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Waltz, Ernst Introduce PUNISH Act to Sanction Iran, Punish Open Assassination Plots Against Americans

The PUNISH Act prevents the Biden administration from re-entering the Iran Nuclear Agreement until the U.S. can certify that Iran has not planned any assassination attempts on Americans for five years.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, U.S. Congressman Mike Waltz (FL-6) introduced the “Preventing Underhanded and Nefarious Iranian Supported Homicides Act” or “The PUNISH Act” to enforce U.S. sanctions on the Iran Regime until the Secretary of State certifies to Congress that the Iran Regime has not supported any attempt or activity to kill a U.S. citizen, former or current U.S. official, or an Iranian living within the United States. U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (IA) also introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.

“The Iran Regime is actively using its proxies to carry out attacks and threaten U.S. officials despite the Biden Administration’s ongoing efforts to negotiate a nuclear deal that will further enrich the world largest state sponsor of terrorism,” said Congressman Waltz. “The Biden Administration has a duty to protect its citizens from the Iran Regime’s proxies who have already carried out an attack on Salman Rushdie, plotted an assassination against former National Security Advisor John Bolton. Maximum pressure sanctions must be retained against the Iranian Regime.”

“It's hard to fathom that, after countless attacks on Americans, and multiple confirmed plots against U.S. officials, the Biden administration continues to cozy up to Iran in hopes of a mythical, so-called nuclear deal,” said Senator Ernst. “President Biden should not provide a dime of sanctions relief to the largest state sponsor of terrorism, which is actively trying to kill U.S. officials and citizens, at home and abroad. The PUNISH Act will ensure Iran continues to feel maximum pressure from the United States.”

The PUNISH Act, or Preventing Underhanded and Nefarious Iranian Supported Homicides Act, would codify the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” sanctions on Iranian government officials, its financial sector, and other sectors including Iran’s energy industry. It would also prohibit the lifting of sanctions on Iran, including those that President Biden would want to lift to re-enter the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – the Iran Nuclear Agreement – until the State Department can certify no assassination attempts or bounties are placed on current or former senior government officials for five years.

The legislation has been endorsed by FDD Action, Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Action, America First Policy Institute, Republican Jewish Coalition and Heritage Action.

The PUNISH Act is cosponsored by Reps. Carlos Gimenez (FL-26), Doug Lamborn (CO-5), Brian Mast (FL-18), Maria Elvira Salazar (FL-27), Mike Garcia (CA-25), Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11), Van Taylor (TX-3), Jake Ellzey (TX-6), Kat Cammack (FL-3), Joe Wilson (SC-2), Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Randy Weber (TX-14), David Rouzer (NC-7), Ronny Jackson (TX-13), Dan Crenshaw (TX-2), Mike Bost (IL-12), Ted Budd (NC-13), Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-2), Lisa McClain (MI-10), John Rutherford (FL-4), and Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25).

For the full bill text, click here

Click HERE to listen to Congressman Waltz’s and Senator Ernst’s remarks on the new effort.