(The Center Square) – Within days of Hamas attacking Israel, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state plans to increase sanctions against the Iranian regime. The new sanctions include expanding the industries on Florida’s scrutinized companies list and strengthening Florida’s position against states that sponsor terror.
DeSantis said that as the federal government has eased sanctions on Iran and funded state-sponsored terrorism by sending billions of U.S. taxpayer money to Iran and restoring hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Palestinians that was previously halted by the Trump administration, Florida is taking the opposite approach.
“As we stand with Israel, we stand against Iran,” DeSantis said at an event Tuesday held at the Shul of Bal Harbour in Surfside in Miami Dade County. Surfside has the second largest Israeli American community in the U.S. The greater Miami area is home to the third largest Jewish population and tenth largest in the U.S., according to the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.
“We are going to roll out for the next legislative session a proposal to increase Florida’s sanctions on Iran and block Iranian business in our state. Our proposed legislation will of course reinforce our commitment that we don’t do business with state sponsors of terrorism, such as Iran,” DeSantis said.
The proposal includes expanding the prohibitions on state investment in Iranian businesses, including financial, construction, manufacturing, textile, technology, mining, metals, shipping, shipbuilding, and port sectors; and prohibits state and local governments from contracting with companies on the state’s expanded sectors list.
It also prohibits the state from lifting any sanctions against Iran until after the president and Congress certify that Iran has stopped supporting international terrorism and acquiring weapons of mass destruction, and after the federal government lifts all sanctions against Iran.
“These will be, by far, the strongest Iran sanctions that any state has enacted of all 50 states throughout this country,” DeSantis said.
NEW — @GovRonDeSantis rolls out plan for increased state sanctions on the Iranian regime.“By far the strongest Iran sanctions that any state has enacted.” pic.twitter.com/ghXJSEbL0w— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) October 10, 2023
Senate President Kathleen Passidomo also issued a statement, saying, “Florida has a very special relationship with Israel. While we cherish the alliance between our governments, we also recognize the bonds of family and friendship that link so many Floridians to the Israeli people. We condemn the horrific acts of terrorism coordinated by the Islamic Republic of Iran and we must ensure we are doing everything within our authority as a state government to protect Floridians from this dangerous and corrupt regime.”
House Speaker Paul Renner said, “I proudly stand with our ally, Israel, and Florida’s Jewish community. Florida taxpayers will not do business with Iran;” adding that he supports “any measure that weakens the Iranian regime and protects our taxpayers.”
Since 2019, DeSantis has led two trade delegations to Israel, most recently meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in April and advancing new aerospace and health-care partnerships. While in Israel, he signed into law a Florida bill strengthening penalties against those who commit acts of anti-Semitism. Florida, like Texas, has also prohibited state funds from being invested in companies that discriminate against Israel. Florida has also enacted a law prohibiting foreign countries of concern from owning agricultural land or real estate near critical infrastructure or from operating schools in Florida.
“With Iran helping plot the barbaric attack against Israel, I want to make it abundantly clear: Florida supports the State of Israel against the Iranian terror state,” DeSantis said.