From a Press Release by The Israel Project, Jan. 29, 2010:
Two days after U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pledged to bring sweeping sanctions legislation to the Senate floor, the Senate gave unanimous approval to the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2009 (S. 2799), which enables state divestment efforts and target U.S. companies that provide refined petroleum to Iran. Iran’s inability to refine petroleum is a key liability for the Islamic Republic.
..."… Passing this legislation is critical to send Iran the message that the United States is serious about keeping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability," Reid said in a statement. “This bill would impose new sanctions on Iran’s refined petroleum sector and tighten existing US sanctions in an effort to create new pressure on the Iranian regime and help stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”
Said Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, “The Iranian regime has shown no interest in limiting its nuclear ambitions. And an entire year was lost as Iran moved closer and closer to its goal."
The petroleum provisions are based on another Senate bill, the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (S. 908). The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed its version of the bill last month. In order to take effect, the two bills need to be combined, approved by both the Senate and the House and signed by President Obama.
The passage of the Senate bill came the same week Iran’s supreme leader made his most explicit threat against Israel in years, implying that other Muslim countries should band together to destroy Israel. A day later, in President Obama’s State of the Union address Wednesday (Jan. 27), the President threatened stricter sanctions against the Islamic Republic for its continued defiance of nuclear negotiations.
... China, a major Iranian trading partner, has continued to stymie the administration’s efforts to secure a fifth round of sanctions in the UN Security Council....