The U.S. Senate unanimously approved new economic sanctions Friday aimed at further crippling Iran's energy, shipping and port sectors, a year after Congress passed tough restrictions against Tehran.
The so-called Menendez,amendment, tacked onto a sweeping defense spending bill being debated by the chamber, passed 94-0 and should sail through the House of Representatives, reports AFP.
Building on the U.S. sanctions passed last year, the new amendment would designate Iran's energy, port, shipping and ship-building sectors as “entities of proliferation” because they “support and fund Iran's proliferation activities.”
Under the new rules, the United States would sanction anyone selling or supplying certain commodities to Iran -- including graphite, aluminum, steel, and some industrial software.
Despite tough U.S. and European sanctions, Tehran has been able to bypass certain restrictions by accepting payment in forms like gold for certain exports.
The Menendez amendment targets such circumventions by seeking to prevent Iran's central bank from receiving payment in precious metals.
Ron Paul has warned against sanctions:
Sanctions were the first step in our wars against Iraq and Libya and now more sanctions planned against Syria and Iran are leading down the same destructive path, he has warned.
Here is very insightful commentary from Ron Paul denouncing Iran sanctions in 2010:
(HT Dan Cotter)