Hoyer Statement on Administration Delaying Sanctions in Response to Iran's Ballistic Missile Tests

For Immediate Release:

January 2, 2016

Contact:

Mariel Saez 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today:

"I am disappointed that the Administration has delayed punitive action in response to Iran’s recent ballistic missile tests.  We are always in a sensitive moment in our dealings with Iran, and there is never a perfect time to undertake such actions.  But Iran must know with certainty that violating U.N. Security Council resolutions, both inside and outside the scope of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), will be met with serious consequences.  Under that agreement, Iran’s non-nuclear violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions will merit punitive action, and I will continue to press for decisive action by the United States and our international partners.  Otherwise, we will have a serious problem with our credibility in enforcing the JCPOA.

"The recent missile tests, along with the firing in proximity to a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, raise serious concerns about whether Iran will adhere to the remainder of its commitments under the JCPOA.  These recent violations underscore Iran's readiness to test the will of the international community, instigated by its hardline elements that want to scuttle the deal.  That challenge must be met with a decisive response. 

"Although I understand why the P5+1 bifurcated the nuclear issue from Iran's other acts of malfeasance, our enforcement in both contexts must be unyielding because they are interconnected.  In that spirit, Iran's shipment of up to 200kg of LEU out of the country, pursuant to its obligations under the JCPOA, is a first step forward that must be followed with additional steps in adherence to its commitments before that country can receive comprehensive sanctions relief.  This step reduces Iran’s ability to move to breakout in pursuit of a nuclear weapon, but given Iran’s history, the Administration and our P5+1 partners must continue to enforce Iran’s obligations under the JCPOA with appropriate vigilance and zeal."

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