The “The Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017” came on Thursday, June 15, with an overwhelming 98-2 vote. It sends a clear message to Tehran that the bipartisan alliance is taking measures against the regime.
This sanctions package targets Iran’s ballistic missile program, support for terrorist groups and human rights violations.
This bipartisan vote is demanding major action from the Trump administration, after lawmakers called on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization in a recent hearing.
Tillerson also recently stated that Washington will support a peaceful regime change in Iran, and that the overall Iran policy is under development.
The bill will now go to the House. According to an article by Keyvan Salami for Before It’s News, “It provides more authority to Capitol Hill with a review mechanism blueprinted in the 2015 legislation initiated by Republicans. That bill was also approved by an overwhelming majority in the Senate, providing Congress a vote over whether then President Barack Obama was legally permitted to lift sanctions against Iran. That certain initiative reflected Congress complaints over Obama abusing his presidency power, stressing he is obligated and Congress evaluation was needed.” He adds that the new initiative follows two previous sanctions by the US Treasury Department earlier this year.
This new set of sanctions will not impede the imposition of the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), according to lawmakers.
The JCPOA was part of Obama’s legacy, but is seen by some as a policy of appeasement that played into Iran’s hands. Such a policy was warned against by the Iranian opposition coalition. the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), who has repeatedly revealed how Tehran has exploited such a policy.
The IRGC is in control of the ballistic missile program, the support of terrorism in countries across the Middle East, and to human rights violations.
Ballistic missile tests are viewed as being in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions, but Iran refuses to acknowledge this. The IRGC has also fueled wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. The IRGC paramilitary Bassij units are one of the main elements accused of harassing and violating the rights of individuals inside Iran.
“To this end, one very necessary measure advocated for years now by the Iranian opposition NCRI is for the United Nations, United States, European Union and Middle East to blacklist the IRGC, freeze all assets belonging to any and all of its entities, and prevent any business transactions with the IRGC,” writes Salami, who says that the IRGC and the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei now control a reported 40% of Iran’s economy. This results in business done with this regime may lead to foreign countries inadvertently funding Tehran’s activities both inside its borders, and across the Middle East.
These issues are scheduled to the be discussed in the upcoming July 1st annual NCRI convention in Paris, famous for gathering over 100,000 Iranians from across the globe, as well as hundreds of senior American, European and Middle East personalities, who support NCRI President-elect, Maryam Rajavi, and her 10-point plan for the future of Iran. Therefore, the timing of this Bill does not bode well for the Iranian regime.