Congressmen call for sanctions to halt Russia missile sale to Iran


WASHINGTON (JTA) – Leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee urged President Barack Obama to consider using sanctions to stop Russia’s planned delivery of missiles to Iran.

Reps. Ed Royce, R-Calif., the committee’s chairman, and Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., its ranking member, sent a letter to Obama concerning the proposed delivery of the S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Iran.

“If completed, the transfer of this sophisticated weapons system would significantly bolster Iran’s military capabilities and introduce new obstacles to our ability to eliminate the threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon,” the legislators wrote.

While the United Nations Security Council does not prohibit the transfer of the weapons system to Iran, the Iran-Iraq Arms Nonproliferation Act and the Iran Sanctions Act do give Obama authority to sanction countries deemed to be aiding Iran’s efforts to acquire weapons, according to Royce and Engel.

“We are concerned that without such a determination, your recent comments could be interpreted as the United States acquiescing to this transfer,” they wrote.

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