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U.S. Congress Responds to Tehran’s Drone Attacks

U.S. Congress passes the H.R.6089 - Stop Iranian Drones Act with 442 votes, submitting the bill to the Senate.

On Wednesday, April 27, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “H.R.6089 – Stop Iranian Drones Act” with 442 votes. Rep. Michael McCaul introduced the bill in Congress on November 30, 2021. The U.S. Senate is expected to discuss the bill in the coming weeks.

“It shall be the policy of the United States to prevent Iran and Iranian-aligned terrorist and militia groups from acquiring unmanned aerial vehicles, including commercially available component parts, that can be used in attacks against United States persons and partner nations,” the bill read.

Representatives emphasized that the enactment would engulf “any person that knowingly engages in any activity that materially contributes to the supply, sale, or transfers directly or indirectly to or from Iran, or for the use in or benefit of Iran, of any unmanned combat aerial vehicles.”

Notably, since September 2019, the Iranian regime has carried out several drone attacks against regional states. For instance, on September 14, 2019, Iran-backed Houthis attacked Saudi Arabia’s Aramco complex in Abqaiq–Khurais with Iran-made drones and missiles.

Furthermore, Iran-backed militias launched a drone laden with explosives on the Iraqi Prime Minister’s home in Baghdad, targeting Mustafa al-Kadhimi. The assassination attempt left six injuries among his bodyguards.

“Time and again, Iran has used UAVs to threaten global stability and U.S. interests. Congress countered this destabilizing behavior today and passed the Stop Iranian Drones Act,” tweeted Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL).

“Proud to have led this bill with Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), and await its Senate passage.”

“Iran uses UAVs to wreak havoc across the Middle East, attacking U.S. troops, Israel, and our allies in the region. I cosponsored the Stop Iranian Drones Act to prevent these attacks and curb Iranian terror,” tweeted Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), declaring his support for the bill. “I’m proud this bipartisan legislation passed the House today.”

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the Chair of the House Republican Conference, “voted to advance the Stop Iranian Drones Act (H.R. 6089), legislation that would prevent Iran and Iranian-aligned groups from acquiring unmanned combat drones that can be used in attacks against the United States or our partners.”

“Iran is the world’s leading exporter of terrorism,” tweeted Rep. Stefanik. “I am proud to send a clear message that the U.S. will use every tool at its disposal to cut off Iran’s access to deadly weapons.”

Iranian Resistance Highlights Iranian Drones’ Threat

In a press conference on December 15, 2021, the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), discussed the rising threat from the Iranian regime and policy options that can counter this threat. Many distinguished American experts and politicians addressed the event.

NCRI-U.S. Deputy Director Alireza Jafarzadeh stated that the Iranian regime’s drone program is being run by several front companies of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

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“The companies are practically running a smuggling ring as they are helping the IRGC circumvent sanctions by producing the drone parts and accessories on behalf of the IRGC,” Jafarzadeh exposed. “We need to deal with firmness to this regime. It should be granted no sanctions relief. It is imperative to reinstate all UNSC resolutions.”

“We’re revealing for the first time several IRGC front companies running the regime’s drone program. These companies have civilian names but are in the service of the IRGC. They provide parts and accessories for the UAV program,” Jafarzadeh explained.

Jafarzadeh also revealed that the structure of the IRGC Aerospace Force, particularly the UAV Command, consisted of four units in Ahvaz, Kermanshah, Isfahan, and Kashan. He also unveiled that the IRGC UAV Command hierarchy led by Brig. Gen. Saeed Aghajani. The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) had designated Aghajani on October 29, 2021.

“We’re on the wrong course in the US in our efforts in Vienna to re-enter the JCPOA. They are well-intentioned, but they don’t meet the realities of what Iran is doing in Vienna or the world. They are highly risky,” said former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman.

“The correct decision, both politically and morally, is to support the people of Iran in their struggle for freedom and democracy,” said former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Robert Joseph.

“The regime is not contained by their borders, stating that they will ‘go after anybody that expresses dissent’ whether that be domestically or abroad,” said former Acting Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency David Shedd.

“Regarding the nuclear challenge, first, Iran is close to having nuclear weapons capability. Right now, experts have estimated that Iran’s breakout time has shrunk to three weeks. This is the worst position we’ve been in,” said American political scientist Matthew Kroening.

“We need genuine sanctions enforcement on Iran’s capabilities to procure the material for these activities,” said JINSA Director of Foreign Policy Jonathan Ruhe,

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