Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) issued the following statement in response to the President’s announced new Comprehensive Iran Strategy and actions taken to counter Iranian threats:

“The Obama Administration’s nuclear deal with Iran was a dangerous and historic mistake. The deal provided the mullahs in Tehran with tens of billions of dollars in up-front sanctions relief in exchange for Iran’s promise to temporarily pause its enrichment program.  Unfortunately, the agreement contained fatally deficient verification protocols, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) now concedes it has no capacity to verify that Tehran is not engaged in ‘activities which could contribute to the development of a nuclear explosive device.’  That’s because under the terms of the agreement, international inspectors are barred from accessing Iran’s military sites, where illicit nuclear activities are most likely to be taking place.”

“But the most serious concern is not that Iran will cheat; it is that even if Iran is fully complying with the agreement, Iran will be guaranteed an arsenal of nuclear weapons in as little as eight years. And as predicted, the agreement has only emboldened Iran’s efforts to destabilize the region, support its terrorist proxies, and accelerate its ballistic missile program.”

“Today, I was pleased to hear President Trump announce a new strategy, including actions that will challenge Iran’s hostile ambitions and advance American national security and interests in the region.”

“As the Chairman of the Subcommittee that oversees enforcement of financial sanctions, I have been working on additional measures that can be taken, including sanctions, to hold Iran accountable for its malign activities.”

“On April 4, 2017, I held a hearing on the effectiveness of non-nuclear sanctions against Iran, where we determined that Iran Air, a state-owned commercial airline, has used its aircraft to transport fighters and weapons throughout the Middle East on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).  As a result of these findings, I wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin urging him to ban the sale of commercial aircraft to Iran Air.  Similarly, I supported two appropriations amendments that would prevent the sale of aircraft to Iran and prohibit U.S. firms from financing such a sale.  Finally, I recently drafted a letter to the Treasury Department urging it to identify all entities it believes to have transacted business with the IRGC, a precursor to possible additional secondary sanctions.”

“With the President’s announcement today, I am hopeful the Administration considers these and other important recommendations.”