Moskowitz Leads Bipartisan Effort Pressuring Biden to Increase Iranian Sanctions

Moskowitz Leads Bipartisan Effort Pressuring Biden to Increase Iranian Sanctions

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
|
January 31, 2024

US Representative Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) sent a bipartisan letter to President Joe Biden requesting that he increase its administration’s sanctions on Iran. 

According to Representative Moskowitz’s office, President Biden’s “lax sanctions policy” has resulted in “ over $88 billion flowing into Iran’s coffers.”

Iran’s funding of foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs) across the Middle East has become a prevalent policy issue after Iranian-backed Hamas’ attacks against Israel on October 7th. 

The subsequent war between Israel and Hamas has also prompted other Iranian-backed FTOs to increase their attacks on Israel, the US, and other Western nations. 

For months, groups such as Lebanon's Hezbollah or Yemen’s Ansarallah (Houthi) have struck Israeli and American military and commercial assets. 

Most recently, Iranian-backed drone strikes on a US military base in northeast Jordan killed three US soldiers and injured 34 others. 

According to US Central Command (CENTCOM) , eight personnel were badly wounded and were evacuated to separate facilities to receive intensive care. 

Meanwhile, Houthi forces continue striking US ships in the Red Sea, with the latest attack occurring yesterday, January 30th. 

CENTCOM reported Houthi militants fired one anti-ship cruise missile towards Red Sea commercial shipping lanes. The missile was shot down by the US Navy.

In mid-January, a US ship, the Gibraltar Eagle, was struck by a similar Houthi rocket. 

The increase in frequency and magnitude of Iran’s attacks against the US and its allies has expanded pressure on Biden to adopt a more aggressive Middle East foreign policy strategy. 

Moskowitz, who has otherwise been supportive of Biden, called for a change in the White House’s handling of the US-Iran relationship. Namely, Moskowitz claims Biden should increment sanctions on Iranian oil exports. 

“We urge the Administration to take immediate action to deny the Islamic Republic additional financial resources that it can use to continue supporting terrorism,” stated Congressmen Moskowitz. “These efforts should start by immediately cracking down on Iran’s expanding and lucrative illicit oil trade, which has surged in recent years despite international sanctions on Iran remaining in place.”

According to Moskowitz, Iran exports more than 1.4 million barrels of crude oil daily, over 80% of which goes to China, raking in over $88 billion in profits. 

Moskowitz’s letter was signed by an additional 60 lawmakers from both sides of the political spectrum.

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

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

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