A group of Republican senators on Wednesday called on President Barack Obama not to lift sanctions on Iran over its recent ballistic missile testing, Reuters reported.
36 of the 54 Republican senators, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, signed a letter urging Obama not to lift sanctions on Iran as planned under an international nuclear agreement announced in July.
The senators said Iran’s recent testing showed "blatant disregard for its international obligations."
The letter, seen by Reuters, said the missile tests enhance Tehran's capability to target Israeli and American troops in the region. "That is why it is a mistake to treat Iran's ballistic missile program as separate from Iran's nuclear program," the letter said.
The letter was organized by Senator Kelly Ayotte, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Republican lawmakers, as well several of Obama's fellow Democrats, have been deeply skeptical about the nuclear deal. Their worries have intensified since Iran's rocket test on October 10.
Shortly after Iran’s October missile test, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Iran likely violated UN sanctions. On Tuesday, a UN panel confirmed that Iran violated a UN Security Council resolution when it test fired the missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead.
The UN panel’s report came days after officials told Fox News that Iran tested a ballistic missile for a second time on November 21.
The American Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, later said Washington was reviewing reports of the Iranian test, and hours later an American official confirmed the test took place and said other undeclared tests occurred earlier than that.