Text: S.722 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (03/23/2017)


115th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 722


To impose sanctions with respect to Iran in relation to Iran's ballistic missile program, support for acts of international terrorism, and violations of human rights, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 23, 2017

Mr. Corker (for himself, Mr. Menendez, Mr. Rubio, Mr. Cardin, Mr. Cotton, Mr. Casey, Mr. Cruz, Mr. Bennet, Mr. Risch, Mr. Coons, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Young, and Mr. Donnelly) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


A BILL

To impose sanctions with respect to Iran in relation to Iran's ballistic missile program, support for acts of international terrorism, and violations of human rights, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title; table of contents.

(a) Short title.—This Act may be cited as the “Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017”.

(b) Table of contents.—The table of contents for this Act is as follows:


Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Definitions.

Sec. 3. Regional strategy for countering conventional and asymmetric Iranian threats in the Middle East and North Africa.

Sec. 4. Imposition of additional sanctions in response to Iran’s ballistic missile program.

Sec. 5. Imposition of terrorism-related sanctions with respect to the IRGC.

Sec. 6. Imposition of additional sanctions with respect to persons responsible for human rights abuses.

Sec. 7. Enforcement of arms embargos.

Sec. 8. Continuation in effect of sanctions for Iranian support relating to terrorism.

Sec. 9. Report on coordination of sanctions between the United States and the European Union.

Sec. 10. Report on United States citizens detained by Iran.

Sec. 11. Exceptions for national security and humanitarian assistance; rule of construction.

Sec. 12. Presidential waiver authority.

SEC. 2. Definitions.

In this Act:

(1) ACT OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM.—The term “act of international terrorism” has the meaning given that term in section 14 of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (Public Law 104–172; 50 U.S.C. 1701 note).

(2) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES.—The term “appropriate congressional committees” has the meaning given that term in section 14 of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (Public Law 104–172; 50 U.S.C. 1701 note).

(3) FOREIGN PERSON.—The term “foreign person” means a person that is not a United States person.

(4) IRANIAN PERSON.—The term “Iranian person” means—

(A) an individual who is a citizen or national of Iran; or

(B) an entity organized under the laws of Iran or otherwise subject to the jurisdiction of the Government of Iran.

(5) IRGC.—The term “IRGC” means Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

(6) KNOWINGLY.—The term “knowingly” has the meaning given that term in section 14 of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (Public Law 104–172; 50 U.S.C. 1701 note).

(7) PERSON.—The term “person” means an individual or entity.

(8) UNITED STATES PERSON.—The term “United States person” means—

(A) a United States citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence to the United States; or

(B) an entity organized under the laws of the United States or of any jurisdiction within the United States, including a foreign branch of such an entity.

SEC. 3. Regional strategy for countering conventional and asymmetric Iranian threats in the Middle East and North Africa.

(a) In general.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 2 years thereafter, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Director of National Intelligence shall jointly develop and submit to the appropriate congressional committees a strategy for deterring conventional and asymmetric Iranian activities and threats that directly threaten the United States and key allies in the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond.

(b) Elements.—The strategy required by subsection (a) shall include at a minimum the following:

(1) A summary of the near- and long-term United States objectives, plans, and means for countering Iran’s destabilizing activities, including identification of countries that share the objective of countering Iran’s destabilizing activities.

(2) A summary of the capabilities and contributions of individual countries to shared efforts to counter Iran’s destabilizing activities, and a summary of additional actions or contributions that each country could take to further contribute.

(3) An assessment of Iran’s conventional force capabilities and an assessment of Iran’s plans to upgrade its conventional force capabilities, including its acquisition, development, and deployment of ballistic and cruise missile capabilities, unmanned aerial vehicles, and maritime offensive and anti-access or area denial capabilities.

(4) An assessment of Iran’s chemical and biological weapons capabilities and an assessment of Iranian plans to upgrade its chemical or biological weapons capabilities.

