Iran Ballistic Missile Testsby Senator Joe Donnelly
Posted on 2015-12-17
DONNELLY. Mr. President, in just the past 10 weeks, Iran has
conducted two ballistic missile tests. These tests are a direct
violation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929.
Despite this flagrant violation, the U.N. has not taken collective
action to enforce U.N. Resolution 1929 with increased sanctions against
Applying sanctions against Iran in response to ballistic missile testing would not violate the Iran nuclear agreement negotiated earlier this year. New sanctions for this type of behavior are not only allowed under the terms of that agreement, in fact, it is critical to the agreement's success that the United States be willing to respond to Iran's bad behavior. In the face of inaction by the international community, it is critical that the United States take the lead in sending a message to Iran that their inflammatory actions have consequences, whether under the nuclear deal, U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929, or other U.S. sanctions regimes.
As ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee, I work year-round with my colleague Senator Jeff Sessions to oversee the U.S. nuclear arsenal, our nonproliferation programs, and also our missile defense posture. I have long been an advocate for robust, effective missile defense programs against both global and regional threats. While I firmly believe those systems are an absolute necessity in the face of evolving threats from places such as North Korea and Iran, I also believe they are our last line of defense, not our first. Today, thankfully, some of those on the frontlines of the fight against Iran's ballistic missile program are also in the State Department and the Treasury Department.
I speak today to call on the administration--if the international community will not act together--to take unilateral action readily available to them under current law to respond decisively to Iran's ballistic missile tests. The administration has made clear that the United States reserves the right under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to take action through our sanctions tools in response to Iran's support for terrorism, its human rights abuses, its illegal arms trafficking, and its ballistic missile program. It is time to back up those words with decisive and specific action.