tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 9, 2015 10:00pm-12:01am EDT
members of the u.n. security council. last week, saudi arabia announced its support for the agreement. foreign minister who is known to many in this body concluded his country support by saying this -- this agreement will contribute to the security and stability in the region by preventing iran from acquiring a nuclear capability, end quote. ..and said to me, ,"you know, we are one of the nations you trust the most. we follow your leadership. we've agreed to the deal and now your congress wants to back out. why should we ever follow you again? many diplomats i've spoken with have echoed the prim minister's -- former principal
prime minister's comment. if we reject the agreement it will be unlikely the world will follow us in negotiations in the future and i believe the executive foreign policy obligations and responsibilities of the president of our country are diminished. our ability to lead against global threats, to be the indispensable nations ends. many senators i understand don't support our president but by supporting this agreement we also undermine the ability of any future president to speak for the united states and carry out his or her constitutional role in conducting foreign policy. i've been involved in national security issues for many years, and i can't recall a time in and i can't recall a time in i've been involved in national security issues for many years. i can't recall the time in
recent memory where the world i was united to this degree on such a complex issue. even russia and china are with us. we shouldn't squander the opportunity. the arguments of the secretary are particularly persuasive. as we all know he is a nuclear physicist from mit and played an essential role in thety negotiations. he knows the nuclear world. he has said over and over again that every pathway to a bomb,oce uranium are blocked by this
it requires all those capable of being reprocessed capable of producing plutonium to be shipped out of the country. they require iaea access to all of the declared nuclear plants for 15te years.r the iaea will use its most advanced monitoring equipment to make sure iran cannot tamper with the devices or even a nuclear reporting. it guarantees guarantees iaea access to any suspected nuclear site within 2t days including military
facilities and providing access to all of irans nuclear site. most notably it has a prohibition against iran seeking or developing a nuclear weapon. the terms of this agreement are on parallel. the iaea has never had this kind of access to any country. i can say we have looked at this issue very carefully. r as you know, mr. pres., as late as this morning, i can say that if a iran doesn't comply with b its obligations, we will know about it and we will be able to snap back the sections that are suspended under this agreement. the administration has provided
congress the documents detailing the varick vacation measures this agreement. i at an unclassified level,t the executive branch has written, and i quote, the united states is confident that iran is complying with its commitment ts the plan. including the commitment not to pursue a nuclear weapon. i think some of my colleagues m views and i hope everyone woulde review it. they have met withtin the head of the u.s. intelligence agencies as recently as this morning to receive testimony and ask n questions on our ability to ensure that iran is complying with the terms of the nuclear agreement. from the reports and
those hearings, i am very comfortable saying the covert path to a bomb is closed. i recognize this doesn't address other problems the united states and other international community have with iran. they continue to support terrorist groups and undermine stability across the middle east it is a serial abuser of human rights and is improperly detaining american citizens. these are, of course, reprehensible policies and of course we will continue to a nuclear armed a iran would dramatically compound thesen problems. in my view, this this agreement presents us with an opportunity to begin a broader discussion with iran. hopefully they will become more international community and give up some of its bad way.
we hope they will move toward a community of nations. rejecting this plan only strengthens the community of def those not on board. there are many young people in iran.ct they have hopes that iran will s chart a new course. clearly this agreement won't change their w behavior overnight. it would be unrealistic to expect their cooperation on every issue, but but it wouldas alsoon be foolish to throw the opportunity away and to give the hardliners another reason to turn their backs on reform moree importantly i am not willing to
feed americans global leadership. i do do not want too ignore the possibility to resolve the situation for a myth of a better deal. there there is no better deal. i join a large number of diplomats, scientists, rabbis, arm control advocates, national advocates, national security intelligentnd professionals in supporting this agreement with iran. i urge my my colleagues most sincerely to oppose the revolution of disapproval and support this historic agreement. thank you mr. pres., president, i yield floor. mr. president i have listen carefully to the eloquent remarks of the distinguished senator from california.
all the countries around the world that embrace this deal and i didn't hear once mention the nation of israel, our most significant and important ally to the middle east. in fact they do not approve of this. as we have heard from the prime minister minister several months ago, this paves the way to a nuclear weapon. it paves the path to a nuclear weapon. as i was contemplating this debate, i decided it was important for me to visit with rick koepke of arlington texas. he was one of 53 americans who were held hostage and held for 14 months and arrange them at the time of the iranian revolution.
at one of the newspapers in fort worth he was asked about this deal with iran and he said this is probably one of the worst agreement that i've seen in my lifetime. this is an experience foreign service officer. i don't know why they think the iranians are going to abide by any agreement. they never have. so i approach this agreement between president obama and the regime with a tremendous amount of skepticism. this debate shouldn't be a partisan one and i worry that it is quickly becoming partisan based on the stated intention of the minority leader senator reid and the senator from nevada who actually filibuster and prevent an up or down vote. this is something being actively encouraged by the president of the united states. just a short time after the president himself signed a bill,
a a bipartisan bill with 98 votes in the senate which sets up a procedure by which this will be voted on. many democrats are tempted to filibuster this most important security issue that many would say i have seen during their lifetime. the president is picking the low road. he's claiming that those chanting death to america are making common cause with the republican caucus. that's the president of the united states. i'd like i'd like to point out there are several influential leaders of the president's own party that are opposed to this deal and they include some of this chambers most respected
members in the field of foreign affairs. first of all, the ranking member of the foreign relation committee, senator cardin. he pointed out in his remarks when he said he would vote against excuse me or for the dissolution. under this agreement they are permitted to a level that can take down extremely close to breakdown legally. clearly the senator from maryland makes known that he shares the concerns many of us have expressed that this deal leaves too much of iran's nuclear structure intact and legitimizes their nuclear program which was our national policy to oppose. then then the senior senator from new york,
senator schumer, perhaps perhaps one of the members on that side of the aisle whose vote was most anticipated before he announced it, he announced he is for the resolution of disapproval. he. he said i believe iran will not change and under this agreement it will be able to achieve its goals of eliminating sanctions while retaining its nuclear and non- nuclear power. senator schumer makes the point that iran has gotten everything it wanted. they've got a pathway to a nuclear weapon and it has an elimination of sanctions. then there is is the former chairman and ranking member of the foreign relation committee, senator menendez who announced his decision to oppose this bad deal. he said the deal failed to achieve the one thing it set out to achieve.
