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 reaches deal on continuing resolution, vote expected Thursday On The Money: Fed delivers second rate cut to fend off global risks | Trump says Fed has 'no guts' | House gets deal on continuing resolution | GM faces bipartisan backlash amid strike Congress set to ignore Trump's wall request in stopgap measure MORE (N.Y.), Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzDemocrats walk tightrope in fight over Trump wall funds Parkland father: Twitter did not suspend users who harassed me using name of daughter's killer Hillicon Valley: Senate Intel releases election security report | GOP blocks votes on election security bills | Gabbard sues Google over alleged censorship | Barr meets state AGs on tech antitrust concerns MORE (Fla.), Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelHouse chairman reaches deal on classified briefing with Trump's Afghanistan negotiator Overnight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine House chairman subpoenas Trump's Afghanistan negotiator MORE (N.Y.), Albio SiresAlbio B. SiresActivists push for tougher sanctions on Nicaragua's government Biden, Harris lead in 2020 endorsements New Jersey Dems tell Pentagon not to use military funds for border wall MORE (N.J.), Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyHistory in the House: Congress weathers unprecedented week Democrat grills DHS chief over viral image of drowned migrant and child Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers struggle to understand Facebook's Libra project | EU hits Amazon with antitrust probe | New cybersecurity concerns over census | Robocall, election security bills head to House floor | Privacy questions over FaceApp MORE (Va.), Susan DavisSusan Carol DavisQueer Marine veteran launches House bid after incumbent California Rep. Susan Davis announces retirement Here are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report — The wall problem confronting Dems and the latest on Dorian MORE (Calif.) and Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerPelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Nadler's House committee holds a faux hearing in search of a false crime Lewandowski says he's under no obligation to speak truthfully to the media MORE (N.Y.).

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.”