GOP lawmakers call for Iran sanctions over its role in Yemen
A pair of senior GOP lawmakers are pushing to impose sanctions on Iran for its destabilizing activities in Yemen as the House prepares to vote this week on legislation to crack down on the country’s financing of terrorism.
Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Ted Poe (R-Texas), both senior members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced a bill to sanction Iran for its support for the Houthi rebels in Yemen. Iran’s involvement in Yemen’s civil war has included its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps transferring weapons systems to the Houthis.
“The Iranians need to be held accountable for the mess and war they are perpetuating in Yemen. This bill will send a clear message to Tehran to stop their activities or pay the price. And that’s just the way it is,” Poe said in a statement on Monday.
The Houthis stormed Yemen’s capital in 2015 and pushed out the internationally recognized government. Saudi-backed military forces have not been able to remove the Houthis in their campaign in support of the ousted Yemeni government.
In addition to offering humanitarian assistance for the victims of Yemen’s civil war, the U.S. has engaged in intelligence cooperation and provided aid to Saudi coalition planes that conducted bombings against the Houthi rebels.
The House adopted a resolution last month explicitly stating that Congress has not enacted legislation formally authorizing the use of military force in the Yemen conflict.
The resolution, authored by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), also called for sanctions against Iran for its role in Yemen.
The introduction of sanctions from Ros-Lehtinen and Poe comes ahead of House consideration of two bills this week aimed at Iran.
The two measures scheduled for House votes this week would require the Treasury Department to report on how to revise U.S. sanctions to prevent Iranian officials from using funds to develop ballistic missile technology, as well as on financial transactions related to commercial aircraft sales to Iran.
In October, the House passed legislation to expand sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile development and support for Hezbollah.
The House’s consideration of sanctions came weeks after President Trump declined to certify that Iran is complying with the international accord to curb the country’s nuclear program. Trump’s announcement gave Congress 60 days to reimpose sanctions that were lifted as part of the nuclear deal, but lawmakers to date have not moved to do so.