House Passes Bill That Would Prohibit Sales and Exports of F-14 Spare Parts
By a vote of 397-28, the U.S. House of Representatives today passed H.R. 1585, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008. Section 1049 of the bill prohibits the Department of Defense from selling any parts for F-14 fighter aircraft (of Top Gun fame), except for those in a museum or preserved for historical purposes. It also prohibits the U.S. Government from issuing any export licenses for any F-14 aircraft parts to a non-U.S. person or entity.
This provision, which was originally introduced earlier this year as the Stop Arming Iran Act by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) (S. 387) and Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) (H.R. 1441), is aimed at preventing Iran from obtaining spare parts for F-14s. While F-14 Tomcats were retired by the U.S. military in 2006, it estimated that Iran, which acquired 79 F-14s from the U.S. in the 1970s, still has several of the aircraft left in service.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have found F-14 spare parts being shipped to Iran by brokers who bought the items from Department of Defense auctions. Several persons have been convicted for exporting F-14 spare parts to Iran.