With President Donald Trump imposing sanctions on Iran this week, several Republicans in the Florida delegation are backing the decision.
From his perch on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., applauded Trump’s executive order reimposing Iran sanctions after the U.S. opted out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) approved by then President Barack Obama.
“As people throughout Iran express growing dissatisfaction with their government’s rampant corruption and economic mismanagement, the United States is standing with them and reinstating the first round of crippling financial sanctions against the regime in Tehran,” Rubio said on Monday after Trump issued the order. “Congress backs the Administration’s enforcement of Iran sanctions. I urge other countries, especially our allies and partners, to support the people of Iran and to comply fully with reimposed sanctions against an Iranian regime that is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, an unrepentant nuclear and missile proliferator, and an egregious human rights abuser.”
Freshman U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, who Trump has endorsed for a second term, also backed the decision.
“I commend President Trump’s decision to reimpose tough sanctions on Iran, a nation that destabilizes the Middle East, oppresses its own people, and exploits the global financial system to promote ruthless regimes and spread terror worldwide,” Gaetz said on Tuesday. “Throughout my time in Congress, I have been vocal about the global threat posed by Iran, including the Iranian-backed transnational criminal organization Hezbollah. Last year, I held a field hearing on Hezbollah’s rapidly-increasing presence in South America. Hezbollah’s growth into the Western hemisphere is alarming, and its expansion was greatly accelerated due to the JCPOA’s reduced sanctions on Iran. During a hearing with the House Armed Services Committee, Gen. Joseph Votel, Commander of U.S. Central Command, stated that Iran had ‘increased [its] investment’ in its proxy forces like Hezbollah after the JCPOA was signed.
“Sanctions against Iran were working, which made former President Obama’s decision to lift them and agree to the JCPOA even more misguided. From the beginning, the JCPOA was a fatally flawed deal that should have never been made. It never served the best interests of the American people or our allies worldwide,” Gaetz added. “Iran’s state-sponsored terror networks threaten America, both internationally and domestically. Iran has worked against both the United States and our allies in Israel, while continuing to lie and deny their malign activities. Iranian leaders burn the American flag and shout ‘Death to America!’ Their position on the United States is clear — sanctions against them are long overdue.
“America’s sanctions present an opportunity for the United States to continue working alongside our European allies and our closest ally in the region, Israel. We must actively work to limit Iran’s aggression, as well as the activities of Iranian-backed terror organizations like Hezbollah, to ensure American security at home and abroad,” Gaetz concluded. “President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran deal shows that he is serious about protecting the American people. I am proud to stand with President Trump as he brings pressure on the Iranian regime to achieve an agreement that denies Iran any path whatsoever toward developing nuclear weapons. I fully support President Trump’s decision to reimpose tough sanctions on the Iranian regime. We must continue to hold Iran accountable for its destabilizing actions."
U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., also supported Trump’s executive order.
“Ending sanctions against the terrorist state of Iran was an egregious mistake, and I commend the President for reinstating tough restrictions on trade with that pariah dictatorship,” Diaz-Balart said. “The mullahs in Iran continue to threaten our national security, destabilize its neighbors, and oppress the Iranian people. Additionally, the regime funds terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah, and poses a grave risk to key allies such as Israel. I will continue to support tough sanctions against the terrorist state of Iran to strengthen our national security and protect our military personnel abroad, and to promote freedom and human rights for the Iranian people.”
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., the chairwoman of the U.S. House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, also cheered Trump’s action, taking to Twitter to insist “reinstating sanctions against Iran is the right decision.”
“Tehran's bad behavior and support of terrorism only got worse after implementation of the JCPOA and sanctions relief,” she added. “We cannot allow Iran's destabilizing influence to go unchecked.”