(JNS.org) Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) and the committee’s ranking member U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), in addition to 43 other members of the committee, in a July 1 letter urged U.S. President Barack Obama to increase pressure on Iran to discontinue its nuclear weapons program.
Despite western sanctions, Iran, which recently elected so-called reformist Hassan Rohani as president to replace Mahmoud Ahmadinijad, continues to import a high grade of refined alumina ore from several European countries, including Germany and France. The alumina ore is possibly being used to make missile components.
The importing of such material has so far been excluded from European sanctions on Iran, though “after July 1, new sanctions will blacklist metals trade with Iran… and should include alumina,” said Mark Dubowitz, a frequent advisor to the Obama administration on Iran sanctions, according to Reuters.
In their letter, the House Foreign Affairs Committee members wrote that Iran’s election “unfortunately has done nothing to suggest a reversal of Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapons capacity… It is important that you leave no doubt in the minds of the Iranian government that the United States will do all it can to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.”