Do Not Lift Sanctions on Iranby Representative Ryan A. Costello
Posted on 2016-01-07
COSTELLO of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I rise to call on this
administration to keep intact all existing sanctions on the world's
leading state sponsor of terrorism, Iran. Sanctions must remain, and
closer scrutiny and more accountability by this administration on
Iran's continuing illicit activity must occur. It is imperative for
peace, security, and stability in the Middle East and across the globe
that we do this.
Iran's conduct over the past few months and the lack of clear and exact leadership by this administration in response is cause for serious alarm. Iran has not changed its tone and conduct since the signing of the deal. In fact, they have doubled down on their unwillingness not to comply with international agreements, and they have created more danger and instability in the process.
Here is the central point why I am speaking on the House floor here today: Once we lift sanctions, we have even less leverage.
So let's look at how Iran has honored their commitments in the past few months and ask ourselves: Do we anticipate Iran will conduct itself in the months and years to come better or worse? On October 10, Iran carried out a precision-guided ballistic missile test. This violates U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929 and 2231. Now that Iran is prohibited from such testing under the deal, what do they do? They send weapons to Bashar al-Assad on Russian cargo planes. This violates U.N. Resolution 1747. They did that in October.
On November 21, they carried out a medium-range ballistic missile test with capabilities to carry a nuclear warhead. They can't do that either.
Last month, they fired several unguided rockets 1,500 yards from two U.S. vessels.
Just a few days ago, they unveiled a new underground missile depot showing precision-guided missiles that have the capability to hold a nuclear warhead.
What has been the response of this administration? They notify us they will respond with sanctions against Iranian individuals and businesses linked to Iran's ballistic missile program.
What happened since they notified us of that? Nothing. They have walked it back.
Here is my fear, Mr. Speaker. We are forecasting to Iran that they have carte blanche to do as they wish. And once we lift the sanctions, we can expect more of that. Iran is not honoring its commitments, so nor should we.
We know the State Department classifies the deal not as a treaty, not as an executive agreement. It is not even a signed document. It is merely a political commitment. And it is clear Iran is not acting in good faith to our political commitment.
I signed correspondence to the administration requesting that the President ``immediately void the deal and restore and/or continue all relevant sanctions on Iran that have been or will be relaxed under the JCPOA.'' Let's not concern ourselves if Iran voices outrage or condemnation that we voided a political commitment on the basis that they feel they have somehow honored the deal because, number one, they violated U.N. resolutions since the deal was signed, the Iranian Parliament refuses to ratify the deal, and the Ayatollah forbids further negotiations with the U.S.
The bottom line, Mr. Speaker, is that Iran's U.N. violations clearly violate the spirit of our political commitment to them. Their conduct threatens our national security, it threatens the security of our allies, and it further erodes an already precarious and unstable environment in the Middle East.
Iran isn't honoring its commitments, so nor should we. Let's keep the sanctions in place. Do not lift them.