Friday marks two years since the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany and Iran, finalized the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, an agreement which legitimized Iran's industrial-sized nuclear program and paved the rogue regime's pathway to a nuclear weapon.
In a newly-released report, the U.N. disclosed numerous Iranian violations of the Security Council resolution implementing the deal, ranging from ballistic missile tests to illegal arms shipments to terrorist groups throughout the Middle East.
The response to these infractions by our global partners has been finger waving at best and implicit approval at worst.
In fact, with their governments' support, European giants like Total SA and Volkswagen both recently moved into the Iranian markets—asserting that Europe's bottom line is more important than keeping Iran from crossing the nuclear line. Even if the U.N. Security Council and our European partners continue to disregard blatant Iranian violations of international agreements and choose to bolster the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, the U.S. must take further action to hold Iran accountable.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has already made this point to her counterparts in New York. Congress can help ensure it doesn't fall on deaf ears.
This July, Congress should send to President Trump's desk comprehensive sanctions legislation targeting Iran for its destabilizing activity, support for terrorism, heinous human rights abuses, and illegal missile tests.
In addition to legislative action, the Trump administration is capable of weakening a key Iranian weapons supply line by unilaterally preventing Iran from receiving hundreds of aircraft that they will use to transfer troops and weapons to Bashar al Assad and Hezbollah, who bear the responsibility for murdering nearly 500,000 Syrian people. Iran's use of commercial aircraft for illicit purposes is nothing new. Since 2011, Iran Air and other airlines were sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury for using commercial jets to transport rockets, missiles, guns, ammunition, and troops to terrorist groups and rogue regimes around the Middle East.
Despite its history, and the numerous reports documenting Iran Air's continued weapons transports to Syria, aerospace leaders Boeing and Airbus are determined to sell the Iranians hundreds of planes that it can — and will — use to fuel conflict and chaos throughout the region.
The Obama administration turned a blind eye to these infractions and let these deals move forward, but the Trump administration need not be complicit in this. If the U.S. is serious about holding Iran accountable and pushing back against its hegemonic ambitions, we must do everything we can to limit Iran's ability to transfer military goods to its proxies in Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon.
In order to sell aircraft to Iran, Boeing and Airbus were required to receive licenses from the Office of Foreign Assets Control within the U.S. Treasury. OFAC has full authority to amend, modify, revoke, or delay these licenses. Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin can unilaterally decide to freeze the sale of aircraft to Iran until Iran ceases using commercial jets to further its terror campaign around the Middle East — and he would have wide support from Congress to do so.
Some may argue that blocking these deals will hinder U.S. job growth, but this has already been disproven. Others wrongly argue that doing so would be a violation of the Iran nuclear deal. These arguments ring hollow as Iran continues to transfer weapons to murderous dictators and terrorists with American blood on their hands.
In the past two years since signing the JCPOA, Iran has become emboldened, flushed with cash, and further determined to harm the national security interests of the U.S. and our allies.
If our international partners are unwilling to work with the U.S. to hold Iran responsible for its malign activities, we must do so alone.
As we mark two years since agreeing to this flawed nuclear accord, we must deliver a strong and clear message to Iran and our international partners: While the last administration appeased the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism at the expense of U.S. national security, President Trump is determined to hold the Iranian regime accountable to keep our country safe.
Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., represents Illinois' 6th district in Congress. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterRoskam
Thinking of submitting an op-ed to the Washington Examiner? Be sure to read our guidelines on submissions.