SUPPORT HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 121, REGARDING PROLIFERATION OF MISSILE TECHNOLOGY FROM RUSSIA TO IRAN (House of Representatives - July 31, 1997)

[Page: H6686]

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Strickland] is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. STRICKLAND. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address a very serious issue related to the well-being of our Nation. Recently it has come to the attention of the Central Intelligence Agency that nongovernmental entities within Russia have participated in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to the country of Iran.

This specific trade practice threatens the security of the United States and our allies and, quite simply, it endangers our ability to maintain world peace. Furthermore, the advancement of weapons of mass destruction to Iran happens to be in violation of the Missile Technology Control Regime.

For these reasons alone, this trade between Iran and Russia must stop. As history illustrates, Iran has nurtured a reputation for terrorism and has consistently displayed open hostility toward United States' interests.

Although Russia has acknowledged previous weapons trade with Iran, the most extreme action they have taken to end the current proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is to initiate an investigation. As I see it, Mr. Speaker, an investigation does not adequately address this critical situation.

Nevertheless, Russia continues to enjoy foreign aid from the United States and the financial profits of trade with Iran. Russia is enjoying the best of both worlds at the expense of the safety of innocent victims who all too often fall prey to the hostilities instigated from Iran's terrorist regime.

We now have reached a point where agreements and investigations are simply not enough. It is time to eradicate the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction between Russia and Iran. Congress and the President should demand that the Russian government take steps necessary to stop all involvement, including the involvement of nongovernmental entities, in the disbursement of weapons of mass destruction, especially when the country of Iran is involved.

Furthermore, should Russia ignore our request, we must not simply disregard their failure to succumb to peacekeeping efforts, but rather, we must take the most serious and effective steps to end this dangerous activity and impose sanctions on the responsible parties.

House Concurrent Resolution 121 expresses congressional concern regarding the proliferation of missile technology from Russia to Iran, and I strongly urge my colleagues in this House to give their support to this worthy resolution.

END