U.S. Congress Plans to Sanction Iran’s Cryptocurrency Efforts

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In a bill introduced this week, Congress is taking a hard line stance towards Iran’s plans of developing its own cryptocurrency.

Earlier, the U.S. regulators have warned that the Iranian government is planning to launch a sovereign cryptocurrency to evade economic sanctions. And to prevent a repeat of the likes of Petro, the state-backed Venezuelan cryptocurrency, the regulators are taking every necessary step to prevent Iran from launching its crypto project.

Portions of the bill which was introduced by Rep. Mike Gallager calls for an extensive report on Iran’s effort to create a state-backed cryptocurrency. Also, a corresponding bill introduced by Ted Cruz, a senator representing Texas calls for sanctions against anyone who knowingly provides the Iranian government with finance and technological support in a bid to develop their own cryptocurrency.

This new move by Congress is coming after Trump’s administration decided to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) back in May this year.

“Withdrawing from the JCPOA was only the first step in ratcheting up pressure on the Iranian regime,” Gallagher said in a statement. “We now have an important window to impose maximum economic pressure and degrade the Iranian regime’s ability to export violence across the region. This legislation does exactly that by effectively cutting Iran off from the international financial community.”

Interestingly, the Iranian government has been in the news for a number of proposed cryptocurrency related issues in the past couple of weeks.

Facts emerged this week that the Iranian Government is planning to embrace blockchain technology. Notably, cheap electricity in the Islamic state has made the country the destination for bitcoin mining farms.

In the meantime, recently-released U.S. sanctions have indicted Iranian digital asset traders with one of them coming out to announce he was innocent of the charges against him.