Committee on Foreign Affairs – (WASHINGTON) – August 30, 2011 – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called for the Administration to directly sanction the Iranian foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, as well as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iran’s “Supreme Leader” after the Administration today imposed sanctions on the Syrian foreign minister and several other Syrian regime officials. The Administration has previously sanctioned Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and other top Syrian regime officials. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“With the decision made to sanction Assad and other top thugs in Syria, I see no reason why the Administration would continue to give a free pass to Iran’s Ahmadinejad, the so-called ‘Supreme Leader,’ and the regime’s foreign minister.
“The Iranian and Syrian regimes are partners in crime, and the U.S. should apply the same sanctions to both dictatorships. Both regimes brutally oppress their own citizens, and the Iranian regime is helping the Syrian regime with its ongoing bloody crackdown. Both regimes are sponsoring violent extremist groups and pursuing unconventional weapons and missile capabilities to threaten the U.S., our ally Israel, and other free nations. Neither regime has the legitimacy to rule.
“The U.S. and other responsible nations must start by directly sanctioning the highest ranking Iranian regime officials. And with the UN General Assembly convening in New York in weeks, the U.S. must unequivocally deny all Iranian and Syrian regime officials access to U.S. soil.”
NOTE: Ros-Lehtinen is the author of the bipartisan Iran Threat Reduction Act (H.R. 1905) and Syrian Freedom Support Act (H.R. 2106), both of which mandate extensive sanctions, including asset freezes and a travel ban, for senior officials of the Iranian and Syrian regimes.