Last Thursday, the House of Representatives passed HR 1698, the Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act, a bill authored by the House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, that will sanction Iranian and foreign companies, banks and individuals that support Iran’s illicit ballistic missiles program. The bill, which was passed by an overwhelming vote of 423-2, also prohibits entry to the United States of those who have supported Iran’s ballistic missiles program.
The bill also targets the “acquisition of destabilizing types and 24 amounts of conventional weapons.” Among those are the S-300 and S-400 missile defense systems, that the Iranians have purchased from the Russians, due to their enrichment by the Iranian Nuclear deal of 2015. President Vladimir Putin had lifted a voluntary ban on the sale of this highly advanced anti-ballistic weapons system after the 2015 deal was secured.
What the bill also forbids is entry into the United States of foreign entities, including entities or individuals who have been designated as supporting the missile program (That would include the Russians).
Last month, during a military parade in Tehran, the Iranians proudly displayed their S-300 weapons system.
It did not take long for the Iranian regime to object to Thursday’s vote. On Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, “We have built missiles and we are building some, and will continue to do so because it does not violate any international regulations — not even the UN Security Council resolution 223” endorsing the deal.
Like hell it doesn’t. Paragraph 3, Annex B of UN SCR 2231 specifically calls Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles, designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.
And not only have they been working on the technology. On September 23rd of this year, Iran test-fired a ballistic missile capable of carrying several nuclear warheads.
The Obama administration has bequeathed all of us a nightmare. They were so hell-bent on achieving a deal with Tehran that they compromised the security of our children and our grandchildren.
As Henry Kissinger once wrote, “Whenever peace – conceived as the avoidance of war – has been the primary objective of a power or a group of powers, the international system has been at the mercy of the most ruthless member of the international community.”
Thanks to CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Senator Tom Cotton, we know that certain side deals were made. Part of the Iranian Nuclear Review Act of 2015 called upon the Obama administration to release the secret side deals that had been negotiated between the United States and Tehran.
As far as we know, what was written in those secret side deals has never been revealed to the American people, let alone to Members of Congress with high security clearances.
It is no wonder that the deal that the Mahjlis, the Iranian Parliament, voted on was over 1,000 pages long, and the deal that we were able to read was only 159 pages long.
Meanwhile, we are left with a vastly enriched, empowered and emboldened fanatical regime of Iran, who feels that they are on a mission from Allah to establish a Shiite caliphate, reaching from Tehran through Baghdad, through Beirut, through Damascus, and beyond. They feel they have a religious obligation to convert or to murder the Kafir– the Infidel, or anyone in their path.
And they must be stopped, before it is too late.
Sarah N. Stern is the Founder and President of the Endowment for Middle East Truth, EMET, an unabashedly pro-Israel and pro-American think tank and policy shop in Washington, DC