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Gov. Ron DeSantis announces Florida sanctions against Iran following Hamas attacks

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday that Florida will roll out new sanctions against Iran following last weekend's deadly Hamas attacks in Israel. Photo courtesy of Gov. Ron DeSantis
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday that Florida will roll out new sanctions against Iran following last weekend's deadly Hamas attacks in Israel. Photo courtesy of Gov. Ron DeSantis

Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday that Florida will roll out new sanctions against Iran following last weekend's deadly Hamas attacks in Israel that killed at least 14 Americans and more than 1,000 Israelis.

DeSantis spoke from behind a sign that read "Stand with Israel, Sanction Iran" at The Shul of Bal Harbour synagogue in Surfside where he called on Florida lawmakers to "block Iranian business in our state."

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"These will be by far the strongest Iran sanctions that any state has enacted of all 50 states throughout this country," DeSantis said, as he condemned the attacks where more than 100 civilians were taken hostage. At least 700 Palestinians have been killed in Israel's retaliatory airstrikes on Gaza.

"Israel has the duty to defend itself with overwhelming force ... in a way that Hamas terrorists' infrastructure and networks are eradicated from the Earth," DeSantis said as he outlined new legislation to support Israel by banning Florida state investment in Iranian businesses.

The ban would include "the financial, construction, manufacturing, textile, technology, mining, metals, shipping, shipbuilding and port sectors," DeSantis said. The sanctions would remain in place until President Joe Biden and Congress confirm that Iran has pulled support for international terrorism and has stopped seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

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"Florida is standing with Israel and taking action to expand sanctions against the Iranian regime. I urge the federal government to follow suit and get rid of the delusion that you can make deals with Iranian mullahs without funding terrorism," the governor said.

While DeSantis placed blame for the Hamas attacks on Iran, Secretary of State Antony Blinker told CNN on Sunday that U.S. officials have not seen evidence yet that Iran was behind the attack.

"Yes, Iran was involved in orchestrating this attack against Israel," DeSantis argued. "We know that. It's been reported. They deny it, but we're smarter than that."

DeSantis, who is running for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, blasted the Biden administration for easing sanctions on Iran and unfreezing $6 billion in Iranian funds in exchange for five U.S. citizens who had been wrongfully detained.

"Tax dollars going to the Iranian regime in the form of ransom payments," DeSantis claimed, while Blinken countered that Iran had not received the funds, which were designated for humanitarian purposes.

As the governor vowed to block Iran from doing business in Florida, he called on other states to follow suit in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, to "make it clear that they will not be complicit in Iranian backed terrorism."

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