U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should reveal the names of companies with "problematic" business dealings with Iran and sanction them, 30 lawmakers urged her in a letter released Monday.
Clinton should punish the firms under the Iran Sanctions Act, which authorizes sanctions against non-U.S. companies that invest more than $20 million in Iran's oil and gas sectors, they said in the message.
"If firms are violating U.S. law, there must be consequences," the group, led by Republican Rep. Mark Kirk and Democratic Rep. Ron Klein, said in the message, which was dated Thursday.
"Given Irans intransigence and the support these companies provide to the Iranians, we urge you to fully enforce the Iran Sanctions Act and levy appropriate sanctions against companies who have violated U.S. law," they said.
The U.S. State Department recently told members of Congress that it had completed a preliminary investigation of companies that could be in violation of the law and has moved on to examining firms it views as "problematic."
U.S. lawmakers have stepped up calls on President Barack Obama to impose sanctions on Iran, as well as companies that do business with Tehran, in response to the Islamic Republic's refusal to freeze its suspect nuclear drive.
Tehran denies Western charges that its atomic program hides an effort to develop nuclear weapons and has rebuffed UN demands that it halt uranium enrichment, which can be a key step towards building an atomic arsenal.
Copyright (c) 2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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