THIS WEEK: House set to ratchet up sanctions on North Korea, Russia, and IranBlog
This week, the House will vote on a package of sweeping sanctions against North Korea, Russia, and Iran – three regimes that continue to threaten their neighbors and undermine U.S. national security. Here are a few reasons why these sanctions are needed.
North Korea is developing a nuclear arsenal capable of striking U.S. cities. Since February, the Kim Jong Un regime has tested 17 missiles. Just this month, it conducted its first successful test of an ICBM capable of striking the U.S. homeland. Reports indicate that more tests are likely in coming weeks. These tests come after the regime’s two nuclear tests last year. We cannot allow the Kim regime to threaten the United States homeland and our allies. We must start squeezing the regime’s access to the cash it needs to fund additional ballistic missile and nuclear tests. We must give companies a clear choice: You can do business with North Korea or with the U.S., but not with both.
Vladimir Putin’s Russia has actively undermined U.S. national security for years. Putin has a long record of aggressive acts that threaten global stability. Russia’s disgraceful bombing campaign shored up the Assad regime, lengthening a civil war that has killed or displaced millions of people. It also continues to prevent peace by helping rebels in eastern Ukraine. While doing all of this, Putin has used disinformation and cyberattacks as weapons against democratic states, seeking to undermine elections – including here in the United States – and splinter the NATO alliance. Putin and his cronies must face serious consequences for these dangerous and threatening acts.
Iran continues to fund terrorists and actively undermine Middle East stability. In the wake of the Obama administration’s nuclear deal, Iran has received billions of dollars in sanctions relief. The radical regime in Tehran is using this windfall to step up its efforts to foment instability in the Middle East. Through its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran is strengthening the terrorist group Hezbollah, supporting Syria’s murderous Assad regime, and fueling the civil war in Yemen. It also continues to unjustly imprison Americans and repress the Iranian people with terrible human rights abuses.
The sanctions against these countries that the House will vote on this week will give the United States important leverage. We cannot let these threats to our national security go unanswered. We must hold these aggressors accountable.