US senators consider new sanctions against Iran over its missile program
Iran Press TV
Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:33PM
US Republican senators in Congress plan to introduce legislation to impose new sanctions against Iran over its missile program and for seeking to "destabilize" the Middle East.
"I think it is now time for the Congress to take Iran on directly in terms of what they've done outside the nuclear program," Senator Lindsey Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told the Munich Security Conference on Sunday.
Graham, who supports an interventionist foreign policy, said he and other Republican lawmakers would introduce measures to hold Iran accountable for its actions.
"Iran is a bad actor in the greatest sense of the word when it comes to the region. To Iran, I say, if you want us to treat you differently then stop building missiles, test-firing them in defiance of UN resolution and writing 'Death to Israel' on the missile. That's a mixed message," Graham said.
The United States claims that Iran's recent missile test violated Resolution 2231 that endorsed the Iran nuclear agreement.
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.
Earlier this month, the US Treasury Department said Washington had imposed sanctions on 13 individuals and 12 entities as part of an effort to ratchet up pressure on Iran over its missile program.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif told the Munich conference earlier on Sunday that Tehran did not respond well to sanctions or threat.
"Iran doesn't respond well to threats. We don't respond well to coercion. We don't respond well to sanctions, but we respond very well to mutual respect. We respond very well to arrangements to reach mutually acceptable scenarios," Zarif said.
"Iran is unmoved by threats. Everybody tested us for many years – all threats and coercions were imposed on us," Zarif added.
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