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October 26, 2017 4:01 pm

New Act Imposing Sanctions on Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program Passes US House of Representatives

avatar by Ben Cohen

Iran’s ballistic missile development program is being targeted by the US Congress. Photo: Tasnim News Agency.

The US House of Representatives passed new legislation sanctioning Iran over its ballistic missile program on Thursday, marking the fourth measure adopted over a period of two days that targets both the Tehran regime and its Lebanese Shia proxy, Hezbollah.

Following the approval of the Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act by a vote of 423-2, its sponsor, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), declared the new sanctions “will squeeze Iranian and foreign companies, banks and individuals that support the Iranian regime’s illicit weapons programs.”

“Iran must know that the United States will not tolerate its dangerous behavior,” Royce said after the vote. The new act penalizes all Iranian government agencies involved in ballistic missile development, along with foreign companies and other foreign entities that provide illicit assistance to Tehran. Anyone providing or receiving Iran with conventional weapons will also face sanctions under the terms of the legislation.

Pro-Israel groups reacted warmly to the raft of house legislation targeting Iran and its proxies. “We appreciate the House’s efforts to counter the dangerous aggression of Iran and Hezbollah, as well as to sanction those that support the terrorist organization with its fundraising and recruitment,” a statement from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) said on Thursday. “We concur with imposing sanctions on those who assist Hezbollah with its reprehensible practice of using Lebanese civilians as human shields. And we support the House’s request that the European Union designate all of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.”

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Jason Isaacson — associate executive director for policy at the American Jewish Committee (AJC) — said, “[I]dentifying and targeting governments and firms that support Iran’s ballistic missile program, or that engage in conventional weapons transfers with Iran, is critical to containing this menace,” in a statement applauding the passage of the Iran act.

Three new measures targeting Hezbollah’s financing and recruitment operations were passed by the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

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