I join today with my colleagues Representatives Howard Berman and Martin Frost in urging the President to reconsider his reported decision to veto the Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions Act. Should this veto indeed take place, I urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to override the veto.
I am sympathetic to the President's wish, and indeed, the President's need to have discretion in implementing sanctions. H.R. 2709 provides such discretion through a national security waiver. It also permits the President to waive sanctions if, on the basis of additional information, he determines and reports to Congress that a foreign entity did not violate the restrictions on the transfer of technology.
Once again, it is time to face the facts. Despite what this Administration calls progress in halting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the proliferation continues. Just last week, there were new reports made public that China is discussing sales of missile test equipment to Iran and is helping Libya develop its missile program. This despite promises to the Administration that it would stop such activities. China has already supplied to Iran C-801 and C-802 ship-based anti-ship cruise missiles, as well as other equipment for missile production, guidance, and testing. And as is widely recognized, there are well-documented reports of Russia's proliferation of missile technology to Iran.
This proliferation cannot and must not be ignored. It is not an abstract concept -- it is a direct threat to peace in the Middle East.
I am here today because I believe that this carefully crafted legislation will strengthen the President's hand in dealing with proliferators. The threat of sanctions should and can, with leadership and a strategic vision, provide leverage to the Administration by demonstrating to governments and to companies and countries that there are costs of proliferating and benefits of cooperating. I urge the President to reconsider his veto decision and urge our colleagues in Congress to override the veto of this legislation to reduce the threat to peace in the Middle East, should such a veto take place.
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