Congress Addresses Iran and Israel/Palestine

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by Lara Friedman

As we have over the past two years, LobeLog is posting excerpts from the Legislative Round-up published weekly when Congress is in session by the inimitable Lara Friedman, previously of Americans for Peace Now and now the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. These weekly round-ups cover what Congress is up to and what individual members are saying, particularly about Israel-Palestine and Iran. For previous versions (going back many many years), see the Round-Up archive at Americans for Peace Now.

Note: The Round-Up took some time off last month, so this week’s edition covers a lot of ground: December 8, 2017–January 12, 2018. And as most people will know, a whole lot of things happened related to Israel/Palestine and the Middle East during this period. In addition to all the developments in Congress discussed below, here’s a shameless plug for some of my own analysis of what has taken place during this period:

Bills, Resolutions & Letters – Israel/Palestine

(BAD UNGA!) H. Res. 684: Introduced 1/11/18 by Gottheimer (D-NJ), Gallagher (R-WI), and Engel (D-NY), “Objecting to the United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/ES-10/19, which criticizes the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

(BAD UNGA!) H. Res. 671: Introduced 12/21/17 by Lamborn (R-CO) and having 25 all-GOP cosponsors, “Expressing strong disapproval of the adoption of United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/ES-10/L.22, which rejects United States recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” They key piece in this bill is the very clear threat implicit in the final “resolved” clause, which urges the President “to direct the Secretary of State to submit to Congress a report on the status of United States assistance provided to countries that voted in favor to adopt United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/ES–10/L.22.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

(BAD UN!) H. Res. 662: Introduced 12/13/17 by Wilson (R-SC) and having no cosponsors, “Emphasizing disapproval of six anti-Israel United Nations resolutions and reaffirming United States support for the State of Israel and its people.” This bizarrely written resolution includes a resolved clause stating that the House, “recognizes the dispute between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but believes the dispute should be settled internally [????]” and another saying it “recognizes the historical aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian Authority relationships [????], but continues to recognize the State of Israel’s sovereignty to choose its own nation’s capital, which is the city of Jerusalem.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Wilson press release is here (entitled “Wilson Introduces Pro-Israel Resolution In U.S. House”).

(MOVE EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM ASAP, OR ELSE) HR 4718: Introduced 12/21/17 by DeSantis (R-FL) and 29 GOP cosponsors, the “Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel Act.” The bill would erase the national security waiver authority currently contained in the Jerusalem Embassy Act, in effect meaning that if Trump didn’t move the embassy by January 1, 2019, mandatory sanctions would be imposed on the State Department. Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. DeSantis press release is here.

(MORE PRECISION GUIDED MUNITIONS FOR ISRAEL) HR 4707: Introduced 12/21 by Boyle (D-PA) and Graves (R-GA), the “Procure PGMS For Israel Act.” The bill makes clear that the purpose is to ensure that Israel has the PGMs it wants in order to be prepared “in the event of a sustained armed confrontation” with Hezbollah, per Israel’s own planning. The bill includes a Sense of Congress stating that, “Department of Defense should work with the defense industrial base to ensure it is able to produce precision guided munitions with greater rapidity in order to resupply United States efforts to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and to assist allies such as Israel in their fight against Hezbollah.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on Armed Services. Boyle-Graves press release is here.

(US-ISRAEL COOPERATION…IN SPACE!) HR 1159: Introduced 2/6/17 by Kilmer (D-WA) and having 37 bipartisan cosponsors, the “United States and Israel Space Cooperation Act.” Passed by the House 12/20 by a vote of 411-0. Lamborn (R-CO) statement is here. Floor consideration is here.

(ABOUT THAT UN FUNDING FOR PALESTINIANS…) Zeldin et al letter: On 11/20/17, Zeldin (D-NY) led a letter to US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, cosigned by 22 other GOP House members. The letter lays out the signers’ deep concerns “the UN Development Assistance Framework for the State of Palestine.” The letter suggests that this program is prima facie anti-Israel and that the U.S. should refuse to fund it. Zeldin press release (posted 12/7/17) is here.

