Blunt, McCain, Ayotte introduce bill outlining support for Israel to offset Iranian threats

Legislation recently introduced by U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO), John McCain (R-AZ) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) would provide $1.5 billion in support to Israel amid increasing threats from Iran.

Funding outlined in the legislation would be split evenly between missile defense and direct assistance to Israel’s military.

“The Obama administration handed the Iranian regime – the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism – a $1.7 billion ransom payment on top of the $100 billion in sanctions relief it gained under the president’s nuclear agreement,” Blunt said. “That gives the regime billions in new resources to continue fomenting violence and instability in the Middle East, and increases the threat to Israel’s very existence. It is imperative that we provide Israel, our close friend and democratic ally, the support it needs to strengthen its defense.”

The legislation states that the $1.5 billion in assistance – $750 million for missile defense and $750 million in direct assistance to Israel’s military – would supplement U.S. assistance to Israel that was outlined in a recently signed memorandum of understanding, and it would extend the Iran Sanctions Act for the duration of the Iran nuclear deal.

“Iran is using its financial windfall from the ill-advised nuclear deal to increasingly threaten the U.S. and Israel — our closest and most reliable ally in the Middle East,” Ayotte said. “We have to make sure our aid to Israel reflects the growing threat they face. Iran is using the cash it has received from the Obama administration’s ransom payment for its military expansion and terrorist activities to target the United States and Israel — potentially including a larger, more accurate, fleet of ballistic missiles and more weapons for Hezbollah. There must be consequences for Iran’s ballistic missile activities. That’s why I’ll continue to push for my legislation to impose tough new sanctions against Iran so that we can better protect our country and our close ally, Israel.” 

The lawmakers noted that the amount of assistance to Israel would be one percent of the amount of assistance that the Obama administration has provided to the Iranian regime since the nuclear accord was signed.

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