This week, four Republicans in the Florida congressional delegation backed stronger sanctions on Iran.
Florida Republican U.S. Reps. Kat Cammack, Scott Franklin, Greg Stuebe and Michael Waltz backed the proposed sanctions unveiled by former U.S. Sec. of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., the chairman of the Republican Study Committee.
The sanctions would “continue the Trump-era maximum pressure campaign; expand sanctions on Iran to include the iron, steel, aluminum, copper, construction, manufacturing, mining, textile, finance and petrochemical industries; address conventional arms trade with Iran; expand reporting requirements to provide a clearer outlook into Iran’s human rights abuses against the people of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Venezuela; work to prevent Iran from acquiring ballistic missiles in addition to a nuclear weapon; sanction those who actively work to support the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps IRGC; and prohibit the lifting of these sanctions without a vote by Congress.”
Steube noted that Banks’ bill contains his “Sanctioning Iranian-Backed Militia Terrorists Act” which will impose sanctions on the Iranian-backed Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS) in Iraq.
Last month, Steube brought out the bill and expressed some disappointment in the first efforts from the Biden administration on Iran.
“Not only does Iran-backed KSS pose a serious threat to peace and stability in the region, but they are also directly responsible for American service member deaths in Iraq,” Steube said when he brought out the proposal. “Their continued attacks on Americans and our strategic interests demand a strong and decisive response from the Biden administration, but all we have seen from Biden’s top officials so far are dangerous concessions and radical appeasement.”
“KSS is an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia which President Joe Biden recently launched airstrikes against in Syria. Formerly under the command of Qassem Soleimani, this militia was responsible for running a network of coordinated Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks, which killed many American troops in the Iraq War. Under Soleimani, KSS was also involved with gross human rights abuses in Syria fighting to support the Assad regime,” Steube’s office noted.
“KSS has called the United States and Israel legitimate targets that they would attack on the battlefield, prompting the former Trump administration to begin the process of sanctioning this group on February 14, 2020. His administration imposed export control-related sanctions on KSS for nonproliferation, but the group has not yet been sanctioned as a Specially Designated National,” Steube’s office continued.
Steube cheered Banks’ proposal as “the toughest sanctions package ever proposed against Iran” and took aim at the Biden White House.
“Joe Biden’s dangerous reversal of Trump-era Iran policies and steps to rejoin the JCPOA only serve to put the United States on a path to future wars and set up the Middle East for more destabilizing chaos,” Steube said. “I am honored to work with Chairman Banks and the Republican Study Committee on this legislation, which would make permanent Pompeo’s maximum pressure sanctions while protecting our regional allies, like Israel.”
Franklin noted he was “proud” to back the proposal “which will help the U.S. regain a position of strength when dealing with Iran.”
Cammack praised Pompeo and “his leadership during the Trump administration and are excited to continue working with him as we stand up to Iran.” The congresswoman also backed “putting maximum pressure on the Iranians.”
Banks’ proposal was sent to a whopping six committees on Wednesday with stops scheduled before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs; Financial Services; Judiciary; Oversight and Reform; Ways and Means; and the Rules Committees.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.