As reported by Russ Read of the Daily Caller, U.S. Representatives Peter J. Roskam (IL-6) and Jackie Walorski (IN-2) introduced H.R. 5139, a bill to ensure the Department of Defense (DOD) does not award contracts to any company that does business with hostile Iranian actors. Potential DOD contractors should not do business with entities complicit in Iran's support for terrorism, ballistic missile program, human rights abuses, or other illicit activity. Rep. Roskam serves on the Ways & Means Committee and chairs its Subcommittee on Oversight. Rep. Walorski serves on the Armed Services Committee.
Rep. Roskam issued the following statement:
"This is common sense. If a company subsidizes terrorism, it should not be eligible to receive taxpayer dollars in the form of DOD contracts. I look forward to offering the "No Defense Contracts for Terror Profiteers Act' as an amendment to the NDAA once it hits the House floor and expect it to receive widespread support."
Rep. Walorski issued the following statement:
"The President's nuclear deal with Iran has done nothing to deter Iran's aggression or bad behavior. In the time since the deal was signed, Iran and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have held our Sailors hostage, tested missiles, and purchased advanced munitions. These egregious behaviors cannot be tolerated, and we must not permit the IRGC to benefit as new resources enter the Iranian economy. This legislation is critical to ensure that companies, particularly those in the defense industry, carefully consider expanding into Iranian markets and do their due diligence to prevent future contracts from enriching or otherwise benefiting these bad actors."
Iran's Newly Opened Markets
In light of sanctions relief under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, foreign companies are now largely unrestricted from doing business with Iran. Major companies have rushed in to the Iranian market to sign million- and billion-dollar contracts with the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. These same companies are now cutting deals with and enriching companies affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Iran's paramilitary branch responsible for exporting terrorism around the world.
Such foreign investment and commercial relations with hostile Iranian actors run counter to American national security interests. Western companies should not enrichen Iran's most hostile entities and strengthen Iran's hardline regime.
Current procurement regulations regarding Iran are far too narrow to ensure DOD contractors do not empower hostile Iranian entities. As of now, contractors must certify they are not doing business with official IRGC agents or affiliates. We must go further to broaden and strengthen these regulations as Iran's markets are opened.
Iran has historically used front companies and other evasive methods to avoid exposing the IRGC's control of the national economy. Entire industries are dominated by the IRGC and effectively subsidize Iranian-backed terrorism around the world.
Iran's newly opened markets require us to strengthen these regulations to ensure DOD contractors do not enable this illicit activity. International companies must choose: they may do business with the U.S. Department of Defense, or they may subsidize terror -- but they may not do both.