Iran in 2021: Congressional Bills

In 2021, members of Congress introduced more than two dozen bills related to Iran. They spanned a wide range of issues, but the majority focused on Iran’s human rights violations, support for militant proxies, and nuclear advances. Nearly all of the bills recommended the enforcement or expansion of U.S. economic sanctions.

Iran-US flagsEight of the 30 bills introduced in either the House or the Senate had bipartisan support. For example, the “Stop Iranian Drones Act (SIDA),” introduced on November 30, was sponsored by 15 Republicans and eight Democrats. The bill would affirm any person knowingly involved in the supply, sale or transfer of armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to or from Iran would be subject to U.S. sanctions. “Unmanned vehicles are a convenient way for malign actors, particularly Iran, the world’s leading exporter of terrorism, to attack their targets at low cost and risk. It is critical that the United States strictly enforce our sanctions laws to respond to this growing threat,” Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC ), a co-sponsor, said.

Eighteen bills were sponsored exclusively by Republicans. Many of the bills were intended to restrict President Joe Biden’s ability to lift sanctions on Iran or rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal, which President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018. For example, Senator Ron Johnson’s “Iran Nuclear Treaty Act,” sponsored by 25 Republicans, would require Biden to submit any deal with Iran to a Senate supermajority vote. “Our adversaries understand the Biden administration will chart the same weak and disastrous course as President Obama,” Senator Johnson (R-WI) said. “It’s clear the Biden administration is in the business of appeasing adversaries like Russia, state sponsors of terrorism like Iran, and Iran’s terrorist proxies like Hamas.” The following is a summary of all Iran legislation introduced in Congress this year.  

 

H.R. 6089 “Stop Iranian Drones Act (SIDA)”

Introduced by: Reps. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Joe Wilson (R-SC), and Ted Deutch (D-FL)
Sponsorship in total: 15 Republicans, 8 Democrats
Status: Introduced on Nov. 30, 2021 and referred to Foreign Affairs and Judiciary Committees
Summary: The act would clarify that U.S. sanctions on Iran’s conventional weapons program – under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) – include the supply, sale or transfer to or from Iran of armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). “Iran’s UAV proliferation continues to threaten the U.S. and our allies throughout the Middle East. Whether the attack is launched by Iran, the Houthis, Iran-backed militia groups or any other Iran-sponsored entities, these attacks are intolerable,” Rep. McCaul said. Rep. Meeks added that the legislation would align U.S. sanctions with the U.N. Register of Conventional Arms and send “a strong signal to the international community that support for the Iranian drone program will not be tolerated by the government of the United States.”

S.3421 “Stop Iranian Drones Act of 2021” (Senate version of above bill)


Introduced by: Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Jim Risch (R-ID)
Sponsorship in total: 1 Democrat, 1 Republic
Status: Introduced on Dec. 16, 2021 and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations
Summary: The bill, like its companion in the House, would clarify that U.S. sanctions on Iran’s conventional weapons program – under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) – include the supply, sale or transfer to or from Iran of armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). “Iran’s increasing reliance on unmanned aerial vehicles to attack U.S. personnel and assets across the Middle East, as well as shipping vessels, commercial facilities and regional partners is a serious and growing menace to regional stability,” Sen. Menendez said. Sen. Risch added that the legislation “rightly imposes costs on the Iranian drone program and its supporters.”
 

H.Res.800“Recognizing the two-year anniversary of the November 2019 massacre by the Islamic Republic of Iran and condemning the human rights violations by the Islamic Republic of Iran”

Introduced by: Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-MN)
Sponsorship in total: 41 Republicans
Status: Introduced on Nov. 17, 2021 and referred to Foreign Affairs Committee
Summary: The resolution marked the two-year anniversary of the November 2019 protests in Iran sparked by a gas price hike. Security forces used tear gas, water cannons and live ammunition to disperse protests that spread to more than 100 cities and towns. Amnesty International reported that at least 304 people were killed in the crackdown. The resolution “condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the human rights atrocities committed against Iranians by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.” It also calls for the State Department to revise its recognized death toll of 304 to 1,500.

