WASHINGTON — Determined to weaken Iran economically, a top Senate Democrat and Republican on Monday unveiled a bill to impose sweeping new penalties on Tehran and thwart its nuclear ambitions.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, the panel's top Republican, said they had agreed on the measure that would target Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, require companies that trade on the U.S. stock exchange to disclose any Iran-related business to the Securities and Exchange Commission, and expand penalties for energy and uranium mining joint ventures with Tehran.
The bill also would deny visas and freeze assets on individuals and companies that supply Iran with technology that could be used to crack down on its citizens, such as tear gas, rubber bullets and surveillance equipment.
Johnson and Shelby said their committee would consider the legislation on Thursday.
"A nuclear-armed Iran would represent a grave threat to regional peace and international security," Johnson said in a joint statement with Shelby. "Iran's continuing defiance of its international legal obligations and refusal to come clean on its nuclear program underscore the need to further isolate Iran and its leaders."
Shelby said the bill "sends a clear signal through strong measures that Iran must abandon its nuclear weapons program and its designs for the spread of international terror."
A report in November suggested that some of the Islamic Republic's alleged experiments could have no other purpose than developing nuclear weapons. Iran contends that its program is designed to generate electricity, not build weapons. A U.N. inspection team currently is in the country.