Russia’s Conventional Weapons Activities with Iran are Unacceptable and Undermine Efforts to Prevent Iran from Attaining Nuclear Weapons, Says Ros-Lehtinen

Oct 24, 2013 Issues: Defense Abroad, Foreign Affairs

(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, and Mike Rogers (R-AL), Chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, last night sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry expressing concern about reports that Russia may sell to Iran advanced weapons technology, including S-300 surface-to-air missiles.

Statement by Ros-Lehtinen: “Russia continually tries to undermine the United States and our allies so it comes as no surprise to see Moscow cooperating with regimes like Syria and Iran – both state sponsors of terrorism. While Russia continues to deceive the international community about its true intentions in Iran and Syria, its activities threaten our national security and that of our allies in the region, such as Israel. The potential sale of Russian advanced conventional weapons to Iran weaken efforts to stop Iran from attaining nuclear weapons and selling S-300 surface-to-air missiles and other air defense systems could have adverse strategic consequences in this delicate region. This reported sale may also violate the Iran, North Korea, Syria Non Proliferation Act (INKSNA) and could trigger sanctions against Russia.

This year, I have once again introduced an INKSNA bill that strengthens our sanctions so that we can tighten the screws against these regimes and cripple their illicit weapons programs. The Administration must stand firm and fully apply sanctions to anyone found in violation, and it must not allow for the possibility to waive any sanctions against Russian weapons manufacturing companies.”

Statement by Rogers: “The Administration can’t let Russia continue playing both sides against the U.S. and its allies.  Selling Iran these weapons only increases Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapons capability and complicates efforts by the U.S. and its allies to prevent the world’s most dangerous weapons from falling into the hands of the fanatics in charge of the world’s most active terrorist state.”

For a copy of the final, signed letter, please click here.

NOTE: On February 28, 2013, Chairman Ros-Lehtinen introduced HR 893 – the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Accountability Act that increases sanctions on any person or entity transferring goods, services, or technology for the chemical, biological, or advanced conventional weapons program of Iran, North Korea, and Syria and prohibits assistance to any foreign government that has provided assistance to Iran, North Korea or Syria.