 

H.R.4592 – “Holding Iranian Leaders Accountable Act of 2021”

Introduced by: Reps. French Hill (R-AR) and Al Lawson (D-FL)
Sponsorship in total: 4 Republicans, 1 Democrat
Status: Introduced on July 21, 2021 and referred to Financial Services Committee
Summary: The bill would require the president to publicly report on financial institutions’ involvement with Iranian officials. “By combining publicly available information with U.S. intelligence that can be made public, the legislation can provide a valuable window into the corrupt business practices of Iran’s top kleptocrats and limit their financial holdings which are used to support and sponsor terrorism,” according to a press release. “I stand with the Iranian people,” said Rep. Hill, “and this legislation will provide transparency into the corruption and illicit behavior of the leaders of Iran.”

 

S.2374 – “Sanctioning Iran Supreme Leader and President-Elect”

Introduced by: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Sponsorship in total: 17 Republicans
Status: Introduced on July 15, 2021 and referred to Foreign Relations Committee
Summary: This bill would require the President to impose visa- and property-blocking sanctions on the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and on Ebrahim Raisi, who won the June 2021 presidential election. “Khamenei uses corruption, violence, and confiscation to amass wealth stolen from the Iranian people. President-elect Raisi is responsible for the butchering of tens of thousands of innocent Iranians,” Sen. Cruz said. “They should both be subject to the full force of American sanctions.” Cruz was referring to Raisi’s involvement in the so-called Death Committee for Tehran, which, along with several other committees, approved the mass execution of political prisoners in 1988.

 

H.Res.497 – “Condemning the Murder of Alireza Fazeli Monfared and the Practice of So-Called ‘Honor Killings’ in Iran”

Introduced by: Reps. David Cicilline (D-RI) and Kim Young (R-CA)
Sponsorship in total: 26 Democrats, 6 Republicans
Status: Introduced on June 24, 2021 and referred to Foreign Affairs Committee
Summary: The bill would condemn the murder of Alireza Fazeli Monfared, an “honor killing” due to Monfared’s identity as a gay man. “The practice of ‘honor killings’ in Iran, which has claimed the lives of women, girls, gay men, persons that identify as transgender, and members of other vulnerable populations, is a violation of internationally recognized human rights,” the bill says. It calls for the United States to “publicly rebuke Iran for its failure to comprehensively address the practice of ‘honor killings’” and support independent efforts to document honor killings in Iran.

 

S.2030 – “Iran Nuclear Treaty Act”

Introduced by: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)
Sponsorship in total: 25 Republicans
Status: Introduced on June 10, 2021 and referred to Foreign Relations Committee
Summary: The bill would require any agreement on Iran’s nuclear program involving the United States to be a treaty subject to the advice and consent of the Senate. It prohibits the president from waiving, suspending, reducing or otherwise limiting the application of sanctions as part of a deal unless it receives Senate approval. “Instead of addressing the threats these actors pose, the administration will coddle the Iranian regime and ignore its malign activity throughout the region,” Sen. Johnson said. “It is critical to the security of America and to world peace that any deal Biden negotiates with Iran be deemed a treaty requiring approval by the U.S. Senate.”

S.1950 – “Iran Sanctions Preservation Act”

Introduced by: Sens. James Lankford (R-OK), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Tim Scott (R-SC)
Sponsorship in total: 3 Republicans
Status: Introduced on May 27, 2021 and referred to Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee
Summary: The bill would restrict the authority of the president to waive sanctions on Iran. The president would not be able to remove sanctions on Iranian individuals or financial institutions without certifying to Congress that the person has not engaged in sanctionable conduct. Furthermore, the bill prohibits the delisting of the Central Bank of Iran unless a Senate-approved treaty – which addresses Iran’s nuclear proliferation, ballistic missile program, and support for terrorism – is passed. “Focusing only on the nuclear threat and ignoring Iran’s support for terrorism will lead to more chaos in the Middle East, not less,” Sen. Lankford said. “Congress must act to preserve the ‘maximum pressure’ approach and prevent the Biden Administration’s strategy of appeasement.”

 

H.R.3465 – “Iran China Accountability Act”

Introduced by: Reps. Bob Good (R-VA) and Ronny Jackson (R-TX)
Sponsorship in total: 6 Republicans
Status: Introduced on May 21, 2021 and referred to Foreign Affairs Committee
Summary: The bill would prohibit the use of funds to enter into negotiations with Iran until the president makes specific certifications to Congress regarding the actions of Iran and China. The president would need to certify that China has ceased incarcerating Uighurs in Xinjiang. The president would also need to certify that Iran has:

  • terminated all agreements involving the receipt of funds from China
  • terminated all agreements involving a strategic military or security partnership with China
  • terminated all ties and transfer of cash to Iranian proxies, including Hamas
  • verified the destruction of any and all chemical weapons, materials, and infrastructure

The bill also stipulates that any prospective deal with Iran would need Senate approval and certify the destruction all Iranian nuclear and missile capabilities, weapons, chemical weapons, and offensive cyber activity. “Unfortunately, the Biden Administration appears desperate to re-enter the Iran Nuclear Deal, which would put America last and embolden authoritarian regimes like Iran and China,” said Rep. Good. “To combat this effort, I introduced legislation that holds the Chinese Communist Party accountable and ensures the U.S. avoids another disastrous nuclear deal with Iran.”

