WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk is asking Congress members to sign a petition urging the White House to include a Russian ground-to-air missile system in Iran sanctions.
"As you know, Russian transfer of the S-300 to Iran would undermine our national security, change the security dynamic of the region and undermine our diplomatic efforts," says the letter from Kirk (R-Ill.).
The Washington Times reported last Friday that enhanced sanctions agreed upon by the major world powers, and now under consideration by the United Nations Security Council, include an implied carve-out for ground-to-air missiles — apparently a concession designed to bring Russia into the sanctions.
"We urge you to demand the inclusion of this system in the list of prohibited transfers to Iran under the UNSC resolution," the letter says.
Iran wants Russia’s S-300 system, and intelligence analysts believe it would position the system to protect its suspected nuclear weapons facilities from air attacks. Russia, under Israeli and U.S. pressure, has resisted making such a sale.
Kirk, who is running for the open U.S. Senate seat in Illinois, told JTA that the sanctions would be ineffective without such follow-up.
"I worry that because they’re ineffective, they will skimpily be added to previous sanctions and laws which were either ineffective or not enforced," he said.