By Kristina Wong - 03/17/16 12:35 PM EDT
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 KirkOvernight Healthcare: Biggest abortion rights win in 25 years | Justice Kennedy again steps to the left The Trail 2016: Warren takes VP batting practice Abortion ruling roils race for the White House, Senate MORE (Ill.), Marco RubioMarco RubioThe Trail 2016: Warren takes VP batting practice Abortion ruling roils race for the White House, Senate US, Mexico have mutual ambassadors for first time in over a year MORE (Fla.), Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteJuan Williams: GOP sounds the sirens over Trump McConnell quashes Senate effort on guns Republicans blast latest Gitmo transfer MORE (N.H.), Dan CoatsDan CoatsBipartisan gun measure survives test vote Senate panel advances nominee who Democrats blasted on Social Security Lobbying World MORE (Ind.) and Cory GardnerCory GardnerColorado GOP Senate race to unseat Dem incumbent is wide open Overnight Defense: Senate rejects new FBI surveillance powers | Brexit vote looms | Push for new military aid deal with Israel Senators push vote to condemn Russia's 'reckless actions' MORE (Colo.), plus Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellOvernight Finance: McConnell tees up Puerto Rico vote | Britain's credit rating slashed | Clinton vows to appoint trade prosecutor Senate Dem blocks intelligence authorization over FBI surveillance Overnight Healthcare: Biggest abortion rights win in 25 years | Justice Kennedy again steps to the left MORE (Ky.). Ten other Republican senators have also signed on so far.
“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 CruzTrump hires ex-Cruz aide as communications director Overnight Tech: Judiciary leaders question internet transition plan | Clinton to talk tech policy | Snowden's robot | Trump's big digital push Kasich doesn't expect to speak at convention MORE (Texas), a Republican presidential candidate, and Republicans Sens. John CornynJohn CornynMcConnell tees up House Puerto Rico bill Dem senator urges support for House Puerto Rico bill GOP senator praises Supreme Court's abortion ruling MORE (Texas), Rob PortmanRob PortmanJuan Williams: GOP sounds the sirens over Trump Gun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA McConnell quashes Senate effort on guns MORE (Ohio), Pat RobertsPat RobertsUSDA extends comment period for 'certified organic' animal rule Senate contradicts itself on Gitmo GOP senators propose sending ISIS fighters to Gitmo MORE (Kan.), Ben Sasse (Neb.), Tom CottonTom CottonCoors, ex-NFL coach to fundraise for Trump GOP senators: Brexit vote a wake-up call Sessions warns of 'radical' Clinton immigration policy MORE (Ark.), Jerry MoranJerry MoranSenate panel approves lifting Cuba travel ban Boost in Afghan visas blocked in Senate Senate contradicts itself on Gitmo MORE (Kan.), Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonGOP senators: Obama bathroom guidance is 'not appropriate' Amateur theatrics: An insult to Africa Dem senator blocks push to tie 'gun ban' to spending bill MORE (Ga.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiGOP senator praises Supreme Court's abortion ruling Kerry visits Arctic Circle to see climate impacts Senate panel clears EPA spending bill, blocking rules 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 CorkerGOP senator: Something 'very, very good' can come from Brexit vote GOP senators: Brexit vote a wake-up call Bipartisan gun measure survives test vote 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.