Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) today introduced legislation to prevent the Obama administration from allowing Iran access to transactions involving the U.S. dollar as long as the Iranian regime continues to engage in illicit activities, including the development of ballistic missiles and terrorism.

The bill, The U.S. Financial System Protection Act (H.R. 4992), codifies existing regulations that prohibit the administration from allowing the U.S. dollar to be used to facilitate trade transactions with Iran and upholds Iran’s designation as a “primary money laundering concern.”  This covers direct dollar transactions and work-arounds including dollar-clearing, dollar-based conversions and dollar-related foreign currency transactions.  These prohibitions, which were first levied against Iran nearly a decade ago in response to its support for terrorism, human rights abuses, money laundering and ballistic missiles program, would remain in place until the president certifies Iran is no longer engaging in these dangerous acts.

“One month ago, I asked Secretary Lew a simple question: is the president preparing to give the Iranian regime new relief by allowing it access to the U.S. dollar?  Alarmingly, the Obama administration still can’t provide a direct answer,” Chairman Royce said.

“If President Obama won’t rule out new concessions to the Iranian regime, Congress should.  Allowing a belligerent Iran access to the U.S. dollar poses real dangers to our country and our economy.  Indeed, the Financial Action Task Force, an organization comprising nearly 40 nations, warned in February it remains ‘exceptionally concerned about Iran’s failure to address the risk of terrorist financing and the serious threat this poses’ to the world’s financial system.  

“Iran was shut out of the U.S. and global financial system because of its support for illicit activities, including terrorism, ballistic missiles, and human rights abuses.  These sanctions should remain in place, as President Obama promised, until Iran changes its behavior.  Iran’s supreme leader must not be allowed to seek ‘death to America’ with U.S. dollars in his pocket.”

NOTE:  Full text of the legislation is available HERE and a section-by-section summary is available for download HERE.