This bill would make it more difficult for countries that have been designated as a state sponsor of terrorism to be removed from the State Department’s list, which entails sanctions and other restrictions. It would extend the amount of time that a country on the list must refrain from sponsoring terrorism from six months to 24 months before they can be removed. It would also give Congress 90 days to review and potentially overturn a president’s proposed removal of a country on the list, rather than just 45 days.
Currently the State Department lists three countries as state sponsors of terrorism, all of which have been on the list for more than two decades: Iran (1984), Sudan (1993), and Syria (1979). The sanctions imposed as a result of this designation fall into four major categories:
Restrictions on U.S. foreign aid to the country;
A ban on defense exports and sales;
Controls placed on exports of items that can be used for civilian or military purposes;
Miscellaneous financial and other restrictions.