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Ernst-Backed Bill Imposes Sanctions on Iran-Controlled Houthis, Re-Designates Them as Foreign Terrorist Organization

The legislation reverses the Biden administration’s decision to lift terrorism-related sanctions on the Houthis and three of their leaders.

RED OAK, Iowa—U.S. Senator Ernst (R-Iowa), Republican leader of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, is backing legislation to re-impose terrorism sanctions on the Iran-controlled Houthis after a series of terror strikes on civilian targets in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia.

This follows the Biden administration’s announcement that it would lift terrorism-related sanctions on the Houthis and three of their leaders: Abdul Malik al-Houthi, Abd al-Khaliq Badr al-Din al-Houthi, and Abdullah Yahya al-Hakim. The bill reverses the decision, re-designating the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and the group and their leaders as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.

“President Biden’s decision to lift sanctions on the Iran-backed Houthis is yet another example that his doctrine of appeasement continues to fail and threaten America. Since his administration backed off sanctions, we’ve seen an uptick in terrorism activities and targeting of American allies. If President Biden isn’t going to take our adversaries’ threats seriously, Congress needs to act, and this legislation will reinstate commonsense sanctions to help protect our partners abroad and Americans here at home,” said Senator Ernst.


Last month, Ernst joined nine of her Senate colleagues in a letter to President Joe Biden demanding that he enforce mandatory sanctions against the growing fleet of oil tankers selling Iranian oil and against the entities purchasing this oil.

Senator Ernst joined an effort to impose human rights sanctions on the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the regime's President Ebrahim Raisi. Ernst has continued to oppose the Biden administration’s efforts to rejoin the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). She backed a bill that would enable Congress to approve—or block—any effort by the administration to suspend or terminate U.S. sanctions against the Iranian regime. She also urged the Biden administration to work with our allies and partners to impose a new arms embargo on Iran.

In addition, Ernst helped introduce legislation that would curb President Biden’s ability to re-enter the JCPOA.

Ernst has been outspoken in calling on the Biden administration to make it a top priority to keep our nation and the world safe from the threat of Iran, penning an op-ed in the Washington Examiner.