June 15, 2017

Manchin Votes for Additional Sanctions on Iran and Russia

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today voted for the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017, which imposes sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile program, its support for acts of terrorism, and its continuing abuses of human rights. This legislation also includes a provision that expands sanctions on the Russian government.

“Iran is the world’s top state sponsor of terrorism, according to the Department of State, and we must do everything in our power to ensure that this regime is not able to increase its ballistic missile capabilities,” Senator Manchin said. “This bill will allow the U.S. government to sanction people that engage in any efforts to manufacture, acquire, possess, develop, transport, transfer or use ballistic missiles. These new sanctions will also authorize the president to impose human rights sanctions on Iranian individuals that are responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross human rights violations against individuals in Iran that promote human rights or expose illegal government activity. We must continue to put pressure on the Iranian regime to curtail Iran’s development of ballistic missiles, which Iran continues to pursue and prevent the Iranian regime from committing human rights violations on its own people. 

“This bipartisan legislation is an important step in combatting Russian aggression against the United States and our allies. As we continue to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 elections and related targeting abroad, we need to send a strong signal to Russia that this type of hostility will not be tolerated and will face swift consequences. Preventing Russian attacks on our democracy and democracies abroad should not be a political issue and I will continue to work in a bipartisan way to protect our great nation.”

Iran remains the leading state sponsor of terrorism and continues to pose threats to the United States, our interest in the Middle East and North Africa, and to our allies. In February, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on 25 individuals and entities in Iran. In recent months, Iran has soured relations further by supporting Yemen's rebel Houthi movement, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his country's six-year-long civil war. It has also conducted repeated tests of ballistic missile technology in violation of a U.N. resolution. 

Yesterday, Senator Manchin joined 97 Senators in adopting the bipartisan Countering Russian Aggression and Cyberattacks Act as an amendment to the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017. The amendment codifies and expands sanctions against the Russian government in response to Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Election and Russian aggression in Ukraine and Syria. The amendment also institutes Congressional oversight over Russian sanctions policy by establishing a Congressional Review process for relaxing or removing sanctions.