Iran is still categorized by the U.S. State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism, along with N. Korea, the Sudan, and Syria.
So, with that said, one would think that all 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives would vote in favor of legislation to deny the Iranian regime access to monies that could, and most likely would, support their terrorism efforts, right?
The recent “Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act (H.R.1638) sponsored by Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) does just that.
Here is a quick synopsis of what the bill calls for:
This bill requires the Department of the Treasury, in furtherance of efforts to prevent the financing of terrorism, money laundering, or related illicit finance and to make financial institutions required compliance with remaining sanctions more easily understood, to submit within 270 days and annually thereafter for the next two years a report regarding:
- the funds or assets held in U.S. and foreign financial institutions that are directly or indirectly controlled by specified Iranian officials;
- any equity stake such official has in an entity on Treasury’s list of Specially Designated Nationals or in any other sanctioned entity;
- how such funds, assets, or equity interests were acquired and used;
- new methods used to evade anti-money laundering and related laws, including recommendations to improve techniques to combat illicit uses of the U.S. financial system by each such official.
- recommendations for revising U.S. economic sanctions against Iran to prevent Iranian officials from using funds or assets to develop and procure ballistic missile technology;
- how Treasury assesses the effectiveness of U.S. economic sanctions against Iran; and
- recommendations for improving Treasury’s ability to develop and enforce additional economic sanctions against Iran if so ordered by the President.
This bill seems straight forward and easy for any legislator support, so you think.
Well, the bill came up for a vote and passed in the House, but for whatever reason, some 135 members voted against it.
Only two members of Florida’s congressional caucus, Reps. Frederica Wilson (D) (Pictured) and Kathy Castor (R), voted against the measure.
That means that both Democratic and Republican members of congress from Florida, including Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D), Rep. Ted Deutch (D), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R), and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, all banded together to support this anti-terrorism piece of legislation.
“This legislation requires the Treasury Department to report the Iranian regime’s assets, creating an accessible, public database that allows companies to make sound decisions when choosing business partners. Businesses around the world have been unknowingly fueling Iran’s regime of terror and aggression through deals that benefit the mullahs. The United States has made it clear it will not support acts of violence and terrorism. This bill provides transparency to help ensure American dollars are not propping up the regime and its illicit activities.”–Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R)