CIPAC Supports Iran Sanctions

 

Iran’s illicit nuclear program and support for International terrorism represent a significant threat to the US and an existential threat to Israel. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) of 2015, negotiated by President Obama allows Iran to enrich uranium after 10 years, construct nuclear facilities after 15 years achieve almost immediate nuclear breakout after 13-15 years, assuming that it complies with the terms of the JCPOA, which are entirely voluntary. Iran’s ballistic missile development program, conventional weapons procurement program and support for terrorism are not included in the JCPOA. Congress must adopt robust sanctions against all of these programs.

CIPAC Urges Senators to support S.722 (Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017), introduced by Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Bob Menendez (R-NJ).

S.722 imposes new sanctions and strengthens existing financial sanctions against Iran’s ballistic missile program, Iran’s support for international terrorism and Iran’s continued conventional weapons purchases as well as Iran’s violations of human rights.

CIPAC Urges House Members to support H.R.1698 (Iran Ballistic Missile and International Sanctions Enforcement Act), introduced by Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA, Elliot Engel (D-NY), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Steny Hoyer (D-MD).

H.R.1698 imposes new sanctions and strengthens existing financial sanctions against those involved in Iran’s ballistic missile development program, including Iranian government agencies as well as any foreign entity, involved in Iran’s ballistic missile development.

Sanctions were supposed to remain in place as an important element in bringing pressure against Iran to discontinue development of ballistic missiles and discontinue support for terrorism.  They were emasculated by the Obama administration, providing a greater ability for businesses in Asia, Europe and North America to invest in Iran (estimated to be worth an additional $50 billion a year to Iran’s economy).

By undermining the international sanctions regime and weakening diplomatic consensus, Iran has been able to narrow the non-military options available for stopping Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability.

Iran has made clear its intention to continue pursuing a nuclear weapons capability despite its agreement to the terms of the JCPOA.

Ballistic missiles, including ICBMs, are designed to have nuclear warheads for delivery to Israel, Europe, Asia and America.  The missiles flaunted by Iran in military parades often have slogans written on them making clear that they are intended for Israel, which Iran calls “the Little Satan”, or for the US, which Iran calls “the Great Satan”.

In the two years prior to the JCPOA, Iran did not carry out any ballistic missile tests.  However, during the first year after the JCPOA was in force (2015-2016), Iran repeatedly and flagrantly carried out ballistic missile tests on on October 10 and November 21 of 2015 and on March 8-9, May 9 and July 11-12 of 2016, and then again on January 29 of 2017.

We know that Iran is closely cooperating with the rogue regime in North Korea on ballistic missiles and possibly on nuclear research.  North Korea has recently been carrying out a number of tests of ballistic missiles, including one that reached heights that could permit it to reach Europe and America.  Obviously, such missiles, fitted with nuclear warheads, represent a grave threat to the US and many other countries.

The US intelligence community believes that Iran has the largest inventory of

ballistic missiles in the Middle East and is working on development of space launch vehicles.  Its aim is a deterrent to the US from interference in its goal of becoming the dominant power in the Middle East.  President Trump recently made considerable progress is consolidating Sunni countries in opposition to Iran’s aggressive actions, both with regard to weapons and in opposition to Iran’s support for terrorism, especially ISIS.

The US must act quickly to develop credible military options that are essential for persuading Iran to end its dangerous ballistic missile program aimed at delivery of nuclear weapons, and also reign in its worldwide support for terrorism.   It is essential to develop a Middle East strategy that includes legislation authorizing the use of force if necessary and planning for contingencies that could arise there.

The US should also be prepared to support any Israeli military action should Israel deem that a military response is required as an act of self-defense.

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