First New Iran Regime Sanctions Since Nuclear Deal Passed
The bill also sanctions anyone associated with Iran regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)
To impose additional sanctions on Iran’s defense sector, The House voted 419-3 today moving the bill forward to be approved by President Trump.
While there are some slight modifications to the bill’s sanctions on Russia, the language on Iran is undistinguishable to the version the Senate passed 98-2 in June. Like its Senate counterpart, the House bill would block the assets of any individual who works with Iran on its ballistic missile program or sells it arms.
The bill also sanctions anyone associated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) or anyone whom the US determines is complicit in Iranian human rights violations. Anyone sanctioned under the act may be removed after a five-year review.
Although the Senate had already voted in favor of the sanctions package on June 15 by 98-2, the House has tacked an additional set of provisions sanctioning North Korea onto the bill, forcing the upper chamber to vote once more. The House has already passed the North Korea sanctions separately by a vote of 419-1, but the Senate has not yet taken it up.
Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., negotiated with the House over the weekend alongside the committee’s ranking member, Senator Ben Cardin, D-Md., to reach consensus.
Corker stated: while the Senate is close to approving the House package, the addition of the North Korea sanctions could cause further delays before the long-awaited sanctions finally make their way to the White House.
“We’re about there,” Corker told reporters. “It depends on a couple of things we’re looking at on the North Korea piece, so it’s not fully worked out. … We’re talking through some procedural issues right now, but we had a very good weekend and are very, very close to having it fully resolved.”
Nonetheless, Senate Democrats are eager to vote on the sanctions and deliver it to the president before the August recess.
“It is critical that the Senate act promptly on that legislation,” said Schumer. “I will work with the majority leader to ensure its swift passage so that we can get it to the president’s desk before we leave for the recess.”
The White House is supportive of taking a harder line against Iran but had initially opposed the bill as it would require Congress to approve any removal of sanctions on Russia. However, the White House changed its tune over the weekend with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying, “The administration is supportive of being tough on Russia, particularly in putting these sanctions in place.”
And while president Trump has twice certified that Iran is in compliance with the JCPOA, most recently last week, he only did so after a lengthy internal debate inside the administration.
Foreign Policy reported last week that Trump has asked his aides to make a credible case for declining to recertify that Iran is in compliance with the JCPOA. The administration must certify Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA every 90 days.