June 18,2008

Finance Panel Approves Strong Iran Sanctions Plan

Mark advanced by Baucus, Grassley strengthens U.S. hand on Iran, complies with international rules on trade and allows agricultural, humanitarian exports

Washington, DC – The Senate Finance Committee today approved by a vote of 19-2 a
Chairman’s modification of legislation strengthening U.S. sanctions on Iran. The Iran sanctions
plan offered by Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) along with Ranking Member Chuck Grassley
(R-Iowa) reflects a number of elements in S. 970, an Iran sanctions bill on which the Committee
held a hearing in April, but is written to ensure that America remains in compliance with World
Trade Organization (WTO) rules and to continue to allow limited sales of agricultural and
humanitarian products. The bill strengthens existing U.S. sanctions on Iran by tightening the
trade ban on goods to and from Iran, expanding financial sanctions on Iranian persons that are
subject to U.S. sanctions, and closing loopholes through which U.S. companies establish foreign
subsidiaries just to invest in Iran.

“The strong sanctions we’ve approved today will work to deter the Iranian government from producing a nuclear weapon. This bill expands the U.S. trade ban on Iran, tightens financial sanctions, and holds U.S. companies accountable to comply with sanctions laws,”
Baucus said. “At the same time, this bill encourages outreach to the Iranian people even as we reject Iran’s regime. And it respects partnerships with other countries that can help to ensure a nuclear-free Iran.”

“A nuclear Iran poses a serious threat to peace in the region, to our allies, and our own national security,” Grassley said. “This bill is another important tool the United States can use to put even more pressure on the Iranian regime to abandon its quest for nuclear weapons.”

Baucus unveiled the Chairman’s Mark on Friday, June 13, and he and Grassley made several
modifications for Committee consideration today. Added into the mark was a tax provision
requiring oil companies that run afoul of Iran sanctions laws to amortize their geological and
geophysical costs over a longer period of ten years instead of the two or seven allowed in current
law. Revenue raised by this provision offsets the cost of the entire Iran sanctions measure.
Additionally, the modification included several trade-related and other Sense of Congress
measures. A list of all modifications can be found on the Legislation page of the Senate Finance
Committee website.