Key Senate Committee Adopts Bipartisan Iran Sanctions Legislation
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May 25, 2017
Key Senate Committee Adopts Bipartisan Iran Sanctions Legislation

AIPAC commends the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for overwhelmingly adopting bipartisan legislation that would impose sanctions targeting Iran’s ballistic missile program, its destabilizing actions in the Middle East, and its conventional weapons trade. The Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017 (S.722) was authored by Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN), Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Ben Cardin (D-MD).

This bill is directed only at actions outside the nuclear sphere—in no way does it violate the letter or spirit of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Over the past two years, Iran has conducted at least fifteen ballistic missile tests in defiance of U.N. prohibitions; enhanced its support for terrorist groups, including Hamas and Hezbollah; deployed substantial forces to Syria in support of the brutal Assad regime; and increased human rights violations at home.

The legislation specifically mandates sanctions on persons that engage in any activity that materially contributes to Iran's ballistic missile activity. The mandate includes persons engaged in any efforts to manufacture, acquire, possess, develop, transport, transfer or use ballistic missiles.

The measure also imposes terrorism-related sanctions on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The U.S. government has already designated the IRGC’s Quds Force as a terrorist group and sanctioned the IRGC for non-proliferation and human rights abuses.

The bill further mandates sanctions on persons violating the arms embargo placed on Iran by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231.

Another important provision authorizes the president to impose sanctions on Iranians responsible for human rights violations against other Iranians who seek to promote human rights or expose illegal government activity. 

AIPAC urges the full Senate to adopt this critical, bipartisan legislation.