Senators Urge Sanctions for Iran

Several Republican senators are asking President Obama to punish Iran for its ballistic missile tests. “A continued failure of the administration to impose consequences on Tehran for its ballistic missile tests, which represent a clear violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1929, will confirm the dangerous perception of the regime in Iran that it can ignore its obligations with impunity and the Obama Administration will do nothing,” wrote Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in a joint statement. The senators said Obama should not provide sanctions relief under the nuclear agreement before it is verified that Iran has ended “all military dimensions of its nuclear program.” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, in December released a statement accusing Obama of turning “a blind eye to Iranian saber rattling,” after Iran launched several rockets near a US aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz. “The administration’s desperate attempts to get sanctions relief before the elections in February based on the unfounded belief that it will promote what they perceive as a ‘moderate’ political strain in Iran is both naïve and dangerous,” McCain said. “We need to ensure that US forces are postured to respond to Iranian aggression and finally adopt a comprehensive strategy to counter Iran’s malign influence in the Middle East.”