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Senators Introduce Comprehensive Legislation to Hold Iran Accountable

Bipartisan Bill 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 led a group of more than a dozen senators in introducing bipartisan legislation to hold Iran accountable. The legislation, cosponsored by Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), James E. Risch (R-Idaho), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), expands sanctions for ballistic missile development, support for terrorism, transfers of conventional weapons to or from Iran, and human rights violations.

“This legislation demonstrates the strong bipartisan support in Congress for a comprehensive approach to holding Iran accountable by targeting all aspects of the regime’s destabilizing actions,” said Corker. “These steps will allow us to regain the initiative on Iran and pushback forcefully against this threat to our security and that of our allies.”

“The spirit of bipartisanship of this important legislation underscores our strong belief that the United States must speak with one voice on the issue of holding Iran accountable for its continued nefarious actions across the world as the leading state sponsor of terrorism,” said Menendez. “This legislation was carefully crafted not to impede with the United States’ ability to live up to its commitments under the JCPOA, while still reaffirming and strengthening our resolve by imposing tough new sanctions to hold the Iranian regime accountable for threatening global and regional security. Iran's leaders must understand once and for all, that unless they change course their situation will only get worse.”

“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.”

"This bill sets out elements of a strong policy for countering Iran's destabilizing activities,” said Cardin. “We must insist on rigorous JCPOA enforcement, which does not prevent us from sanctioning Iran for its support for terrorism, human rights violations, and pursuit of ballistic missiles. I expect the Administration to work with Congress in implementing a coherent policy on Iran."

“The president has said he’s putting Iran on notice, and passing this bill would be an unmistakable sign of resolve,” said Cotton. “We will not tolerate Iran’s pursuit of supremacy in the Middle East or its sponsorship of terrorism, and we will make the regime in Tehran pay a steep price for its dangerous behavior.”

“The Iranian regime must be held accountable for destabilizing behavior throughout the Middle East and this legislation is a step in that direction,” said Casey. “Under this bipartisan approach, our nation can enforce existing sanctions on Iran and apply new sanctions should the Iranian regime continue its support for terrorism, development of ballistic missiles, and 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.