WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement Friday after the Trump Administration announced it was enforcing existing sanctions against Iran following its ballistic missile test:
“Yesterday I sent a bipartisan letter with 21 other Senators to express our alarm at Iran’s ballistic missile test and ask President Trump to enforce existing sanctions and consider additional sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile program.
“Today, the Administration took a step forward by enforcing existing sanctions while not violating U.S. obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The current set of measures continue the work of the Obama Administration, by designating individuals and entities in the same proliferation networks as those already sanctioned in January 2016 by President Obama.
“The U.S. must counter Iran’s destabilizing activities including the regimes sponsorship of terrorism across the region, its ballistic missile program, provocative maritime activities, and cybercrime. However, it is critical that the United States respond to Iranian malfeasance in a thoughtful and calculated manner. This requires a thorough review across all of our national security departments and agencies and consultation with our European partners before policies are undertaken. Rushed statements from the National Security Advisor ‘putting Iran on notice’ or twitter rants from the President are dangerous and risk setting off a cycle of escalation and miscalculation that it is not in the U.S. national security interest, or the interests of our partners and allies.
“When formulating policy toward Iran, I urge the Trump Administration to set aside reckless rhetoric and engage Congress on a bipartisan basis to craft a responsible, coherent, and implementable strategy.”