it failed to stop iran from being a nuclear weapon state at a time of its choosing. in fact, he said it authorizes and supports the very roadmap around will need to arrive at its target. these are not members of the republican caucus. these are members of the democratic caucus. there used to be a time and i hope it returns quickly where matters of this gravity and seriousness, threats to our national security were treated with a bipartisan approach but apparently the president didn't get that memo. encouraging that side of the aisle to provide an up or down vote on the decision of disapproval.
the people of america are paying attention to exactly how bad this deal is and how much it makes the world more dangerous rather than safer. so i would just say that i hope our colleagues, even if they will vote for this deal, they will boat for the resolution of disapproval. i hope they will allow us to have this debate that this serious issue deserves and then they will be held accountable as we will for our vote, either for or against a resolution for disapproval. i know mr. pres., pres. obama seems to want to arrogate to himself, not even an authority of the ayatollah. he said iranian parliament will vote on this deal. the president, apparently pres.
obama doesn't feel like the united states senate should have the same opportunity that the iranian parliament is going to have to vote on the merits or lack of merits on this deal. i hope our colleagues across the aisle will rethink their partisan opposition to actually even having a vote on the resolution of disapproval. this could be one of the most consequential foreign policy issues to come before us in a long long time. we ought to treat it with that sort of seriousness. the american people need to listen and they are listening and they will hold all of us accountable for our decision. mr. pres., i yield the floor. >> i was listening to my friend from texas and i couldn't agree with you more about the need for us to work in a bipartisan
manner and strengthening american foreign policy. i believe in the independence of congress and i very much support with senator corker the review that we are doing. i think this is very important to the american people and we are having our debate as we should. i do think we are an independent branch. when this debate is over we have to come together and work in the best interest of america. i look forward to a broad support in congress to do everything in our power that iran does not become a nuclear weapon state. i think we can in a positive way move forward. i mention that yesterday when i was on the floor about things we can do. yes there is there is disagreement on whether to vote for or against the resolution of disapproval but i hope there is no disagreement that we need to work together with a broad consensus of congress and to
give this country its strongest possible position moving forward whether this agreement is approved or not. with that that mr. president, i would like to yield to one of the important members of the senate foreign relation committee, the junior senator from delaware who has spent a lot of time on this issue and a very constructive member of our committee. he was very instrumental in the review of the iran review act. >> thank you. i rise to discuss one of the greatest threats that we face today in america and a great threat to our i ally israel. the options that remain before before us for blocking those ambitions. on july 14, after years of negotiation between the united states and our international partners and iran, the administration reached a comprehensive agreement to freeze and rollback assets of iran's nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions that have crippled their economy. our key partners in enforcing
those sanctions also joined in negotiating and ultimately ratifying this deal. thanks to bipartisan legislation that passed this chamber nearly unanimously they are now fulfilling their duty to review this deal under the authority of the iran nuclear agreement review act. i'm grateful for the opportunity to join my colleagues to thoughtfully debate this vital issue. we we owe that to the american people. i owe that to the delaware indians to participate in a debate with profound and far-reaching consequences, not just for our nation but the whole global community. in preparation for this boat, i have dedicated myself to studying and understanding the content and consequences of the deal. i am grateful for the dozens of
experts that came before us both for and against the issues for the insight into the thousands of delaware and who reached out to me by phone, email and in person to express their views both against and for this deal. mr. president like many of my fellow delaware ian's, i am deeply suspicious of iran. i am also deeply suspicious of iran's intention intention for the nuclear program and expressing anti- american, anti- is israel beliefs.
our interest around the world and all of our partners in the middle east is affected. mr. president in response to the undeniable reality we have built a global coalition over the past decade united in their determination to prevent iran from having a nuclear weapon. bipartisan action by by congress and the administration to enact and enforce sanctions have brought us to this point. there are major european allies as well as russia's and china were countries we often disagree but they have all signed off to roll back on the sanctions. we are going to move ahead with our partners in this deal or do we turn aside to it in attempt to seek a stronger deal.
on the day it was announced this agreement criticized by many in congress and by the leaders of our vital ally israel. after a close reading of this complex agreement, i too have deep and persistent concerns about this deal. if iran simply complies with the plain language of the steel it will first gain tens of billions of dollars and sanction relief that it will likely use to so strengthen its support for terrorism. most importantly the deal leaves in place key programs that over ten or 15 years will allow them to develop a large scale uranium enrichment capability that could be used to quickly make material for nuclear weapons if it decides to violate this agreement and the nonproliferation treaty.
to look at those realities and not recognize them as significant challenges or flaws would be to miss the core content of this deal. on on the other hand, the agreement achieves several critical goals that could not be easily achieved by any other means. to freeze or rollback their nuclear ambition, to get any sanctions relief they must give up 97% of its existing stockpile of 12 tons of enriched uranium. they must disable two thirds of their 19000 centrifuges. i have heard no questions or challenges to the technical aspects of these significant accomplishments in the deal. most importantly in my mind, iran has agreed to thorough, intrusive, round-the-clock inspections of inspections of all of its declared and known nuclear sites. it's uranium mines and mills and
centrifuges production for 15 years or more. they will abandon all efforts to acquire a nuclear weapon and the u.s. can impose sanctions at any time for cheating on this deal. finally our own military intelligence confirms that they will remain active at all time. mr. president while many americans including thousands in my home state have expressed strong opinions about this agreement and want to agree to many criticism of this deal, none none of us know what will happen if we reject this agreement. will the strength of
the banking system and our unilateral sanctions be strong enough to force our key allies and iran back to the negotiating table? is it possible to negotiate a stronger deal than this or will the nations that have dedicated years to this deal proceed without us and isolate us rather than iran? meetings and i've held with our key partners as well as leaders in financial and foreign policy and ultimately have persuaded me we are unlikely to be able to reimpose effective multilateral sanctions and renegotiate our way to a better deal if we reject this one. don't just just take my word for it, the secretary of the treasury and
former chairman of the fed board reached the same conclusion publicly and i had a series of private conversations that reinforce my conclusion. last week i delivered an address at the university of delaware to explain in more detail why i have ultimately decided to support the steel in today, mr. pres., i'm here to speak to my colleagues in the senate because i believe strongly this floor must be a place of vigorous and spirited debate. everyone in my colleagues have made their arguments, announce their position in decision and discussed their conclusion. as i have in my home state and many others have with the media, i still believe we cannot ignore
this floor as an important place for debate and discussion. i think it is particularly important on an issue that has always, in the past garnered such strong bipartisan support as our nation's enduring support for israel. mr. pres., let me be clear about my position where i stand. i will support this agreement and vote against measures to disapprove it in this congress. i will support this agreement because it puts us on a known path of puts us on a known path of limiting iran's nuclear program for 15 years with the full support of the international community. the alternative i fear is uncertainty and isolation. finally i will support this agreement despite its significant flaws because it is a better strategy. the. the united states to lead and coalesce a global community in limiting the spread of a nuclear weapon. i'm committed to working tirelessly to overcome the limitations of the agreement and ensure the security of israel and contain and deter iran's ambitions. that is why i did not make my final decision until i secured valuable commitments from other members of the congress.
