Washington, DC – Howard L. Berman (D-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today issued the following statement regarding the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (H.R. 2194):

“The committee will mark up the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act on Wednesday, October 28. By then it will be nearly six full months since I introduced this legislation, now cosponsored by 327 Members.

“I view this legislation as the fourth best option to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability. My first preference is to resolve the nuclear issue through diplomatic means, and I strongly support the Obama Administration’s efforts to engage Iran. The proposals put forward at the October 1 meeting with Iran in Geneva show some promise, but the clock is ticking, and the centrifuges are still spinning. Should engagement not yield the desired results within a very short time, then my second preference would be tough, hard-hitting multilateral sanctions endorsed by the U.N. Security Council that could persuade Tehran to change course. If those are not possible to obtain, then the third best option is to work with a group of like-minded nations to impose such sanctions. Only when we judge that these other options will not succeed in a timely manner should we turn to additional unilateral and extraterritorial sanctions such as those included in H.R. 2194.

“By passing the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act, the Foreign Affairs Committee will take the first key step to ensure that President Obama is empowered with the full range of tools he needs to address the looming nuclear threat from Iran even as he pursues diplomacy and, if necessary, the multilateral sanctions track. Given the length of time it ordinarily takes the House and Senate to move a significant piece of legislation to the President’s desk, it is important that we initiate the process promptly with a markup on October 28.”

The committee will meet for the markup at 10 a.m. in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building.

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