Dems press Kerry on Iran missile test
United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power has said the test violated a U.N. resolution governing missile activity. Diplomats told Reuters that the United States planed to raise the issue at the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday. Administration officials, however, have argued that it doesn’t impact the separate deal on Iran’s nuclear program.
The Democratic senators, however, said the ability to enforce the nuclear deal “must be fortified by a zero-tolerance policy to respond to violations of the agreement and of applicable UN resolutions.”
“There must be no ambiguity in our willingness to enforce Iran’s obligations under UN resolutions and the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action],” they wrote.
Wednesday’s letter is the latest sign of growing concern from Congress over how the Obama administration will handle the missile test from Iran.
On Monday, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) called on Kerry to tighten sanctions against Iran over the missile test and pushed the administration to support an extension of the Iran Sanctions Act, which is currently set to expire next year.
Senators also sent separate letters to Kerry and President Obama last week wanting to know the administration’s strategy and questioning whether a similar test in the future would impact the nuclear agreement.
Wednesday’s letter was signed by Democratic Sens. Michael Bennet (Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Ben Cardin (Md.), Christopher Coons (Del.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Chris Murphy (Conn.), Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Mark Warner (Va.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.).