Tallahassee, Florida – Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday called for tightening state sanctions on Iran for helping Hamas carry out deadly attacks in Israel over the weekend.
Appearing at a synagogue in South Florida, DeSantis said he would ask lawmakers to further block Iranian business ties in Florida during the 2024 legislative session. Symbolism is also important.” ” For example, Iran has been included in the list of countries where investment by the country is prohibited.
Republican presidential candidate DeSantis said during an appearance at the Bar Harbor Shure Hotel in Surfside that his proposal would reinforce his commitment to opposing doing business with supporters of terrorism. While detailed proposals have not yet been released, it could affect sectors such as finance, construction, manufacturing and mining, according to information released by his office.
“We will prohibit state and local governments from contracting with any company on the expanded list of industries, and we will not lift sanctions until the President and the U.S. Congress certify that Iran has ceased its support of international terrorism in seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction,” DeSantis said.
But Rep. Anna Eskamani, an Orlando Democrat whose parents are Iranian immigrants, questioned the effectiveness of proposed tougher state sanctions.
“I have never heard of a country imposing sanctions on a foreign country,” Eskamani said in a brief message. “The United States has imposed severe sanctions on Iran, and successive presidents have always imposed severe sanctions on Iran.”
Florida has listed Iran as a “foreign country of concern” along with China, Russia, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and Syria. Since 2008, Florida has prohibited state agencies and local governments from contracting for goods and services worth more than $1 million with any business that contracts with the Iranian government.
A state law passed this spring limits land ownership to people from related countries.
The United States and Iran have not had formal diplomatic relations since the Iranians took over the U.S. embassy in 1979, according to the U.S. State Department. The United States has implemented a number of sanctions programs that restrict entry into the United States for companies engaged in certain business activities in Iran.
Florida Senate President Katherine Passidomo (D-Naples) and House Speaker Paul Reyna (D-Palm Coast) expressed support for DeSantis’ proposal in a press release from the governor’s office on Tuesday.
“We must ensure that we do everything within our authority as a state to protect Floridians from this dangerous and corrupt regime,” Passimo said in a statement.
The 2024 session will begin in January. Eskamani said the conference had submitted a resolution in support of the Israeli people. She suggested Florida could expand “services and provide financial support to refugees.”
DeSantis said the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Highway Patrol and Attorney General Ashley Moody will issue reminders that Florida prohibits actions that support terrorism, including raising funds for Hamas or other groups.
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