Increasing sanctions for Russia, North Korea and Iran supported by Rep. Paul Cook

By on July 27, 2017

Three provisions in HR 3364 – the Countering Adversarial Nations Through Sanctions Act – have spelled out increased sanctions against Russia, North Korea and Iran. These regimes that have sought to undermine US national security as well as to continue to threaten their neighboring countries. Rep. Paul Cook (R- 8th District-Apple Valley) joined the U.S. House in passing this legislation with bipartisan support.

HR 3364’s first provision targets those involved in the Iranian regime’s ballistic missile program, its efforts to destabilize the region and threaten Israel and its ongoing human rights abuses. It imposes sanctions on any individual who contributes materially to Iran’s ballistic missile program, weapons of mass destruction programs, or participates in the sale or transfer of military equipment to Iran. The legislation also calls for increased sanctions on anyone who is identified to be responsible violations of internationally recognized human rights including torture and other acts.

The second provision of HR 3364 counteracts Russian aggression. It strengthens sanctions in response to cyber-attacks and interference in Ukraine, empowers Congress to review any sanctions relief, and works to strengthen international cooperation in opposing Russian aggression. HR 3364 specifically provides for a mandated Congressional review if sanctions are relaxed, suspended, or terminated. The provision targets corruption and key sectors of the Russian economy, including arms sales and the export of oil and gas. The legislation also resolves a provision in a previous Senate bill that could have hurt the US economy while benefiting Russian energy oligarchs.

Lastly, HR 3364’s third provision amends the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 to enhance the President’s authority to impose sanctions on those who violate U.N. Security Council resolutions regarding North Korea. Sanctions have been expanded to further deter North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs by cutting off Kim Jung Un’s access to cash. The bill also cracks down on North Korea’s shipping and use of international ports and while targeting those who employ North Korean slave labor.

“Iran, North Korea, and Russia continue to pose a serious threat to U.S. national security,” said Rep. Cook. “These additional sanctions will give us additional tools to combat their continued aggression and ensure their illicit activities don’t go unchecked.”

Rep. Cook’s 8th District includes Yucaipa. He is member of the House Armed Services, Natural Resources, and Foreign Affairs Committees. Rep. Cook served as an infantry officer and retired as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps after 26 years. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.