A new 27-page bill introduced at the House of Representatives on Thursday would sanction companies and entities linked to Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard (IRGC), reported The National news website.
The bill, sponsored by Republican congressman and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce and Democratic congressman Eliot Engel, constitutes the latest bipartisan effort to ramp up the pressure on Iran.
It “authorizes the administration to sanction entities in which the IRGC has an ownership stake of less than 50 percent,” hence “raising the stakes for anyone doing business with the IRGC” according to its authors.
The text strengthens bans on transactions with the IRGC and its affiliates. It also mentions Syria and expands mandatory sanctions against the IRGC for what it calls “its role in shoring up the murderous Assad regime.”
It would require the administration to send routine reports “on the IRGC’s full influence in the Iranian economy and state-owned enterprises that facilitate terrorism.” The bill makes public opposition as well to “Iran’s membership in the World Trade Organization so long as Iran remains a state sponsor of terror.”
The bill is the latest bipartisan effort from Congress to pressure Iran without endangering the nuclear deal signed in 2015 between Iran and six world powers, including the U.S. President Donald Trump is a vocal critic of the nuclear deal and has urged Europe to fix its flaws or the U.S. would withdraw.
Last September, the U.S. Treasury Department announced new sanctions targeting 11 companies and individuals accused of aiding Iran's Revolutionary Guards or cyber attacks on U.S. banks.
A month earlier, Trump signed into law a bill which imposes sanctions on the Revolutionary Guards. Iran had blasted the United States over the bill, threatening U.S. military bases in the region.
The Islamic Republic has promised a “crushing” response if the United States designates the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist group.