Bills, Resolutions & Letters – Iran

New Iran Sanctions

(NEW IRAN SANCTIONS) HR 4744: Introduced 1/9/18 by McCaul (R-TX), Deutch (D-FL), Royce (R-CA) and Engel (D-NY), “To impose additional sanctions with respect to serious human rights abuses of the Government of Iran, and for other purposes,” aka the “Iran Accountable on Human Rights and Hostage-Taking Act.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committees on the Judiciary, Financial Services, and Ways and Means. Deutch/McCaul press release is here.

(NEW IRAN SANCTIONS) HR 4676: Introduced 12/18/17 by McCaul (R-TX) and no cosponsors, the “Expanding Sanctions Against Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps Act.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. McCaul press release is here.

(NEW IRAN SANCTIONS) HR 4591: Introduced 12/7/17 by Kinzinger (R-IL) and Suozzi (D-NY), having 14 other cosponsors (13 GOP), the “Preventing Iranian Destabilization of Iraq Act of 2017.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary. Kinzinger press release is here, noting that the bill “would impose sanctions with respect to Iranian persons who threaten the peace and stability of Iraq.”

(NEW IRAN SANCTIONS) HR 4603: Introduced 12/7/17 by Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and four GOP cosponsors, the “Houthis and Iran Sanctions Accountability Act of 2017.” As described in the press release from Ros-Lehtinen, “…The bill targets Iran’s support for the Houthi rebel group in Yemen, as well as those who the President determines knowingly provides significant financial, material, or technological support to those who are in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2216.” Poe (R-TX) press release is here.

(NEW IRAN SANCTIONS) HR 1638: Introduced 3/20 by Poliquin (R-ME) and having no cosponsors, the “Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act.” On 12/13, the House passed HR 1638 by a (mostly partisan) vote of 289-135. Statements/press releases in support: Diaz-Balart (R-FL)Walorski (R-IN)Loudermilk (R-GA)Poe (R-TX)Westerman (R-AR)Cook (R-CA)Schneider (D-IL) (on his amendment to the bill), Meng (D-NY) (on her amendment to the bill), Budd (R-NC)Poliquin (R-ME). Statements/press releases in opposition: Waters (D-CA). Full floor debate (including about impact on JCPOA, US jobs, etc) is here, with Waters (D-CA), Heck (D-WA), and Blumenauer (D-OR) speaking in opposition. Also, see floor debate on H. Res. 658, providing for consideration of HR 1638 and HR 4324.

(NEW IRAN SANCTIONS) HR 4324: Introduced 11/9 by Rogers (R-TX) and having 12 all-GOP cosponsors, the “Strengthening Oversight of Iran’s Access to Finance Act.” On 12/14, the House passed HR 4324 by a (mostly partisan) vote of 252-167. Statements/press releases in support: Walorski (R-IN)Loudermilk (R-GA), Williams (R-TX)LaMalfa (R-CA)Westerman (R-AR)Rothfus (R-PA). Statements/press releases in opposition: Waters (D-CA)Blumenauer (D-OR). Full floor debate (including about impact on JCPOA, US jobs, etc) is here, with Waters (D-CA), Himes (D-CT), Heck (D-WA), and Price (D-NC) speaking in opposition. Also, see floor debate on H. Res. 658, providing for consideration of HR 1638 and HR 4324 (with Hastings, D-FL, speaking in opposition).

Iran Protests

(SUPPORTING IRAN PROTESTERS) S. Res. 368: Introduced 1/4/18 by Corker (R-TN) and having 24 bipartisan cosponsors, “A resolution supporting the right of all Iranian citizens to have their voices heard.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. Statements/press releases: Menendez (D-NJ)Rubio (R-FL)Cardin (D-MD).

(SUPPORTING IRAN PROTESTERS) S. Res. 367: Introduced 1/4/18 by Cruz (R-TX) and having 9 cosponsors (Leahy, D-VT, is sole Democrat), “A resolution supporting the right of all Iranian citizens to have their voices heard.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. Cruz press release is here (entitled, “Sen. Cruz: The People of Iran Want Their Country Back.”)