 

S.Res.183 – “Condemning Iran’s State-Sponsored Persecution of the Baha’i People”

Introduced by: Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Richard Durbin (D-IL), and John Boozman (R-AR)
Sponsorship in total: 15 Democrats, 10 Republicans
Status: Introduced on April 28, 2021 and referred to Foreign Relations Committee
Summary: The bill would condemn Iran's state-sponsored persecution of the Baha'i minority and continued violation of international covenants on human rights. It calls on Iran to immediately release all imprisoned or detained Baha'is, and it urges the president and the State Department to impose sanctions on Iranian officials and others who are responsible for serious human rights abuses. “The Iranian government continues to wrongly imprison Baha’i religious leaders and persecute their followers, in violation of Iran’s own international commitments,” said Sen. Ron Wyden. “This resolution puts the Senate on record supporting a foreign policy that reflects American values.”

H.R.744 – “Condemning Iran’s State-Sponsored Persecution of the Baha’i People” (House version of above bill)

Introduced by: Reps. Ted Deutch (D-FL), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Bradley Schneider (D-IL), Ann Wagner (R-MO), Gerald Connolly (D-VA), and Christopher Smith (R-NJ)
Sponsorship in total: 12 Democrats, 8 Republicans
Status: Introduced on Oct. 25, 2021 and referred to Foreign Affairs Committee
Summary: The bill, like its companion in the Senate, would condemn Iran’s persecution of the Baha’i minority and continued violation of international covenants on human rights. It calls on Iran to immediately release all imprisoned or detained Baha'is. It also urges the president and the State Department to impose sanctions on Iranian officials and others who are responsible for serious human rights abuses. “The Iranian regime has an egregious record of human rights violations against its own people, including religious/ethnic minorities like the Baha’i,” Rep. Deutch said.

 

H.R.2718 – “Maximum Pressure Act”

Introduced by: Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN)
Sponsorship in total: 110 Republicans
Status: Introduced on April 21, 2021 and referred to Committees on Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, Financial Services, Oversight and Reform, Ways and Means, and Rules
Summary: The bill would restrict the president’s authority to lift sanctions on Iran and require additional congressional oversight with respect to lifting sanctions. It would impose new sanctions on the Supreme Leader’s office, key sectors of the Iranian economy, and more. The bill would require the State Department to maintain the listing of the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization and to designate Yemen’s Houthi rebels as a foreign terrorist organization. “The Maximum Pressure Act is the toughest sanctions bill on Iran ever proposed by Congress and codifies into law the Trump administration’s successful maximum pressure campaign on Iran,” Rep. Banks wrote.   

 

H.R.2117 – “Iran Human Rights and Accountability Act of 2021”

Introduced by: Reps. Joe Wilson (R-SC), Gregory Steube (R-FL), and Jim Banks (R-IN)
Sponsorship in total: 4 Republicans
Status: Introduced on March 19, 2021 and referred to Judiciary and Foreign Affairs Committees
Summary: The bill would require the president to determine whether senior Iranian officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, meet the criteria for sanctions under the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions and Divestment Act (CISADA). The act “stands with the people of Iran and their desire to live in freedom and with basic human rights,” Rep. Wilson said. It would also require a report on human rights abuses in Iran and “make it the policy of the United States to support democracy and human rights in Iran.”

 

H.R.2113 – “Sanctioning Iranian-Backed Militia Terrorists Act”

Introduced by: Reps. Gregory Steube (R-FL), Joe Wilson (R-SC) and Jim Banks (R-IN)
Sponsorship in total: 4 Republicans
Status: Introduced on March 19, 2021 and referred to Judiciary and Foreign Affairs Committees
Summary: The bill would require the president to impose sanctions on Kataib Sayyid al Shuhada (KSS), an Iraqi militia backed by Iran. “Not only does Iran-backed KSS pose a serious threat to peace and stability in the region, but they are also directly responsible for American service member deaths in Iraq,” Rep. Greg Steube said. “Their continued attacks on Americans and our strategic interests demands a strong and decisive response from the Biden Administration, but all we have seen from Biden’s top officials so far are dangerous concessions and radical appeasement.”

