Says Parts Could Fall Into Iranian Hands
An Oregon Senator has called for a permanent ban on the sale of
leftover F-14 Tomcat parts, over concerns those supplies could fall
into the wrong hands.
At the top of that list of undesirables is Iran, which sports
the only military force still flying F-14s... or that's trying to,
The Associated Press reports the Defense Department pulled those
parts -- made obsolete after the Tomcat's retirement last year --
off the market Tuesday, after an investigation by the AP revealed
evidence several countries have been able to circumvent Pentagon
security efforts and buy parts for the F-14, other military
aircraft, and even missile components.
That's not good enough for Democratic lawmaker Ron Wyden,
however. He wants a complete and total ban on the Pentagon selling
the parts, out of fear those parts could end up going to Iran, or
"The Pentagon is shutting the barn door for now when national
security demands that we lock it," Senator Wyden said.
Wyden introduced legislation last week that would stop the sale
of surplus F-14 parts permanently. It would also ban buyers who
already acquired such parts from exporting them.
"The only way to ensure that America doesn't arm Iran is for the
US to permanently stop selling these weapons parts," Wyden said.
"This review does not do that and I am going to press on until it
Iran purchased its F-14s in the 1970s, when the country was
considered a US ally. After the US retired the swing-wing fighter
last fall, the Pentagon ordered at least 10,000 parts considered
unique to the Tomcat to be destroyed... but that still left the
military with tens of thousands of Tomcat parts considered safe for
The Pentagon relies on surplus sales to recoup its costs, and
maintains it has procedures in place to ensure critical items do
not get into the hands of those hostile to the US.