Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) said Tuesday that he and other lawmakers have been working on legislation that would "improve our position strategically against Iran," adding that President Donald Trump should impose new sanctions on the Islamic Republic for its treatment of Iranian protesters.
Cotton told radio host Hugh Hewitt that he believes the U.S. should implement additional sanctions in response to the Iranian government's violent crackdown on nationwide protests against the regime.
"Whether he renews the sanctions waivers under the nuclear deal or not, the president should certainly impose new sanctions in the other authorities he has as punishment for what the regime has done during these protests over the last couple of weeks," Cotton said.
The protests, which began on Dec. 28, initially focused on the government's economic policies before the demonstrations spread and become more political, with some calling for the end of the country's Islamist theocracy. Security forces said Sunday that they put down the protests, although they are still ongoing but to a lesser degree.
At least 22 people died during the unrest, and the regime has arrested at least 1,000 people.
Cotton also discussed the Iran nuclear deal during the interview, reminding Hewitt that there was "no stronger opponent to that deal than I."
Cotton told Hewitt earlier this month that the U.S. government should "express our support" for the Iranian people protesting against the regime.