01.15.16

Senators Push President Obama To Punish Iran For Ongoing Violations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a letter today to President Obama, U.S. Senators David Perdue (R-GA), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), John Boozman (R-AR), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Dan Coats (R-IN), raised concerns about the failure to punish Iran’s aggressive behavior and asked for a clear roadmap ahead of the forthcoming implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran.

“We are concerned that Iran’s belligerent actions have thus far gone unpunished. As members of this body have warned before, a failure to enforce the rules is an invitation for further Iranian transgressions,” the Senators wrote. “To address these concerns, as well as to demonstrate to Iran’s leadership the consequences of further illicit behavior, we request that you provide a roadmap of what you consider to be illicit behavior from Iran, and what sanctions or punitive steps will be taken in the event of such behavior. Specifically, we ask you to describe what actions the Treasury Department is ready to take against those individuals and entities involved in the ballistic missile program and those Iranian and foreign banks that are financing it.”

In the letter, the Senators ask for clarification about what is considered illicit behavior from Iran and what sanctions or punitive steps will be taken to punish the foreseen violations. The letter also asks for specific actions the Treasury Department is ready to take against those individuals and entities involved in the Iranian ballistic missile program and any foreign banks financing these efforts, to punish Iran’s recent ballistic missile tests.

Finally, the letter highlights the need to retain the ability to sanction Iran for its non-nuclear transgressions, particularly related to ballistic missile tests, human rights violations, and support of terrorism. Implementation of President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran is expected as early as this weekend.

Full text of the letter can be found here.