(SUPPORTING IRAN PROTESTERS) H. Res. 676: Introduced 1/5/18 by Royce (R-CA) and having 41 bipartisan cosponsors, “Supporting the rights of the people of Iran to free expression, condemning the Iranian regime for its crackdown on legitimate protests, and for other purposes.” Passed 1/9 under suspension of the rules, by a vote of 415-2. Statements/press releases: Ross (R-GA)Banks (R-IN)Walorski (R-IN)Ratcliffe (R-TX)Gottheimer (D-NJ)Hensarling (R-TX)Hastings (D-FL)Stefanik (R-NY)Cook (R-CA)McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)Rothfus (R-PA)Latta (R-OH)Barletta (R-PA)Ratcliffe (R-TX)Rooney (R-FL)Ross (R-FL)Royce (R-CA)Chabot (R-OH); also see floor consideration, here.

(SUPPORTING IRAN PROTESTERS) H. Res. 675: Introduced 1/3/18 by Banks (R-IN) and having 7 all-GOP cosponsors, “Condemning the Government of Iran for its violence against demonstrators and calling for peaceful resolution to the concerns of the citizens of Iran.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Statements/press releases: Banks (R-IN)Hensarling (R-TX)

(IRAN DEMONSTRATIONS) Rubio-Menendez letterOn 1/5/18, Senators Rubio (R-FL) and Menendez (D-NJ) sent a letter to Secretary of State Tillerson and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin urging them (among other things), “to ensure that protesters have access to the tools they need to let their voices be heard. Assuring U.S. technology companies that they are not violating U.S. sanctions would go a long way towards ensuring that Iranians are able to freely protest their government.” The letter also urges that, “the State Department to instruct all U.S. missions in democratic countries, especially those in Europe, to ask their host government counterparts to issue strong statements of support for the protesters’ right to peacefully demonstrate.” The letter’s other ask: “Now that we are once again seeing tangible proof of the need for continued support for democracy and human rights programs in Iran, we request a year-by-year summary of any such funding since 2009, including assistance that has been appropriated but remains unspent.” Press release is here.

“Project Cassandra”

(INVESTIGATE OBAMA-HEZBOLLAH-IRAN ALLEGATIONSRatcliffe-Barletta et al letterOn 1/2/18, Reps. Ratcliffe (R-TX), Barletta (R-PA) and 20 GOP colleagues sent a letter to Attorney General Sessions stating, “We are deeply disturbed by recent reports that illustrate the Obama Administration’s efforts to undermine Project Cassandra, a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) campaign to target drug trafficking operations by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah” and inquiring about “the steps your Justice Department will take to address the consequences of this misguided decision.” The letter includes a list of questions for which the signers “respectfully request answers…in writing as well as a briefing on this matter at your earliest convenience.” McSally (R-AZ) press release is here.

(PLEASE CONFIRM IRAN’S JCPOA VIOLATIONS) Zeldin et al letterOn 12/14/17, Zeldin (R-NY) led a letter to Secretary of State Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Mattis and CIA Director Pompeo, cosigned by 23 GOP House colleagues, enumerating alleged Iranian violations of the JCPOA and inquiring “We whether your respective departments and agencies possess intelligence to confirm these violations. We request to be briefed on any such intelligence as well as any plans the administration may have to respond to the violations.” Zeldin press release is here.

(INVESTIGATE OBAMA-HIZBALLAH-IRAN ALLEGATIONS) Sasse letter: On 12/21/17, Sen. Sasse (R-NE) sent a letter to Attorney General Sessions and Secretaries Mnuchin and Tillerson, citing allegations that the Obama Administration undermined law enforcement efforts targeting Hezbollah “for fear of rocking the boat with Iran and jeopardizing the nuclear deal.” The letter lays out a laundry list of questions to which Sasse requests answers within 30 days. Sasse 2/22 press release applauding DOJ for opening an investigation and repeating his call for “answers” is here.

