U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement on the announcement that the President has issued an Executive Order imposing sanctions on Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and six other senior regime officials:
"This is a positive step by the Administration which is in keeping with calls from some of us in Congress to step up pressure against the Syrian regime. This should put to rest the false claims by some that Assad ever was a reformer, and should mark the end of the failed policy of engagement and accommodation with Damascus.
"I hope that the Executive Branch will go further by fully implementing existing sanctions laws on the Syrian regime, supporting new Congressional efforts targeting the regime in Damascus, and immediately recalling our U.S. ambassador in Syria. The threat posed by the Syrian regime is growing. We have no time to lose if we are to avoid Syria becoming another Iran.
"To address the totality of the Syrian threat, I will soon introduce bipartisan legislation that would strengthen and increase sanctions to deny the Syrian regime the resources to threaten its own people, the U.S., and our allies.
"As it has done against Syria's Assad and his cadre, the Administration should immediately target Iran's Khamenei and Ahmadinejad for sanctions."