Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

US House Approves Legislation Against Iran, Hezbollah

US House Approves Legislation Against Iran, Hezbollah

Thursday, 26 October, 2017 - 05:30
The chamber of the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill in Washington. Reuters file photo

The US House of Representatives passed three major bills to impose new sanctions on Iran and Hezbollah, aimed at curbing Tehran’s ballistic missile program, banning funding for the movement and punishing it for using civilians as human shields. A fourth bill also passed on Wednesday would allow the US to pressure the European Union to blacklist Hezbollah.


Republican Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, noted that the four projects approved and supported by some 323 members of the US House would strongly confront Iran’s actions and threats not only to the United States but also to its allies in the Middle East.


During Wednesday's evening session, which lasted more than three hours, Royce warned that Iran could acquire capabilities to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear weapon.


Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel, for his part, urged the White House to implement previous bills and sanctions against Iran, stressing that the Congress would not be silent over Iran’s actions and threats to stability and to its neighbors in the region. He also underlined the need to face Hezbollah’s actions as a terrorist group financed by Iran and its support for the Syrian regime.


Bill H.R. 1698 would expand sanctions on Iran to include sanctions on Iranian government bodies engaged in the development and support of the ballistic missile program; foreign entities that provide, facilitate or finance the material for this program; foreign persons and foreign government agencies that import, export or re-export prohibited weapons or related materials to and from Iran; in addition to sanctions on advanced conventional weapons and any destabilizing actions.


As for Bill H.R. 3329, it would require the administration to impose penalties on entities, including financial institutions and foreign government agencies, which support Hezbollah, considered by the US a terrorist organization.


The House also adopted H.R. 3342, which would direct the president to impose economic sanctions on members of Hezbollah who have used human shields, and ban those individuals from entering the United States.


The fourth bill, H.R. 359, calls on the European Union to include Hezbollah on the list of terrorist organizations.

Editor Picks