they will strictly enforce this deal even as their economic engagements with iran grow and we will continue to aggressively and by all means necessary address their support for terrorism and their proxies and our commitment to israel's security will remain unshakable. moving forward i hope to work with colleagues to focus on strengthening their conventional military deterrent against iran and strengthen the nonproliferation treaty so that in 15 years iran leaves one agreement and enters another where we have a clear and thorough plan with our european allies. there are few votes in the senate that will have as much consequence to the security of our nation in israel as this one. i am voting to support this agreement not because it is perfect or i believe it is the
perfect method to an nuclear proliferation, i am voting for it because i believe it is the most credible opportunity and our current situation while preserving america's ability to successfully dismantle a nuclear program should diplomacy fail. my support for this agreement also represents u.s. leadership. : of mutual security. the united nations and the iaea were established following the great conflict of the second world war to help prevent the spread and threat of nuclear war. we, the united states, helped lead the establishment of these institutions just as we have lead the international community to reach this deal to limit iran's nuclear program. while neither our current international system nor this
deal with iran are perfect, they represent the collective will of our narveght -- international partners and a vision for america's place in the world for which i will fight. while we reserve the right to use force if necessary to prevent iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, we should uphold the international system that we helped create. and to do so, we should support this deal. the legitimacy of this order is yet another reason we must ensure adequate oversight and verification for this nuclear deal because its failure will be a blow to the international system which gave it birth. in closing, mr. president, scripture offers us many stories. nn genesis, deuteron ni, to isaiah and the gospels in which we are encouraged to pursue diplomacy before resorting to conflict. i supported this agreement in no small part as an attempt toed that add is -- to heed that
>> >> to minimizing the negative consequences to insure we reap the maximum benefits of this agreement. thank you mr. president with that i yield the floor. >> i want to thank the senator i know he went through age collaborative process to reach his conclusions i know his commitment to prevent iran from having a nuclear weapon capacity with strong support regional security in the state of israel and i know the process he went through because we have many
conversations during the august recess. he did when he thought was busted wanted to underscore that wanted to thank him for his counsel and friendship i will yield to senator mccain but first it is important 2.0 to day in the open and transparent way l large measure because of senator mccain. senator corker file their review statute several months ago through senator mccain could get a framework leading to the passage of the review act before the united states senate. but that wouldn't be possible to find a common
path, a nonpartisan path for transparent review not just the role of the united states congress but the entire legislative branch he is a very valuable member of the senate foreign relations committee one of the most trusted members of foreign policy. >> 8q mr. president bantus the ranking member for those kind words. i would ask consent to have floor privileges during today's session. i rise to discuss this debate we have had a national security issue during my time but and that is appropriate.
i respect the views of my colleagues and to speak on the floor early in august a number of leaders for senators john warner and general scowcroft and asked colin powell and head of the israeli atomic energy commission and after i talk about reasons with the republican argument today and the arguments and vice president cheney made yesterday and the place of vigorous diplomacy as a tool of american strength. i supported because it is better than the status quo for the 25 years i don't
like the hypothetical alternative you can create a hypothetical but talk about the status quo. before that started iran would rocket ahead of a plutonium reprocessing facility the system was opaque imagine it is the status quo the best description was the prime minister made to the un. because he had dialogue and that going into the guts of the speech i want to thank the international community because of the sanctions have hurt the iranian economy but we have to face the truth the sanctions have not stopped the program there is an argument if we
go back is the accelerated program with 19,000 centrifuges and what we get with this in not even enough for one weapon and for enhanced expect -- inspection asked to comply with. it is much better than we have with the status quo. >> you are curious about the 60 vote threshold by a surprise to hear those on this bill. with my first two years it was used on everything immigration, minimum-wage, t urning off the sequester many times but we could not
get to use 60 to turn up the threshold but the assistance we need to get the 60 votes. but as by a ranking member mentioned i was a co-author of a review act and that is clear and understood by all that action in the senate with the motion of a approval is the 60 vote threshold we talk to wrap this explicitly in committee and on the floor and we voted 98 / one margin. i think the majority party understood that as was indicated it would be a 3/5 60 vote that is what happens in the senate.
and there is complete accountability because all 100 senators and to treat the resolution under this rule. the vice president's arguments yesterday. they basically make two arguments that were repeated. i a creeper everyone on the democratic side agrees. there is nothing about this that involves trust. and with the additional protocol instructions end to
use 80 iranians cheating to give the intelligence that is incredibly helpful with military action. it with the arms services committee to write to an article recently widish to support the iran deal because it increases the increase -- the credibility of the threat. but they will have the wrong protocols and we cannot trust them. that argument has been made before by the vice president and others. he said that we should go to war and made decays in 2002 to stop the nuclear weapons program.
