DeFazio Responds

I write in response to Colin Moran’s letter, which contains several factual errors (EW, 9/5).

I voted in favor of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which passed the House overwhelmingly by 419-3 with the support of every Democrat. I strongly supported — and continue to support — the Iran nuclear deal, or the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” (JCPOA).

Mr. Moran is mistaken that CAATSA undermined JCPOA by re-imposing nuclear-related sanctions. If this was the case, I would have opposed CAATSA. In fact, CAATSA strengthened already-existing U.S. sanctions on non-nuclear items like arms sales to Iran, Iran’s support of international terrorism, Iran’s ballistic-missile technology and Iran’s human rights abuses — items the Obama administration purposefully left out of the JCPOA.

Moran also fails to acknowledge that CAATSA was a historic rebuke by Congress of the Trump administration’s disturbing refusal to punish Russia for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Specifically, CAATSA expanded sanctions on Russia for its election interference, its annexation of Crimea, its military operations in Ukraine and its continued human rights abuses.

To oppose all sanctions outright would be a reckless and irresponsible approach to foreign policy in an increasingly dangerous world. When appropriate, I support smart, targeted sanctions that limit adverse effects on civilian populations.

If used wisely, sanctions can be an effective instrument to deter war, protect human rights and counter anti-democratic regimes.

Rep. Peter DeFazio

Oregon’s Fourth
Congressional District