U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who sits on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is pushing for more sanctions on the Iranian regime.
On Friday, Rubio joined former Republican presidential primary rival U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wisc., in unveiled the “Blocking Iranian Illicit Finance Act” which, they insisted, will “counter the Iranian regime’s money laundering and financing of terrorism, protect the global financial system from Iranian illicit finance, and impose maximum financial pressure on Iran.”
Other backers of the proposal in the Senate include Republican U.S. Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi and Todd Young and Indiana. Original House cosponosrs include Republican U.S. Reps. Doug Lamborn of Colorado, Jim Banks of Indiana, Peter King and Elise Stefanik of New York, Jacki Walorski of Indiana and Don Bacon of Nebraska.
Rubio took aim at the Iranian regime on Friday.
“This important legislation would empower the United States and our like-minded allies to do more to end the Iranian government’s ability to illicitly finance its dangerous efforts to sponsor terrorism and militancy, to advance its nuclear and missile programs, to egregiously abuse human rights in Iran and abroad, and to suppress the Iranian people’s aspirations for self-determination,” he said. “I look forward to working with fellow lawmakers and the administration to enact this legislation and fully implement the maximum pressure against the regime in Tehran.”
Cruz focused his fire on the nuclear deal with Iran backed by the Obama administration.
“The Obama Iran nuclear deal gifted the Ayatollahs with hundreds of billions of dollars and reconnected them to the global financial system, which they used launder even more money and fund even more terrorism,” Cruz said. “Undoing that damage requires imposing maximum pressure against the Iranian regime. President Trump was absolutely right when he began that process by withdrawing from the nuclear deal. Effectively disconnecting Iran from the global financial system, which this bill does, is a necessary next step.”
With Congress ready to adjourn and a new one ready to convene next month, Cruz said this legislation will wait for next year even as the Democrats ready to take the House.
“I look forward to working more with the administration and my congressional colleagues to ensure this bill becomes law during the next Congress,” Cruz said.
Gallagher also slammed the Obama administration’s agreement with the Iranian regime.
"Withdrawing from the JCPOA was only the first step in ratcheting up pressure on the Iranian regime. We now have an important window to impose maximum economic pressure and degrade the Iranian regime’s ability to export violence across the region. This legislation does exactly that by effectively cutting Iran off from the international financial community. Its message is clear: Iran must pay a steep price for its aggressive and destabilizing behavior, and the United States will never tolerate its pursuit of nuclear weapons,” Gallagher said.