Florida Governor Calls Special Session to Strengthen Sanctions on Iran, Reinforce Support for Israel

Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida has announced plans to call a special legislative session aimed at imposing stronger sanctions on Iran.[0] The move is intended to reinforce the state’s alignment with Israel, particularly in light of the ongoing war with Hamas.[1] The new sanctions would expand on existing prohibitions against Iranian-owned businesses in Florida, targeting sectors such as finance, construction, and technology.[1] Governor DeSantis believes that these additional measures will make a difference in terms of substance and symbolism.

Florida already considers Iran as one of its “foreign countries of concern,” alongside China, Russia, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, and Syria.[2] Since 2008, the state has prohibited state agencies and local governments from entering into large contracts with businesses that have dealings with the Iranian government.[3] However, Governor DeSantis wants to go further and cut off all financial ties with Iran following the recent attack by Hamas, which the federal government believes was funded and supported by the Iranian regime.

The announcement of the special session has been met with both support and criticism. Supporters argue that the move demonstrates Florida’s strong bipartisan support for Israel and its commitment to fighting against terrorism.[4] They believe that it is important for the state to show solidarity with Israel during these challenging times. On the other hand, critics accuse Governor DeSantis of using the special session as a political tool to boost his failing presidential campaign. They argue that he should focus on addressing issues within the state, such as high insurance and rent costs, rather than pursuing his own ambitions.

House Speaker Paul Renner, a Republican from Palm Coast, expressed his support for the special session, highlighting the importance of Florida’s relationship with Israel. He emphasized the need to combat Hamas terrorism and reaffirm the state’s commitment to its ally. Renner noted that Florida had $650 million in bilateral trade with Israel in 2022 and that the relationship between the two has never been stronger.

The exact date of the special session has not yet been announced, but it is expected to take place in November. It may coincide with upcoming legislative committee meetings, which are scheduled for the weeks of November 6, November 13, December 4, and December 11.[5] Lawmakers are keen to address Governor DeSantis’ request promptly, given the urgency of the situation and the importance of supporting Israel in the face of terrorism.

Overall, the special legislative session in Florida aims to bolster state sanctions against Iran and demonstrate unwavering support for Israel. Governor DeSantis and lawmakers believe that these measures will help to counteract Iran’s funding and support of terrorist groups like Hamas. The session also serves as an opportunity for Florida to strengthen its ties with Israel and reinforce its commitment to combating terrorism. While there are differing opinions on the motivations behind the special session, it is clear that the state’s leaders are determined to take decisive action in the best interests of Florida and its ally, Israel.

0. “DeSantis to call for Israel special session, heighten sanctions against Iran” The Capitolist, 20 Oct. 2023, https://thecapitolist.com/desantis-to-call-for-israel-special-session-heighten-sanctions-against-iran/

1. “More details emerge as Florida lawmakers set special session for early November” The Capitolist, 21 Oct. 2023, https://thecapitolist.com/more-details-emerge-as-florida-lawmakers-set-special-session-for-early-november

2. “Dates set for Florida special legislative session for new Iran sanctions, hurricane relief” WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando, 20 Oct. 2023, https://www.clickorlando.com/news/politics/2023/10/20/desantis-to-call-florida-special-session-for-new-iran-sanctions

3. “Florida lawmakers back state sanctions against Iran” Palm Coast Observer and Ormond Beach Observer, 18 Oct. 2023, https://www.observerlocalnews.com/news/2023/oct/18/florida-lawmakers-back-state-sanctions-against-iran

4. “Upcoming Florida special session will include DeSantis’ sanctions against Iran” Florida’s Voice, 20 Oct. 2023, https://flvoicenews.com/upcoming-florida-special-session-will-include-desantis-sanctions-against-iran/

5. “DeSantis to call session to impose new sanctions on Iran to show support for Israel” NBC 6 South Florida, 21 Oct. 2023, https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/desantis-to-call-session-to-impose-new-sanctions-on-iran-to-show-support-for-israel/3138820/

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