May 24, 2011
WASHINGTON — A nuclear-armed Iran would be a nightmare scenario marking the death knell of the Arab-Israeli peace process and global non-proliferation efforts, experts said Monday as US lawmakers sought tighter sanctions.
As the European Union beefed up its own sanctions regime on Tehran, US Senator Mark Kirk and others unveiled a bill that would boost enforcement of existing sanctions, bring fresh pressure on Iran’s oil sector and military, and shine a spotlight on the regime’s poor human rights record.
The bilateral legislation, called the Iran, North Korea and Syria Sanctions Consolidation Act of 2011, aims to increase pressure on companies still doing business with Iran’s energy industry, notably Chinese firms that are on existing US lists of violators but have not been sanctioned.
“What we ought to do is enforce the sanctions that are already on the books,” Kirk told the annual meeting of the powerful pro-Israel lobby AIPAC.