The U.S. Senate passed two motions on Wednesday, May 4, sending a strong message with firm bipartisan support demanding sanctions remain in place on the Iranian regime’s Central Bank, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) remain in the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO).
One of these two motions was presented by Senator Ted Cruz and passed with a vast majority of 86 votes. Sen. Cruz’s motion demands U.S. policy limit “cooperation through terrorism-related sanctions imposed on the Central Bank of Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, as such sanctions are necessary to limit such cooperation.”
The second motion was presented by Senator James Lankford and was passed with 62 votes in favor. This motion “would require any deal with Iran to address Chinese purchases of Iranian oil, along with Iran’s nuclear proliferation, ballistic missile development, and support for terrorism. The MTI would also prohibit the president from lifting the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the military of the world’s leading State Sponsor of Terrorism (SST).” This motion may be dubbed as the Iran sanctions bill and impose extremely difficult conditions on lifting sanctions off the Iranian regime.
These two motions bear significant weight and convey an important message in the midst of ongoing developments between the West, especially by the Biden administration, and the mullahs’ regime.
Firstly, bipartisan support on a sensitive topic in Washington’s extremely polarized atmosphere is quite rare. This consensus is not limited to the U.S. Senate and similar measures have been seen from the U.S. House of Representatives. On April 27, the House passed H.R. 6089 – Stop Iranian Drones Act with 424 votes in favor and only two votes against.
The votes in favor provided the most prominent members of the Senate and the House include Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Chuck Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader. These votes, among other recent bills and statements from senators and representatives during the past two months have established a strong atmosphere among the highest political hierarchy in Washington. This will make it extremely difficult for the U.S. administration to remove the IRGC from the State Department’s FTO list as Tehran is currently demanding for a nuclear deal.
The growing anti-appeasement atmosphere is becoming more noticeable in Washington. U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on May 6: “We do share the concern expressed by the Senate about other aspects of Iran’s behavior, including their development of ballistic missiles, support for terrorism through the IRGC and other elements…We are committed to doing all we can, pulling every lever we can to take on the threat, together with our partners, from the IRGC.”
Of course, such a bipartisan consensus on the Iranian regime and the IRGC has not been established easily. A prominent supporter of the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) once said members of the two main U.S. political parties disagree on even the most basic topics, yet they are in astonishing consensus on the topic of Iran, the Iranian regime, and the Iranian Resistance.
This rare consensus, which can also be seen in European countries, is based on a strong political foundation thanks to decades of revelations made by the NCRI, and its cornerstone member, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), regarding the mullahs’ human rights violations, nuclear weapons drive, global support for terrorism, missile development and suicide drones, financial corruption, etc. Such an effort has made it extremely costly for any member of the international community to support the mullahs’ regime, and crystal clear how to stand on the right side of history when it comes to Iran and the Iranian people.