In a bipartisam move, New Jersey’s Sen. Robert Menendez (D) joined with Arizona’s Sen. Jon Kyl (R) to warn Secretary of State Hillary Clinton against allowing turmoil in the Arab world to distract attention from Iran’s nuclear development program.
In a March 11 letter, the senators wrote that “Iran’s drive to develop nuclear weapons has not diminished.”
Even as they noted that American sanctions “are making it more difficult and more expensive for Iran to acquire the knowledge and materials it needs to achieve its nuclear dream,” they said it was “crucial that the United States and the international community continue to obstruct, divert, and undermine Iran’s efforts and not allow developments in the Middle East to distract from our effort to address the primary threat to stability in the region.”
Menendez and Kyl urged Clinton to “continue to enforce tough sanctions on Iran and hold governments and companies accountable for doing business with this brutal regime,” citing private and public sector assistance to Iranian oil development from institutions in China, Turkey, Venezuela, and Germany.
“It appears that Chinese firms in the energy and banking sectors have conducted significant activity in violation of U.S. law,” wrote the senators. “We cannot afford to create the impression that China will be given free rein to conduct economic activity in Iran when more responsible nations have chosen to follow the course we have asked of them.”