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H.R. 589: MAHSA Act

The text of the bill below is as of Jan 27, 2023 (Introduced).



1st Session

H. R. 589


January 27, 2023

(for himself, Mr. Gallagher, Mr. Waltz, Ms. Tenney, Mr. Wilson of South Carolina, Mr. Crenshaw, Ms. Salazar, Mr. Wittman, Mr. Weber of Texas, Mr. Fallon, Mr. McClintock, Mr. Murphy, Mrs. Harshbarger, Mrs. Rodgers of Washington, Mr. Guest, Mr. Lamborn, Mr. Gottheimer, Mr. Swalwell, and Ms. Wasserman Schultz) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committees on the Judiciary, Financial Services, and Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


To impose sanctions on the Supreme Leader of Iran and the President of Iran and their respective offices for human rights abuses and support for terrorism.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Mahsa Amini Human rights and Security Accountability Act or the MAHSA Act.


Imposition of sanctions on Iran’s Supreme Leader’s Office, its appointees, and any affiliated persons



Congress finds the following:


The Supreme Leader is an institution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.


The Supreme Leader holds ultimate authority over Iran’s judiciary and security apparatus, including the Ministry of Intelligence and Security, law enforcement forces under the Interior Ministry, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and the Basij, a nationwide volunteer paramilitary group subordinate to the IRGC, all of which have engaged in human rights abuses in Iran. Additionally the IRGC, a United States designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, which reports to the Supreme Leader, continues to perpetrate terrorism around the globe, including attempts to kill and kidnap American citizens on United States soil.


The Supreme Leader appoints the head of Iran’s judiciary. International observers continue to criticize the lack of independence of Iran’s judicial system and maintained that trials disregarded international standards of fairness.


The revolutionary courts, created by Iran’s former Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini, within Iran’s judiciary, are chiefly responsible for hearing cases of political offenses, operate in parallel to Iran’s criminal justice system and routinely hold grossly unfair trials without due process, handing down predetermined verdicts and rubberstamping executions for political purpose.


The Iranian security and law enforcement forces engage in serious human rights abuse at the behest of the Supreme Leader.


Iran’s President, Ebrahim Raisi, sits at the helm of the most sanctioned cabinet in Iranian history which includes internationally sanctioned rights violators. Raisi has supported the recent crackdown on protestors and is rights violator himself, having served on a “death commission” in 1988 that led to the execution of several thousand political prisoners in Iran. He most recently served as the head of Iran’s judiciary, a position appointed by Iran’s current Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and may likely be a potential candidate to replace Khamenei as Iran’s next Supreme Leader.


On September 16th, 2022, 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, died in the detention of the Morality Police after being beaten and detained for allegedly transgressing discriminatory dress codes for women. This tragic incident triggered widespread, pro-women’s rights, pro-democracy protests across all of Iran’s 31 provinces, calling for the end to Iran’s theocratic regime.


In the course of the protests, the Iranian security forces’ violent crackdown includes mass arrests, well documented beating of protestors, throttling of the internet and telecommunications services, and shooting protestors with live ammunition. Five weeks into the protests, Iranian security forces have reportedly killed hundreds of protestors and other civilians, including women and children, and wounded many more.


Iran’s Supreme Leader is the leader of the Axis of Resistance, which is a network of Tehran’s terror proxy and partner militias material supported by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that targets the United States as well as its allies and partners.


Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that—


the United States shall stand with and support the people of Iran in their demand for fundamental human rights; and


the United States shall continue to hold the Islamic Republic of Iran, particularly the Supreme Leader and President, accountable for abuses of human rights, corruption, and export of terrorism.


In general


Determination required

Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the President shall determine whether the sanctions listed in paragraph (2) apply with respect to each person and entity described in subsection (d), and impose all applicable such sanctions with respect to each such person and entity.


Sanctions listed

The sanctions listed in this paragraph are the following:


Sanctions described in section 105(c) of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (22 U.S.C. 8514(c)).


Sanctions applicable with respect to a person pursuant to Executive Order 13553 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note; relating to blocking property of certain persons with respect to serious human rights abuses by the Government of Iran).


Sanctions applicable with respect to a person pursuant to Executive Order 13224 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note; relating to blocking property and prohibiting transactions with persons who commit, threaten to commit, or support terrorism).


Sanctions applicable with respect to a person pursuant to Executive Order 13818 (relating to blocking the property of persons involved in serious human rights abuse or corruption).


Sanctions applicable with respect to a person pursuant to Executive Order 13876 (relating to imposing sanctions with respect to Iran).


Penalties and visa bans applicable with respect to a person pursuant to section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2021.


Persons described

The persons described in this subsection are the following:


The Supreme Leader of Iran and any official in the Office of the Supreme Leader of Iran.


The President of Iran and any official in the Office of the President of Iran or the President’s cabinet, including cabinet ministers and executive vice presidents.


Any entity, including foundations and economic conglomerates, overseen by the Office of the Supreme Leader of Iran which is complicit in financing or resourcing of human rights abuses or support for terrorism.


Any official of any entity owned or controlled by the Supreme Leader of Iran or the Office of the Supreme Leader of Iran.


Any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with or at the recommendation of the Secretary of State—


to be a person appointed by the Supreme Leader of Iran, the Office of the Supreme Leader of Iran, the President of Iran, or the Office of the President of Iran to a position as a state official of Iran, or as the head of any entity located in Iran or any entity located outside of Iran that is owned or controlled by one or more entities in Iran;


to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this section;


to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this section; or


to be a member of the board of directors or a senior executive officer of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this section.


Congressional oversight


In general

Not later than 60 days after receiving a request from the chairman and ranking member of one of the appropriate congressional committees with respect to whether a person meets the criteria of a person described in subsection (d)(5), the President shall—


determine if the person meets such criteria; and


submit a classified or unclassified report to such chairman and ranking member with respect to such determination that includes a statement of whether or not the President imposed or intends to impose sanctions with respect to the person pursuant to this section.


Appropriate congressional committees defined

In this subsection, the term appropriate congressional committees means—


the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives; and


the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate.