Deutch: US and Israel Must Move Beyond Recent Incident and Work Together to Confront Iran
Deutch Legislation Targeting Businesses Supporting Iran Unanimously Passes Committee
Today the Florida Senate Committee on Military Affairs and Domestic Security unanimously passed legislation written and introduced by Senator Ted Deutch (D-Boca Raton) that will prevent Florida state agencies from entering into, awarding, or renewing a contract with any company doing business, either directly or indirectly, with Iran.
Statement by Senator Ted Deutch
"Iran's illicit quest for nuclear weapons and her leading sponsorship of worldwide terrorism presents a significant national security threat to the United States, an existential threat to our vital ally Israel, and will lead to a dangerous nuclear arms race in the Middle East if we do not take immediate action to thwart the Iranian nuclear weapons program.
"The Iranian nuclear weapons program must be our overwhelming focus. The United States and Israel need to be working together today -- closer than ever - to successfully confront a threat that looms larger and poses greater danger than any other issue in the Middle East.
"We cannot afford any distractions under these serious circumstances, and every additional day that is spent exchanging recriminations or blame for the unfortunate timing of the announcement during Vice President Biden's visit to Israel only moves our focus away from the looming Iranian threat.
"The historic and unbreakable relationship between the United States and Israel is stronger than any diplomatic flap, and with the real challenges we face, it is time to move forward together as essential longtime allies and friends.
"Any perceived daylight between the United States and Israel through the continued public airing of disagreements between these steadfast allies weakens our ability to enact powerful sanctions on Iran.
"I continue to use every means at my disposal to put pressure on Iran and those corporations that support her nuclear program. My legislation will forbid Florida from entering into any contract with corporations that do business with the Iranian regime. I commend Congress for passing tough and effective sanctions through the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act and the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act, and I urge Congress and the Obama Administration to swiftly enact these policies into law, and to end U.S. government contracts with corporations doing business in Iran."
Deutch's legislation was introduced prior to a recent New York Times report detailing how the federal government has awarded billions to companies who do business in Iran. Many of these contracts directly violate U.S. law.
In addition, last week Senator Deutch sent a letter last week to Governor Charlie Crist urging support for his legislation and following up on Senator Deutch's previous efforts to halt Vitol, formerly Iran's largest supplier of refined petroleum, from using public funds to open a terminal at Florida's Port Canaveral. In addition, Senator Deutch also sent a letter to Ash Williams, the Executive Director of the State Board of Administration, strongly urging him to deliver a terror-free retirement option for Florida workers as required by legislation earlier passed by Senator Deutch.
Senator Deutch is the Democratic Nominee for Congress in the April 13th special election to replace retired Rep. Robert Wexler. For more information please visit www.tedforcongress.com.
Deutch has been a leading national figure on national security issues relating to the Iranian nuclear program. Deutch wrote and passed the first in the nation legislation that mandated that the retirement funds of Florida's workers do not support Iran's nuclear weapons program. Senator Deutch has helped dozens of states and municipalities to pass similar terror-free laws and has testified in Congress regarding his efforts.