U.S. House approves Kinzinger’s bipartisan bill to support Iraq, set sanctions on Iran

Rep. Adam Kinzinger

The U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 27 approved bipartisan legislation sponsored by U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) to protect Iraq from the terrorist regime in Iran.

“Since the toppling of Saddam Hussein, Iran has been working to gain access and influence in Iraq by dismantling American efforts to stabilize the country and the region,” Rep. Kinzinger said on the House floor, prior to its passage of the Preventing Iranian Destabilization of Iraq Act of 2017, H.R. 4591.

“It is abundantly clear that Iran is working to gain influence in Iraq to further their radical agenda, and we must do everything in our power to counter their tyrannical regime and provide hope for the Iraqi people,” said the congressman said on Tuesday in support of the bill.

H.R. 4591, which Rep. Kinzinger introduced almost a year ago in December 2017, has 17 cosponsors, including U.S. Reps. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) and lead Democrat Thomas Suozzi (D-NY).

“It’s no surprise that Iran is actively trying to gain influence in Iraq, and sow seeds of chaos to destabilize U.S. peacekeeping efforts in the region,” Rep. Kinzinger said in a statement after the House approval of the measure. “We cannot and must not allow this tyrannical regime to obtain the power they seek, and that’s why this legislation is so important.”

H.R. 4591 would impose sanctions “on all those who threaten peace and stability in Iraq,” he added, thanking Rep. Suozzi for his work on the bill, and his House colleagues for passing it.

H.R. 4591 would impose sanctions with respect to Iranian persons that threaten the peace or stability of Iraq or the government of Iraq, undermining the democratic process in Iraq; or undermining significant efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, according to the text of the bill in the congressional record.

Such sanctions would include the continued implementation of Executive Order 13438 by the U.S. Treasury Secretary and the U.S. Secretary of State to block property of certain persons who threaten stabilization efforts in Iraq, according to the text.

Additional sanctions would include blocking such persons’ assets; making aliens ineligible for visas, admission into the United States, and for parole or any other benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the bill states.

Rep. Kinzinger said H.R. 4591 also would sanction several terrorist organizations, as well as their leaders, many of whom he said are trained and funded by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

“Over the past few months, we have seen the security situation in Iraq slip further into despair,” Rep. Kinzinger said on the House floor. “The U.S. compounds in Baghdad and Basra were attacked by Iranian-backed groups, resulting in the latter shutting its doors. I believe retreating will only hurt the Iraqis and make the region a more dangerous place by allowing Iran to further destabilize the country, creating the conditions for the next generation of terror.”

The congressman also stressed that if the United States chooses to do nothing, such action “only strengthens the Iranians and their proxies.”

“Ensuring that the Ayatollah in Tehran does not continue to destabilize the Middle East is part of our mission, and I will continue to do what I can in support of that mission,” he said.