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Congressman Tom MacArthur

Representing the 3rd District of New Jersey

Amid Macron Visit, MacArthur and Gottheimer lead bipartisan letter urging President to sanction Iran’s ballistic missile program, protect Israel

April 25, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the United States discusses with our European allies what approach the United States will take to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Congressman Tom MacArthur (NJ-3), Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and colleagues urged President Trump to treat Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile program as part of Iran’s nuclear weapons program and impose sanctions on the program.

 

Iran has tested ballistic missiles that can easily reach Israel, our closest ally in the region.  Iran has made its hostile intentions toward Israel extremely clear, even painting “Israel should be wiped off the Earth” on these weapons prior to launch. The JCPOA does not adequately address Iran’s illegal ballistic missile program, even though Iran has threatened to use these weapons against Israel.

 

In a letter to the President, Congressmen MacArthur and Gottheimer wrote, “No country has pursued an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program without also pursuing a nuclear weapons program. That is why we must treat Iran’s ICBM program as a component of their nuclear program, and as the United States negotiates with our European allies regarding the deal, we hope you will encourage them to do so as well. Should we reach an agreement by the May 12 statutory deadline and remain a party to the JCPOA, we believe that additional sanctions ought to be placed on Iran’s illegal ballistic missile program. Should the United States pull out of the agreement, then we urge you to work with the international community to impose sanctions on these missiles as soon as possible.”

 

Congressmen MacArthur and Gottheimer led the letter, which was also signed by Representatives Charlie Crist (FL-13), Pete King (NY-2), Mike Gallagher (WI-8), Mike Bishop (MI-8), and Joe Wilson (SC-2).

 

Full Text of Letter:

 

Dear Mr. President:

 

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is gravely flawed, and we write with particular concern regarding the danger it poses to Israel, our closest friend and ally in the region

 

One of the JCPOA’s major problems is that it only addressed certain aspects of Iran's nuclear program, not its highly-developed ballistic missile program. United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2231, which formalized the JCPOA, only temporarily "called upon" Iran not to engage in activity related to its ballistic missiles “designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.” In two years since implementation, Iran has continued brazenly testing long-range ballistic missiles in violation of international law. In 2016, Iran successfully launched two Qadr II ballistic missiles at a target in Iran approximately 870 miles away, proving the range of these missiles. The missiles bore the slogan “Israel should be wiped off the Earth”.

 

No country has pursued an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program without also pursuing a nuclear weapons program. That is why we must treat Iran’s ICBM program as a component of their nuclear program, and as the United States negotiates with our European allies regarding the deal, we hope you will encourage them to do so as well. The EU 3 can do their part to increase pressure on Iran by imposing their own sanctions, sending a definitive message to Iran and firms that support its supply chain that the United States and Europe stand together in opposition to the Iranian ballistic missile threat.

 

As President, you also have the authority under Executive Order 13382 and Section 104 of the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017” (P.L. 115-44) (CAATSA) to sanction entities that support developing, deploying, or maintaining Iran’s ballistic missile program, or systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction, including any efforts to manufacture, acquire, possess, develop, transport, transfer, or use such capabilities. We urge you to use these authorities to compel Iran to end its dangerous missile program.

 

Should we reach an agreement by the May 12 statutory deadline and remain a party to the JCPOA, we believe that additional sanctions ought to be placed on Iran’s illegal ballistic missile program. Should the United States pull out of the agreement, then we urge you to work with the international community to impose sanctions on these missiles as soon as possible

 

Our ally Israel is a beacon of stability and democracy in the world’s most volatile region, and it is a vital U.S. national security interest to protect our ally from these serious threats.

 

Tom MacArthur                                             Josh Gottheimer

Member of Congress                                    Member of Congress