issuing a report that we have found no evidence of vindication of a nuclear weapons program in iraq. with the of credibility of the iaea that this is the integrity of the inspections for the accuracy to be trusted. to said that it was wrong and what did we find? we found the inspectors and investigators and engineers and scientists of iaea were right and vice president cheney and others were wrong. to trash that they could not be trusted and it was a horrible disservice if that we did not give those inspections a chance. the vice president made his second argument yesterday. the same strategy that the
previous administration followed. heavy sanctions with no diplomacy. under that strategy the iranian nuclear program rocketed ahead and prime minister and adagio ho acknowledge this and with vice president was confronted over the weekend on television she had no answer because the advance of the iranian program under the cheney doctor and cannot be disputed i was interested in this speech justin would he justify that had worked when they tried it? again they ignored it. so to go down to the preferred doctrine of military threats we go again and acceleration of the nuclear program and we should not go back down that
path. let me conclude with this story of my favorite president, harry truman. he made tough decisions use the atomic weapons in japan coming back to congress to give military support to greece and said we have to but troops in north to read and nobody would call him soft. away to make sure america was the first nation to recognize the state of israel that is one of the reasons but 70 years ago next month president truman did something important and called reporters into his office at the white house. and unveiled he had redesigned the seal of the
presidency of the united states. the goal the heroes of war on one hand and the of the branch of diplomacy in the other. truman redesign this of the eagle was turned to face the olive branches of diplomacy before the war. the wartime president that he explained i will use military force but american values are such that we should always preferred diplomacy before the military. we have the strongest military in the world we use it when needed but i have voted twice in two 1/2 years as a member of the senate foreign relations committee to use military force in and i cannot get a vote it is personal. these and the hardest votes that we take but truman believes and i believe it's it is a part of our values
to prefer diplomacy in before we use military action may have to be engaged with adversaries if we can see a path to create a more peaceful world others have reached the same conclusion president kennedy with the nuclear treaties to go to china to support the north vietnamese and now the president's have realized that diplomacy is not just for friends but especially with adversaries if you can see that pass the possibilities to another world. and here is something that is fascinating as a strong military and goetz's diplomacy diplomacy yet -- and chances military. if we do a deal to give a
pledge to put caps on their programs with inspections they will increase our intelligence and justification and to take military action if they break the pledge in paragraph one and increase the likelihood america will have support that military action is necessary but what if we walk away? we lose of military intelligence if god forbid we should need that and that other nations will support action when necessary in this case it strengthens the american and an incredible -- credibility to try diplomacy will keep the attention on the iranian behavior walking away will put the world's attention on american negotiating tactics
and why we decided we would rather go alone. i believe the article one branch should say revalue diplomacy as a first option just as president truman did and with that i yield the floor. >> thank you to senator mccain for his leadership on fact i know his status and position is heartfelt and one that he comes to with passion. thank you for your contribution. i came to the senate with senator sanders together research in the house he is one of the most passionate voices in this country is an honor to have him on this issue and i yield to him. >> thank you. mr. president i rise to speak about the joint comprehensive plan of action agreement of the united states that has been negotiating with france germany russia and the
united kingdom and iran. i support the agreement and will oppose the resolution of disapproval if i believe this approach is the best way forward if we are to accomplish what all of us want to accomplish which is to make certain iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon that would destabilize the region to lead to a nuclear arms race to endanger the existence of israel. is my firm belief the test of a great nation with the most powerful military on earth is not how many wars we can engage how we use our strength and capability to resolve international conflicts in a peaceful way. those of spoken out
including many in this chamber than those who have made every effort to flaunt the diplomatic process are many that has spoken out forcefully and irresponsibly about the need to go to war with iraq. one of the worst foreign policy blunders in the history of our country. sadly people like former vice president dick cheney and the other neocons that pushed us into war rattle made tragically wrong then but they are wrong now. unfortunately these individuals have learned nothing of the results of that disastrous policy and how it to stabilize that entire region. mr. president, i feel many republican colleagues do not
understand that war is a last result, not the first. it is easy to go to war it is not easy to fully comprehend the unintended consequences. as a foreman -- former chairman of the veterans committee i have talked to veterans and i have learned a little bit of what the cost of four in tails. is in iraq and afghanistan over 6700 brave men and women and many others have come home without legs, arms, or eyesight. let us not forget that 500,000 veterans of the wars of iraq and afghanistan came back to their families with ptsd and traumatic brain
injury. 500,000 brave americans. the suicide rate of young veterans is appallingly high. the divorce rate of those whose service appallingly high and the impact of their children is appallingly high. guide knows how many families have been devastated by these wars. mr. president, we should not forget that many hundreds of thousands of innocent iraqi men and women and children those whose lives to have been completely destabilized, hundreds of thousands have been totally altered including those who flee the country today. today with only the clothes on their back as refugees.
