Dems urge sanctions after Iran missile tests

Dems urge sanctions after Iran missile tests
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Seven Democratic lawmakers are urging President Obama to impose sanctions on Iran after two ballistic missile tests.

“The United States and our allies must take immediate, punitive action and send a clear message to Iran that violating international laws, treaties and agreements will have serious consequences,” the lawmakers wrote to Obama in a letter this week. “We understand the administration is preparing sanctions against individuals and entities involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, and we urge you to announce such sanctions without further delay.”

The letter was signed by Democratic Reps. Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyHouse Democrats object to Trump sending ventilators to Russia House-passed relief bill excludes lobbyists from Paycheck Protection Program House defeats effort to prevent stimulus checks for undocumented immigrants MORE (N.Y.), Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzBipartisan group of lawmakers calls on DeVos to issue guidance on child abuse reporting amid pandemic Florida election supervisors urge DeSantis to 'act immediately' to make voting safe amid pandemic The Hill's Coronavirus Report: DeLauro questions why White House is blocking Fauci from testifying before House panel, wants Pelosi to stay on into next Congress MORE (Fla.), Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelHouse Democrats object to Trump sending ventilators to Russia House chairmen demand explanation on Trump's 'illegal' withdrawal from Open Skies Treaty Pompeo pushed officials to find way to justify B Saudi arms sale: CNN MORE (N.Y.), Albio SiresAlbio B. SiresNY, NJ lawmakers call for more aid to help fight coronavirus Lawmakers raise concerns over Russia's growing influence in Venezuela Lawmakers request watchdog probe of Trump admin's ending of temporary protected status MORE (N.J.), Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyDemocrats to probe Trump's replacement of top Transportation Dept. watchdog The Postal Service collapse that isn't happening Postal Service to review package fee policy: report MORE (Va.), Susan DavisSusan Carol DavisWarren announces slate of endorsements including Wendy Davis and Cornyn challenger Hegar Warren exits, and our hopes for a woman president once again are dashed Ocasio-Cortez says candidate she backed in Texas Democratic primary 'came closer than anyone imagined' MORE (Calif.) and Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerThe House impeachment inquiry loses another round — and yes, that's still going on Democrats call on DHS to allow free calls at ICE detention centers Warren announces slate of endorsements including Wendy Davis and Cornyn challenger Hegar MORE (N.Y.).

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In October and November, Iran conducted ballistic missile tests in violation of United Nations resolutions. In December, Iran also conducted live-fire exercises within 1,500 yards of a U.S. aircraft carrier, which U.S. officials described as "unnecessarily provocative."

The administration was reportedly close to levying new sanctions on Iran in response to the missile tests, but delayed the announcement.

In their letter, the lawmakers argued that Iran’s recent behavior is especially troubling given the impending implementation of the nuclear deal.

“While not all of us share the same opinion on the JCPOA, we are united in our desire to ensure it is vigilantly enforced and to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons,” they wrote, using an abbreviation for the official name of the deal.

Failure to respond to the acts, the lawmakers said, would send a message that nuclear deal reached last year gives Iran free range on its other activities.

“Inaction from the United States would send the misguided message that, in the wake of the JCPOA, the international community has lost the willingness to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its support for terrorism and other offensive actions throughout the region — including in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip,” they wrote. “This behavior — including these ballistic missile tests — poses a direct threat to American national security interests and those of our allies.”