Congress Proposes Legislation Directing the U.S. to Work with Allies, Middle Eastern Partners to Build a Defense System against Iran

Written by on June 12, 2022

In a joint effort, Congress has proposed new legislation that would “direct the United States to work with our allies and partners in the [Middle East] to build an integrated air and missile defense system to take on the threat posed by Iran and its violent extremist proxies.”

According to CBN News, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), who is leading the effort for the new legislation, said it would mean the Pentagon would work with Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait to deploy missiles and air defense against Iran and other extremist groups.

The bipartisan effort is called the Deterring Enemy Forces and Enabling National Defenses (DEFEND) Act. The act would build upon the 2020 Abraham Accords, where Israel established formal ties with the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.

“The full potential of the Abraham Accords, economic cooperation, education exchanges, trade agreements between Israel and our Middle Eastern partners, cannot be achieved without a commitment to collective security,” said Sen. Ernst. “America’s role in activating and networking our allies and partners in the Middle East must evolve as violent extremists, like Iran, change their tactics and onboard new systems capable of catastrophic damage against civilian targets.”

Sen. Ernst and James Lankford (OK) introduced the legislation in the Senate alongside Democrats Jacky Rosen (NV) and Cory Booker (NJ).

Republicans Ann Wagner (MO), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA) and Don Bacon (NE) unveiled the bill in the House with Democrats Brad Schneider, Jimmy Panetta and David Trone.

“As missile threats against our partners in the Middle East increase, this bipartisan legislation is critical to ensuring the safety and security of the region,” said Sen. Booker.  “By strengthening and encouraging cooperation between signatories of the Abraham Accords and other regional partners, this bill will also help foster a more peaceful and stable region.”

Photo courtesy: Sara Cottle/Unsplash

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

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