Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and a group of 17 Republican senators on Thursday introduced a new bill to place additional sanctions on Iranian leaders.
The short bill targets Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President-elect Ebrahim Raisi.
The bill would apply sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which would forbid them from receiving a visa to enter the United States and freeze any U.S.-based property transactions.
“The Biden administration has rushed to dismantle sanctions on the Iranian regime and is looking to remove what’s left of American pressure. They have publicly committed to revoking Trump-era sanctions, including sanctions against Ayatollah Khamenei and Iran’s President-elect,” Cruz said during his introduction of the legislation. “Khamenei uses corruption, violence and confiscation to amass wealth stolen from the Iranian people. Raisi is responsible for the butchering of tens of thousands of innocent Iranians. They should both be subject to the full force of American sanctions.”
Supporters of the bill include Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
Since the start of his administration, U.S. President Joe Biden has been pursuing a re-entry into the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran nuclear deal. While recent reports indicate that the administration is still looking to re-enter the deal, the process appears to have stalled. Negotiations are likely to include the easing of American sanctions.
“Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and new President Ebrahim Raisi both have atrocious human-rights records. They’ve presided over the executions of thousands of political prisoners and the mass arrests of journalists, lawyers and American citizens,” Barrasso said in a news release. “Instead of considering lifting sanctions on these terrible human-rights abusers, the United States must take a stand against the corrupt and dangerous regime in Iran. Sanctioning two of the world’s biggest human rights offenders is a good place to start.”