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Risch, Menendez Introduce Legislation to Protect Civilians from Iranian Drones

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), ranking member and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today joined in introducing legislation to better protect civilians in the Middle East from Iran’s weaponized unmanned aerial systems.

“The threat from Iranian drones is reshaping the security environment across the Middle East and Europe. Hundreds of drones have threatened our international partners, U.S. troops, and diplomats. It’s long past time we develop innovative solutions to make all of us safer,” said Risch. “I’m proud to introduce legislation to formalize research and development agreements between the United States and our longstanding Middle East partners to produce systems that will counter Iranian drones. Increased cooperation is not only in America’s interest, it will also restore deterrence against a rogue Iranian regime and it’s terror proxies, and promote stability in the region.”

“I am proud to join in introducing this bipartisan legislation to strengthen the United States’ commitment to counter threats posed by Iran’s development and proliferation of drones,” said Menendez. “Iranian drones have only exacerbated threats to global instability, wreaking havoc across the Middle East – targeting the UAE, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, and adding fuel to the conflicts in Yemen and Syria. Iran eagerly sells its drones to Russia with the full knowledge that they will be used against innocent civilians in Ukraine, and they are culpable in their suffering and deaths. Our bill serves as a crucial step forward in protecting against drone attacks and advancing security worldwide through international cooperation with likeminded partners.”  

This legislation:

  • Authorizes and encourages the president to enter into cooperative research and development agreements with Iraq and countries on the Arabian Peninsula to counter unmanned aerial systems.
  • Directs the administration to notify Congress of these initiatives.

Text of this legislation can be found here.