House Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Expand Sanctions on Iran Over Drones

The bill would clarify that existing sanctions on Iran's conventional weapons programs also apply to drones.

A group of bipartisan members of the House of Representatives introduced a piece of legislation this would that would expand sanctions on Iran by clarifying that existing sanctions on the Islamic Republic’s conventional weapons programs also apply to drones.

The Stop Iranian Drones Act was led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R-TX).

“With this bill, we are ensuring the world knows that the US will use every tool to cut off Iran’s UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] supplies and to punish those who continue to supply Iran with UAVs and parts despite their destructive impact,” McCaul said in a statement.

The US constantly blames Iran for any drone attacks against its allies in the region, including Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia. Blaming Iran for Houthi drone attacks in a way absolves the aggression of the US-backed Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen. The Houthis wouldn’t be launching these attacks if Saudi Arabia hadn’t been leading a brutal war against them since 2015.

It’s also not clear if Iran is providing the Houthis with military support at all, as the drones are likely made in Yemen since the country is under blockade. What is clear is that the US has been arming and supporting the Saudi-led coalition, and US-made bombs have been used to target civilian infrastructure in the country.

The bill comes as the US and Iran have resumed indirect negotiations on the nuclear deal in Vienna. If President Biden decides to give Iran the necessary sanctions relief needed to revive the deal, he will likely face strong opposition from Iran hawks in Congress.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.