Sen. Cruz Introduces Bill to Sanction Iran Supreme Leader and President-Elect

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July 15, 2021

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 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.) today introduced legislation to impose human rights sanctions on the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the regime’s President-elect Ebrahim Raisi.

Upon introducing the legislation, Sen. Cruz said:

“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. 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. They should both be subject to the full force of American sanctions. I am proud to introduce this legislation to ensure we continue imposing critical sanctions to isolate the Iranian regime and block their malign activities.”

Sen. Barrasso said:

“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. 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.”

Sen. Cramer said:

“Ayatollah Khamenei and Ebrahim Raisi have used their positions to enrich themselves while terrorizing Iranian citizens and America’s allies. Our bill would prevent President Biden from rolling back the sanctions placed on these morally bankrupt members of the Iranian regime.”

Sen. Johnson said:

“Iran is the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Instead of addressing the threats it poses President Biden is crawling back to the negotiating table and lifting sanctions to appease the Iranian regime. We should not be giving sanctions relief to regimes whose leaders, Ali Khamenei and the regime’s recently elected President Ebrahim Raisi, terrorize their own citizens and foment instability abroad through their terrorist proxies.”

Sen. Tillis said:

“America must hold Iranian leaders accountable for decades of violence, terrorism, and human rights abuses, and Ayatollah Khamenei and Ebrahim Raisi should be sanctioned under the Global Magnistky Act. As the Iranian regime cracks down on Iranians demanding basic freedoms, now is not the time for America to ease pressure on despots who have systematically oppressed their own people and jeopardized the security of the rest of the world.”

Sen. Marshall said:

“President Biden’s plan to remove sanctions on Ayatollah Khomeini and the President of Iran is a disastrous mistake that would embolden the regime, fund Iranian terrorism across the region, and make the world a more dangerous place. The Iranian regime should never be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon, and I fully support Senator Cruz’s effort to continue these sanctions and ensure maximum pressure is applied to the Iranian regime.”

Sen. Scott said:

“Iran is our adversary and cannot be trusted. We have to remember this is the same regime that hates America and wants to wipe our ally, Israel, off the map. They even attempted to kidnap a journalist inside America’s borders. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President-elect Ebrahim Raisi Khamenei are corrupt thugs and human rights abusers that deserve sanctions. President Biden must end his appeasement.”

Sen. Hagerty said:

“I strongly support this legislation to impose new sanctions against Supreme Leader Khamenei, Ebrahim Raisi, and other Iranian leaders, and hold them accountable for the Iranian regime’s egregious human rights abuses and systemic corruption. It’s unconscionable that President Biden is giving Iran another round of sanctions relief as the Iranian regime continues to attack U.S. Government personnel and facilities in the Middle East and even as it was revealed that Iranian officials were plotting to abduct an American citizen in New York City.”

Sen. Hoeven said:

“The leadership of Iran must be held accountable for their aggression in the region and the oppression and corruption inflicted on the Iranian people. The Biden administration continues to move in the wrong direction, easing sanctions on the Iranian regime rather than countering their human rights abuses and nuclear ambitions. That’s why we continue working to maintain maximum pressure on Iran.”

Sen. Hyde-Smith added:

“There really shouldn’t be any question about imposing these human rights sanctions on leaders in Iran. Their record of aggression, not just on their own people, but to our nation, its allies, and interests is well known. The administration should give up any misguided notion that not issuing these sanctions will make Iran more agreeable to the interests of the freedom-loving world.”

Read the full text of the bill here.