Gardner Introduces Measure to Slow Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program

Washington, DC – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) today joined Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) in introducing an amendment to S.2943, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (NDAA), which provides funding for the Department of Defense (DoD). The amendment sanctions individuals who directly or indirectly contribute to Iran’s ballistic missile program as well as entities controlled by Iran’s key ballistic missile organizations.

In October of 2012, President Obama stated, “Our goal is to get Iran to recognize it needs to give up its nuclear program and abide by the U.N. Resolutions that have been in place.” However, instead of achieving the stated goal, the Iran nuclear deal does just the opposite and provides Iran with a patient pathway to a nuclear bomb in as few as 15 years. The deal also allows conventional arms sales to resume in less than five years and ballistic missiles sales to resume in less than eight years.

Prior to the Iran deal’s implementation, the Administration promised action in response to Iran’s bad behavior, including its ballistic missile program. In a September 2015 letter to Members of Congress, Secretary Kerry stated, “We will also continue to use the full range of tools at our disposal to counter Iran’s missile program.” In March, Iran tested ballistic missiles, including two with the words “Israel must be wiped off the earth.” However, despite Iran’s increasingly belligerent behavior, the Administration has not acted to counter it, and there have even been reports that the Administration may ramp up sanctions relief by providing Iran access to the U.S. dollar. 

“The President’s deal with Iran has empowered a murderous regime that continues to threaten our closest ally, Israel, and demonstrate that it is determined to achieve a nuclear bomb,” said Gardner. “Instead of reportedly sweetening sanctions relief, the Obama Administration must make good on its promise to use the tools at its disposal to react to Iran’s bad behavior. This amendment follows multiple ballistic missile tests from Iran, and sanctions individuals connected to Iran’s ballistic missile program with the goal of changing the behavior of both those who contribute directly and indirectly to Iran’s nefarious activities. I’ll continue to work to strengthen sanctions against the regime, and protect our friends in Israel.”

A member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Gardner has been a vocal opponent of the President’s deal with Iran. Before the deal was reached, Gardner warned about the dangers of a nuclear Iran, and denounced the deal. After reports of Iranian violations of U.N. sanctions, Gardner sent a letter to President Obama asking for a response to Iran’s violations. On the floor of the Senate, Gardner spoke out  about the troubling aspects of the deal and urged his colleagues to reject it. In October, Gardner asked Secretary Kerry  whether the Administration believed Iranian ballistic missile launches violated a U.N. ban, and in December, Gardner urged action against Iran for its repeated violations of ballistic missile test bans. 


Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.


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