Jan 11, 2016

Democrats Support New Sanctions on Iran. They Should Support Our Bill

Republicans have repeatedly called for the President to respond to Iran’s provocative ballistic missile launches, it’s new underground missile depot, and its firing of rockets near American naval vessels in the Strait of Hormuz. If we don’t stop Iran’s aggression and hold them accountable to international agreements already in place, the Iran deal leaves America even worse off than we initially thought.

We know the Iran nuclear deal is fundamentally flawed. Iran already won on the deal because the verification system has holes, the idea that the west can snapback sanctions is flawed, and now, the Obama Administration is demonstrating that it has no intention to hold Iran accountable. Even after repeated provocations, Secretary Kerry said that the Administration would lift Iran’s sanctions as quickly as possible. This acts as a reward for Iran’s bad behavior all in an attempt set in stone a terrible deal.

This has led many Democrats—supporters and opponents of the deal alike—to call on the Administration to impose new sanctions on Iran.

  • Representative Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) said, “They ought to impose sanctions because we have to show we take this seriously. Iran is very destabilizing, very aggressive and very badly behaved and we have to do what we can to stop that.”
  • Seven House Democrats including Democratic National Committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) wrote, “Inaction from the United States would send the misguided message that, in the wake of the [nuclear deal], the international community has lost the willingness to hold the Iranian regime accountable, for its support for terrorism and other offensive actions throughout the region.”
  • Representative John Delaney (MD-06) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (MD-05) even introduced legislation to make it easier for the President to sanction organizations that buy or sell ballistic missiles from Iran.
  • This follows a large bipartisan outcry against the President’s failure to hold Iran accountable for its ballistic missile tests

These Democrats are actually right. We need to respond to Iran now or they will continue to act with impunity. That is why our Democrat colleagues should support the Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act (H.R. 3662) that the House will vote on this Wednesday.

As Leader McCarthy and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce said, the President’s response to Iran has been “weak and inadequate” and

“This bill will stop the Administration from offering sanctions relief to individuals or banks unless we are certain they do not support terror, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Iran’s ballistic missile program, or its conventional weapons program.”

Republicans and Democrats alike know that we have to start putting pressure on Iran now. This sanctions bill is how we can do that. A strong bipartisan vote would send a message to the President that it doesn’t matter who supports the deal or not, America will be safer if we keep Iran in line when it violates international agreements.