(5) An assessment of Iran’s asymmetric activities in the region, including—

(A) the size, capabilities, and activities of the IRGC, including the Quds Force;

(B) the size, capabilities, and activities of Iran’s cyber operations;

(C) the types and amount of support, including funding, lethal and nonlethal contributions, and training, provided to Hezbollah, Hamas, special groups in Iraq, the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, Houthi fighters in Yemen, and other violent groups across the Middle East; and

(D) the scope and objectives of Iran’s information operations and use of propaganda.

(6) A summary of United States actions, unilaterally and in cooperation with foreign governments, to counter destabilizing Iranian activities, including—

(A) interdiction of Iranian lethal arms bound for groups designated as foreign terrorist organizations under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189);

(B) Iran’s interference in international commercial shipping lanes;

(C) attempts by Iran to undermine or subvert internationally recognized governments in the Middle East region; and

(D) Iran’s support for the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, including—

(i) financial assistance, military equipment and personnel, and other support provided to that regime; and

(ii) support and direction to other armed actors that are not Syrian or Iranian and are acting on behalf of that regime.

(c) Form of strategy.—The strategy required by subsection (a) shall be submitted in unclassified form but may include a classified annex.

SEC. 4. Imposition of additional sanctions in response to Iran’s ballistic missile program.

(a) In general.—The President shall impose the sanctions described in subsection (b) with respect to any person that the President determines, on or after the date of the enactment of this Act—

(1) has engaged in any activity that has materially contributed, or poses a risk of materially contributing, to the activities of the Government of Iran with respect to its ballistic missile program, or any other program in Iran for developing, deploying, or maintaining systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction, including any efforts to manufacture, acquire, possess, develop, transport, transfer, or use such capabilities;

(2) is a successor entity to a person referred to in paragraph (1);

(3) owns or controls, is owned or controlled by, or is under common ownership or control with, a person referred to in paragraph (1);

(4) is acting for or on behalf of a person referred to in paragraph (1), (2), or (3); or

(5) has knowingly provided, or attempted to provide, financial, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of, a person referred to in paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4).

(b) Sanctions described.—The sanctions described in this subsection are the following:

(1) BLOCKING OF PROPERTY.—The President shall block, in accordance with the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), all transactions in all property and interests in property of any person subject to subsection (a) if such property and interests in property are in the United States, come within the United States, or are or come within the possession or control of a United States person.

(2) EXCLUSION FROM UNITED STATES.—The Secretary of State shall deny a visa to, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall exclude from the United States, any person subject to subsection (a) that is an alien.

(c) Penalties.—A person that violates, attempts to violate, conspires to violate, or causes a violation of subsection (b)(1) or any regulation, license, or order issued to carry out that subsection shall be subject to the penalties set forth in subsections (b) and (c) of section 206 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1705) to the same extent as a person that commits an unlawful act described in subsection (a) of that section.

(d) Report on contributions to Iran’s ballistic missile program.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 180 days thereafter, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report describing each person that—

(A) has, during the period specified in paragraph (2), conducted any activity that has materially contributed, or poses a risk of materially contributing, to the activities of the Government of Iran with respect to its ballistic missile program, or any other program in Iran for developing, deploying, or maintaining systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction, including any efforts to manufacture, acquire, possess, develop, transport, transfer, or use such capabilities;

(B) is a successor entity to a person referred to in subparagraph (A);

(C) owns or controls, is owned or controlled by, or is under common ownership or control with, a person referred to in subparagraph (A);

(D) is acting for or on behalf of a person referred to in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C); or

(E) is known or believed to have provided, or attempted to provide, during the period specified in paragraph (2), financial, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of, any material contribution to a program described in subparagraph (A) carried out by a person described in subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or (D).

(2) PERIOD SPECIFIED.—The period specified in this paragraph is—

(A) in the case of the first report submitted under paragraph (1), the period beginning on July 14, 2015, and ending on the date the report is submitted; and

(B) in the case of a subsequent such report, the 180-day period preceding the submission of the report.