it is real and it is easy to give great speeches about how tough we are but let's not forget the war of the men and women who have served in our military and people of other countries. yes, that military option should always be on the table, but it should be the last option. we have got to do everything we can to reach an agreement to insure iran does not get a nuclear weapon without having to go to war. i believe we obligation to pursue diplomawe have an obligation to pursue diplomatic solutions before resorting to military enatigement especially after 14 years of ill-conceived and disastrous military enatigement in that region. the agreement calls for cutting off the pathway of
the fissile materials needed for a nuclear weapon by reducing the stockpile by 98% to restrict a level of enrichment to well below the of what -- level needed for uranium. requires a rand to decrease the centrifuge by two-thirds, dismantle the nuclear reactor so it cannot produce any weapons-grade plutonium and commit to rigorous monitoring and inspection and verification qui the iaea. only autier has it demonstrated to the community internationally the compliance of this agreement the united states will lift the sanctions to help bring iran to the negotiating table in the first place. also contains a mechanism for the snapback of those
sanctions if iran does not comply with its obliatitions. does this achieve anything i would like? know it does not. but to my mind it is far better than the path we're on developing nuclear weapons capability and a potential for intervention for the united states and israel growing greater by the day. let us not forget that if iran does not live up to the agreement sanctions may be imposed if iran moose toward a nuclear weapon all options are on the table. is incumbent upon us to give the negotiators a chance to succeed, and for these reasons that i will support the agreement. thank you. >> mr. president, china's
remaining on the democratic side? >> 16 and a half minutes. mr. president has refaced the debate of this historic importance, 12 years it was not of thi years ago we voted on the floor of the united states senate to invade iraq senators don't forget those dece.tes. what is at stake is war. this is human lives. not only the enemy but the innocent and those who are friends. i remember very well there is 23 dead voted against the invasion one republican and 22 democrats. at the t obd we were t obd qui a vice president cheney
cheney, secretary rumsfeld resilev@rs that iraq had v isdemlears a> the cow tfl is baat ñin esedouset thoo tolica-d none. after the invasion, they scoured the country and could find no evidence of those weapons. the cost of that war -- incalculable. the numbers only tell part of the story. tens of thousands have come home with traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder. the cost to our treasury -- trillions. that and the war in afghanistan -- incidentally, the longest war in our history -- were efforts in the middle east to try to bring some order to chaos. only limited success emrnled from those efforts after all -- emerged from those efforts after
all the costs were paid. those who are quakuick t >> >> of the extraordinary cost. i have always felt then and now that diplomacy should be the first effort to try to avoid military action to avoid a war and this is what this is about. president barack obama decided to make the sanctions regime tougher and to do when he had to engage countries from around the world that depended on iranian oil to be prepared to stop iranian oil to punish them and tell them come to the negotiating table. but he gets no credit for
that from the other side of the aisle but he should. then he took our allies am brought together the p5 + 1 coalition in that the ambassadors it was hard as a student christ, an amateur student of history to be across the ambassadors of china and russia and the united kingdom to imagine in that coalition coming together with that purpose to serve the united states and entering into a serious negotiation that is the goal that is the reasoning for the sanctions it is reprehensible to me that we focused on that because
renew was critical if iran develop a nuclear weapon our greatest friend and ally as well as others said the region that worked closely to trigger an arms race on the arabian peninsula would be devastating something happened that was unprecedented in the history of the united states. 47 republican senators signed a letter to the ayatollah the supreme leader in iran a letter that i have read over and over and still cannot believe that basically says we know you are in negotiation with
united states but understand this president does not have the last word. that has never happened before if there has never been a time if united states was involved in delicate international negotiations if they wrote to the other side to tell them think twice before you negotiate never happened. unprecedented said they did not want to wait until the agreement was reached they decided in advance to war in the ayatollah of not to negotiate or to assume any agreement would be enforceable for future presidencies.
what a contrast of the democratic side of the aisle talking about the agreement were they stood with they went through many of them tried to educate themselves because they were talking to experts trying to understand the complexities and after all that time after all the reflection they announced their position to support the president's position instead of prejudging the agreement they took the time to read it and study at to
understand the historic document and 42 came out in favor. i will tell you that this point in history we have a tough decision to make. whether we as a nation will pursue this agreement to stop iran from developing a nuclear weapon the alternative is obvious it owns and a fissile material to make 10 nuclear weapons in the prime minister has warned the world they are just months away any agreement to stop a nuclear weapon. what happens is if this
agreement should flounder or fail? the doors close no negotiations that is not a recipe for a safer world or a safer israel as far as i am concerned. that is why i support this i am happy to be joined by the leaders cite general colin powell former chairman of joint chiefs of staff former secretary of state who is endorsed or tomb mistrusted or verify. we will send and scores of inspectors to verify and if there is a dispute it can be resolved over days or weeks
and i might add the telltale pieces of evidence that they could never destroy we have created the authority for united states alone based on a breach of this agreement the when you look back through history those said have tried to have day peaceful world is no different when president reagan literally a deity in the republican party decided to sit down to negotiate with mchale gorbachev over nuclear weapons, the conservative wing saying it
was a suicide pact wasting his time so killing american soldiers there are plenty of reasons not to do and. nixon did it with bipartisan support in the world is a better place for that courage that he showed some of us may bring this aspect to a close receive the neck senator bill be recognized soon may listen to those who are critical of this agreement and it turns out not a single republican and member of the house or senate supports this agreement. not one. it is hard to think back in diplomatic history with then
the congress of this historic importance and magnitude. working with our allies with inspections and the deadlines those you want military action should speak up and say so. i believe this effort is said good faith effort to achieve that. i yield the floor. >> the senator from rhode island. >> the vote the senate will take on a resolution to disapprove this momentous and historic. to conscientiously review this agreement we have each
applied our independent judgment as they set out from negotiations to prevent iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. i reviewed the text to participate to the armed services committee with government witnesses said nine government witnesses to reach out for their view. we provided a full range of views and opinions. is in my view evaluating the rest on three factors is the sufficiency of the provisions to cut off all the rage and pathways and the second is the ability to conscientiously monitor the provisions and finally to
evaluate whether this a river leaves us in a better position then and the rejection. the that is a better position than what we've rejected is to guess my opponents but the first suggested alternative is there is an agreement awaiting us to have more stringent sanctions. the second is that without the agreement we can exercise say military option to be more effective than the jpcoa so for reasons i wooded discuss in detail that jpcoa does provide adequate measures with the
iranian pathways to a nuclear weapon and the unprecedented verification to report and in addition to provide further insight into arabian activity and in this regard for those whose intelligence activities are focused on iran and as such i believe that jpcoa scrupulously will reach our objective to stop iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and is the better suggestion in lieu of the jpcoa. i intend to support the agreement i voted is the approval. this is important to recognize where we were when obama cut off all nuclear pathways. that comes from where in
1000's interferes but 2009 they had over 8,000 the essential element of a nuclear program. former secretary of state and national security adviser from president george herbert walker bush and colin powell made this point as well. , he said iran has been on the superhighway the last 10 years to pre-a nuclear weapon for a nuclear weapon program. former head of the israeli defense forces intelligence director made the point that any analysis of possible options of a nuclear program must begin with the recognition that they have
passed the point of no return. in his words. it is not one in which it has zero capabilities but it has even illegitimate lee from the current decade. they advance as that committee insisted to significantly interrupt progress on the infrastructure but instead when negotiations began in already had 19,000 centrifuges. the administration is starting with the p5 + 1
recognition no enrichment approach would not be negotiated in was not a realistic option. said cutting all pathways off with in richmond capacity this accomplishes a key objective with the verification measures to eliminate iran's ability for a nuclear weapon and. on the iranian pathway the jpcoa is say low enriched uranium over 15 years because before november 2013 with that initiation iran had more than
12,000 kilograms that is fully enriched to make between seven and eight nuclear weapon is. now we will not have sufficient quantity to produce a single weapon. in other words, it will have to return in the agreement of leu to even make a single weapon but on the plutonium pathway the redesigned and rebuilt reactors that must be approved by the teeeighteen is a nuclear research why is this significant? iraq is one of the most concerning elements of the infrastructure and the
fundamental change in shares of pathway to a nuclear weapon. the heavy water reactor could have been a proliferation with unmatched proportion. it could have allowed iran to take natural uranium from the ground as they envision it but further under the agreement that this force used the first generation centers -- centrifuge technology it is a check on the program because these of the most inefficient
centrifuge although it have morpheus was in the future it will be acquired cone dash required to abide by the iaea to be consistent with the limitation of protocol. if it is significant with of p5 + 1 tuesday trip -- determine if it is peaceful and as determined by the preamble. with insight into the nuclear program is a significant opportunity with cabling yes to comply with the commitment it establishes limitations in the first 10 years after that period of time it will
have a critical distrust mechanism with the development plan submitted to the iaea under the additional protocols. this is subject to all inspection tools. the jpcoa has a prohibition with the development activities that could contribute with a nuclear explosive device. this goes well beyond the limitations of the nuclear non-proliferation state. close enough of pathways with r&d with the breakout time for a nuclear weapon with the first years of their agreement and
critically the breakout time between the two or three months before the next area of discussion but referring to the out years during this time there rand breakout time could shrink substantially jpcoa will be critical for the international community their recent analysis of the jpcoa bay motor expert of non-proliferation a senior fellow at the brookings institution is an expert in this area and in his words words, if iranian leaders believe their national interests are best served by having their weapons they would run a major risk to go forward with no guarantee of success.
