US Congress plans targeted legislation against Iran and the UN

Republican leadership on the Hill is waiting for Trump to take the lead.

January 3, 2017 15:02
2 minute read.
A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian fla

A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Persian Gulf, Iran, July 25, 2005.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

WASHINGTON – As the House of Representatives plans to vote on a resolution this Thursday that will condemn the UN for its targeting of Israel, its leadership has already planned additional measures sure to please the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and its allies in Washington.

Over the course of the next 100 days, Republicans hope to punish the UN for its passage of a resolution condemning Israel over its settlement enterprise, and Iran over its destabilizing actions in neighboring Middle East nations.

Members in the House and Senate are considering legislation that would cut funding to the UN after its vote.

But it is “too early” to draft such legislation, said one senior congressional aide familiar with the deliberations, because leadership is not yet clear on the direction that incoming President Donald Trump will choose to go on the matter.

“Folks seem to want to see how President Trump defines our relationship with the UN before we talk about funding,” the aide told The Jerusalem Post.
Iran Foreign Minister Zarif adresses US committment to nuclear deal (Reuters)

Several GOP members are optimistic the Trump administration would support additional actions. But legislation sanctioning the UN would likely face Democratic opposition – even in the context of defending Israel from future condemnations.

While they wait, GOP leadership is preparing legislative options they believe will easily attract Trump’s support, specifically against Iran, which was a frequent target of the president-elect during the campaign.

Senior congressional aides say to expect a bill within weeks that would hike the tax rate and impose other penalties for companies doing business with Tehran.

The bill will just be the first in a series that will test an international nuclear accord with Iran, which bans the US from imposing nuclear-related sanctions, but allows for the passage of additional non-nuclear sanctions against Iran’s malign activities in the region, its ballistic missile work and its human rights abuses.

To that end, an additional bill under consideration would target the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps for its support of Bashar Assad in Syria. A third would attempt to thwart major Boeing and Airbus deals with Iran’s main airline, which Republicans argue provides dual civilian and military use and facilitates the transfer of weapons to Tehran’s proxy organizations.

Netanyahu is expected to support this legislation and push for an aggressive legislative agenda against Iran during his first trip to Trump’s White House.

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