Several US senators seek additional sanctions against Iran
Iran Press TV
Fri Feb 3, 2017 12:38PM
A number of US senators have backed additional sanctions against Iran over the country's missile program, arguing that Tehran "must feel sufficient pressure."
Twenty-two senators, including Bob Corker (a Republican from Tennessee) and Ben Cardin (a senior Democrat from Maryland) pronounced their support in a letter they sent to US President Donald Trump on Thursday. Corker is the chairman of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
"Full enforcement of existing sanctions and the imposition of additional sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile program are necessary," the senators wrote.
They added that "we look forward to supporting your Administration's efforts to hold Iran accountable."
The Reuters news agency reported on Thursday that the Trump administration is expected to announce new sanctions against Iran on Friday to ratchet up pressure on the Islamic Republic.
This is while the US president said on Thursday that "nothing is off the table" in terms of a response to Iran's latest ballistic missile test.
Hours earlier, Trump said the White House has formally put Tehran on notice over its recent ballistic missile test.
"Iran has been formally PUT ON NOTICE for firing a ballistic missile. Should have been thankful for the terrible deal the U.S. made with them!" Trump tweeted, echoing his national security adviser's comments a day earlier.
'Iran Non-Nuclear Sanctions Act of 2017'
Also on Thursday, a group of Republicans in the US House of Representatives introduced a bill for new sanctions on Iran as the Trump administration is mulling anti-Iran measures.
The measure, called the Iran Non-Nuclear Sanctions Act of 2017, seeks sanctions against Tehran for "supporting terrorism, abusing human rights, and testing ballistic missiles."
It was presented by New York Representative Lee Zeldin, Illinois Representative Peter Roskam, New Jersey Representative Leonard Lance and Colorado Representative Doug Lamborn.
The proposed legislation comes after US House Speaker Paul Ryan said he would support imposing additional sanctions on Iran over its recent missile test.
"I would be in favor of additional sanctions on Iran," Ryan told reporters on Thursday at a weekly press conference.
"We need to have a tough-on-Iran policy ... We should stop appeasing Iran," he said.
Washington has said Sunday's ballistic missile test was in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries.
Tehran insists its missile tests do not breach any UN resolution because they are solely for defense purposes and not designed to carry nuclear warheads.
Arms control experts have also said that Iran's missile tests are not banned under the nuclear agreement and the Security Council resolution, because Iran's missiles are not meant to deliver nuclear warheads.
Resolution 2231 calls on 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."
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