House Moves To Sanction Iranian Terror Proxies

Many missiles aimed at Israel were launched by Iran’s allied militant groups in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)

A coalition of 60 Republican House lawmakers on Monday filed legislation that would impose sanctions on 11 Iranian terrorist proxy groups operating across the Middle East, according to a copy of the bill obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Rep. Greg Steube (R., Fla.) and a coalition of his GOP colleagues filed the sanctions bill Monday evening following a weekend missile strike by Iran on Israel. Many of the missiles and drones fired by Tehran were launched by its allied militant groups in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.

Steube’s legislation targets several of the most dangerous Iranian allies, and will require the Biden administration to formally classify them as designated terror organizations. Currently, Iranian-controlled groups operating in Iraq, Yemen, and Syria are not formally classified as foreign terrorist organizations, allowing them to do Tehran’s bidding while moving money and weapons across the Middle East.

“Iran has long utilized proxy forces to execute their terror agenda throughout the region. Iranian proxy forces have American blood on their hands dating back decades,” Steube said in a statement provided to the Free Beacon. “In addition to this weekend’s unprecedented attack directly from Iran on Israel, we’ve seen ramped up, repeated proxy attacks on U.S. troops and our other allies in the Middle East.”

The legislation targets groups like the Houthi rebels in Yemen and other militant offshoots operating in Iraq, where attacks on U.S. positions, including the American embassy, have increased since Hamas launched its Oct. 7 war on Israel. Around a dozen Iran-affiliated groups in total would be sanctioned under the provisions written into the bill, forcing the Biden administration to take concrete action that it has avoided in recent months.

“Washington has failed to designate most of the Iranian-backed militias as Foreign Terrorist Organizations. No more excuses. We must combat terrorism with boldness and strength,” Steube said.

As part of the bill, Secretary of State Antony Blinken would have to apply sanctions on Iran’s terror proxies, including those that aid Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to attack American outposts in the region.

The State Department also would have to report to Congress on its efforts to enforce these sanctions and alert lawmakers if it detects any additional Iranian proxy groups that meet the requirements for a terror designation.

The legislation is already supported by the Republican Study Committee (RSC), Congress’s largest GOP caucus, indicating it is on track to receive widespread support and quick consideration in the Republican-controlled House. The bill is also likely to attract interest from Senate Republicans and could be considered by the upper chamber as lawmakers from both parties consider their response to Tehran’s strike on Israel.

“As we have seen with the unprecedented attacks on Israel this weekend, there’s no real difference between Iran and its puppet militias,” Rep. Kevin Hern (R., Okla.), the RSC’s chairman, said in a statement. “It’s preposterous that we have not designated all of Iran’s proxy militias as terrorist organizations. These militias have killed Americans and wreaked havoc in the Middle East and across the world. They are armed, funded and directed by the IRGC. They must be designated as terrorist organizations immediately.”

Original News Source – Washington Free Beacon

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