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June 13, 2022 9:14 am

Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Approves Stop Iranian Drones Act

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a fragment from an Iranian drone during an address to the Munich Security Conference, February 2018. Photo: Screenshot. – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week approved the Stop Iranian Drones Act, which aims to prevent the Islamic Republic and terrorist groups and militias associated with it from obtaining lethal Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

The act is an amendment to the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), enacted in 2017, clarifying that CAATSA sanctions apply to combat UAVs as well as to conventional combat aircraft.

US Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement that Iran’s “reckless” use and production of drones represents a “a significant threat to United Stations national security and that of our allies and partners.”

The amended legislation, the statement continued, makes clear that “supporting the supply, sale or transfer to or from Iran of UAVs, or providing other assistance related to UAVs, is sanctionable under US law.”

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“Today’s Committee approval of the Stop Iranian Drones Act serves as an important step forward in ensuring that US law keeps pace with Iranian regional aggression and holds Iran accountable for its destabilizing actions,” said Menendez.

Risch said that the legislation would impose “serious costs” on Iran’s drone program and its supporters, and called on the Senate to pass the legislation quickly.

A bill to develop a strategic approach to how the United States will work to encourage cooperation between members of the Abraham Accords in combating Iranian aggression was introduced on Wednesday in both chambers of Congress.

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