(INVESTIGATE OBAMA-HIZBALLAH-IRAN ALLEGATIONS) DeSantis-Jordan letter: On 12/21/17, Reps. DeSantis (R-FL) and Jordan (R-OH) sent a letter to Attorney General Sessions on behalf of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform noting that the committee noting recent allegations that the Obama Administration “blocked” DEA operations against Hezbollah “out of concern that these law enforcement efforts would harm attempts to reach a nuclear deal with Iran.” The letter goes on to state that it is the Committee’s responsibility to evaluate whether these allegations are true “and if so, did the Administration undermine U.S. law enforcement and compromise national security.” The letter includes a list of questions, for which answers are requested by January 8, 2018. The letter also requests a briefing by January 12. Press release is here.

(MORE FIGHTING HEZBOLLAH IN W. HEMISPHERE) Cook-Poe-Ros-Lehtinen letter: On 12/20/17, House Foreign Affairs Committee subcommittee chairs Cook (R-CA, Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere), Poe (R-TX, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade), and Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL, Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa) sent a letter to President Trump urging stronger U.S. action on Hezbollah’s drug trafficking activities in the Western Hemisphere.

(INVESTIGATE OBAMA-HIZBALLAH-IRAN ALLEGATIONS) Pittinger letter: On 12/18/17, Rep. Pittinger (R-NC) sent a letter to House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Trey Gowdy, urging an investigation into the Obama Administration’s alleged interference in a multi-agency investigation into Hezbollah’s illegal drug dealing, money laundering and arms running. Press release is here.

Bills, Resolutions & Letters – Other Mideast Issues

(CONCERNS FOR EGYPT’S COPTS) H. Res. 673: Introduced 12/23 by Hill (R-AR) and having 6 bipartisan cosponsors, “Expressing concern over attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

(NO ASSISTANCE TO ASSAD) HR 4681: Introduced 12/19 by Engel (D-NY), Kinzinger (R-IL), Royce (R-CA) and Boyle (D-PA), the “No Assistance for Assad Act.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Boyle et al press release is here.

(US-JORDAN DEFENSE COOPERATION) HR 2646: Introduced 5/24/17 by Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and having 11 cosponsors, the “United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Extension Act.” On 12/14/17, HR 2646 was marked up and reported out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee by a voice vote. Ros-Lehtinen press release is here.

(CONDEMNING IRAN’S TREATMENT OF BAHA’I) S. Res. 139Introduced 4/25/17 by Wyden (D-OR) and having 33 bipartisan cosponsors, “A resolution condemning the Government of Iran’s state-sponsored persecution of its Baha’i minority and its continued violation of the International Covenants on Human Rights.” Agreed to in the Senate 12/21/17 by Unanimous Consent.

(ARGENTINA/HEZBOLLAH NISMAN MURDER) S. Res. 354: Introduced 12/7/17 by Rubio (R-FL) and Menendez (D-NJ), “A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate regarding the courageous work and life of Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman, and calling for a swift and transparent investigation into his tragic death in Buenos Aires on January 18, 2015.” Referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

(HUMAN RIGHTS IN EGYPT) Deutch/Ros-Lehtinen et al letter: On 12/18/17, Reps. Deutch (D-FL) and Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) led a letter to Vice President Pence, cosigned by 69 fellow House members, expressing concerns about “recent actions taken by the Egyptian government that constitute a widespread crackdown against civil and human rights.” The letter urged Pence on his planned visit to, among other things, “raise our concerns over Egypt’s domestic civil and political repression.” The letter concludes with the warning, “the close U.S-Egypt relationship is at risk as long as the Government of Egypt engages in widespread violations of internationally recognized civil and human rights.” Press release is here.

(KSA ACTIONS IN YEMEN LEGALLY TRIGGER US AID CUT-OFF) Young letter: On 12/14/17, Sen. Young (R-IN) set a letter to President Trump highlighting that Saudi Arabia’s actions in Yemen and the President’s statement on December 6 trigger a prohibition on U.S. assistance to Saudi Arabia. Press release is here.

Hearings

January 11, 2018: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing entitled, “U.S. Policy in Syria Post-ISIS” (originally scheduled for 12/19/17). The sole witness was Acting Assistant Seceraty of State for Near East Affairs David Satterfield (testimony). Video of the hearing is here.

