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Cotton Introduces the Iran Terrorism and Human Rights Sanctions Act

Cotton Introduces the Iran Terrorism and Human Rights Sanctions Act

Washington, D.C.— Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) yesterday joined U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) in introducing the Iran Terrorism and Human Rights Sanctions Act of 2016 (S. 2726) in response to Iran’s terrorism, missile threats and human rights abuses.

“It seems President Obama is more concerned about preserving his precious deal with Iran than holding them accountable for their illicit activities. We cannot stand idly by as Iran continues its support of terrorism, illegal missile testing, funding Assad’s war, and human rights abuses,” said Cotton. 

The imposition of sanctions against Iranian terrorism, human rights violations, and ballistic missile activities do not violate the Iran nuclear deal.  As Secretary of State John Kerry told the Senate on July 23, 2015, “We will not violate the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)] if we use our authorities to impose sanctions on Iran for terrorism, human rights, missiles, or other nonnuclear reasons. And the JCPOA does not provide Iran any relief from United States sanctions under any of those authorities or other authorities.”

Background: The Iran Terrorism and Human Rights Sanctions Act of 2016 (1) imposes new sanctions against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Mahan Air, an Iranian airline that has helped the IRGC to spread terrorism and militancy; (2) codifies current prohibitions against Iran’s direct and indirect access to the U.S. financial system, while also streamlining and strengthening the requirements for the President to remove Iran or any other country from the state sponsors of terrorism list; and (3) imposes new sanctions against Iran for its egregious human rights abuses.

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