House Dems, GOP working together to make Iran sanctions permanent

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EXCLUSIVE: A bipartisan group of House lawmakers will introduce legislation Thursday that would solidify U.S. sanctions against Iran in order to apply pressure to the regime as it attempts to obtain nuclear weapons.

The lawmakers say the legislation, titled the Solidify Iran Sanctions Act (SISA), would create a necessary deterrent by targeting the country’s energy sector and making it more difficult to finance terrorist operations or develop ballistic missiles.

“From brutal abuses committed against its own people, to its never-ending threats towards free and democratic societies, the Iranian regime has proven time and again that they are a rogue state with no interest in preserving regional or global peace,” said Rep. Michelle Steel, R-Calif., who is leading the bill in the House.

“It is more important than ever that we prevent the unacceptable threat of a nuclear Iran from becoming a reality. Existing sanctions have proven successful in preventing such a catastrophe, and we must ensure that we can continue to place economic and strategic pressures on Iran to prevent them from developing nuclear weapons or supporting terrorists. I’m proud to partner with Senator Scott on this issue, and to lead this bipartisan group of my House colleagues to send a clear signal that the United States will not tolerate existential threats against us, our allies, or freedom and democracy around the world.”

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The bill would require the “imposition of sanctions with respect to Iran’s illicit weapons programs, conventional weapons and ballistic missile development, and support for terrorism, including Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps.”

Current co-sponsors include Reps. Susie Lee, D-Nev.; Grace Meng, D-N.Y.; Angie Craig, D-Minn.; Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J.; Joe Wilson, R-S.C.; Maria Salazar, R-Fla.; Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla.; Randy Weber, R-Texas; and Mike Waltz, R-Fla.

Last month, Sens. Tim Scott, R-S.C.; Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.; Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn.; and Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., introduced the Senate version of the legislation. The bill is designed to make the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 permanent in order to keep the U.S. and its allies safe from the threat of a nuclear Iran.

The legislation comes as the Biden administration is still negotiating the final details of a renewed nuclear deal with Iran.

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers urged President Biden last week to deny necessary “entry visas” for Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his delegation to attend the upcoming 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York City due to the foreign president’s record of supporting terrorism and violating human rights.

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