January 10, 2018: The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing entitled, “Sanctions and Financial Pressure: Major National Security Tools.” Witnesses were: Juan Zarate, Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes (statement)Derek Maltz, Former Department of Justice Special Agent in Charge, Special Operations Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (statement) ; and Adam Szubin, Former Acting Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (statement) . Chairman Royce’s (R-CA) opening statement is here. Ranking member Engel’s (D-NY) opening statement is here. Video of the hearing is here. AND….congrats HFAC, on convening yet another all-white, all-male panel!

December 14, 2017: The Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing entitled, “U.S. Policy And Strategy In The Middle East.” Witnesses were: Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Princeton University (no written testimony); Ambassador Eric Edelman, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (testimony); Ambassador James Jeffrey, WINEP (testimony); and Ambassador Stuart Jones, The Cohen Group (testimony). Ranking member Reed’s (D-RI) opening statement is here; video of the hearing is here. AND…congrats SASC, on convening yet another all-white, all-male panel!

On the Record re: Trump’s Jerusalem Move & Aftermath

Supporting Trump’s Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

House: Bacon (R-NE)Banks (R-IN)Biggs (R-AZ)Brooks (R-IN)Collins (R-GA)Cramer (R-ND)DeSantis (R-FL)Diaz-Balart (R-FL)Donovan (R-NY)Duffy (R-WI)Duncan (R-SC)Evans (D-PA)Gaetz (R-TX)Grothman (R-WI)Hensarling (R-TX)Lamborn (R-CO)Lance (R-NJ)LaMalfa (R-CA)Loudermilk (R-GA)McCarthy (R-CA)McCaul (R-TX)McSally (R-AZ)Marchant (R-TX)Meadows (R-NC)Messer (R-IN)Moolenaar (R-MI)Mullin (R-OK)Newhouse (R-WA)Olson (R-TX)Poe (R-TX)Roskam (R-IL)Rothfus (R-PA)Rouzer (R-NC)Royce (R-CA)Ryan (R-WI)Scalise (R-LA)Smucker (R-PA)Vargas (D-CA); Walorski (R-IN)Wilson (R-SC)Woodall (R-GA)Zeldin (R-NY)Taylor (R-VA – who entered into the record a long, hagiographic letter from a local rabbi which ends with the conclusion that like Balfour, Trump “is now enshrined too in Jewish history.” Read more from this rabbi, in his own words, here)

Senate: Cruz (R-TX)Graham (R-SC)Hatch (R-UT)Heinrich (R-NM)Hoeven (R-ND)Isakson (R-GA)Lankford (R-OK)Lee (R-UT)Menendez (D-NJ)Rubio (R-FL)Scott (R-SC)

Opposing Trump’s Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

House: Carson (D-IN)DeLauro (D-CT)Ellison (D-MN)Hastings (D-FL, kind of); Khanna (D-CA)Kuster (D-NY);Leahy (D-VT) (quoted in Roll Call article critical of the move); Smith (D-WA)Welch (D-VT) 12/11/17 (quoted in Roll Call article critical of the move); Price (D-NC), Welch (D-VT), Yarmuth (D-KY), Lee (D-CA), and Blumenauer (D-OR) (Joint press release); Grijalva (D-AZ), Pocan (D-WI), & Lee (D-CA) (speaking for the CPC); Nadler (D-NY, kind of)

Senate: Feinstein (D-CA)Leahy (D-VT)Sanders (I-VT, issued day before decision); Udall (D-NM)Warren (D-MA)Warner (D-VA)

Speaking Out to Neither Condemn nor Support Trump’s Move on Jerusalem

House: Deutch (D-FL) & Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) (joint press release); Hoyer (D-MD)Soto (D-FL)Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)

Senate: Bennet (D-CO)Cardin (D-MD)McCain (R-AZ)

Attacking UN Security Council Vote on Jerusalem/Applauding US Veto

House: Lamborn (R-CO – “I echo President Trump’s message to all nations who vote against our right to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem: American generosity will not be taken advantage of and our friendship will not be taken for granted“); Meadows (R-NC)Wilson (R-SC – “we won’t forget today’s vote the next time the U.N. looks to us to foot the bill for much of the organization’s costs.”)
Senate: Cruz (R-TX)Hoeven (R-ND)Johnson (R-WI)Portman (R-OH)