even that out years of rigorous monitoring arrangements will remain in force of world will have gained into knowledge of the program to give the united states warning of any effort to make a dash for the bomb. in any case the teeeighteen must begin now to communicate that iran operate consistent after the initial 10 year period. day must convey that a rapid buildup of enrichment capacity after 10 years beyond what they need will be considered an abandonment of the of principles of the jpcoa and the teeeighteen will evaluate alternative options. so for monitoring and verification to me the agreement is should be built
on the principle of distrust and verify. colin powell said never trust and always verify and the architecture of the design to verify compliance took this approach to set a new president in key areas of access and monitoring and requirements for approval for certain actions their verification regime that is more stringent than any other creative. specifically of jpcoa does the following iaea will have regular access to facilities and this includes the two primary sites and inspectors will have cradle to grave access including storage
facilities that support the iran nuclear program but goes beyond 10 years in many cases the regime established by the agreement can make the entire program that is a powerful tool for iaea inspectors to know if iran has materials for possible covert action and officially it will have the additional protocol. the iaea in comprehensive safeguard a grim offsets the ability for nuclear facilities and activity is of great importance this is far beyond the jpcoa terms. for the nuclear program though the mets will be established to manage all purchases on the trigger
last. those that provide for the transparency a mechanism of which said iaea controls what is coming into the country and if it is consistent with the needs of the program. any such activities outside the channel is a violation of the jpcoa. it is prepared to the 1994 with north korea with significant differences between the two but the provisions was specifically written to have more stringent verification based on the lessons of the agreement. web was pointed out as he indicated a key witness from the fran work was that it will be provided for iaea monitoring at the nuclear facility.
not for monitoring and the rest of the country because that was the only declared sites. under the jpcoa iran must implement by additional protocols under the nuclear non-proliferation -- proliferation treaty to go develop a nuclear weapons program as directed with the goal for. so all facilities that take part of elie -- any fuel element of the jpcoa is more stringent in this regard. and more specifically it will allow inspectors access anywhere in the country from conducting clandestine and nuclear activities. if it does not provide access it is in violation and sanctions reimposed.
to have compliance with the additional protocol they will continue to provide a powerful tool for the nuclear infrastructure and again the creation of the additional protocol is in direct response to previous efforts to circumvent the efforts in iraq and to north korea. the additional element is the independent and unilateral role of the community will play to validate the of compliance or noncompliance. we can never be certain they will provide a complete picture, they provide a critical assessment of france perceptions of cost and benefit and key insights of the leadership's and as a
member of the armed services committee these activities will also serve as a critical tool with the successor failure of this agreement. over the course of the hearing of the 24 day period of time under the agreement for inspectors at the facility of prohibited activities of the secretary had held full insight the 24 days period in its health is knew that there has never been any time and that. to repeat, a nuclear material we have very sensitive capabilities. secretary when out to speak
candidly with regard to non nuclear material it gets more difficult but when one has nuclear weapons and specialized activity we would not end me without the activities and that kind of time period but unless they have testing then it is a question of intelligence. but nuclear material in the end needs to get to the weapon and that his firm had extraordinary techniques. critics have said this period of time was too long to cover up the activities and as secretary moniz stated clearly this relates to non-nuclear activities but a fire rand introduces fissile materials the 24
days is extremely extremely unlikely. i believe this part of the agreement is the area where the intent needs to be subjected costly to questioning. if it is challenged at every turn and should be interpreted as the indication to the commitment made of the agreement. iran reaffirms under no circumstances will they ever seek to develop a nuclear weapon and. this is a strong statement of the basic obligation of a non-nuclear weapons state under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and iaea inspectors should be seen as a warning to back out on this commitment at this juncture i will discuss that critics have made a variety of comments and some
argue a rand could gingrich at year's 16. that is true but they could do that tomorrow. nevertheless this of the suspense the program for decades and in my view it is not an accurate representation with those agreements go well past 10 years or 15 years before they become permanent. the commitment from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty remained in place which it is the key metric for the teeeighteen. the ability to impose sanctions always remains available. now i want to assess the area of possible military a action and. they have agreed to look at
all issues in a comprehensive and time limited manner. this is laid out in paragraph 66 and further articulated in more detail in the road map with the clarification regarding the nuclear program. it is critical for a number of reasons and that the iaea is able to complete the investigation to issue the independent assessment of any nuclear weapons related work. iaea made clear the unanswered questions remain the rand security council has major that iran addresses the question is if they complied again they will gain access and iaea
will be provided additional access to of the items it has requested. however iran gets nothing in sanction relief if it does not address these questions to the satisfaction of the iaea. some critics have suggested that the iaea has outsourced to iran to the iran nuclear facilities for cry have been briefed extensively on this matter and that is not consistent with the conclusion of the general who has stated the agreement in his words is technically sound and does not, in his words compromise the iaea standards in any way. secretary moniz also assured me of this fact.
