Senators call for tighter sanctions on Iran

Bipartisan group of senators introduce bill imposing tighter sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile tests.

Elad Benari ,

Iranian flag
Iranian flag

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators on Thursday introduced a new bill that would impose tighter sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile launches and other non-nuclear activities, Reuters reported.

The bill, which has 14 Democratic and Republican sponsors, would set mandatory sanctions for anyone involved with Iran's ballistic missile program and those who trade with them.

It also would apply sanctions to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and put into law sanctions imposed via presidential executive order on individuals currently sanctioned due to what the bill's sponsors describe as Iranian support for terrorism.

The bill would require the president to block the property of any person or entity involved in specific activities that violate the UN arms embargo on Iran, according to Reuters.

The Trump administration recently imposed new sanctions on 25 individuals and companies connected to Iran's ballistic missile program and those providing support to the Revolutionary Guard Corps' Qods Force.

The sanctions came in response to a ballistic missile test conducted by Iran, in violation of UN Resolution 2231, which bars Iran from conducting ballistic missile tests for eight years and which went into effect after the nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers was signed.

Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, a co-author of the new measure, told Reuters on Thursday the new bill had been written not to interfere with the nuclear deal signed between Iran and six world powers in 2015.

"We assiduously worked to make sure that no provisions actually affect the agreement as it is," he told the news agency in an interview.

Iran has responded angrily to the sanctions, with the country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, dismissing calls from the Trump administration to cease the country’s ballistic missile tests.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif warned recently that his country does not respond well to sanctions or threats.