Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) joined a group of bipartisan Senate colleagues in calling on the Biden Administration to take action to sanction Iran’s illicit oil trade. This comes after increased attacks from Iranian-backed proxies in the Middle East.
“Strengthening sanctions on Iranian oil is especially critical in light of the ongoing attacks on U.S. forces across the Middle East by Iranian-backed groups,” wrote the senators. “According to the U.S. Department of Defense, there have been more than 140 attacks on U.S. troops in the region since October 7, 2023, most recently resulting in the tragic deaths of three U.S. servicemembers and dozens of injuries this past weekend.”
“These exports provide a crucial lifeline to sustain and expand Iran’s sponsorship of terrorist groups whose objective is to harm U.S. interests in the Middle East and to destroy our ally, Israel. Accordingly, we call on you to immediately take additional action to stop Iran’s illicit oil trade,” the senators continued. “Specifically, we urge you to sanction ships transporting Iranian petroleum products as well as the foreign ports and refineries that knowingly accept those products.”
The full letter can be found here.
Senators Cortez Masto and Rosen have consistently stood up to Iran. Cortez Masto and Rosen both called on the Biden Administration to refreeze $6 billion in Iranian assets currently held in Qatar following Hamas’s October 7th terrorist attack on Israel. Both are also co-sponsors of bipartisan legislation to sanction illicit purchases of Iranian oil. Senator Cortez Masto has previously urged the Administration to crack down on the finances of international terrorist organizations, including Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism. Senator Rosen also stood up to her own party and voted in favor of several Republican amendments to the Authorization For Use of Military Force that would combat Iranian aggression and support Israel. Rosen helped introduce the bipartisan Solidify Iran Sanctions Act to make permanent the Iran Sanctions of 1996 that would allow the President to impose sanctions on Iran’s energy sectors.