WASHINGTON — House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce told CNN Wednesday he is bringing back a bill that would place additional sanctions on Russia and Iran.
Russia used its veto at the United Nations Security Council Wednesday to protect the Basar al-Assad regime in Syria from being condemned and investigated for its chemical attacks against its own people.
“Assad has carried out these brutal attacks… suffocating children. This time [Assad’s been] caught in the act, red-handed. And now, once again, you have Putin come to the aid of Assad. Not just at the United Nations, but also in these diplomatic discussions where frankly, we need to get down to brass tacks. [The use of poison gas] is not something that is in the interest of stability anywhere in the world,” Royce told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Royce went on to say, “The legislation I passed through the House [last year] with Eliot Engel, my ranking member, to… put additional sanctions on Putin’s Russia and Iran as a consequence of their support here for Assad… we are now bringing that bill up again. This time I think we will get it through the Senate. This time I think we will get a presidential signature on it.”
On Thursday, Assad called the accusation of the chemical attack on his people by his regime a “100 percent fabrication.”
Chairman Royce and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs committee Eliot Engel filed a bill last July that would impose new sanctions on supporters of Syria’s Assad regime. The bill also intended to “encourage negotiations to end the crisis, and kick off investigations into the eventual prosecution of war criminals,” a statement from a press release said at the time.
The legislation, called The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act , is named for a former Syrian military photographer who defected to the opposition after documenting Assad’s human rights abuses. The bill would also mandate reports on human-rights violators in Syria, abuse of cross-border assistance, and the possibility of a no-fly zone or safe zone over Syria.
Additionally, the bill would require the president to impose new sanctions on anyone who does business with or provides financing to the Government of Syria, including Syrian intelligence and security services, or the Central Bank of Syria.
Sanctions would have to be imposed by the executive if a country provides aircraft or spare parts for aircraft to Syria’s airlines or does business with transportation or telecom sectors under the control of the Syrian regime. Finally, sanctions would be imposed if a country supports Syria’s energy industry.