(3) FORM OF REPORT.—Each report required by paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form but may include a classified annex.

SEC. 5. Imposition of terrorism-related sanctions with respect to the IRGC.

(a) Findings.—Congress makes the following findings:

(1) The IRGC is subject to sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13382 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note; relating to blocking property of weapons of mass destruction delivery system proliferators and their supporters), the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (22 U.S.C. 8501 et seq.), Executive Order 13553 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note; relating to blocking property of certain persons with respect to serious human rights abuses by the Government of Iran), and Executive Order 13606 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note; relating to blocking the property and suspending entry into the United States of certain persons with respect to grave human rights abuses by the Governments of Iran and Syria via information technology).

(2) The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (in this section referred to as the “IRGC–QF”) is the primary arm of the Government of Iran for executing its policy of supporting terrorist and insurgent groups. The IRGC–QF provides material, logistical assistance, training, and financial support to militants and terrorist operatives throughout the Middle East and South Asia and was designated for the imposition of sanctions by the Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to Executive Order 13224 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note; relating to blocking property and prohibiting transactions with persons who commit, threaten to commit, or support terrorism) in October 2007 for its support of terrorism.

(3) The IRGC, not just the IRGC–QF, is responsible for implementing Iran’s international program of destabilizing activities, support for acts of international terrorism, and ballistic missile program.

(b) In general.—Beginning on the date that is 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall impose the sanctions described in subsection (c) with respect to the IRGC and foreign persons that are officials, agents, or affiliates of the IRGC.

(c) Sanctions described.—The sanctions described in this subsection are sanctions applicable with respect to a foreign person pursuant to Executive Order 13224 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note; relating to blocking property and prohibiting transactions with persons who commit, threaten to commit, or support terrorism).

SEC. 6. Imposition of additional sanctions with respect to persons responsible for human rights abuses.

(a) In general.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Secretary of State shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a list of each person the Secretary determines, based on credible evidence—

(1) has been responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights committed against individuals in Iran who seek—

(A) to expose illegal activity carried out by officials of the Government of Iran; or

(B) to obtain, exercise, defend, or promote internationally recognized human rights and freedoms, such as the freedoms of religion, expression, association, and assembly, and the rights to a fair trial and democratic elections; and

(2) has acted as an agent of or on behalf of a foreign person in a matter relating to an activity described in paragraph (1).

(b) Sanctions described.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The President may, in accordance with the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), block all transactions in all property and interests in property of a person on the list required by subsection (a) if such property and interests in property are in the United States, come within the United States, or are or come within the possession or control of a United States person.

(2) PENALTIES.—A person that violates, attempts to violate, conspires to violate, or causes a violation of paragraph (1) or any regulation, license, or order issued to carry out paragraph (1) shall be subject to the penalties set forth in subsections (b) and (c) of section 206 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1705) to the same extent as a person that commits an unlawful act described in subsection (a) of that section.

SEC. 7. Enforcement of arms embargos.

(a) In general.—Except as provided in subsection (d), the President shall impose the sanctions described in subsection (b) with respect to any person that—

(1) engages in any activity that materially contributes to the supply, sale, or transfer directly or indirectly to or from Iran, or for the use in or benefit of Iran, of any battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems, as defined for the purpose of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, or related materiel, including spare parts; or

(2) provides to Iran any technical training, financial resources or services, advice, other services or assistance related to the supply, sale, transfer, manufacture, maintenance, or use of arms and related materiel described in paragraph (1).

(b) Sanctions described.—

(1) BLOCKING OF PROPERTY.—The President shall block, in accordance with the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), all transactions in all property and interests in property of any person subject to subsection (a) if such property and interests in property are in the United States, come within the United States, or are or come within the possession or control of a United States person.

(2) EXCLUSION FROM UNITED STATES.—The Secretary of State shall deny a visa to, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall exclude from the United States, any person subject to subsection (a) that is an alien.

