IRAN MISSILE PROLIFERATION SANCTIONS ACT OF 1997 -- HON. JANE HARMAN (Extension of Remarks - November 13, 1997)
HON. JANE HARMAN
in the House of Representatives
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 1997
- Ms. HARMAN. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that last evening H.R. 2709, the Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions Act of 1997 introduced by my colleagues Mr. Gilman and Mr. Berman, passed on the consent calendar. This legislation addresses a severely destabilizing development in the Middle East region: the acquisition by Iran of long-range missile capabilities--capabilities that threaten U.S. forces in the region, Israel, our NATO ally Turkey, and territory as distant as Central Europe.
- H.R. 2709 takes a step beyond the concurrent resolution which passed last week in both bodies. That resolution urged the Administration to impose sanctions on Russian entities proliferating to Iran. As its author in this body, I believe that measure sent an immediate signal that continued cooperation between Russian entities and Iran in ballistic missile technology would not be tolerated.
- This legislation does more. It adds a requirement that the President submit periodic reports to Congress identifying the entities providing Iran with missile technology. In so doing, the bill establishes a incontrovertible basis for imposing sanctions.
- H.R. 2709 also allows the President to waive sanctions if there is subsequent evidence that an identified case of trade with Iran did not assist Iran's missile program. And, the legislation grants the President authority to waive sanctions if he determines that doing so is essential to U.S. national security.
- Thus, this legislation is the logical next step to the resolution adopted by both houses of Congress last week. Where the first measure urged the Administration to consider sanctions, this bill specifies parameters for doing so.
- Mr. Speaker, credible estimates indicate that Iran may be only one year away from fielding a missile of 800 mile range, the so-called Shahab-3, and less than three years away from a missile of 1,240 miles range, the Shahab-4. Even more troubling, these missiles could be armed with chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons--capable of wreaking mass destruction on wide areas.
- If we thought Iraqi SCUD missiles posed a danger during the Persian Gulf war of 1991, we must show even greater concern regarding this new threat from Iran. We must use all the tools at our disposal to prevent it--and sanctions are one such tool. I comment my colleagues for authoring this legislation.