H.Res.214 – “Resolution that Iran must cease enriching uranium to 20 percent purity and abandon its pursuit of a nuclear weapon”

Introduced by: Reps. Elaine Luria (D-VA), Bradley Schneider (D-IL), Kathy Manning (D-NC), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), and Peter Meijer (R-MI)
Sponsorship in total: 17 Republicans, 10 Democrats
Status: Introduced on March 10, 2021 and referred to Foreign Affairs Committee
Summary: The resolution would express the sense of the House of Representatives that Iran's decision to enrich uranium to 20 percent purity is “escalatory and intended to decrease breakout time to produce a nuclear weapon.” It also calls on Iran to reverse its decision on enrichment and “abandon its pursuit of a nuclear weapon. (Iran has repeatedly denied that it seeks to attain a nuclear weapon. In December 2021, the CIA said that it had not seen evidence that Iran had moved to weaponization.) “Iran is a state-sponsor of terrorism and poses an existential threat to our national security and Israel, America’s strongest ally in the region,” Rep. Luria said.

 

H.R.1479 – “Iran Nuclear Deal Advice and Consent Act of 2021”

Introduced by: Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY)
Sponsorship in total: 8 Republicans
Status: Introduced on March 2, 2021 and referred to Foreign Affairs Committee
Summary: The bill would prohibit the use of federal funds to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal unless the president consents to submit any successor agreement to the Senate for advice and consent. “By even considering rejoining the JCPOA at this point, the Biden Administration is threatening to undermine the American-Israeli alliance and further exacerbate the conflict over Iran’s nuclear weapons pursuit,” Rep. Barr said.  The bill “ensures Congress will serve as a check on the Biden Administration’s urge to rejoin the failed JCPOA and reclaims Congressional oversight over the international treaty process which is enshrined in Article I of the U.S. Constitution.”

 

S.1205 – “Iran Nuclear Deal Advice and Consent Act of 2021” (Senate version of above bill)

Introduced by: Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) 
Sponsorship in total: 11 Republicans
Status: Introduced on April 19, 2021 and referred to Foreign Relations Committee.
Summary: The bill, like its companion in the House, would prohibit the use of federal funds to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal unless the president consents to submit any successor agreement to the Senate for advice and consent. “The Obama-Biden administration bent over backwards to appease Iran and even sent a jumbo-jet filled with $400 million in pallets of cash to the murderous regime,” Sen. Blackburn said. “My legislation will prevent Biden from circumventing the U.S. Senate to salvage the failed deal or forge a new, just as disastrous one.”

 

S.488 – “Iran Sanctions Relief Review Act of 2021”

Introduced by: Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN)
Sponsorship in total: 36 Republicans
Status: Introduced on Feb. 25, 2021 and referred to Foreign Relations Committee
Summary: The bill would “require an up-or-down vote on any future sanctions relief to Iran’s terror-sponsoring regime,” according to Sen. Hagerty. Specifically, the president would be required to report to Congress before terminating or waiving sanctions related to Iran or taking an action that significantly alters U.S. policy on Iran. “If the Biden Administration wants an Iran policy that can enjoy bipartisan support and survive changes in presidential administrations,” Hagerty said, “then it needs to stop bending over backwards to give away hard-won economic and financial leverage and instead use this leverage to end the Iranian regime’s nuclear proliferation, ballistic missile threats, terrorism, and regional aggression.”

 

H.R.1699 – “Iran Sanctions Relief Review Act of 2021” (House version of above bill)

Introduced by: Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX)
Sponsorship in total: 51 Republicans
Status: Introduced on March 9, 2021 and referred to Committees on Foreign Affairs, Financial Services, Judiciary, Oversight and Reform, Ways and Means, and Rules
Summary: The bill, like its companion in the Senate, would require the president to report to Congress before terminating or waiving sanctions related to Iran or taking an action that significantly alters U.S. policy on Iran. “The Biden Administration has already started making concessions in an apparent attempt to start negotiations with Iran,” Rep. McCaul said. “This bill creates a process for Congress to conduct appropriate oversight of any agreement with Iran that includes sanctions relief. We have a responsibility to ensure that the American people are getting a better deal than the JCPOA.”