(c) Penalties.—A person that violates, attempts to violate, conspires to violate, or causes a violation of subsection (b)(1) or any regulation, license, or order issued to carry out that subsection shall be subject to the penalties set forth in subsections (b) and (c) of section 206 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1705) to the same extent as a person that commits an unlawful act described in subsection (a) of that section.

(d) Exception.—The President is not required to impose sanctions under subsection (a) with respect to a person for engaging in an activity described in that subsection if the President certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that—

(1) permitting the activity is in the national security interest of the United States;

(2) Iran no longer presents a significant threat to the national security of the United States and to the allies of the United States; and

(3) the Government of Iran has ceased providing operational or financial support for acts of international terrorism and no longer satisfies the requirements for designation as a state sponsor of terrorism.

(e) State sponsor of terrorism defined.—In this section, the term “state sponsor of terrorism” means a country the government of which the Secretary of State has determined to be a government that has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism for purposes of—

(1) section 6(j)(1)(A) of the Export Administration Act of 1979 (50 U.S.C. 4605(j)(1)(A)) (as continued in effect pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.));

(2) section 620A(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2371(a));

(3) section 40(d) of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2780(d)); or

(4) any other provision of law.

SEC. 8. Continuation in effect of sanctions for Iranian support relating to terrorism.

(a) In general.—United States sanctions imposed with respect to a person under Executive Order 13382 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note; relating to blocking property of weapons of mass destruction delivery system proliferators and their supporters) or Executive Order 13224 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note; relating to blocking property and prohibiting transactions with persons who commit, threaten to commit, or support terrorism), and imposed as a result of activities described in subsection (b), that are in effect on the day before the date of the enactment of this Act, shall remain in effect until the date that is 90 days after the date on which the President submits to the appropriate congressional committees the certification described in subsection (c) with respect to the person.

(b) Activities described.—An activity described in this subsection is—

(1) any activity that materially contributes to the activities of the Government of Iran with respect to its ballistic missile program; or

(2) support by the Government of Iran for acts of international terrorism.

(c) Certification.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—A certification described in this subsection is a certification that the person with respect to which sanctions were imposed under Executive Order 13382 or Executive Order 13224 has not, during the 3-month period immediately preceding the date of the certification, provided support for or otherwise facilitated or engaged in any activity described in subsection (b).

(2) SUBMISSION TO CONGRESS.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—The President shall submit the certification described in paragraph (1) to the appropriate congressional committees in writing and shall include a detailed justification for the certification.

(B) FORM OF CERTIFICATION.—The certification described in paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form but may include a classified annex.

(d) Reimposition.—If sanctions are suspended with respect to a person under this section, such sanctions shall be reinstated if the President determines that the person has resumed any activity described in subsection (b).

SEC. 9. Report on coordination of sanctions between the United States and the European Union.

(a) In general.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 180 days thereafter, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that includes the following:

(1) A description of each instance, during the period specified in subsection (b)—

(A) in which the United States has imposed sanctions with respect to a person for activity related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or delivery systems for such weapons to or by Iran, support for acts of international terrorism by Iran, or human rights abuses in Iran, but in which the European Union has not imposed corresponding sanctions; and

(B) in which the European Union has imposed sanctions with respect to a person for activity related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or delivery systems for such weapons to or by Iran, support for acts of international terrorism by Iran, or human rights abuses in Iran, but in which the United States has not imposed corresponding sanctions.

(2) An explanation for the reason for each discrepancy between sanctions imposed by the European Union and sanctions imposed by the United States described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (1).

(b) Period specified.—The period specified in this subsection is—

(1) in the case of the first report submitted under subsection (a), the period beginning on September 1, 2009, and ending on the date the report is submitted; and

(2) in the case of a subsequent such report, the 180-day period preceding the submission of the report.

(c) Form of report.—The report required by subsection (a) shall be submitted in unclassified form but may include a classified annex.

SEC. 10. Report on United States citizens detained by Iran.

