Steil Introduces Bill to Maintain Sanctions on Terrorists in Iran

February 5, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, Congressman Bryan Steil (WI-01) introduced the No Sanctions Relief for Terrorists Act. Steil’s bill ensures President Biden cannot provide sanctions relief for Iran unless Iran stops its terrorist activity. Read more about Steil’s bill in the Washington Free Beacon.

“The Iranian regime is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism and continues to financially support terrorist militias across the Middle East. I am deeply concerned that the Biden Administration could abuse humanitarian waivers to provide sanctions relief regardless of the regime’s terrorist activities. Using this loophole, the Biden Administration will appear tough on Iran by not formally lifting sanctions, while simultaneously allowing transactions that financially support Iran’s pursuit of terrorism. My bill closes this loophole, prevents the Biden Administration from providing sanctions relief under the guise of humanitarian aid, and requires President Biden to certify to Congress that Iran is no longer sponsoring terrorism before lifting sanctions,” said Steil.

On background:

Under the Obama-Biden Iran Nuclear Deal, sanctions were lifted on individuals and entities sanctioned for terrorism in Iran. President Biden, National Security Advisor Jack Sullivan, and Secretary of State Tony Blinken have stated they support re-entry into the Iran Nuclear Deal. Re-entry into this deal would require the lifting of sanctions on individuals and entities designed for terrorism.

Secretary of State Blinken has made contradictory statements regarding the future of these sanctions. The Secretary has indicated to Members of Congress that he would not support lifting terrorism-related sanctions on Iran, while at the same time, promising to rejoin the original Iran Nuclear Deal, which lifted such sanctions. To achieve this goal, it is likely that the Biden administration will abuse general and specific licenses and waivers, which are meant to be issued for humanitarian and medical assistance for the Iranian people, COVID-19 relief, and telecommunications services, to provide sanctions relief to terrorists in Iran without formally lifting the sanctions.

Steil’s bill prevents the Biden administration from providing sanctions relief to individuals and entities in Iran sanctioned for terrorism unless the President could certify to Congress that Iran was no longer sponsoring terrorism. It would prevent the abuse of humanitarian waivers and licenses by the Biden Administration to get around having to formally lift terrorism related sanctions on terrorists while at the same time maintaining the numerous existing licenses and waivers that ensure the provision of humanitarian and medical assistance, COVID-19 relief, and telecommunications services.