S.Res.72 – “A resolution opposing the lifting of Iran sanctions without addressing the full scope of Iran's malign activities”

Introduced by: Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR)
Sponsorship in total: 34 Republicans
Status: Introduced on Feb. 24, 2021 and referred to Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee
Summary: The resolution opposes lifting sanctions on Iran and asserts that they may be terminated only after Iran has “ceased the pursuit, acquisition, and development of, and verifiably dismantled its, nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and ballistic missiles and ballistic missile launch technology.” The bill was citing a section of CISADA. “The United States must maintain sanctions on the Iranian regime until it abandons its nuclear ambitions and ends its support for violence and terror around the region,” Sen. Cotton said in a joint statement with Rep. Mike Gallagher. “Iran took advantage of weak policies during the Obama Administration, and President Biden must not repeat those same mistakes.”

 

H.Res.157 – “A resolution opposing the lifting of Iran sanctions without addressing the full scope of Iran's malign activities” (House version of above resolution)

Introduced by: Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI)
Sponsorship in total: 43 Republicans
Status: Introduced on Feb. 24, 2021 and referred to Foreign Affairs and Financial Services Committees 
Summary: The resolution, like its companion in the Senate, opposes lifting sanctions on Iran and resolves that these sanctions may be terminated only after Iran has “ceased the pursuit, acquisition, and development of, and verifiably dismantled its, nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and ballistic missiles and ballistic missile launch technology.”

 

S.434 – “Iran Diplomacy Act of 2021”

Introduced by: Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA)
Sponsorship in total: 10 Democrats, 1 Independent
Status: Introduced on Feb. 24, 2021 and referred to Foreign Relations Committee
Summary: The bill states that the United States and Iran should promptly return to full compliance with their commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal. The bill also encourages the United States to lead international efforts to advance diplomatic measures that promote U.S., regional, and international security. Sen. Markey said that taking the threat of a nuclear Iran off the table could “provide the momentum to advance multilateral and bilateral diplomatic efforts to address Iran’s burgeoning ballistic missile program, extend elements of the Iran deal due to expire, and combat the Iranian government and its proxies’ malign activities throughout the region.”

 

H.R.1203 – “Iran Nuclear Verification Act”

Introduced by: Reps. Lisa McClain (R-MI), Yvette Herrell (R-NM), Ronny Jackson (R-TX), Eric Crawford (R-AR), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), and Jerry Carl (R-AL)
Sponsorship in total: 11 Republicans
Status: Introduced on Feb. 22, 2021 and referred to Foreign Affairs Committee
Summary: The bill would prohibit the United States from becoming a party to the Iran nuclear deal until the president certifies to Congress that U.N. inspectors are granted full access to all of Iran’s nuclear facilities. “The horrific Iran Nuclear Deal is incredibly dangerous for not only the United States, but the entire world,” Rep. McClain said. “Lifting President Trump’s sanctions on Iran, including visa restrictions on Iranian leaders, gives the regime relief without any verification of adherence to the spirit of the deal.”

 

H.R.1179 – “Iran Hostages Congressional Gold Medal Act”

Introduced by: Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-NY)
Sponsorship in total: 74 Democrats, 69 Republicans
Status: Introduced on Feb. 18, 2021 and referred to Committees on Financial Services, Administration, and Budge
Summary: The bill would require the Speaker of the House of Representatives to arrange for the award of a Congressional Gold Medal to each of the 52 Americans (or their next of kin) who were held hostage in Iran from November 1979 until January 1981. “The bravery and sacrifice made by U.S. Embassy workers who were held against their will must be honored,” said Rep. Suozzi. “We can never forget their sacrifice and their never-ending will to uphold the values our country holds so dear.” The bill was introduced within weeks of the 40th anniversary of the release of the hostages.

 

S.2607 – “Iran Hostages Congressional Gold Medal Act” (Senate version of above bill)

Introduced by: Sens. Alex Padilla (D-CA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), John Cornyn (R-TX), Patty Murray (D-WA), Ben Lujan (D-NM), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Sponsorship in total: 6 Republicans, 5 Democrats
Status: Introduced on Aug. 4, 2021 and referred to Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee
Summary: The bill, like its companion in the House, would arrange for the award of a Congressional Gold Medal to each of the 52 Americans held hostage in Iran from November 1979 until January 1981. “40 years ago, the nation came together to celebrate 52 patriots’ safe return after more than a year in captivity under brutal conditions,” Sen. Padilla said. “The resilience, strength, and courage of these American heroes must never be forgotten.”

