Senior Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Tony Blinken on Wednesday that the administration is obligated, under pre-existing US law, to levy additional sanctions against Iran in response to what they called supporting Russia and the deepening relationship between the two US foes, according to Insider.
The letter, from HFAC Chair Mike McCaul (R-TX), Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia Subcommittee Chair Joe Wilson (R-SC), and Europe Subcommittee Chair Tom Kean (R-NJ) represents the latest effort by congressional Republicans to push the administration to tighten sanctions on Iran.
Making repeated baseless claims about against Iran-Russua defense cooperation, Wednesday’s letter called for triggering additional mandatory sanctions on Iran under the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), passed by Congress in 2017 to crack down on Russia, Iran, and North Korea.
“The growing threat posed by Russia and Iran’s partnership requires an urgent response. In addition to sanctions and export controls, we urge you to engage in robust diplomacy with allies and partners to ensure they understand the significance and the threat of this unholy alliance, ” the letter claimed.
Regarding the finalization of Iran’s contract for the purchase of Sukhoi-35 aircraft from Russia, the lawmakers wrote, “Russia advancing the Su-35 transfer now alarmingly suggests Russia has made a strategic decision that Iran will be its uncontested military-technical partner of choice in the region.”
Tehran stresses that it has had defense cooperation with Russia for many years long before the start of the Ukraine war. Iranian officials have always asserted that the Islamic Republic of Iran does not support the war against Ukraine. It says it has never provided any of the Iranian weapons to Russia for use in the war against Ukraine.