Both houses of Congress have finally acted to employ the toughest economic sanctions at our disposal to stop Iran from going nuclear.
Last Thursday, the U.S. Senate passed the Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act, which combines Christians United for Israel's two top legislative priorities into one bill.
The legislation not only authorizes the president to impose tough new sanctions on any company that sells gasoline or other refined petroleum products to Iran, but it also provides legal protection to state and local governments, and fund managers who divest from energy companies doing business with Iran.
This bill passed by voice vote, with no senator objecting. Similar legislation passed the House of Representatives in December.
This Senate action is a significant victory for CUFI. We have made these Iran sanctions bills the focus of our Capitol Hill meetings for the past two years. We have also sent repeated action alerts to sustain momentum for them -- and you have responded by contacting your legislators in overwhelming numbers.
We know that our efforts demonstrated to Congress that support for tough Iran sanctions was broad and deep across America. And we know that our focus and persistence made it clear to Congress that we would not sit by quietly if they failed to act.
While this Senate vote is an important milestone, our work is not yet complete. These Iran bills will now go to a conference committee to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions. Then each chamber must vote once more on the compromise language that emerges.
We promise to continue closely monitoring the progress of this legislation. We will let you know if and when we once again need your help to ensure that this legislation continues to move forward.
No one knows for sure if these sanctions will stop Iran's steady march toward nuclear weapons. But the fact that weak sanctions have not worked in the past is no excuse for not trying tough sanctions now. And we all know that the stakes are too high not to try all peaceful means at our disposal.