Waltz and Ernst Coalesce to Propose 'Maximum Pressure' Sanctions on Iran

Waltz and Ernst Coalesce to Propose 'Maximum Pressure' Sanctions on Iran

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
October 6, 2023

Washington, D.C.- U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (IA-R) and Representative Michael Waltz (FL-R) have introduced sister bills in the Senate and House of Representatives aimed at preserving and increasing US sanctions on Iran. 

The Preventing Underhanded and Nefarious Iranian Supported Homicides (PUNISH) Act would codify existing executive order sanctions into law. Additionally, it would prolong the timeframe for all sanctions, including those previously passed by Congress.

If passed, the Punish Act would maintain sanctions until the State Department offers sufficient proof to Congress of Iran’s cessation of hostile activity against the US and Iranian nationals living abroad. 

“Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism and threatens the lives of Americans at home and abroad,” explained Senator Ernst.

Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott have cosponsored the bill. Both senators have proposed similar bills to respond to Iran’s aggression in the past.

In late July, Senator Rubio filed the Mahsa Amini Human Rights and Security Accountability (MAHSA) Act to levy direct sanctions on Iran’s top leaders. 

Similarly, Senator Scott requested President Joe Biden authorize the direct prosecution of Iranian officials for the planned assassination of US Tehran Embassy officials and top American officials. 

President Biden’s recent $6 billion hostage transfer deal with Iran infuriated many Republicans who believe zero taxpayer dollars should be invested into Iran’s government. Ernst and Waltz’s Punish Act has been described as a response to Biden’s foreign policy strategy with Iran. 

“I’m holding President Biden accountable by preventing his administration from providing Tehran with another cent of sanctions relief. My PUNISH Act will put an end to this failed appeasement strategy and ensure Iran feels the maximum consequences of their actions from the United States,” stated Ernst.   

The state of Iran is currently forcibly led by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Supreme Leader Khamenei’s rule has persisted for over three decades and accumulated a barrage of human rights violations.

The latest instance of government abuse directed at citizens occurred last week, where 'Hijab Police' beat a girl into a coma for failing to abide by religious dress code, according to the BBC.


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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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