Oklahoma Congressman Kevin Hern wants to create the toughest Iran sanctions ever proposed by Congress.
As leader of the Republican Study Committee,the Tulsa Representative was joined by former Chairman Jim Banks of Indiana and RSC National Security Task Force Chairman Joe Wilson of South Carolina in introduction of the Maximum Pressure Act with 85 original cosponsors.
It would codify the Trump administration’s maximum pressure ampaign on Iran into law.
Sanctions in the legislation would gut Iran’s ability to fund terrorism throughout the region, sanction the Supreme Leader of Iran, and force the President to enforce sanctions on Iran’s oil sales. Further provisions restrict the ability of the President to abuse waiver and license authorities to lift sanctions on Iran by placing sunsets on such authorities and empowering Congress to prevent the Biden administration from providing more money to Iran and from ever reentering the failed Obama-era nuclear deal.
“Trump’s Maximum Pressure campaign was effective. It held the Iranian regime and their proxies in check,” said Rep. Hern in announcing the effort.
“Biden abandoned that campaign, and we are seeing the results of that decision today with the attacks from Iran-backed Hamas on Israel and from Iranian militias in Syria and Iraq on US forces.”
The Maximum Pressure Act includes the following provisions in response to Hamas’s October 7th terrorist attack, Iranian aggression since Biden took office, and Iranian malign influence within the Biden administration:
- Declares that Iran is responsible for the October 7 terrorist attacks against Israel and that the only suitable punishment for these attacks is a return to maximum pressure on Iran.
- Transfers Iran’s $6B ransom payment to the U.S. Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund.
- Removes the limits on bounties for the capture of terrorist perpetrators of the October 7 massacre.
- Expands sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program and sales to also include Iranian drones.
- Requires Treasury to blacklist all new banks in Iran not already sanctioned under E.O. 13902.
- Requires a report on Iranian intelligence and influence activities in the U.S., like the Iran Experts Initiative, and whether Iranian agents have been employed with the U.S. government.
- Requires a report on whether Iran sanctions relief has freed up resources for Iranian-backed terrorist groups and describing how much those groups have benefited from sanctions relief.