GOP senators to introduce new Iran sanctions bill

GOP senators to introduce new Iran sanctions bill
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A group of Republican senators is planning on Thursday to introduce a bill to sanction Iran for its support of terrorist activities throughout the Middle East and its human rights abuses, The Hill has learned. 

The bill will be introduced by Sens. Mark KirkMark KirkWhy Qatar Is a problem for Washington Taking the easy layup: Why brain cancer patients depend on it The Mideast-focused Senate letter we need to see MORE (Ill.), Marco RubioMarco RubioIvanka Trump turns to House GOP on paid family leave Ivanka Trump weighs in on awkward hug with Rubio: ‘Fake news’ Rubio, Ivanka Trump joke about their 'alleged failed hug' MORE (Fla.), Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteOPINION: Democracy will send ISIS to the same grave as communism Kelly Ayotte joins defense contractor's board of directors Week ahead: Comey firing dominates Washington MORE (N.H.), Dan CoatsDan CoatsTrump suggested top intel officials refute collusion with Russians: report Press: Worse than Nixon Overnight Cybersecurity: GOP contractor exposes data on 200M voters | Spyware targets Mexican journalists, advocates | White House hosts tech CEOs MORE (Ind.) and Cory GardnerCory GardnerThe disabled will pay for the GOP’s Medicaid cuts These GOP senators need to stand up to their party on healthcare Trump having lunch with senators to talk healthcare MORE (Colo.), plus Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellSpecial election sweep boosts Trump agenda Five things to watch in Senate GOP’s ObamaCare repeal bill McConnell courts GOP centrists for health bill MORE (Ky.). Ten other Republican senators have also signed on so far.  

“I reject our current posture of willful ignorance and inaction towards Iran's terrorist activities, illegal missile testing, funding Assad's war, and human rights abuses,” said Kirk, a staunch critic of Iran and advocate of Iran sanctions. 

“The Administration’s response cannot once again be it’s ‘not supposed to be doing that’ as Iran continues to walk all over U.S. foreign policy and the international community," he said. 

The new bill, dubbed the "Iran Terrorism and Human Rights Sanctions Act of 2016" would: 

1) impose new sanctions against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Mahan Air, an Iranian airline that has assisted the IRGC and IRGC-Qods force in spreading terrorism and militancy throughout the Middle East; 

2) codify the current prohibition against Iran’s direct and indirect access to the U.S. financial system, while also streamlining and strengthening the stringent requirements for the president to remove Iran or any other country from the state sponsors of terrorism list;  

3) impose new sanctions against Iran for human rights abuses.

It also reiterates the administration's position that the imposition of sanctions against Iran for terrorism, human rights, and other non-nuclear reasons do not violate the nuclear deal negotiated with Iran, which lifted sanctions in exchange for limits on its nuclear program. 

The bill is one of several new measures the Senate Republicans are planning to propose, in light of Iran's continued actions in defiance of the international community. 

Two of the bill's sponsors — Kirk and Ayotte — are facing reelection in 2016. Kirk, a Navy veteran, is facing a tough reelection fight against Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), an Army National Guard veteran who is running for his seat. 

Other co-sponsors include Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzMcConnell courts GOP centrists for health bill Bono signs card for Scalise during Capitol Hill visit GOP hits the gas on ObamaCare repeal MORE (Texas), a Republican presidential candidate, and Republicans Sens. John CornynJohn CornynFive things to watch in Senate GOP’s ObamaCare repeal bill McConnell courts GOP centrists for health bill Cassidy & Associates to become independent from parent company MORE (Texas), Rob PortmanRob PortmanSenate Dem undecided on 2018 reelection run Five things to watch in Senate GOP’s ObamaCare repeal bill Portman slams North Korea in speech honoring Ohio native Otto Warmbier MORE (Ohio), Pat RobertsPat RobertsMeet Jay Sekulow, the new face of Trump’s legal team Overnight Healthcare: Senate GOP eyes July vote on health bill Senate GOP eyes July vote on healthcare MORE (Kan.), Ben Sasse (Neb.), Tom CottonTom CottonSenate Dem offers patent reform bill Sasse: Someone subscribed me to Nickleback emails as a prank The Memo: Five takeaways from Jeff Sessions’s testimony MORE (Ark.), Jerry MoranJerry MoranProposal to privatize air traffic control struggles to win over critics Senate panel to reject Trump’s air traffic control plan in aviation bill Senate panel readies must-pass aviation bill MORE (Kan.), Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonGeorgia special election runoff: live coverage House approves VA bill, sending it to Trump Senate backs bill making it easier to fire VA employees MORE (Ga.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiFive things to watch in Senate GOP’s ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Energy: Dakota Access fight enters new phase Overnight Regulation: Labor groups fear rollback of Obama worker protection rule | Trump regs czar advances in Senate | New FCC enforcement chief MORE (Alaska), David Perdue (Ga.). Portman is also up for reelection.

Last week, Iran test-fired ballistic missiles for two days in a row, despite a United Nations Security Council resolution calling upon Iran not to do so. 

Sen. Bob CorkerBob CorkerSenate proposes fix for delayed Russia sanctions bill Dems see stall game in Russian sanctions bill House GOP chairmen want quick action on Russia sanctions MORE (R-Tenn.) said there is growing bipartisan support for extending sanctions legislation on Iran set to expire at the end of this year, as well as new sanctions on Iran's ballistic missile program.

--This report was updated at 12:50 p.m.