The Iran Sanctions Act (ISA)
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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International pressure on Iran to curb its nuclear program is increasing the hesitation of many major foreign firms to invest in Irans energy sector, hindering Irans efforts to expand oil production beyond 4.1 million barrels per day. However, Iran continues to attract preliminary energy investment interest from firms primarily in Asia, which appear eager to fill the void left by European majors and to line up steady supplies of Iranian oil and gas. The formal U.S. effort to curb energy investment in Iran began in 1996 with the Iran Sanctions Act ISA. No firms have been sanctioned under it and the precise effects of that law on energy investment in Iran -- as opposed to other factors -- has been unclear. In the 110th Congress, two bills passed by the House H.R. 1400 and H.R. 7112 would add ISA provisions. Some observers expect versions or variations of these bills to be introduced in the 111th Congress. Some additional ideas discussed by observers focus on adding violations of ISA, including the provision of shipping insurance to Irans tanker fleet maintaining a business presence in Iran selling refined gasoline to Iran or supplying equipment to or performing the construction of oil refineries in Iran. This report will be updated regularly. See CRS Report RL32048, Iran U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses, by Kenneth Katzman.
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