Condemning UN General Assembly Vote on Jerusalem

House: Cramer (R-ND)DeSantis (R-FL)Lamborn (R-CO)Ross (R-GA)Tenney (R-NY)Zeldin (R-NY)

Condemning Trump Response to UN Action on Jerusalem

Leahy (D-VT) 12/21/17: “The President’s decision to ignore his national security advisors about moving our embassy at this fragile moment was cause enough for concern. Now he is compounding that error by threatening the United Nations itself, as well as other countries, many of which are close allies, with a cutoff of the support we provide that serves our own national interests and security. This further weakens our national interests, while further weakening our influence in the world. As has been aptly noted, this is not America first; this is America alone…”

Commending Guatemala’s decision to move embassy

Gonzalez (D-TX) 1/11/17: Congressman Gonzalez Releases Statement on Guatemala’s Decision to Move Its Embassy to Jerusalem [commending it]
Taylor (R-VA) 1/10/18: Congressman Taylor Lauds Guatemala’s Decision to Move Their Embassy to Jerusalem and the U.S.-Guatemala Alliance, Following Meeting with Ambassador

On the Record re: Iran – protests & more

Iran protests

Tenney (R-NY) 1/10/18: Human Rights For The Iranian People
Cornyn (R-TX) 1/10/18: “We have seen large-scale protests in Iran–and I hope they continue…”
Donovan (R-NY) 1/10/18: ICYMI: Donovan Publishes Op-Ed on Iranian Protests
Jackson Lee (D-TX) 1/10/18: Supporting The Rights Of The People Of Iran To Free Expression&nbsp
McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) 1/9/18:  Statement on Resolution on Iranian Protests
1/9/18 GOP House floor colloquy in support of the protesters, slamming the JCPOA, attacking Obama Admin & more – Garrett (R-VA), Curtis (R-UT), Yoho (R-FL), Rothfus (R-PA), Budd (R-NC), Duncan (R-SC), Gohmert (R-TX), Rohrahacher (R-CA)
Smith (R-NJ) 1/9/18: Calling for Solidarity With Iranian Protesters, Respect for Human Rights
Hensarling (R-TX) 1/9/18: Comments on Measures to Support Innocent Iranians
Rothfus (R-PA) 1/9/18: Rothfus Defends Human Rights and Condemns Iran’s Oppressive and Corrupt Regime
Royce (R-CA) 1/9/18: United States Stands with People of Iran
Poe (R-TX) 1/9/18: Iranian People are Enslaved by the Mullahs
Poe (R-TX) 1/9/18: Supporting the Rights of the People of Iran to Free Expression
Hill (R-AR) 1/9/18: Hill Supports the Iranian People and Condemns Iranian Mullahs
Wicker (R-MS) 1/8/18: Wicker Encouraged by Pro-Democracy Protests in Iran
Jackson Lee (D-TX) 1/8/18: Freedom Is Not Partisan
Hatch (R-UT) 1/8/18: Floor statement on Iran protests
Norcross (R-NJ) 1/5/18: Norcross Statement on Iran Protests
Menendez (D-NJ) 1/4/18: floor statement in Iran
Blunt (R-MO) 1/8/18: floor statement on Iran
Menendez (D-NJ) 1/4/18: Floor speech on Iran
McConnell (R-KY) 1/3/18: The People Of Iran Are Suffering (floor speech)
Rohrabacher (R-CA) 1/2/18: Rohrabacher Calls on President Trump to Back Iranian Protesters
Coons (D-DE) 1/2/18: Talking Iran (and more) on CNN’s Wolf Blitzer
Cardin (D-MD) 1/2/18: Cardin Supports Iranian People in Pursuit of Fundamental Rights [“…I also urge the Administration to explore options for sending signals of support to the Iranian people. A good start would be immediately removing Iran from the travel ban.”]
Johnson (R-WI) 1/2/18: Statement on Iran Protests
Turner (R-OH) 1/2/18: Turner Supports Iranian Protests
McCaul (R-TX) 1/2/18: U.S. Must Stand Behind People of Iran
Hoyer (D-MD) 1/1/18: Statement on Protests in Iran
Donovan (R-NY) 12/31/17: Statement from Congressman Dan Donovan on Protests in Iran
Tillis (R-NC) & Coons (D-DE) 12/31/17: Joint Statement On Protests In Iran
Zeldin (R-NY) 12/30/17: Rep. Zeldin Statement on Iranian Anti-Government Protests
Nunes (R-CA) 12/30/17: Nunes statement on Iran protests
Rubio (R-FL) 12/30/17: Rubio Statement on Protests in Iran
Cruz (R-TX) 12/29/17: Sen. Cruz Issues Statement on Peaceful Protests in Iran

