WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08), a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, joined the House Thursday in passing legislation that expands sanctions against Iran for its illicit ballistic missile program. The Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act [H.R. 1698] requires a comprehensive investigation to identify and designate the companies, banks, and individuals – both inside and outside Iran – which supply the regime’s missile and conventional weapons programs, subjecting them to sanctions.
At a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Iran earlier this month, Fitzpatrick spoke out against Iran and its ballistic missile program.
“The nuclear deal with Iran, the world’s largest state-sponsor of terror, was misguided from the start and was rammed through despite the bipartisan objection of Congress and an overwhelming majority of the American people. But even after its enactment there have been serious concerns regarding its enforcement, stipulations and side-deals,” said Fitzpatrick following the hearing. “Today’s hearing only highlighted the concerns our military and regional allies, like Israel, have about Iran and their geopolitical objectives. Congress needs to work together to keep Americans safe from rogue regimes and terror supporters hellbent on doing us harm.”
These concerns we echoed by expert witnesses who testified on Tehran’s missile program and other threats.
“Even before the deal, Tehran already possessed the region’s largest arsenals of nuclear-capable ballistic and cruise missiles… Since day one of the deal, this has been evident in Iran’s defiant upsurge in ballistic missile tests, including more accurate and mobile multi-stage missiles with reentry vehicles better suited for nuclear warheads – and more difficult to intercept than older Iranian versions. In June, Tehran even fired ballistic missiles in combat for the first time since the Iran-Iraq War, when the IRGC launched a salvo from Iranian soil into Syria,” testified General Charles F. Wald, USAF (Ret.), former Deputy Commander of U.S. European Command.
“Iran is already moving more directly and brazenly against U.S. interests and our allies. This stems in part from what the JCPOA does: it removes the aforementioned restrictions on Tehran’s power projection resources. Yet this also results from what the JCPOA represents: the weakening of U.S. credibility to push back as Iran aggravates the growing security vacuum in the Middle East.”
As part of the National Defense Authorization Act that passed the House in July, Fitzpatrick successfully added language that would require an annual report to Congress regarding the extent of cooperation on nuclear programs, ballistic missile development, chemical and biological weapons development, or conventional weapons programs between Iran and North Korea. Also in July, Fitzpatrick backed bipartisan legislation to increase sanctions on Iran as well as North Korea and Russia.