On January 28, 2010, the Senate passed the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act (S. 2799) by voice vote. S. 2799 would, among other things, expand the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) to impose penalties on non-US companies that participate in Iranian petroleum refining and importation. S. 2799 effectively combines two bills passed late last year by the House of Representatives, the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (H.R. 2194) and the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act (H.R. 1327). The bills would impose sanctions on any company that “sells, leases, or provides to Iran any goods, services, technology, information, or support ... that could directly and significantly facilitate the maintenance or expansion of Iran’s domestic production of refined petroleum products, including any assistance with respect to construction, modernization, or repair of petroleum refineries.” In addition, the bills would:

  • Authorize state or local governments to divest from companies that engage in certain energy sector investments in Iran  
  • Prohibit the US Government from entering into contracting with firms that sell equipment to Iran which can be used to censor or monitor Internet usage in Iran  
  • Authorize the imposition of a new licensing requirement for exports of certain products to countries designated as “Destinations of Possible Diversion Concern”  
  • Require the Director of National Intelligence to submit a report to other government agencies and Congressional committees that identifies all countries determined to be of concern with respect to transshipment, reexportation, or diversion of items subject to the provisions of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to Iran