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Lawmakers Seek to Expand Sanctions on Iran over Ballistic Missile Launches

Iran Ballistic Missile Launch AP

A bill introduced in the Senate on Thursday would impose sanctions on Iran for launching ballistic missiles and other provocative acts, a move that fits with President Donald Trump’s plans to take a tougher stance against the top sponsor of terror in the world, according to the U.S. Department of State.

The legislation, introduced by Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and joined by six other Republicans and seven Democrat sponsors, would set mandatory sanctions for any individuals involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, Reuters reported on Thursday.

The sanctions would apply to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a brutal military organization that some have argued should be designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by State.

In February, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Iran should be named an FTO at an event on Capitol Hill.

Gardner made the comment in response to a question asked by The Algemeiner at the discussion, organized by United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) and the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA).

The new legislation, S.722 —  “a bill to impose sanctions with respect to Iran in relation to Iran’s ballistic missile program, support for acts of international terrorism, and violations of human rights and other purposes” — would require blocking the property of any person or entity involved in activities that violate the UN arms embargo on Iran.

Reuters reported that Iran has claimed the sanctions would violate the nuclear deal made during the Obama administration, but Sen. Robert Menendez (R-N.J.) a co-author of the bill, said the text of the bill took the deal into consideration and avoided such violations.

“We assiduously worked to make sure that no provisions actually affect the agreement as it is,” Menendez said. “It calls for a regional strategy because Iran is obviously involved in the region in various ways, whether it be in Yemen or Syria and beyond.”

Last month, the U.S. sanctioned 13 individuals and 12 entities under its Iran sanctions authority.

In a statement on the U.S. Treasury website was listed the sanctioned individuals and entities, some located in the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, and China, as reported by Reuters.

The sanctions were the first aimed at Iran’s provocations since Trump took office on Jan. 20 but are similar to actions taken by the Obama administration that targeted Iran’s ballistic missile network.


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