In a dramatic counter-offensive against Tehran’s menacing global agenda, U.S. Representative Jim Banks (R-IN) is spearheading a bold legislative initiative in Congress to impose crushing sanctions on Iran’s notorious regime. Dubbed the ‘Maximum Pressure Act’, this bill is a rallying cry against the perceived leniency of the Biden administration, a leniency that critics argue has empowered Tehran to escalate its support for deadly terrorist networks worldwide.
I introduced the Maximum Pressure Act to write the Trump admin’s successful maximum pressure campaign on Iran into law. The Biden administration’s failed policies have only emboldened Iran and facilitated chaos in the Middle East! pic.twitter.com/UcTIMgKN2P
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) October 30, 2023
Unveiled on Monday with resounding support from over 80 House members, including key figures like Republican Study Committee Chairman Kevin Hern (R-OK) and RSC National Security Task Force Chairman Joe Wilson (R-SC), this formidable bill aims to reinstate the formidable “maximum pressure” stance of the Trump era against Iran. Proponents argue that the current administration’s approach has been lax, leading to the unfreezing of $6 billion in Iranian assets and the expiration of sanctions against Iran’s missile program.
Banks and his allies are marketing their bill as the most severe sanctions proposal ever to target Iran. They claim it will dismantle Iran’s terror-financing capabilities, penalize its leadership, and constrain the Biden administration from easing sanctions on Iranian oil sales—a lucrative revenue stream for what they describe as a brutal regime. This act would also strip President Biden of the power to lift existing sanctions and bolster Congressional authority to halt any further U.S. financial concessions to Iran or attempts to revive the Obama-era Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
In a striking move, the act not only aims to reimpose stringent sanctions that once compelled Iran’s terrorist affiliates to desperately seek funding elsewhere, but it also holds Iran directly accountable for the appalling October 7 attack on Israel perpetrated by the Iran-backed Hamas. According to the proponents of the act, restoring “maximum pressure” on Iran is a justified retaliation.
Furthermore, the act proposes a bold diversion of the $6 billion in unfrozen Iranian funds to the U.S. Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund, eliminates caps on bounties for capturing terrorists involved in the October 7 attack, escalates sanctions on Iran’s missile program and weapon sales—including kamikaze drones—and mandates the Treasury Department to blacklist all Iranian banks that have evaded sanctions.
Additionally, it calls for comprehensive reports on Iran’s espionage and influence operations in the United States, probing concerns about Iranian infiltration in the federal government, and examining the impact of relaxed sanctions on Iran’s terrorist proxies.
Rep. Banks issued a stern warning, linking the recent attack on Israel to the Biden administration’s financial overture to Iran and advocating a return to Trump’s hardline policies. Rep. Kevin Hern echoed these sentiments, lamenting the cessation of the “maximum pressure” campaign and its dire consequences, including recent assaults on U.S. troops in the Middle East by Iranian militias. Rep. Joe Wilson underscored the urgency of confronting Iran’s escalating threat, citing heinous acts perpetrated by Iranian proxies, including Hamas.
In a charged political climate, this move by Congress is a bold statement of intent, aiming to resurrect a hardline stance against Tehran’s regime and thwart its global terror financing.