House passes sanctions aimed at Hezbollah

The House easily passed legislation on Wednesday to sanction Hezbollah, a Lebanon-based militant group supported by Iran, as part of a package of measures taking aim at Tehran.

The measures would impose sanctions on individuals and foreign governments that provide financial, recruitment or military assistance to Hezbollah, as well as those that use civilians as human shields. Another bill urges the European Union to fully designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

All three bills passed by voice vote.

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“Hezbollah is Iran’s leading terrorist proxy, and it is only growing more dangerous,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said. “With the House’s action today, we send a strong message that the United States will not allow this threat to go unchecked.”

The House is slated to vote Thursday on additional legislation to expand sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile development.

Those sanctions are separate from those that were lifted as part of the international pact to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

President Trump declined to recertify that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal earlier this month and has threatened to pull out of the pact entirely.

Trump’s move gave Congress 60 days to act to reimpose the sanctions that were lifted as part of the nuclear deal. But for now, GOP leaders have so far only scheduled legislation related to non-nuclear sanctions.

The sanctions for Iran’s ballistic missile development are expected to pass with widespread bipartisan support.