. . confirm whether there is any ongoing nuclear activity at that location. critics of the arrangement to inspect parchin have also suggested that the iaea has entered into a secret side deal with iran. in fact, the united states and all of the other n.p.t. countries, nonproliferation treaty countries, have confidential agreements with iaea which cannot be shared. these agreements vary by country but are designed to protect the integrity of the iaea inspection process and the sensitive technical and design information about peaceful national nuclear programs. the iaea and the obama administration have taken extraordinary steps to brief congress this agreement and classified setting. these agreements have been informative and helpful to understand more fully what we
can expect in the months and years ahead. now i would like to discuss at this point the topic of the arms embargo and missile sanctions, which is part of this arrangement. like of many my colleagues, i remain concerned about the elements of this agreement that relate to these issues. the inclusion of these provisions in the jcpoa is directly related to the fact that the united states secure these measures in united nations security council resolution 1929 to pressure iran to address the international community's concerns with respect to its nuclear program. since these sanctions were deemed by the p-5 plus 1 to be related to the nuclear program through the u.n. resolution, they were deemed to come within the ambit of sanctions relief. nevertheless, moving forward, this is an area where the united states needs to leverage the available sanctions and additional tools under other u.n. security council resolutions to keep pressure on iran. for example, other u.n. security
council resolutions prohibit iranian transfers of arms through groups such as the houthis in yemen, non-state actors in lebanon, which clez which includes hezbollah and should iia militias in iraq, as well as north korea, libya and several sub-saharan states. this means the intelligence community must double their efforts to identify prohibitive activities and build the architecture necessary to counter and detect it. also means working with our partners on the missile control regime to help prevent the spread of critical missile technologies and with our more than 100 partners under the bush administration's proliferation security initiative or p.s.i., to help limit iranian missile-related imports or exports. it may also mean what former under secretary of state for political affairs nick burns recently suggested to the senate
armed services committee, which is that we will need to, in his words, reconstitute a coalition of sanctions countries against iran five years from now on conventional weapons and eight years from now on ballistic missiles. i believe that the next five years will provide the international community a critical measuring stick for iranian intentions and we must be prepared to lead efforts to preclude iran from obtaining enhanced military technology. a bulk of the work that will be done and be so central to our efforts will be done by the iaea. the iaea will be responsible for carrying out on-oto-ground implementation of this on before of the p-5 plus 1. while critics of the agreement are quick to call on the question of technical expertise and skills of the iaea it is comprised of individuals with extensive training and experience and deep committed to the importance of nonproliferation work. a recent study by tom shea, a
noted safeguards expert with experience with the iaea and in the laboratory community, concludes the iaea's capabilities have been extended, strengthened and refined over the years in response to real world proliferation cases in iraq and north korea. it's current capacity flects the international community's decades-long investment in the organization and the continuing commitment of states around the world to its mission. i would also note that upwards of 200 iaea technical experts will be devoted to implementing come agreement. this number far exceeds any number of experts and inspectors devoted to any one country by the iaea. allow me now to focus on the area of sanctions and our ability to reapply them. first, it is critical that we remember iran will receive no new sanctions relief if it does not complete its nuclear commitments in the iaea's
inspectors verify those steps. let me be specific here. prior to granting any further sanctions relief, iran must, as verified by the iaea, demonstrate that it has complemented the necessary steps with respect to, one, the iraq heavy water research reactor, two, its overall enrichment capacity, three, centrifuge research and development, four, the for dough fuel enrichment plant, five, iranian stocks and fuels, six, centrifuge manufacturing, seven, completing the modality arrangements to lieu the iaea to implement alter national transparency measures and the protocol, eight, centrifuge component manufacturing transparency, and, nine, address in the past and present issues of concern relating to possible military didimensions of its program. this means that iran must take significant steps to roll back
and freeze its nuclear program before it gets anything in the way of sanctions relief. in testimony before the senate banking committee, adam zubi inn said we expect that practices process to take at least six to nine months until iran completes those steps we are simply extending the limited relief that has been in place for the last year and a half in the joint plan of action. there will not be a cent of new sanctions relief. moreover, while the president will waive the application of the nuclear-related sanctions under terms of the jcpo anchts the u.s. sanctions, which include the central bank understand other financial sanctions, will remain available until congress acts to terminate it. this will allow congress to monitor an extended period of iran's compliance before taking any such action. this gives the president a strong hand because the ability to quickly snap back nuclear-related sanctions means we can again shut off to a
substantial degree iran's access to the international finance system, to innocent markets, and to international financing if a relies an access to the u.s. banking system. it is important to note that this agreement does not take away the tools available to the president to target sanctions against iran's violation of human rights or to damage iran's ability to finance terrorism. the u.s. secondary sanctions remain in place. as richard nephew, a fellow at the center on global energy policy told the committee, the united states will still be ail to pressure banks and companies to not doing business with the irg cnchts the cuds force, qasem soleimani and the missile forces. this is yo due to direct -- improvement in international banking since 9/11. these secondary sanctions are
not insignificant tools. use of them in response to human rights violators are not a violation of the agreement. as under secretary zubin recently told the senate banking committee on the matter of sanctions, one of the most powerful tools is when we sanction iranian terrorist supporters, our definition is amplified internationally. what i mean by that is when we name a hezbollah financier, a hezbollah money launderinger, any bank worldwide that facilitates transactions with that entity faces very severe sanctions. sanctions that no bank wants to face. under secretary zubin has also indicated that the united states will do more in the area of terrorism-related sanctions should iran decide to continue its actions in the region, it is important to note the administration's willingness to ramp up pressure in the face of
such conduct by the iranians. particular attention has rightly been paid to the amount of sanctions relief iran will receive and iran's likely use of that relief. this is an important issue. while we do not know what iran will do with it, we do know a couple of things. first, the a sanctions relief is not 100 billion or $150 billion, according to the treasury department, the number is between $50 billion and $60 billion. while this number is significant, it's one-third of what many critics have asserted. it is likely that iran will invest a portion of this money into its economy to address the concerns with its people and begin to recover from the international sanctions regime. general dempsey has suggested the answer is probably a little bit of both. what we will need to do is monitor closely, particular lily via our intelligence community, where iran is make its
