United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Feb 21, 2020
Congress makes the following findings:
The illicit nuclear activities of the Government of Iran, combined with its development of unconventional weapons and ballistic missiles and its support for international terrorism, represent a threat to the security of the United States, its strong ally Israel, and other allies of the United States around the world.
The United States and other responsible countries have a vital interest in working together to prevent the Government of Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly called attention to Iran’s illicit nuclear activities and, as a result, the United Nations Security Council has adopted a range of sanctions designed to encourage the Government of Iran to suspend those activities and comply with its obligations under 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 (commonly known as the “Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty”).
The serious and urgent nature of the threat from Iran demands that the United States work together with its allies to do everything possible—diplomatically, politically, and economically—to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.
The United States and its major European allies, including the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, have advocated that sanctions be strengthened should international diplomatic efforts fail to achieve verifiable suspension of Iran’s uranium enrichment program and an end to its nuclear weapons program and other illicit nuclear activities.
The Government of Iran continues to engage in serious, systematic, and ongoing violations of human rights, including suppression of freedom of expression and religious freedom, illegitimately prolonged detention, torture, and executions. Such violations have increased in the aftermath of the fraudulent presidential election in Iran on
June 12, 2009.
The Government of Iran has been unresponsive to President Obama’s unprecedented and serious efforts at engagement, revealing that the Government of Iran is not interested in a diplomatic resolution, as made clear, for example, by the following:
Iran’s apparent rejection of the Tehran Research Reactor plan, generously offered by the United States and its partners, of potentially great benefit to the people of Iran, and endorsed by Iran’s own negotiators in October 2009.
Iran’s ongoing clandestine nuclear program, as evidenced by its work on the secret uranium enrichment facility at Qom, its subsequent refusal to cooperate fully with inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, and its announcement that it would build 10 new uranium enrichment facilities.
Iran’s official notification to the International Atomic Energy Agency that it would enrich uranium to the 20 percent level, followed soon thereafter by its providing to that Agency a laboratory result showing that Iran had indeed enriched some uranium to 19.8 percent.
February 18, 2010, report by the International Atomic Energy Agency expressing “concerns about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile. These alleged activities consist of a number of projects and sub-projects, covering nuclear and missile related aspects, run by military-related organizations.”.
May 31, 2010, report by the International Atomic Energy Agency expressing continuing strong concerns about Iran’s lack of cooperation with the Agency’s verification efforts and Iran’s ongoing enrichment activities, which are contrary to the longstanding demands of the Agency and the United Nations Security Council.
Iran’s announcement in April 2010 that it had developed a new, faster generation of centrifuges for enriching uranium.
Iran’s ongoing arms exports to, and support for, terrorists in direct contravention of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
July 31, 2009, arrest of 3 young citizens of the United States on spying charges.
There is an increasing interest by State governments, local governments, educational institutions, and private institutions, business firms, and other investors to disassociate themselves from companies that conduct business activities in the energy sector of Iran, since such business activities may directly or indirectly support the efforts of the Government of Iran to achieve a nuclear weapons capability.
Black market proliferation networks continue to flourish in the Middle East, allowing countries like Iran to gain access to sensitive dual-use technologies.
Economic sanctions imposed pursuant to the provisions of this Act, the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996, as amended by this Act, and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), and other authorities available to the United States to impose economic sanctions to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, are necessary to protect the essential security interests of the United States.
cite as: 22 USC 8501