The MISSILES Act will keep strong U.S. sanctions on Iran as United Nations Security Council sanctions are set to expire in October 2023
WASHINGTON—United States Senators Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced the Making Iran Sanctions Stick in Lieu of Expiration of Sanctions (MISSILES) Act, bipartisan legislation to impose U.S. sanctions on Iran’s missile and drone program. As Israeli President Isaac Herzog said in his address to Congress, Iran spreads hatred, danger, and terror in the Middle East and publicly calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. The looming October 2023 sunset of key United Nations (U.N.) Security Council restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missiles and drones—including potential transfers to Russia for use against Ukraine—underscores the need for this urgent legislation and serves as a wake-up call to the U.S. and the international community.
This legislation—a companion to H.R. 3152—codifies sanctions on Iran’s missile and drone program under Annex B of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231. It ensures that Iran’s destabilizing development and proliferation of ballistic missile technology remains subject to appropriate U.S. sanctions in the likely event that Russia and China block an extension of U.N. restrictions in the Security Council.
“Iran’s terror-sponsoring regime continues to violate with impunity the U.N. Security Council’s international prohibitions on the export of missiles, drones, and other destabilizing weapons to foreign actors,” said Senator Hagerty. “This bipartisan legislation imposes far-reaching sanctions against any foreign individual, entity, or government that is engaged in activities related to Iran’s missiles, drones, and other destabilizing weapons—even if the U.N. Security Council’s international prohibitions are irresponsibly allowed to sunset in October 2023.”
“Iran will not stop developing its missile and drone programs, nor will they stop providing this dangerous technology to its proxies and to Russia’s illegal war against Ukraine,” said Senator Menendez. “It is absolutely vital that our sanctions policy reflect that reality in the event UN restrictions come to an end in October. The United States must continue to disrupt Iran’s proliferation of missiles and UAVs, as well as its supply to proxies and to Russia, and we call on our allies and partners to join us in addressing the threats posed by Iran’s ballistic missile program.”
The MISSILES Act:
- Continues sanctions on foreign persons engaged in Iranian missile related activity, regardless of whether U.N. restrictions on such activity remain in effect after the October 2023 sunset, and imposes sanctions on foreign persons participating in the development or proliferation of Iranian missile or drone technology.
- Requires a detailed report on Iranian missile activity that includes a U.S. diplomatic strategy to secure the renewal of U.N. restrictions on Iranian missile-related activities as well as a U.S. strategy to deter Iranian missile-related activities absent such restriction.