On “Project Cassandra” Allegations

Royce (R-CA) 1/11/17: Chairman Royce Praises Launch of Hezbollah Financing and Narcoterrorism Team
DeSantis (R-FL) 12/21/17: DeSantis Launches Investigation Into Obama Administration’s Lax Treatment of Terror Group Hezbollah
Hice (R-GA), Biggs (R-AZ), Perry (R-PA), Buck (R-CO) 12/20/17: House GOP Special Order statements on “Project Cassandra” allegations
Poe (R-TX) 12/20/17: Hezbollah’s Illicit Activities
Poe (R-TX) 12/20/17: Hezbollah Is A Terrorist Group And A Criminal Organization
Pittinger (R-NC) 12/20/17: Obstruction Of A Dea Investigation Into Hezbollah
Pittinger (R-NC) 12/18/17: Obama Administration Let Drug Dealing Hezbollah Terror Group Off The Hook
Gohmert (R-TX) 12/18/17: Typical Gohert rant, including in Project Cassandra allegations

Everything Else Iran- and JCPOA-related

Royce (R-CA) 1/11/18: “What I want to see now is that we move forward with a bill I passed into the Senate that will put… additional pressure, additional sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile program. And also the bill that’s in the Senate to put the pressure on Hezbollah. And we just passed a resolution this week… on human rights abuses because of what was done to the protestors on the street, to stand with the protestors and to put sanctions on those officials that were involved in those crimes against those young protestors.”

Rubio (R-FL) 1/11/18: “The deeply flawed Obama ‘Iran deal’ should not be a grant of immunity to Iran from sanctions related to non-nuclear activities. Should the President choose to remain in the Iran nuclear deal, he should also impose new sanctions against elements of the Iranian government…

Feinstein (D-CA) 1/10/18: Abandoning Nuclear Agreement Would Undermine Iranian Protestors

Reed (D-RI) 1/10/18: Floor statement on Iran protests & JCPOA

Thune (R-SD) 1/10/18: Floor speech on “National Security,” including raising threat of Iran’s activities in Syria and noting, “Iran is a serious threat to stability in the Middle East and to our allies there, and we need to keep that in mind as we consider the failed Iran nuclear deal and the ongoing protests in Iran.”

Inhofe (R-OK) 1/3/18: Floor rant against Obama, Iran, the JCPOA, boasting that “Under President Trump, America is the leader of the free world again” and noting “I support his efforts and look forward to working with the President and his administration to enact any needed sanctions against Iran in order to advance freedom and democracy.”

Casey (D-PA) 12/21/17: On Iran: “…If the administration wants to get tough on Iran’s nonnuclear bad behavior, there are concrete steps to take today: No. 1, work with our allies to step up maritime interdictions of any illicit weapons traffic to or from Iran. No. 2, push the Europeans to do more to combat the financial networks that enrich the Iranian terrorist proxy, Hezbollah. My bipartisan Stop Terrorist Operational Resources and Money Act, or the so-called STORM Act, which is bipartisan, could help with that; No. 3, begin diplomatic conversations with our allies about a multilateral strategy to curtail the Iranian ballistic missile program…”

Rubio (R-FL) 12/14/17: Rubio Statement on Countering Iran’s Malign Activities in the Middle East

Cotton (R-AR) 12/14/17: Cotton Statement on Iran’s Violations of UN Resolution 2231

On the Record re: Palestinians

Leahy (D-VT) 1/5/18: On The Trump White House Threat To Cut Off Aid To Vulnerable Palestinian Refugees

