Wednesday, October 07, 2015
Long, Hartzler call on state officials to oppose Iran deal
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), joined by Reps. Graves, Long, Luetkemeyer, Smith, and Wagner of the Missouri delegation, today sent a letter to top Missouri officials urging measures be taken to financially hamper the Iranian regime in light of the administrations ill-conceived Nuclear Deal with Iran.
“In light of the President’s bad deal with Iran and the blanket lifting of sanctions that allow Iran to reach the doorstep of obtaining a nuclear weapon,” Rep. Hartzler noted, “our nation and our allies are less secure. Since Senate Democrats blocked this vote from even coming to the floor, we must look for other instances where we can stand against a deal that endangers Americans. The states have a great opportunity to continue to put pressure on Iran by adopting legislation that would prohibit business with Iranian companies. I am hopeful our leaders in Missouri will pick up the baton this deal dropped and stand up against a nuclear-weapons-capable Iran.”
“President Obama is moving forward with this agreement despite overwhelming opposition from the American people,” Rep. Graves said. “The deal concedes the strongest leverage we have in forcing Iran to dismantle its nuclear program – billions in economic sanctions that have been widely successful in terms of their impact on the Iranian economy. I encourage our state’s leaders to do what the Obama administration has failed to do and send a message that a nuclear Iran will not be tolerated.”
“Leaders at every level still have leverage against this disastrous Iran nuclear deal,” said Rep. Long. “Whether it be policies that stop Missouri companies from bolstering Iran’s economy or require our state from investing in the Iranian energy sector, we must come together to take a stand against the dangers of this agreement in every way we can.”
“It is clear that Missourians overwhelmingly oppose the Iran Nuclear deal,” Rep. Luetkemeyer said. “It makes commonsense that Missouri businesses and financial institutions should not be forced to conduct business with the Iranian regime. While the Obama Administration may be moving forward with this careless deal, my colleagues in the Missouri delegation and I firmly believe that each State has the power to choose whether or not it will cooperate with entities and organizations that aid the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.”
“Since I was in the state House, protecting hardworking Missourians has been a priority for me,”Rep. Smith said. “I introduced the bill to stop Missouri tax dollars from being invested in countries that sponsor terrorism. This is the right next step because the world has only become more dangerous and Missourians deserve better.”
"President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran harms U.S. national security by providing hundreds of millions of dollars of sanctions relief to the No. 1 sponsor of terrorism in the world, the Iranian mullahs,” Rep. Wagner said. “The State of Missouri should reduce the harmful effects of this deal by adopting legislation that protects companies from doing business with this dangerous regime, which in turn would cut off financial resources needed to spread terror across the Middle East and beyond."
A digital copy of the letter Hartzler sent can be found here. The text of the letter can be found below:
October 6, 2015
The Honorable Jay Nixon The Honorable Peter Kinder
Governor Lieutenant Governor
P.O. Box 720 State Capitol, Room 224
Jefferson City, MO 65102 Jefferson City, MO 65101
The Honorable Todd Richardson The Honorable Clint Zweifel
Speaker of the House of Representatives Missouri State Treasurer
201 West Capitol Avenue, Room 308 P.O. Box 210
Jefferson City, MO 65101 Jefferson City, MO 65102
Dear Gov. Nixon, Lt. Gov. Kinder, Speaker Richardson, and Treasurer Zweifel:
President Obama’s Iranian Nuclear Deal has been met with much rebuke. He and many top officials have lauded the deal despite the fact it allows Iran to keep its nuclear infrastructure; gives Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief to promote terrorism and instability throughout the region; does not allow for “anytime, anywhere” inspections; lifts the arms embargo; allows Iran to acquire intercontinental ballistic missiles; and does nothing to free the four American hostages being held in Iran. Though President Obama calls the recent failed Senate vote for a Resolution of Disapproval as a “vote for diplomacy, for American national security, and for the safety and security of the world,” the House of Representatives—the People’s Chamber—resoundingly voted against this deal.
The fight to protect the voice of over six million Missourians is now in your hands.
Missouri has already taken the first steps in this fight when former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman decided to divest state funds—including employee pensions—from any bank, company or financial institution doing business with a terrorist-sponsoring state. At the time, this included Iran, North Korea, Syria and Sudan. There is no guarantee, however, that this list remains static.
That is why, as members of the United States Congress we strongly urge you to adopt legislation that would bar Missouri companies and financial institutions from conducting business specifically with the country of Iran.
In addition to strengthening Missouri’s current policies, the prospect of debarment is one of the most effective ways to compel corporations to end business with Iran. Eleven states have already enacted legislation that precludes all public entities from renewing or entering into contracts with companies invested in sensitive sectors of Iran’s economy.
Further, we encourage the State to enact banking and insurance legislation. Such measures could ensure state-chartered banks and corresponding banks are not engaged in activities with Iranian linked financial institutions. We should not allow financial institutions engaging with Iran to have access to U.S. markets. Similar insurance legislation could require the State to not hold stocks or bonds of any foreign company engaged and invested in the Iranian energy sector. These are two ways Missouri could impact this critical moment in our nation’s security.
The Obama Administration’s haste in finalizing a deal for the sake of having one has resulted in a deal that jeopardizes our national security and that of our allies in the Middle East and around the globe. The states, however, now have the opportunity to lead where this Administration has not by financially inhibiting the Iranian regime for its transgressions and continued march towards nuclear weapons capability.
We thank you for your leadership on behalf of the people of Missouri, and for your consideration of these legislative initiatives.