May 01, 2023

Scott, Hassan, Hagerty, Rosen Reintroduce Bill to Solidify U.S. Sanctions on Iran

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; Senator Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.); Senator Bill Hagerty (R- Tenn.); and Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) today introduced the Solidify Iran Sanctions Act (SISA) to make permanent the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996. Cementing these sanctions will advance national security by restraining Iran from engaging in malign activities that threaten the United States and its allies. SISA also ensures that America’s sanctions regime continues to apply pressure on Iran as the regime continues its dangerous nuclear escalation.

A companion bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Calif.), Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Rep. Susie Lee (D-Nev.).

“As evidenced by the recent Iranian-backed drone strike in Syria that tragically killed South Carolinian Scott Dubis and the recent seizure of a U.S. bound oil tanker, it is clear that Iran continues to engage in destabilizing activities that threaten the safety of America, Israel, and our other partners in the region. Cementing these sanctions will apply pressure on Iran and help restrain this regime from developing weapons that threaten safety and security around the world,” said Ranking Member Scott.

“Iran continues to pose a significant threat to the U.S. and our allies, including Israel,” said Senator Hassan. “This bipartisan bill is an important part of our efforts to pressure Iran and restrict its ability to destabilize the Middle East and develop dangerous weapons.”

“The Iranian regime continues to increase its nuclear and ballistic missile investments and its support for terrorism and militancy in the Middle East, as further shown by the recent Iranian-backed drone strike in Syria that killed an American citizen,” said Senator Hagerty. “I’m pleased to be an original co-sponsor of the Solidify Iran Sanctions Act, a bill that will make permanent the Iran Sanctions Act, a cornerstone law in America’s broader sanctions program against Iran’s terror-sponsoring regime.  The United States should not ease sanctions unless and until the Iranian regime ends its malign and destabilizing behavior.”

“Sanctions have been critical in holding Iran accountable for its destabilizing actions, including support for terrorist proxies,” said Senator Rosen. “With Iran closer than ever to a nuclear weapon, I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing bipartisan legislation that applies pressure on the Iranian regime.”

American Israel Public Affairs Committee: “The Solidifying Iran Sanction Act is an important bipartisan effort to solidify critical sanctions on the Iranian regime at a time when Tehran is dangerously advancing its nuclear program and targeting U.S. troops.”

FDD Action: “SISA would help to maintain the backbone of sanctions pressure on Iran for its malign conduct. Since 1996 ISA has been a centerpiece of US efforts to choke off funds going to Iran through the energy sector that were fueling the Islamic Republic’s global terrorism and nuclear proliferation. Extending the legislation would send the message to Tehran that the Congress will continue to impose sanctions on Iran until it ceases its nuclear program and stops engaging in terrorism.”

United Against Nuclear Iran: “We applaud Senators Scott, Hassan, Rosen, and Hagerty, and Representatives Steel, Lee, and McCaul for reintroducing the Solidify Iran Sanctions Act. The threat posed by the Islamic Republic has no expiration date, and thus neither should U.S. sanctions on the regime. Eliminating ISA’s sunset is a key part of increasing American pressure on the regime.”

In 1996, Congress passed the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA), which allowed the president to impose secondary sanctions on Iran’s energy sector. Throughout the years, ISA provisions were expanded to include other Iranian industries. ISA consists of “triggers” that place sanctions on firms or entities that violate U.S. sanctions under this law. As Iran continues its nuclear enrichment towards a weapons-grade level, it is essential that the United States solidifies its pivotal sanctions to apply pressure toward the rogue regime. The Solidify Iran Sanctions Act removes the sunset provision in the ISA and signals that the U.S. remains firmly committed to sanctioning the regime until it changes its malign behavior.

For more information, read the bill text here.