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WTAS: Ernst-Led Effort to Punish Iran for Open Assassination Plots Against Americans

WASHINGTON — This week, as Iranian President Raisi addressed the U.N. General Assembly in New York, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Representative Mike Waltz (R-Fla.) led an effort to solidify U.S. sanctions on Iran until they end their open assassination plots against Americans. The pair of veterans introduced the PUNISH Act, which would enforce Iranian sanctions until the Secretary of State certifies to Congress that Iran has not supported any attempt or activity to kill a U.S. citizen, a former or current U.S. official, or an Iranian living within the United States for five years.

Upon its introduction, a number of organizations have announced their support for the legislation: America First Policy Institute (AFPI), Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Action Fund, FDD Action, Heritage Action and Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC). The bill also has 25 cosponsors in the Senate and 24 cosponsors in the House.

What They Are Saying About the PUNISH Act:

American First Policy Institute (AFPI)

“It is unconscionable that the Biden administration persists in appeasing Iran to get it into a nuclear deal that will be even worse than the disastrous 2015 agreement negotiated by the Obama-Biden Administration and as the Iranian government continues its efforts to kill U.S. citizens on American soil,” said Fred Fleitz, Vice Chair of AFPI’s Center for American Security. “It is truly outrageous that after Iran refused to agree to language in the current draft nuclear deal to halt its attempts to kill Americans, the Biden Administration simply dropped this issue. Senator Ernst’s Preventing Underhanded and Nefarious Iranian Supported Homicides Act holds the Biden Administration accountable for this serious lapse in judgment by making it clear that there must be no nuclear deal with Iran or sanctions relief until the Administration can certify to Congress that Iran has halted its efforts to kill American citizens and Iranian nationals living in the United States.”

CUFI Action Fund

"The PUNISH Act will help ensure that no administration can sweep Iran's malign activities under the rug for the sake of political expediency,” said Sandra Parker, Chairwoman of CUFI Action Fund. “The nuclear deal currently being negotiated will do nothing to stop Iran's global reign of terror. The full force of American sanctions should and must be enforced against Iran as they continue their efforts to kill American officials and Iranian dissidents both here at home and abroad."

FDD Action

“Protecting Americans under threat from the Islamic Republic of Iran is the first order of business for the United States government. Tehran’s leaders must be held to account for attempting to murder and bringing harm to former U.S. administration officials, human rights activists, and others targeted by Iran. This legislation is an important step in fulfilling that commitment by requiring wholesale change in the malign conduct of Tehran by conditioning sanctions relief on the regime’s conduct.”

Heritage Action

“Even after receiving intelligence that Iran is attempting to assassinate American citizens and officials, President Biden has continued to pursue a nuclear deal that would lift sanctions and send billions of dollars to a regime that remains the world’s largest state-sponsor of terrorism and threatens the existence of Israel,” said Garrett Bess, Vice President of Heritage Action. “It is yet another example of this administration projecting weakness to both our allies and enemies.  To prevent the appeasement of a brutal autocratic regime, Congress should pass Senator Ernst’s PUNISH Act, which would prevent the Biden administration from lifting sanctions on Iran while they are still supporting attempts to assassinate American citizens and Iranian dissidents.”

Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC)

“It is absolute lunacy that the Biden administration is trying to do a deal with the Iranians while the regime in Tehran is openly plotting to assassinate recent top US officials and other regime foes living in this country,” said former Senator Norm Coleman, National Chairman of RJC. “The PUNISH Act Senator Ernst and Congressman Waltz have introduced will stop the madness by making any nuclear deal with Iran contingent on the cessation of threats and skullduggery. Democratic leaders in Congress should work with the PUNISH Act's sponsors to quickly pass this bill and put a reasonable restraint on the President's headlong rush into a dangerous deal.”