Sen. Coons: Don’t forget about Iran

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 FILE - This file picture released by the official website of the Iranian Defense Ministry on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015, claims to show the launching of an Emad long-range ballistic surface-to-surface missile in an undisclosed location. Iran tested a ballistic missile again in November 2015, a U.S. official said Dec. 8, describing the second such test since this summer’s nuclear agreement. The State Department said only that it was conducting a

FILE - This file picture released by the official website of the Iranian Defense Ministry on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015, claims to show the launching of an Emad long-range ballistic surface-to-surface missile in an undisclosed location. Iran tested a ballistic missile again in November 2015, a U.S. official said Dec. 8, describing the second such test since this summer’s nuclear agreement. The State Department said only that it was conducting a "serious review" of such reports. The test occurred on Nov. 21, according to the official, coming on top of an Oct. 10 test Iran confirmed at the time. The official said other undeclared tests occurred earlier than that, but declined to elaborate. The official wasn’t authorized to speak on the matter and demanded anonymity. (Iranian Defense Ministry via AP)

In recent weeks, national security concerns have focused on the international terror threat posed by ISIS, but U.S. Sen. Chris Coons from Delaware says Iran must not be forgotten. 

Between the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, national security has dominated headlines and discussion in the 2016 presidential campaigns. But just a few short months ago, the national security conversation centered on a nuclear deal with Iran.

U.S. Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, took to the Senate floor Tuesday morning to make sure the Iran deal isn’t forgotten.

“What a difference a few months can make,” Coons said. “I rise today to make sure we remain focused on one America’s most important challenges.” That challenge, Coons said, is holding Iran to the nuclear agreement which went into effect in October.

He said Iran has already violated terms of other UN Security Council resolutions since the nuclear agreement was reached. Those violations include two ballistic missile tests.

“I fear the Iranians are taking action after action in this area and others to demonstrate that they are willing to flout international rules, regulations, and restrictions.” Coons said without a decisive action in response “these misdeeds by the Iranians will simply continue and escalate.”

“Iran will cheat on this agreement,” Coons said. “We must develop a menu of responses that allow us to respond quickly and precisely to minor violations of the deal, because there are no real minor violations of the deal.”

Coons said the U.S. must also enhance efforts to stop the flow of weapons to Iran’s proxies in Syria,  Yemen and Lebanon. He said arms shipments also leave Iran and go to terrorists groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.

“Given the 24/7 news cycle and the media’s incessant focus on the crisis of the moment, we will be tempted to turn our attention elsewhere,” Coons said. The nuclear deal “was not the end of the agreement with Iran, in fact, it signified just the beginning.”

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