Thirty-four years ago this week, in the early hours of October 23, 1983, two trucks carrying explosives infiltrated the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. The blasts killed 241 Americans, many of whom were marines, in one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in our nation’s history. The bombing was orchestrated and perpetrated by the Iranian terror proxy Hezbollah.
More than three decades later, the fight against Hezbollah and its sponsors in Tehran continues. That is why today the House is voting on three bills to further weaken and isolate this terrorist organization.
The first two bills, the Sanctioning Hezbollah’s Illicit Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act and the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act, place additional sanctions on Hezbollah to stymie its access to weapons and crack down on the despicable practice of using civilians as human shields. A third piece of legislation urges the European Union to follow our lead and fully designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
In addition, the House will consider the Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act, a bipartisan bill that targets Iran’s development and testing of ballistic missiles. Tehran has continued to expand its ballistic missile program in spite of the Obama administration’s nuclear agreement, which merely discourages—rather than bans—these activities.
Earlier this month, President Trump outlined a new strategy to counteract Iranian aggression, including its nuclear program, support for terrorism, and ballistic missile program. Following this announcement, the bills on the Floor today are the first of many steps we must take to hold Iran and its affiliates accountable for their actions. So as we commemorate the 34th anniversary of the Marine barracks bombing and remember the brave Americans lost that day, we redouble our commitment to defeating all those who seek to do us harm.