 

H.R.118 – Expressing Support for a Democratic, Secular and Nonnuclear Republic of Iran”

Introduced by: Reps. Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Brad Sherman (D-CA)
Sponsorship in total: 180 Republicans, 70 Democrats
Status: Introduced on Feb. 11, 2021 and referred to Foreign Affairs Committee
Summary: The resolution would condemn Iranian state-sponsored terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens and Iranian dissidents. It also expresses support for the people of Iran who are engaged in peaceful protests against the government. “The Iranian regime has committed egregious violations of human rights – the massacre of thousands of political prisoners in 1988, the killing of 1,500 protestors in November 2019, and the murder of the Baluchi people in February 2021,” Rep. McClintock wrote. “The Iranian regime must be held accountable for these crimes against humanity.”

 

H.R.857 – “Iranian Arms Transfer Prevention Act of 2021”

Introduced by: Reps. Don Bacon (R-NE) and Joe Wilson (R-SC)
Sponsorship in total: 2 Republicans
Status: Introduced on Feb. 5, 2021 and referred to Judiciary and Foreign Affairs Committees
Summary: The bill would require the president to impose property-blocking sanctions on anyone involved in arms transfers to or from Iran. It would mandate the State Department to issue a biannual report listing every individual involved in arms transfers with Iran, and the president would then be quired impose sanctions on each of the individuals. “The Iranian Arms Transfer Prevention Act is common sense legislation that restores these long-standing restrictions by imposing costs on entities and individuals who facilitate the sale or transfer of weapons to the Iranian regime,” Rep. Bacon said. “Passing this bill is a necessary and prudent action until Iran abandons its policies of regional aggression and support for international terrorism.”

 

H.R.819 – “Stop Corrupt Iranian Oligarchs and Entities Act”

Introduced by: Reps. David Kustoff (R-TN) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ)
Sponsorship in total: 10 Republicans, 1 Democrat
Status: Introduced on Feb. 4, 2021 and referred to Foreign Affairs and Financial Services Committees
Summary: The bill would mandate the Treasury Department to report to Congress on Iranian individuals and groups that have close relationships with the Iranian government and to evaluate whether to place sanctions on them. “While the Iranian regime enriches themselves and profits off of the corruption and mismanagement of their own economy, the Iranian middle class continues to struggle and suffer every day. It is essential we stand up to and place maximum pressure on Iran and its leaders to help expose the corrupt nature of this dangerous regime,” Rep. Kustoff said.

 

S.Res.31 – “A resolution expressing the Senate's opposition to the current, ineffective JCPOA”

Introduced by: Sens. Rick Scott (R-FL), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Joni Ernst (R-IA)
Sponsorship in total: 4 Republicans
Status: Introduced on Feb. 3, 2021 and referred to Foreign Relations Committee
Summary: The resolution would urge the president not to return the United States to 2015 nuclear deal unless the agreement is revised to eliminate Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and ability to produce ballistic missiles, among other conditions. The resolution recommends that U.S. sanctions against Iran remain in place until Iran has complied with all elements of a revised agreement. “The Iran Nuclear Deal jeopardized the security of our allies in the region and the American people, and we gained nothing in return,” Sen. Scott said about the resolution. “Instead of retrying what already failed, President Biden should work with Congress to develop a strategy to properly combat this state sponsor of terrorism.”

 

H.R.733 – “Stop Evasion of Iran Sanctions Act of 2021”

Introduced by: Reps. Bryan Steil (R-WI), Lance Gooden (R-TX), French Hill (R-AR), William Timmons (R-SC), and Lee Zeldin (R-NY)
Sponsorship in total: 5 Republicans
Status: Introduced on Feb. 2, 2021 and referred to Financial Services Committee
Summary: The bill would allow the Treasury Department to restrict the operations of financial institutions working to facilitate trade between Iran and other countries. It targets financial institutions connected with the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), which Britain, France and Germany established to facilitate legitimate trade with Iran. “The Stop Evasion of Iran Sanctions Act sends a clear message to the world that we are serious about sanctions enforcement,” Rep. Steil said. “Sanctions enforcement is critical to preventing the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Some want to trade with Iran using a loophole, my bill stops that.”

 

Brett Cohen, a research assistant at the Woodrow Wilson Center, assembled this report.

Updated