US sanctions bill on Iran, may include ban on financial aid to Lebanon

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The new legislation by the Republicans in the US Congress would impose “the toughest sanctions that have ever been proposed by Congress on Iran.” Republican Congressman Greg Steube said that his party intends to propose a ban on US financial assistance to Lebanon. 

Republicans in the US Congress have further escalated their pressure on Tehran by introducing the biggest sanctions bill aimed at paralyzing the Iranian regime and cutting off the arms of its regional proxies. 

Asharq Al-Awsat received a copy of the bill drafted by the Republican study committee. 

It would include the largest list of punitive measures introduced against Iran in the history of the Congress.

The legislation aims to freeze Iran’s support to terrorism and to bankrupt the regime by stripping it from any liquidity. 

Republican Mike Johnson said the new legislation would impose “the toughest sanctions that have ever been proposed by Congress on Iran.”

So far, around 150 Republican lawmakers have supported the legislation.

A member of the US House, representing Florida, Republican Greg Steube said the new sanctions are related to the expiration of the arms embargo on Iran. 

Steube also said that his party intends to propose a ban on US financial assistance to Lebanon. 

Supporters of the new bill lash out at the new agreement between Iran and the Iraqi government to export electricity to Iraq for a period of two years, fearing that such a deal could expand Tehran’s role in Baghdad. 

The proposed bill therefore requires President Donald Trump to get approval from the House and Senate to issue Iran sanctions waivers, the most important being those extended to Iraq to purchase Iranian electricity. 

It would also impose sanctions on every Iraqi militia that participated in the December 31, 2019 – January 1, 2020 attack on the US embassy in Baghdad.

Concerning Lebanon, the Republican legislators are calling for a complete halt of US aid to Beirut. They argue that such assistance empowers Iran.

The legislation also aims to halt any financial aid from the International Monetary Fund to save Lebanon from its deteriorating economic situation.

Ash Sharq Al Awsat

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