Senate

Senators introduce new Iran sanctions

A bipartisan group of senators are moving to tighten sanctions against Iran. 
 
Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) introduced legislation on Thursday that would expand sanctions targeting Iran’s ballistic missile development, support for terrorism any transfer of weapons and human rights violations. 
 
The senators said they believe the tougher sanctions will help take a hard line against Iran after bipartisan complaints that the Obama administration didn’t push back hard enough against the country. 
 
“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,” said Corker, who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee.
 
{mosads}Some Democrats have been wary of pushing harder sanctions against Iran over concerns that it could brush up against the Iran nuclear deal. The Senate passed a clean 10-year extension of the Iran Sanctions Act late last year after lawmakers weren’t able to get a deal on attaching it to broader sanctions legislation. 
 
Menendez, who didn’t vote for the nuclear deal, said that the legislation was crafted to specifically avoid any sanctions lifted as part of the nuclear agreement. 
 
“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,” he said. 
 
Under the nuclear agreement, Iran agreed to limit its nuclear development in exchange for the United States and other countries lifting sanctions. 
 
Lawmakers were expected to roll out new Iran sanctions ahead of a key foreign policy conference taking place early next week. 
 
Al-Monitor reported that both House and Senate lawmakers were working on wrapping up new sanctions legislation before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which is scheduled to start Sunday.
 
The Senate legislation, according to an outline from Corker’s office, would include mandatory new sanctions on individuals tied to Iran’s ballistic missile program and would expand terrorism-related sanctions to include the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). 
 
It would also codify who is sanctioned over Iran’s support for terrorism and force President Trump to enforce an arms embargo by blocking property for anyone tied to Iran’s sale or transfer of military arms.  
 
Sens. 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.) are co-sponsoring the Senate bill. 
 
Tags Ben Cardin Bob Corker Bob Menendez Chris Coons Joe Donnelly Marco Rubio Michael Bennet Richard Blumenthal Ted Cruz Todd Young Tom Cotton
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