Press Release ● Foreign Affairsfacebooktwitterbirdemail
For Immediate Release: 
March 24, 2016
Contact Info: 

Mariel Saez 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to new sanctions designations against entities facilitating Iran’s ballistic missile development and testing: 

“Today’s sanctions designations against entities facilitating Iran’s ballistic missile development and testing – including on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps missile command and its de facto private air carrier, Mahan Air – will ramp up pressure on Iran’s leaders and make clear America’s resolve not to allow that country to destabilize the region and threaten our allies.  The Obama Administration is right to take such a strong step, and I particularly welcome its designation of foreign entities providing financial and other support for Mahan Air.   According to the Department of Treasury, Mahan Air supports the Iranian regime’s destabilizing actions transporting arms and fighters to Syria, and it regularly uses these same aircraft to fly commercial passenger routes to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.  These designations will send a strong signal to any company doing business with Iran that the United States is not returning to a business-as-usual position with regard to ongoing prohibitions.  Anyone conducting business or providing material support to designated entities will face U.S. sanctions, and I encourage our partners to ensure full compliance with these designations.   While Iran may scoff at these designations, companies eager to do business with Iran will surely be paying close attention. 

“Iran’s ballistic missile tests demonstrate that it cannot be trusted to comply with the JCPOA, and they remind us that the United States and our allies must remain vigilant and strict in its enforcement.  Iran can never be permitted to pursue nuclear weapons technology under the noses of international monitoring.  Congress ought to be ready to pursue legislation further enforcing U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231 with respect to ballistic missiles and conventional arms.  While the JCPOA provides sanctions relief relating to Iran’s nuclear program in return for its suspension, it does not relieve Iran of its obligations to cease ballistic missile launches and engaging in destabilizing activities. 

“Also today, the Justice Department announced the indictment of seven Iranian hackers for planning cyber attacks against our financial system.  Iran cannot have it both ways by signing the JCPOA and asking to be treated like a normal member of the international community while simultaneously violating U.N. Security Council resolutions on ballistic missile testing, sponsoring global terror, and facilitating cyber attacks against the United States.  As former Secretary Clinton said in her speech to AIPAC on Monday, with regard to Iran ‘our approach must be distrust and verify.’  This ought to be Congress’s bipartisan approach as well.”