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act, which provides authority to state and local governments to divest their assets from companies doing business with Iran. The state of Florida, Palm Beach County and four cities within the county have already taken steps to divest from Iran, and today’s legislation helps other states and communities follow their lead. For more information on the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act, please click here.
Congressman Klein’s full statement to the committee follows.
Financial Services Committee Markup of the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act
Statement of Congressman Ron Klein
April 28, 2009
Mr. Chairman, thank you for bringing the committee together to advance this important legislation. We are at a crossroads when it comes to Iran. A strategy of engagement can be helpful, but if engagement fails, we will be ready to pursue any option to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
The Iran Sanctions Enabling Act is one of many steps that Congress can and should take to economically isolate Iran and change their behavior. This legislation sends a message to the Iranian leadership that we refuse to stand by while they move forward with their nuclear weapons program and finance terrorism around the world.
I am proud that my home state of Florida was the first in the nation to pass a law to impose state-level sanctions on Iran. The Protecting Florida’s Investments Act of 2007, which required Florida’s state pension boards to divest from companies that do business with Iran and Sudan, started a movement, and there are 15 states that currently have divestment policies.
The legislation before us helps other states do what Florida did.
I would also like to draw attention to local activists in my community that are working on this issue on the town, city and county level. I ask unanimous consent to put into the record an article from the South Florida Sun Sentinel, which highlights the admirable efforts of the Cities of Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens and the government of Palm Beach County, which have agreed to cease any business ties to Iran and Sudan. Lake Worth, Delray Beach and Highland Beach may pass similar measures soon.
I thank the Chairman for his leadership on this issue, and I would urge swift passage of this legislation.