U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, this week led a letter with 12 of his Senate Republican colleagues to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, demanding the Biden administration press for a broader, more permanent framework of sanctions on Iran from the United Nations Security Council.
On Oct. 18, the UN’s sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile and drone programs expired, and in October 2020, the UN’s conventional arms embargo against Iran expired, both of which are delayed consequences of the Obama administration’s disastrous Iran nuclear deal.
“[Iran’s] systemic support of terror merits broader, permanent treatment by the UN Security Council,” the senators wrote. “If the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China wish to demonstrate their opposition to the UN Charter’s call to advance peace and security, it would provide important clarity to other nations suffering from Iranian terror threats of their true allegiances.”
Iran is the new chair of a United Nations human rights forum, which has prompted protest from human rights activist who have said that Tehran’s record of oppression, torture, and executions make it a poor fit.
It has concerning alliances with Russia, and is using proxy forces to attack the United States and Israel.
“A new UNSC resolution should target the same activity the UN permanently sanctioned prior to the 2015 enactment of Resolution 2231, including…involvement in Iran’s enrichment, reprocessing, and heavy water production; assistance with its ballistic missile testing, development, and launches; transfer of nuclear and missile technology to Iran; transfer of conventional weapons, rockets, and drones to and from Iran. It should also add a multilateral prohibition on the import of Iranian oil, petroleum products, metals, or investment in its energy sector, essentially multi-lateralizing the objective of American secondary sanctions in these areas.”
The senators argued that Iran’s material support for terrorist organizations—especially after the recent Hamas massacre in Israel—poses a significant threat to the world and merits strong sanctions, just like Iran’s nuclear program.
The letter from the senators is signed by Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Katie Boyd Britt (R-Ala.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Thune (R-S.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.)