Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today introduced a bill that would prohibit the Export-Import Bank from directly or indirectly providing assistance that benefits Iran. The “No Ex-Im Financing for Iran Act” would close the loophole which currently allows Iran to receive indirect Export-Import financing. Iran remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and the bill is designed to make sure it does not directly or indirectly receive taxpayer-backed financing. Original co-sponsors of this legislation include Senators Tom Cotton (R-AK), John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX).

“Iran remains the largest state sponsor of terrorism, and the regime should not benefit in any way, shape or form from U.S. taxpayer assistance,” said Rubio. “Since President Obama’s Iran deal was enacted, the Iranian regime has done nothing to modify its provocative, anti-American behavior. Major Western companies, including Airbus and Boeing, have already struck deals to sell to Iran that can be used to further Iran’s promotion of terrorism. Taxpayer dollars should not be used to fund Iran’s purchase of new aircraft which it will use to ship weapons and troops to brutal regimes and terrorist groups. It is unacceptable and wrong to see military equipment willingly put into the hands of a regime like Iran’s, and Congress should stop this from happening by passing this legislation.”

Under current law, the Export-Import Bank is forbidden from providing direct financing to state sponsors of terrorism. However, a loophole exists that enables the Export-Import Bank to provide indirect financial assistance to support deals with Iran. This could allow the use of Export-Import financing to purchase U.S.-made aircraft and equipment.

The House version of this legislation is H.R. 5608 and has been introduced by Representative Peter Roskam (R-IL-06).

BACKGROUND:

  • Rubio has been a leading advocate in blocking Iranian access to the U.S. dollar and imposing sanctions on Iran for its continued ballistic missile program, support for terrorism, and violation of human rights.
  • In 2014, Rubio and Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) introduced “The Iran Human Rights Accountability Act”, which cracks down on Iranian human rights abusers and supports the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people.
  • In March, Rubio co-sponsored two bills to strengthen and expand sanctions on Iran.
  • In April, Rubio and Kirk introduced a bill to prohibit Iranian access to the U.S. financial system and the use of offshore U.S. dollar clearing.