(a) In general.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 180 days thereafter, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on United States citizens, including United States citizens who are also citizens of other countries, detained by Iran or groups supported by Iran that includes—

(1) information regarding any officials of the Government of Iran involved in any way in the detentions; and

(2) a summary of efforts the United States Government has taken to secure the swift release of those United States citizens.

(b) Form of report.—The report required by subsection (a) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex.

SEC. 11. Exceptions for national security and humanitarian assistance; rule of construction.

(a) In general.—The following activities shall be exempt from sanctions under sections 4, 5, 6, and 7:

(1) Any activity subject to the reporting requirements under title V of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 3091 et seq.), or to any authorized intelligence activities of the United States.

(2) The admission of an alien to the United States if such admission is necessary to comply with United States obligations under the Agreement between the United Nations and the United States of America regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations, signed at Lake Success June 26, 1947, and entered into force November 21, 1947, or under the Convention on Consular Relations, done at Vienna April 24, 1963, and entered into force March 19, 1967.

(3) The conduct or facilitation of a transaction for the sale of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, or medical devices to Iran or for the provision of humanitarian assistance to the people of Iran, including engaging in a financial transaction relating to humanitarian assistance or for humanitarian purposes, transporting goods or services that are necessary to carry out operations relating to humanitarian assistance or humanitarian purposes, and having merely incidental contact, in the course of providing humanitarian assistance or aid for humanitarian purposes, with individuals who are under the control of a foreign person subject to sanctions under this Act.

(b) Definitions.—In this section:

(1) AGRICULTURAL COMMODITY.—The term “agricultural commodity” has the meaning given that term in section 102 of the Agricultural Trade Act of 1978 (7 U.S.C. 5602).

(2) MEDICAL DEVICE.—The term “medical device” has the meaning given the term “device” in section 201 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 321).

(3) MEDICINE.—The term “medicine” has the meaning given the term “drug” in section 201 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 321).

(c) Rule of construction.—Nothing in this Act shall be construed to limit the authority of the President to designate persons for the imposition of sanctions pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.).

SEC. 12. Presidential waiver authority.

(a) Case-by-Case waiver authority.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The President may waive, on a case-by-case basis and for a period of not more than 180 days, a requirement under section 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 to impose or maintain sanctions with respect to a person, and may waive the continued imposition of such sanctions, not less than 30 days after the President determines and reports to the appropriate congressional committees that it is vital to the national security interests of the United States to waive such sanctions.

(2) RENEWAL OF WAIVERS.—The President may, on a case-by-case basis, renew a waiver under paragraph (1) for an additional period of not more than 180 days if, not later than 15 days before that waiver expires, the President makes the determination and submits to the appropriate congressional committees a report described in paragraph (1).

(3) SUCCESSIVE RENEWAL.—The renewal authority provided under paragraph (2) may be exercised for additional successive periods of not more than 180 days if the President follows the procedures set forth in paragraph (2), and submits the report described in paragraph (1), for each such renewal.

(b) Contents of waiver reports.—Each report submitted under subsection (a) in connection with a waiver of sanctions under section 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 with respect to a person, or the renewal of such a waiver, shall include—

(1) a specific and detailed rationale for the determination that the waiver is vital to the national security interests of the United States;

(2) a description of the activity that resulted in the person being subject to sanctions;

(3) an explanation of the efforts made by the United States to secure the cooperation of the government with primary jurisdiction over the person or the location where the activity described in paragraph (2) occurred in terminating or, as appropriate, penalizing the activity; and

(4) an assessment of the significance of the activity described in paragraph (2) in contributing to the ability of Iran to threaten the interests of the United States or allies of the United States, develop systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction, support acts of international terrorism, or violate the human rights of any person in Iran.

(c) Effect of report on waiver.—If the President submits a report under subsection (a) in connection with a waiver of sanctions under section 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 with respect to a person, or the renewal of such a waiver, the President shall not be required to impose or maintain sanctions under section 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8, as applicable, with respect to the person described in the report during the 30-day period referred to in subsection (a).