Smith (R-MS) 1/5/18: Slamming Obama for betraying Israel at UN, praising Trump on Jerusalem, praising cuts to UN funding

Khanna (D-CA) 12/18/17: Floor statement expressing concern related to UN reports highlighting the detention and mistreatment of Palestinian children (“We should stand up for human rights in all cases, even when abuses are committed by our most trusted allies….Every minor should have a right to a lawyer, to due process, and to having their parents notified…”)

McCollum (D-MN) 12/12/17: McCollum Writes In The Nation on Human Rights for Palestinian Children

Zeldin (R-NY) 12/11/17: Press release/op-ed – “The Legacy of Taylor Force”

Goodlatte (R-VA) 12/8/17: America and Israel Share a Strong Bond (Taylor Force Act)

Cotton (R-AR) 12/8/17: Cotton Statement on Palestinian Protests in Jerusalem [“the United States will never accept a ‘rioter’s veto’ against our policies.”]

Brown (D-MD) 12/7/17: Extension of remarks – Taylor Force Act

On the Record re: Everything Else Mideast-related

Zeldin (R-NY) 12/28/17: Rep. Zeldin Returns from Visiting U.S. Troops in Middle East for Christmas

Royce (R-CA) 12/20/17: Chairman Royce Welcomes Flow of Yemen Relief Through Hudaydah Port

Cramer (R-ND) 12/19/17: Press release on departure of return of Jason Stverak to his office as Deputy COS – Stverak “most recently served as Legislative Director and Lobbyist for Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Action Fund. With more than 3.8 million members, Christians United for Israel is the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States and one of the leading Christian grassroots movements in the world.

McCain (R-AZ) 12/13/17: Statement By SASC Chairman John McCain On U.S. Policy In Syria

Hatch (R-UT) 12/11/17: Floor speech calling for the US to “rediscover our purpose in global affairs,” including in Syria and Iran

Khanna (D-CA) & Pocan (D-WI) 12/7: Reps. Khanna & Pocan Statement After President Trump Calls On Saudi Arabia To Allow Humanitarian Aid To Flow Into Yemen

Maloney (D-NY) 12/7/17: Maloney Calls on Turkey to Respect the Rights of the Ecumenical Patriarch at the 3rd Archon International Conference on Religious Freedom

Rubio (R-FL) 12/6/17: VIDEO: Rubio Addresses Plight of Christians in the Middle East

Photo: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)

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Lara Friedman

Lara Friedman is the President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. Prior to coming to FMEP, Lara was the Director of Policy and Government Relations at Americans for Peace Now, and before that she was a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, serving in Jerusalem, Washington, Tunis and Beirut. Lara is a leading authority on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, with particular focus on the Israeli-Arab conflict, settlements and Jerusalem, and on the role of the U.S. Congress. She frequently briefs Members of Congress, Administration officials, and others in the foreign policy/national security community, and is regularly published in the U.S. and Israeli press. Lara works closely with Jerusalem expert Danny Seidemann and his NGO “Terrestrial Jerusalem,” participates in various Track II Israeli-Palestinian efforts, and is a non-resident fellow at the U.S./Middle East Project (USMEP). She holds a B.A. from the University of Arizona and a Master’s degree from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, and speaks French, Spanish, Arabic and (rather poor) Italian.

3 Comments

  1. Don the members of the congress can do more damage when they retire from their posts, as lobbies don’t have ethics committees or oversight. And that’s where they will be with the revolving doors between government and private sector. The lobbies are the ones who decide, bribe and exigently require action for what was promised to them when they pledged support. It’s a corrupt system that it’s so deeply lodged in the establishment that nothing can jolt it and the players stay the same.
    This Zionist clown supported the invasion of Iraq and this is what she had to say about it without parsing words: “Whether or not there is a direct link to the World Trade Center does not mean that Iraq is not meritorious of shedding blood. The common link is that they hate America.”

  2. All of this is lessening US world hegemony, which is a good thing. Staunch Israel supporter Rep Ros-Lehtinen (retiring this year) is an excellent symbol of bad policy. Don’t let the door hit ‘ya, Ileana.

  3. Thank you for doing this. A valuable resource for those out in the “grass roots.”

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