Barletta Supports Aggressive Approach to Containing Iran, Terrorism

Jul 14, 2016
Press Release
Legislation Involves Sanctions, Efforts to Retrieve American Prisoners Held in Iran

WASHINGTON – On the first anniversary of the Obama Administration’s ill-conceived Iran Nuclear Deal, Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) has supported a package of three bills to curtail Iran’s ability to support terrorism and impose sanctions on the belligerent regime.  Barletta voted in favor of legislation to punish Iran for its support for terrorism, ballistic missile program, and rampant human rights violations, and to require the president to report to Congress on efforts to retrieve Americans being held prisoner in Iran.  In addition, he supported bills to block Iranian access to the U.S. dollar and prohibit the purchase of Iranian heavy water, which is a key ingredient in some nuclear reactors and can be used to produce plutonium.  Barletta has also been highly critical of the Obama Administration’s entrance into the Iran Nuclear Deal, which paves the way for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.

“Iran is the most prolific state sponsor of terrorism in the world today, and they cannot be allowed to operate on a clear field,” Barletta said.  “While they still hold Americans hostage, while they continue to work toward a nuclear weapon, and while they consistently threaten their neighbors with ballistic missiles, we need to show the mullahs that the United States means business.  If the Obama Administration won’t stand up to them, Congress must.”        

Barletta supported the following pieces of legislation this week:

H.R. 5631 – Iran Accountability Act of 2016

The legislation authored by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) passed the House by a vote of 246-to-179 and imposes sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile program, support for terrorism, and human rights violations, and addresses the plight of Americans still being held captive.  The bill:

  • Requires the administration to apply terrorism sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and expands and strengthens existing sanctions against the IRGC.
  • Places additional sanctions on Mahan Air, a proscribed terrorist entity that supports the IRGC and carries weapons and personnel to support Hezbollah and the Assad regime in Syria.
  • Imposes sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile development and on those that aid development or sell advanced conventional weapons.
  • Expands the list of those subject to sanctions for human rights abuses and sanctions those institutions that conduct transactions with those that abuse human rights or export sensitive technology to Iran.
  • Requires the President to report to Congress on efforts to free Americans held hostage by Iran.

H.R. 4992 – United States Financial System Protection Act

The legislation authored by Rep. Edward Royce (CA-39) passed the House by a vote of 246-to-181 and codifies regulations to prevent Iran from accessing the dollar and U.S. financial system.  The bill:

  • Maintains Iran’s designation as a “primary money laundering concern.”
  • Denies Iran access to the U.S. dollar, including through any offshore dollar clearing system, for transactions involving the government of Iran or an Iranian.

H.R. 5119 – No Heavy Water (2H2O) from Iran Act

The legislation authored by Rep. Mike Pompeo (KS-4) passed the House by a vote of 249-to-176 and prohibits the purchase of Iran heavy water, which is a key ingredient in some nuclear reactors and can be used to produce plutonium.  This is a reaction to the announcement by the U.S. Department of Energy that the United States would purchase heavy water from Iran to encourage other countries to purchase heavy water and ensure Iran would not violate the caps set by the Iran Nuclear Deal.  The announcement came despite the fact that the Iran Nuclear Deal does not require the United States to purchase excess heavy water produced by Iran.  The bill ensures that no funds will be used by any U.S. department or agency to purchase heavy water or to issue a license for the purchase of heavy water from Iran.

“The mullahs who run Iran are the same crowd that chants ‘Death to America’ at every opportunity and stirs up hatred against the West as a matter of policy,” Barletta said.  “In the absence of leadership from the White House, these measures are necessary to protect ourselves here at home and our allies overseas.”