April 04, 2007

Wyden Introduces the "Stop Arming Iran Act"

Legislation would block the Pentagon's sale of F-14 parts and equipment.

Washington , D.C. - Working to end the Iranian government's acquisition of sensitive military equipment, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), a senior member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, introduced legislation today that would prohibit the Pentagon from selling surplus parts and equipment for F-14 fighter aircraft. Wyden's legislation would also prohibit the export of F-14 parts already sold.

"There is no good reason for the United States to be putting surplus F-14 parts on the market—especially when the only end-user of these parts is the world's most active state sponsor of terrorism." Wyden said. "Banning the sale and export of F-14 parts is the only sure way for us to keep them out of the wrong hands."

Iran is the only country—other than the United States—that flies F-14s. Seventy-nine of the fighter jets were originally purchased from U.S. manufacturers before Iran's 1979 revolution and are today largely grounded due to lack of parts. U.S. customs agents, however, have discovered that F-14 parts are being shipped to Iran after being purchased at Department of Defense (DoD) auctions.

DoD restricts the sale of surplus F-14 parts; however, these rules have proven ineffective at stopping Iran's acquisition of the equipment. For example, companies buying the parts from DoD have later been proven fronts for the Iranian government. Most recently, DoD sold sensitive technology—including F-14 parts—to undercover GAO investigators.