I am proud to support the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act. This is important legislation that I was proud to cosponsor.
It will require sanctions on those supporting Iran’s ballistic missile program and imposes terrorism-related sanctions on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, the IRGC.
For too long, Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism and their repeated ballistic missile tests — in defiance of a UN Security Council Resolution — have destabilized the Middle East and threatened Israel, our strongest ally in the region.
This destabilization also contributes to the ongoing violence causing widespread humanitarian suffering in Yemen.
Iran provides weapons and troops that fuel conflicts and Iran’s military behaves unprofessionally, putting American troops at risk.
I know the people of Iran want to play a productive role in the world and I believe that pressure provided by additional sanctions for destabilizing activity can improve the behavior of the Iranian regime.
This legislation has also provided a vehicle to address another nation’s leadership whose actions have warranted international condemnation, Russia. This bill includes an amendment that I supported to enhance sanctions on Russia.
This amendment ensures that sanctions imposed by President Obama are codified in law and cannot be removed without congressional review.
It also imposes new sanctions on Russians that facilitate human rights violations — supply weapons to the Syrian government — conduct cyber-attacks on behalf of the Russian government, and do business with the Russian intelligence and defense sectors.
Russia is not our friend, the Russian government has conducted an information warfare campaign against our country and sought to undermine our democratic process.
This was not a one-time incident.
Russia continues to attempt to disrupt democratic institutions and interfere with our allies.
Congress has supported imposing tough sanctions on Russia and it is important that Congress has an opportunity to review any attempt to remove them. I am glad that this amendment was adopted on a broadly bipartisan basis.
Finally, I am a cosponsor of an amendment offered by Senator Graham that reaffirms the importance of NATO — particularly Article 5 — the collective defense provision that states that an attack on one is an attack on all.
Article 5 has only been invoked once, in response to the September 11th attacks on the United States.
With the inclusion of this amendment, the Senate sends a strong, clear signal that the United States stands by our commitment to security and stability throughout the world, and we always will.
U.S. Senator Gary Peters, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, spoke on the Senate floor Thursday on his vote in support of the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act, legislation he cosponsored that would impose sanctions that target Iran’s ballistic missile program and levy terrorism-related sanctions on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
The bill also expands sanctions on Russia in response to its intrusion into Ukraine, its support of the Syrian regime, and interfering in the 2016 U.S. election.
Peters also cosponsored an amendment to the bill that reaffirms the importance of the NATO Article 5 collective defense provision.