Charlie Crist, Gus Bilirakis team up on anti-Iranian legislation - Florida Politics

Charlie Crist, Gus Bilirakis team up on anti-Iranian legislation

Who says bipartisanship is dead in Washington?

Tampa Bay-area Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist and Republican Rep. Gus Bilirakis are teaming up to sponsor a bill that would prohibit U.S. military assistance to any country that sells restricted weapons or technology to Iran.

The No Arms Sales To Iran Act‘s goal is to discourage foreign governments from engaging in arms sales to Iran, named earlier this year by the U.S. State Department as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

“Iran’s aggressive actions remain a threat to America, Israel, and the rest of the world. As the top state sponsor of terrorism, Iran’s nefarious pursuit of restricted weapons further destabilizes the region,” Crist said. “Our bill sends a strong message to countries considering arms deals with Iran that supporting state sponsors of terrorism will not be tolerated.”

Bilirakis said that despite the Iranian nuclear deal that was negotiated by the Obama administration and the four other permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany in 2015, Iran “continues to demonstrate its commitment to tyranny through its continued support and spread of terror in an effort to destabilize the Middle East.”

“As we work with allies to keep the pressure on Iran, we must ensure that our efforts are not being undermined by other nations and, if so, that they are exposed and held accountable,” Bilirakis added.

President Donald Trump announced in October that he would not certify the Iran nuclear deal, and instead called for a variety of new sanctions against the government in Tehran.

While serving as governor in 2007, Crist signed the first bill in the country that called for a state to divest in any investments in companies that would invest in Iran.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa for 15 years. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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