Congress passed four bills fighting Iran’s ballistic missile program and thwarting Hezbollah’s finances.
The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted on bipartisan legislation and passed four important pieces of legislation that are crucial to Israel’s security.
The bills address Iran’s dangerous aggression in the Middle East and that of its terrorist proxy, Hezbollah.
The first bill, the Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act (H.R. 1698), expands sanctions against Iran’s illicit ballistic missile program and its aggressive behavior in the region. The bill was introduced by Congressmen Ed Royce (R-CA), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Steny Hoyer (D-MD).
The bill imposes additional sanctions on individuals or entities that help the Islamic Republic develop ballistic missiles and other conventional weapons. The bill is a follow-up to sanctions passed against Iran, as well as North Korea and Russia, in July. The resolution expands the sanctions against Iran and requires the Trump administration to create an implementation plan.
The second bill, the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act of 2017 (H.R. 3329), is an expansion of existing legislation and targets foreign governments that knowingly provide financial support to Hezbollah as well as to foreign individuals or companies that aid its fundraising or recruitment activities.
The legislation, submitted by Royce and Engel, seeks to hit Hezbollah in its pocket and cut off the flow of resources to the Iranian-backed terror group.
Another two bills, Urging the European Union to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization (H.R. 359) and another titled Sanctioning Hezbollah’s Illicit Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act (H.R. 3342) were also approved.
The EU currently differentiates between Hezbollah’s political and armed factions, while only the latter is a designated terror organization. The US, Canada, the Netherlands, Israel, Bahrain, the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have fully designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
“These critical measures will impose new sanctions to crack down on Hezbollah’s financing, and hold it accountable for its acts of death and destruction,” Royce said.
Iran’s ballistic missile program is a direct threat to Israel, and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah has one purpose only – to destroy the Jewish state.