NJ lawmakers back bills targeting Iran

NJ lawmakers back bills targeting Iran

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) joined eight Democratic colleagues in introducing a bill to strengthen Israel’s security in light of the multinational deal to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The bill passed Oct. 1 in the House, 251-173.

The bill states the United States “will deter Iran from destabilizing regional activity and support for and acts of terrorism” and keeps open the military option “to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability.” 

In addition, it will provide assistance to Israel, including “applicable ordnance and delivery systems to counter non-peaceful nuclear activities by Iran” and ensure “Israel’s qualitative military edge and effectively deter conventional and nuclear threats.”

Booker and six of the nine sponsors of the measure voted for the deal in the Senate. Two others, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) opposed the agreement.

“While my colleagues and I may have come to different conclusions on the Iran deal, we are united in our dedication to keeping Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, whatever it takes,” said Booker in an Oct. 1 press release from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “In the interest of America’s national security and that of our allies, it is imperative that we move forward with unified vigilance and an unwavering commitment to hold Iran accountable. I am pleased to join my colleagues to introduce legislation that strengthens our policy toward Iran.”

Among other items included in the bill are calls for “expedited procedures” for consideration of new terrorism sanctions if Iran conducts or increases its financial backing of terrorist activities.

In a separate measure in the House of Representatives, Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ Dist. 7) signed on as a cosponsor of the Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act.

It would prevent the president from lifting sanctions on Iran “until all judgments are paid by Iran for its acts of terrorism.”

In an Oct. 1 press release, Lance estimated that many victims of state-sponsored terrorism are owed over $40 billion in damages.

He cited victims from New Jersey:

• Alisa Flatow of West Orange, who was killed in a 1995 bus bombing while traveling in Gaza. Her parents were awarded a $247 million judgment. 

• David Goldman of East Orange, who was killed in a 1992 suicide attack in Buenos Aires. His family was awarded a $19.5 million judgment. 

• Judy Greenbaum of Passaic, who was murdered in the 2001 Jerusalem Sbarro pizza restaurant bombing. Her family was awarded a $19 million judgment. 

• Leah Stern of Passaic, whose family was awarded $313 million after a Jerusalem bombing in 1997.

“We cannot allow Iran to be handed billions of dollars in sanctions relief without ensuring the victims of Iranian terror finally see justice,” said Lance in the press release. “Billions of dollars in judgments have been rendered, including many to New Jersey families, but they and countless others across the United States continue to wait.”

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