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Lankford Applauds Executive Order to Restore US Sanctions on Iran

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today applauded President Trump and his Administration for its announcement of an Executive Order to restore pre-Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA or the “Iran Nuclear Deal”) sanctions on Iran after the US withdrew from the agreement in 2018, a move Lankford supported. These “snapback” sanctions, which the State Department began discussing Saturday, are in response to the decision by the UN Security Council to allow the international embargo on weapons sales to Iran to expire. Lankford supported the US-led effort to maintain the embargo, which was ultimately voted down by the UN Security Council. Lankford discussed today’s planned action against Iran in his speech on the Senate floor last Thursday.

“Iran’s terrorist regime remains a threat to the US and our allies, and I am grateful for President Trump’s decisive action to help quell that threat,” said Lankford. “Iran is enriching uranium at 10-times the levels permitted under the failed JCPOA. Today’s executive action acknowledges the ongoing national security and cyber threats we face from Iran and sends a clear message to Iran—and any nation seeking to partner with Iran—that we will not stand idly by and allow the largest state sponsor of terrorism to acquire conventional or nuclear weapons. Iran cannot be allowed to engage in any arms trade to further bolster its support for international terrorism and other malign activities in the region.

“President Trump’s recent actions to help bring a normalization of relations between Israel and Bahrain and Israel and the United Arab Emirates demonstrate ongoing progress toward peace in the region, a peace that Iran continues to try to destabilize. I look forward to collaborating with our allies in the region to seek peace through diplomacy and economic cooperation and to dismantle terrorist strongholds in Iran and elsewhere who are working against that common goal.”

Lankford has been a leader on the issue of restricting Iran’s access to military equipment, introducing a Senate resolution in 2016 calling on the Administration to re-impose these sanctions if Iran is found to be in violation of the JCPOA. In February, Lankford opposed a war powers resolution that would have limited the President’s ability to direct the US military to carry out strategic attacks on Iranian terrorists regardless of whether an “imminent threat” to American lives is present.  The resolution was introduced following President Trump’s decision to carry out a strategic strike in Iraq that killed Iranian terrorist leader General Soleimani in January in advance of an imminent threat to American facilities and personnel in the region. Following the successful strike, Lankford joined Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) to cosponsor a resolution to honor the US military and national security personnel who helped bring an end to Soleimani’s reign of terror. Lankford spoke about the then-increased tensions with Iran on the Senate floor.