| GEO World|
| Obama signs Iran curbs into law|
| Updated at: 0702 PST, Friday, July 02, 2010|
WASHINGTON: After years of congressional efforts, sweeping new Iran sanctions will become law Thursday night when US President Barack Obama signs the bill on his desk.
The legislation affects the gasoline, financial, insurance and shipping sectors, among others, as it seeks to impose a heavy economic cost on Iran for continuing with its nuclear program.
The bill attempts to bar foreign countries from exporting refined petroleum to Iran, as well as restrict access to American financial institutions for any entities that help Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.
It also seeks to choke off investment, technology and development of Iran’s energy sector, and makes it easier for states and localities to divest from companies that do business with Iran.
The measure was passed overwhelmingly by the Senate and House last week ahead of the July 4 recess. Sponsors described it as the toughest ever to target Iran.
Though the Obama administration had expressed some reservations about the details of the bill, its main concern was that the move would disrupt its own efforts to get a new sanctions resolution through the UN Security Council. Once that passed last month, lawmakers seized on the opportunity to build on the framework by putting through the unilateral US measure.
Though the White House didn’t get as much latitude as it was seeking, it will still have the ability to determine how aggressively the sanctions are pursued and enforced.
American Jewish groups have enthusiastically welcomed the legislation, as has the Israeli government.