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Rep. Clyde Introduces Two Pieces of Legislation - Combating the Iranian Threat

June 17, 2021

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Andrew Clyde (GA-09) introduced two pieces of legislation, the “Countering Iranian Aggression Act” and the “Standing Against Houthi Aggression Act,” to counter our nation’s most significant national security challenge in the Middle East — Iran.

“For decades, Iran has routinely engaged in hostile acts that threaten the safety and security of Americans and our allies. Iran is the largest state sponsor of terror, adamantly refuses to give up their nuclear ambitions, and has worked tirelessly to expand their influence throughout the globe. After four years of President Trump’s successful “Maximum Pressure Campaign” to counter Iran’s malign activity, President Biden has chosen to repeat the mistakes of President Obama and bow down to the demands of Ayatollah Khamenei and his cronies. This reckless and haphazard approach will only further destabilize the Middle East and lead to disastrous consequences. For these reasons, I introduced two pieces of legislation that, if enacted into law, will effectively counter the rogue state.

The “Countering Iranian Aggression Act” would prevent President Biden from reentering the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the “Iran Deal,” unless he can certify that all of the objectives in former President Trump’s “Maximum Pressure Campaign” are achieved. The Trump Administration’s strategy was widely successful in holding Iran accountable for their continued hostile acts throughout the world, but also slowing down their ability to develop nuclear weapons. I am proud to introduce this bill with the support of Representatives Babin (TX-36), Mann (KS-01), Emmer (MN-06), Salazar (FL-27), Van Drew (NJ-02), Mast (FL-18), DesJarlais (TN-04), Bishop (NC-09), Crenshaw (TX-02), Carter (TX-31), and Bost (IL-12).

The second piece of legislation, the “Standing Against Houthi Aggression Act,” would reinstate sanctions that the Trump Administration placed on the Iranian-backed proxy force in Yemen, the Houthis, and redesignate the group as a foreign terrorist organization. As you may know, the Yemeni government has been embroiled in a civil war with the Houthis since 2014. To date, over 200,000 people have been killed in Yemen’s civil war and 80% of Yemen’s population need humanitarian assistance, but only a fraction of them will receive aid.

Iran has militarily supported the Houthis, and if their brutal actions continue to go unchecked, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen will only get worse and Iran will have stronger influence throughout the Middle East. Though I’m pleased the State Department recently announced it will be placing sanctions on two Houthi leaders that run smuggling operations for the rebel group, we, as a nation, must penalize the rebel group as whole not just two actors within the group.

The Houthis recently launched a series of attacks on Saudi Arabia using armed drones, including one on a school. These hostile acts only further prove the point that the Houthis should be designated as a foreign terrorist organization, and so I will continue to call on my colleagues in Congress and the Administration to recognize the Houthis for what they are, as a whole – a terrorist organization. I am proud to have the support of Representatives Mast (FL-18), Crenshaw (TX-02), and DesJarlais (TN-04) in introducing this measure.

President Reagan rightly stated that to achieve long lasting peace that a nation must lead through its strength. We cannot allow Iran to continue to sow chaos throughout the globe or develop a nuclear weapon. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to ensure that Biden Administration stands up to authoritarian regimes and puts the interests of the American people and our allies first.”

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