Preventing Destabilization of Iraq Act of 2018

Floor Speech

By: Ted Poe
By: Ted Poe
Date: Nov. 27, 2018
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. POE of Texas. Madam Speaker, I want to reiterate that when the Foreign Affairs Committee meets and makes a decision, we do that almost in unison, Republicans and Democrats, looking out for the best foreign policy of the United States. And Chairman Royce and Mr. Engel, Chairman Engel, will do a great job in leading that effort, as you have done in the past when you were chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

I am proud to support Representative Kinzinger's bill, the Preventing Destabilization of Iraq Act of 2018.

For too long, Iraq has been the center of chaos and instability in the Middle East. While much of this is due to terrorist groups, its expansionist, saber-rattling neighbor to the east also bears enormous responsibility for undermining Iraq's sovereignty and security.

Iran is determined, in my opinion, to make Iraq a puppet state of its tyranny. For years, Iran has armed and financed thousands of Iraqi militia fighters loyal to Tehran to spread its influence and fight its foreign wars. Many of these militiamen have American blood on their hands as well as their own countrymen's.

Earlier this year, Iran's proxies in Iraq seized more seats in Iraq's parliament and used violence to crush anti-Iranian protests.

This legislation codifies crucial authorities to target Iran's destabilizing activity.

The bill also includes parts of my Iranian Proxies Terrorist Sanctions bill, which calls for the designation of two of the deadliest Iraqi militia groups backed by Iran: AAH and HHN.

These killers have attacked Americans, including firing rockets at U.S. diplomatic facilities in Iraq as recently as this past August.

They have participated in Bashar al-Assad's slaughter of the Syrian people and expressed a desire to attack Israel. War is in the mind of the Ayatollah.

We must battle Iran in the arenas it hopes to control. Iraq is one of those key arenas.

This legislation is a step towards confronting Iran's conquest of the Middle East.

Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote for this important legislation and for the Senate to quickly bring it to the floor to help stop Iran, the world's number one state sponsor of terror, from spreading its violent hate.

And that is just the way it is, Madam Speaker.