Let me be frank, one of the greatest threats to our homeland is a nuclear-armed Iran.
The “Iran Deal” negotiated by President Obama was extremely flawed. Not only did it leave much of the nuclear infrastructure in place for Iran to rush towards a bomb once the deal expired, it also did nothing to address the regime’s ballistic missile program nor its support for terrorism. Despite verification provisions agreed to within the deal, the regime has continuously prohibited inspectors from accessing military sites where suspected nuclear-related covert activities may be taking place.
For a deal that was supposedly built on “verification,” the world now finds itself speculating about what is truly happening inside the country’s borders. Furthermore, the windfall of cash gifted to the Ayatollahs as a result of sanctions relief has not only emboldened this tyrannical regime, but also allowed them to expand operations like never before – providing substantial support to terrorist organizations, like Hamas and Hezbollah.
As you may know, for these reasons, President Trump rightfully refused to recertify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement. Negotiating a bad deal is bad, but continuing to abide by a bad deal is worse. As such, Congress is now working with the administration to exert more pressure on the Iranian regime and its proxy, Hezbollah. Allowing Iran to continue its destabilizing activities under the guise of a flawed nuclear agreement undermines our national security interests in the region and places our allies, such as Israel, is direct harm. as the President announced, we will also sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps Corp (IRGC). I’m proud to say that I have introduced legislation on several occasions, including earlier this year that advocates for the IRGC to be designated as a foreign terrorist organization.
The United States must not sit back while the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism spreads its tentacles across the Middle East. We must confront this growing threat and pursue tougher economic sanctions along with a renewed focus on enforcement to force Iran to abandoned both its nuclear ambitions and cease all destabilizing activities that threaten regional security.
This is why the U.S. House passed, with my support, a package of bills aimed at curbing Iran’s nefarious behavior and denying its terrorist proxies the funds necessary to continue their activities. For example, H.R. 1698, the Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act, requires the President to impose additional sanctions on entities and individuals supporting Iran’s development of ballistic missiles. As you know, an intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) program has one purpose and one purpose only – to one day develop the ability to deliver a nuclear warhead from Iran to its main adversaries: Israel and the United States.
Going after state sponsors of terror is part of the fight, but we must also directly target individual terror groups to dry up their funds, limit their resources, and therefore, handicap their ability to carry out the next attack.
As such, the House also passed three additional pieces of legislation targeting Hezbollah. In short, these bills direct the President to impose new sanctions on financial institutions and foreign governments that support Hezbollah and affiliated organizations, as well as individual members of the terror groups that use innocent civilians as human shields. However, for sanctions to reach maximum effectiveness, our partners in the European Union must also designate Hezbollah (in its entirety) as a terrorist organization and apply equal economic pressure on the organization.
We must continue to work aggressively to limit Iran’s expansion in the region, as well as work to counter their destabilizing activities. If we fail to do so, we are placing the national security of the U.S. and our allies at risk.
I look forward to continuing to support efforts in the House that will prevent instability currently being provoked by the Iranian regime.