Senate Republicans push Obama to punish Iran for missile tests

Senate Republicans are pressuring the Obama administration to punish Iran after the country carried out several ballistic missile tests.

Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) said Tuesday that the United States and the United Nations must show that reported missile tests will have “swift and immediate consequences.”

“The administration’s hesitancy and the council’s refusal to act after multiple violations last fall must not be repeated now that Iran appears ready to test the will of the international community with the nuclear agreement in place,” he said.

His comments come after Press TY, a state run television station, reported that ballistic missiles were fired from silos across Iran.

The move comes after the Obama administration rolled out new sanctions against Iran earlier this year in response to a test late last year, but Republican senators – and some Democrats – argue that Congress should pass additional sanctions.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) suggested that Obama was to blame for Iran’s behavior, saying that “it’s clear our enemies no longer fear the United Sates,” and Iran is “throwing dirt in the face of the entire free world.”

Republican Sens. Mark Kirk (Illinois) and Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire), who are both up fore reelection, said the new tests highlight the need for new sanctions against Iran.

“Now is the time for new crippling sanctions against Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, Ministry of Defense, Aerospace Industries Organization, and other related entities driving the Iranian ballistic missile program,” Kirk said.

Ayotte said earlier this year she would introduce new sanctions against Iran if the Obama administration did not take a tougher stance. Corker also told reporters that he was working on legislation targeting Iran’s missile program.