The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved the Stop Iranian Drones Act (SIDA), which seeks to prevent Iran and Iran-backed militia groups from acquiring lethal drones.

In line with efforts to stop Tehran’s flourishing drone program, “the bipartisan legislation would amend the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) to make clear that supporting the supply, sale or transfer to or from Iran of UAVs, or providing other assistance related to UAVs, is sanctionable under US law,” the committee Chairman Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-Idaho) said in a statement on Thursday.

“As evinced by Iran’s drone attacks on Israeli shipping, Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and Iran-backed militia attacks on US facilities across Iraq... Iran’s reckless use and export of lethal drones to proxies and terrorist actors across the Middle East represents a significant threat to US national security and that of our allies and partners,” Menendez said, adding that “I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure swift passage on the Senate floor and ultimate enactment of this bipartisan legislation into law.”

The House of Representatives passed the legislation late in April but it requires approval from the Senate and a presidential signature to become law.

“Iran’s regional terrorism continues to threaten not only the safety and security of our partners in the Middle East, but also American national security interests. Drones have rapidly become Iran’s weapon of choice,” Risch noted.

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