Congress makes progress toward passing MAHSA Act to sanction Iran for violating human rights

The House of Representatives voted in favor of a bill to punish Ali Khamenei and other leaders for killing Mahsa Amini and subjecting citizens to repression.

The House of Representatives and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed three bills to penalize Iran for violating human rights. This includes the murder of Mahsa Amini in September 2022. These sanctions will impact the Islamic regime's weapons capabilities and the country's top leaders, such as Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

The House and the committee voted to pass the three bills. One of them, known as the Mahsa Amini Human Rights and Security Accountability Act (MAHSA Act), was named after the young woman who was murdered. The bills will now be sent to the Senate where they will have to be voted on.

Two of the bills directly target Khamenei and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s cabinet, which has been accused of committing "human rights abuses" and supporting terrorism. The bills outline how the Islamic government is relentlessly pursuing the Baha'i minority, which has been subjected to fierce repression. The government is trying to have them removed from Iran.

The third of the bills is aimed at the Islamic regime's arms production and the export of missiles and drones. This comes three days after Iran launched an air strike against Israel.

Rubio: "Sanctions against the Islamic regime are long overdue"

Between June and July of last year, Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democrat Alex Padilla introduced the MAHSA Act. Pending Senate approval, the initiative has received the approval of the House of Representatives and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Rubio issued a statement celebrating the news. "It’s long overdue for sanctions to be imposed against top leaders of the oppressive Islamic regime, the Supreme Leader of Iran, and the President of Iran, as they continue to commit human rights violations against their own people. I urge my Senate colleagues to swiftly pass this bill," he wrote.

Along the same lines was Padilla, who demanded that Iranian leaders be "held accountable."

Senator Rubio and I introduced the MAHSA Act to impose sanctions on top Iranian political leadership after its brutal crackdown on protesters, who demonstrated tremendous courage in voicing their outrage toward the Iranian regime after the heinous murder of Mahsa Amini. Today, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations took an important step to hold Iranian leaders accountable for the regime’s ongoing repression, censorship, and abuse against its people.