Four Republicans joined Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and one Democrat — Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) — in voting against imposing tougher sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program in the House yesterday.
Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), John Duncan (R-Tenn.), Tim Johnson (R-Ill.), and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) voted against the bill from House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), which passed by unanimous consent later in the evening in the Senate.
“History is full of avoidable tragedies of foolish countries that have allowed their enemies to prepare to destroy them. The entire world is now fully aware of Iran’s true intentions. Now is the time to take a stand. As Sir Winston Churchill said, ‘You ask, What is our aim? I can answer with one word: Victory…for without victory there is no survival,’” Ros-Lehtinen said on the floor yesterday.
“To get us on that path to victory, I ask my colleagues to render their full support to the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012—a bicameral, bipartisan agreement that represents the strongest set of sanctions ever put in place against the regime in Tehran.”
Paul and Kucinich maintained that the sanctions are an act of war against a country that hasn’t shown hostility. “They don’t have a history of invading their neighboring countries,” Paul said. “The last time they were at war was with Iraq, and we bugged Iraq to go into Iran.”
Johnson was also the lone Republican vote against the extension of all Bush-era tax cuts yesterday.
The sanctions agreement also allows victims of the 1983 Marine Corps barracks bombing in Lebanon that killed 241 American servicemen and the 1996 Khobar Tower bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 American servicemen, to receive what is due them under judgments against Iran by permitting attachment of Iranian assets located in the United States.
It originated from an amendment offered last February in the Senate Banking Committee by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).
“Today we are maintaining our commitment to escalate – once again — the cost to Iran of pursuing and maintaining its nuclear weapons program,” Menendez said last night after Senate passage. “The decision about how far we will go – how much more we will do — and what impact this bill has is up to the leaders in Tehran.”