May 25, 2017

Senators Applaud Committee Passage of Comprehensive Bill to Hold Iran Accountable

Bipartisan Legislation Expands Sanctions for Iranian Ballistic Missile Development and Support for Terrorism

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) today applauded Senate Foreign Relations Committee passage of their legislation to hold Iran accountable. The bipartisan legislation, now with 48 cosponsors, would expand sanctions for Iranian ballistic missile development, support for terrorism, transfers of conventional weapons to or from Iran, and human rights violations.

“We can no longer allow the nuclear agreement with Iran to dictate U.S. policy throughout the Middle East, and this bill is an important first step in finally holding Iran accountable for their non-nuclear destabilizing activities,” said Corker. “As many of us predicted at the time, Iran’s rogue behavior has only escalated since implementation of the agreement, and this bipartisan bill approved by the committee today will give the Trump administration additional tools for holding Tehran accountable. It also sends an important signal that the U.S. will no longer look the other way in the face of continued Iranian aggression. I am proud of the strong bipartisan momentum behind this effort and will push for timely consideration on the Senate floor.”

“Today’s committee approval of this bipartisan legislation brings us one step closer to finally ensuring Iran’s leaders understand they do not enjoy blanket impunity as the United States continues to live up to its commitments under the JCPOA,” said Menendez. “Independent of the nuclear portfolio, and as President Rouhani starts his second presidential term, our broader policy towards Iran must be one that holds Tehran accountable for their destabilizing efforts in the region, illegal and dangerous missile technology development, and nefarious activities as the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism. As the Administration continues to review its Iran policy, Congress must set out clear markers that impose real consequences to Iran’s illicit behavior that runs counter to our national security and that of our allies in the region. I will work diligently with my colleagues so this important legislation is swiftly taken up by the full Congress and sent to the President’s desk for his signature.”

“It’s critical that the United States do more to counter the Iranian regime’s growing missile threats, support for international terrorism and militancy, and systematic abuse of human rights,” said Rubio. “This bipartisan bill is an important step in the right direction, especially after the flawed Iran nuclear deal, and I look forward to working with the Trump Administration to finally hold Iran accountable for its actions.”

“Iran is contributing to regional instability and has not demonstrated any interest in rejoining the community of responsible nations by halting its malign behavior.  Today’s bipartisan Committee passage of Iran legislation underscores Congress’ role in articulating a roadmap for pushing back on Iran’s aggressive actions,” said Cardin. “The Iranian regime, and its clients and proxies, should take from this legislation that while we will continue to fulfill U.S. obligations pursuant to the JCPOA.  However, we remain committed to pushing back on Iran’s ballistic missile program, support for terrorism, violations of the arms embargo, and human rights abuses against its own citizens.”

“I thank my colleagues for supporting this bill and allowing it to move forward. Now, we’re one step closer to holding Iran accountable for its imperialist aggression,” said Cotton.

“This legislation will hold Iran accountable for its destabilizing behavior and support for terrorism,” said Casey. “Advancing this bipartisan bill sends a clear message to Iran that our nation will work to counter its aggression in the places like Syria and Yemen, its support for terrorist groups like Hezbollah, its development of ballistic missile technology, and its serial violations of human rights.”

The Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017 contains the following key provisions:

New Mandatory Ballistic Missile Sanctions: Imposes mandatory sanctions on persons involved with Iran’s ballistic missile program and those that transact with them.

New Terrorism Sanctions: Applies terrorism sanctions to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and codifies individuals who are currently sanctioned due to Iranian support for terrorism.

Enforcement of Arms Embargo: Requires the president to block the property of any person or entity involved in specific activities related to the supply, sale, or transfer of prohibited arms and related material to or from Iran.

Cosponsors of the legislation also include Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Chris Coons (D-Del.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.).

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