Donnelly Helps Senate Pass Bill to Increase Sanctions on Russia and Iran

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly helped the Senate pass bipartisan legislation, which he helped introduce earlier this year, that would expand sanctions on Russia and Iran. The Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act would increase sanctions for Iran’s ballistic missile program, support for terrorism, human rights violations, and transfers of weapons to or from Iran. The bill was amended to also strengthen U.S. sanctions against Russia in response to Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

Donnelly, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said, “This bipartisan bill would send a clear message that the United States will continue to lead the way in showing our adversaries that their actions have consequences. Despite our success in rolling back Iran’s nuclear program, Iran’s continued development of ballistic missiles and its support for terrorism are unacceptable. Likewise, Russia’s continued efforts to disrupt our democratic institutions, and those of our allies, cannot be tolerated and require a strong, united response. I hope our allies and partners around the world will again follow our lead.”

The bipartisan legislation, which passed 98-2 in the Senate today, contains the following key provisions:

On Iran:

  • Mandatory Ballistic Missile Sanctions: Would impose mandatory sanctions on persons involved with Iran’s ballistic missile program and those that transact with them.
  • Terrorism Sanctions: Would apply terrorism sanctions to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and codifies individuals who are currently sanctioned due to Iranian support for terrorism.
  • Enforcement of Arms Embargo: Would require the president to sanction individuals or entities involved certain activities related to transferring weapons to or from Iran.

On Russia:

  • Maintain Existing Sanctions on Russia: Would codify existing sanctions due to Russian activities in Ukraine and in cyberspace and ensures they cannot be lifted without Congressional action.
  • Strengthens and Expands Sanctions on Russia: Would sanction Russian energy projects as well as malicious actors engaged in cyber activities, suppliers of Russian arms and materials in Syria, and those involved in pipelines, Russian railways, mining, and shipping sectors.
  • Prioritizes US Assistance Countering Russian Aggression: Would establish a program to counter Russian influence in the EU and NATO and requires the Department of State to assist Ukraine in developing a plan to become independent from Russian energy.
  • Combating Terrorism Financing: Contains new measures that would strengthen US efforts to combat illicit financing flows in and out of Russia.