WASHINGTON, District of Columbia—This week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed multiple sanctions bills targeting Iran and North Korea. The Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act (H.R. 1698) and the Impeding North Korea’s Access to Finance Act (H.R. 3898) are designed to curb Iran and North Korea’s nuclear ambitions by restricting these nations’ sources of financing and foreign investment.
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, voted in favor of both sanctions measures, citing their critical importance in restraining the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs.
“The United States must counter every effort by Iran and North Korea to develop advanced nuclear capabilities,” Hartzler said. “These sanctions will punish those who do business with Iran and North Korea, making it more difficult for these regimes to access capital and resources.”
Hartzler cosponsored H.R. 1698, which would expand sanctions against Iran for its illicit ballistic missile program. The bill requires a comprehensive investigation of the entities that supply and finance Iran’s ballistic missile and conventional weapons programs.
H.R. 3898 would combat North Korean military and political aggression by restricting the nation’s access to foreign capital and investment. The bill imposes restrictions on foreign banks that conduct business with North Korean companies and punishes entities that employ North Korean laborers, many of whom are sent abroad to generate revenue for the regime. North Korea confiscates a majority of these workers’ wages, bringing in an estimated $300 million each year—money that ends up powering the nation’s nuclear objectives.
“Cutting off the international pipelines that fund these nations’ nuclear programs is an essential first step,” Hartzler said. “America must leverage its economic power to rein in Iran and North Korea and prevent these regimes from further developing their weapons capabilities.”
In 2017 alone, North Korea has fired more than 20 test missiles, improving its technology with every launch. Likewise, Iran possesses an arsenal of ballistic missiles, some with long-range capabilities. The proposed sanctions in H.R. 1698 and H.R. 3898 would inhibit further development of the Iranian and North Korean ballistic missile programs, Hartzler said.