investments and actively counter those malign activities. now, i believe that the jcpoa is the best option available to us right now. critics recommend rejectings the jcpoa and advocating a regime of new and increasingly crippling sanctions as a more effective approach to enssuring iran does not achieve a nuclear weapon. it is my view that this alternative is not feasible at this time and may indeed be counterproductive. moreover, the option for enhanced sanctions and even military operations remain available to the united states and our p-5-one partners should iran fail to comply. noncompliance would be more likely to find an international commitment for aggressive action than rejection of the jcpoa. such a rejection could give the argument that it could resume all its activities and insist that international sanctions have been nullified by our
rejection of the jcpoa. if the united states were now to say this deal isn't good enough, it would likely have the immediate effect of alienating our partners and, therefore, empowering iran. iran would seize this opening to drive a wedge between us and our european allies as well as russia and china. such an action by the united states would play right into the hands of iran, both in terms of the viability of the regime and in terms of the obligations it has already agreed to take under this agreement. it is difficult to imagine a scenario in which the united states can break at this juncture with its most critical diplomatic and economic partners on the iran nuclear program and then secure more stringent sanctions. another complicating factor is the outline for the hard-liners in iran. undoubtedly their narrative will gain additional traction in iran and they may be able to seize an
even greater amount of power and influence. this makes the more sanctions approach more concerning but it could produce the unintended consequence of empowering the most shrouded elements in iran. the second most common option discussed by critics of this agreement is the military option. in this regard, it's critical that we understand some points up front. unless we're prepared to invade and occupy iran, executing military options to destroy the nuclear infrastructure will only delay iran's nuclear program. it will not bomb away iran's knowledge and it will empower significantly the hard-liners in iran who are committed to developing a nuclear weapon. they will likely disperse to disguise their activities so that military strikes are increasingly ineffective and produce significant collateral damage which will be exploited by the iranians for propaganda purposes. general dempsey on this issue of
delay provided two important insights. first, in response to a question asking for his military assessment, what is more effective in delaying or stopping iranian nuclear program at this time or in the near future, a military strike or this p-5 plus 1 agreement, he said, first, i would like to point out that the military options remain. secondly, i think a negotiated settlement provides a more durable and reduces near-term risk which buys time to work with regional partners to address the other maligned activities. he also said our government's policy has been they will not get a nuclear weapon and nothing we're talking about today should change that policy. this agreement does not change that long-standing and clearly articulated u.s. policy. i also agree with the assessment of former senators john warner and carl levin who served terms as chairman of the armed
services committee that a vote against this deal is a vote to undermine the credibility of our military option. closer examination of the military option raises the critical question of our objective if we were to use force to delay the nuclear program or to overthrow the regime so as to eliminate the nuclear threat. in either case, a daunting scenario emerges. as previously discussed, if our focus is limited only to iran's nuclear program, the united states likely alone or nearly alone will need to conduct a similar option every few years as the iranians will undoubtedly make the nuclear program an operation that is conducted in smaller and more numerous locations in areas increasingly difficult to locate and deep in the ground or amassed by civilian activities in populated areas. if we conduct such targeted strikes, analysts suggest the iranians will respond. such responses could include
attacks against u.s. forces in the gulf region, afghanistan, attacks against israel via iran's most capable proxy hezbollah, attacks against partners in the g.c.c., attacks against the region's energy infrastructure or a combination of all of the above. along with the significant economic consequences, the resource drain on our nation's military could be severe. ironically, an additional complication would be the campaign against the levant or isil particularly in iraq in our effort to consolidate the community's gains in afghanistan. if our military objective, on the other hand, was regime change, i would first remind my colleagues of the iraq war and of all of the implications exercising that military option had on the region in 2012 michael ohanlon of the brookings institution wrote an option of iran would require up to one million u.s. and other foreign
troops over an extended time, and hence, would be indeed implausible. but an invasion with the single goal of deposing the government could be considered a possibility under extreme circumstances. if, for example, there were unmistakable evidence that iran's current government was preparing a major attack on israel. or if it responded to any u.s. surgical air campaign with an all-out global terrorist response using hezbollah and various elements of the security apparatus. although michael o' hanlon makes the distinction between occupation and invasion our experience in iraq and afghanistan should demonstrate that the deployment of ground forces to effect regime change is unlikely to produce a quick exit so we must be prepared for his implausible in an expensive occupation with a million military personnel on the ground. thus, as some observers continue
to discuss the military option, regardless of the scope, i would urge them to ensure their analysis goes beyond the first day, first month or first six months of the conflict and rather consider the first year, first five years and first decade of the conflict. our nation has seen the great cost of war in the past 15 years. this agreement retains the military options of the commander in chief and at the same time establishes an arrangement with the iranians that allows us to test vigorously and monitor invasively the intentions of the iranian regime's nuclear program. this is one major reason at this point that the jcpoa is the most compelling option. a number of noted national security experts, a number of my colleagues, americans have discussed the importance of ensuring iran is not only constrained with respect to its nuclear program but also its regional hedge mon nick
aparticipations and support -- hegemonic aspirations. it's support of terrorism, destabilizing activities across the region, abuse of its people and ongoing detention of american citizens. we cannot condone or ignore these critical issues and they all must be addressed. but absent implementation of this agreement, the threats posed by iran would likely be amplified as a return to deliberate focus to build a nuclear infrastructure. the choice before us on the nuclear agreement review act is exclusively on the nuclear dimension. but without the jcpoa, i suspect the iranian nuclear challenge will grow quickly adding further menace to their regional aspirations and support of terrorism. critically any of these other objectionable behaviors would be far more dangerous if iran acquired a nuclear weapon. as i said earlier, i evaluate this agreement with great
skepticism. iran is a major sponsor of terrorism and a leader in other destabilizing activities across the middle east. as i mentioned previously though, the negotiations to secure this agreement were not focused on the issue of iran's support of terrorism. this matter remains outstanding in charting a pragmatic and implemental strurk -- structure critical to u.s. national security interest. these negotiations are not without precedent. during the cold war we negotiated with the soviets despite their destabilizing activities in many parts of the world. in fact, president nixon was in negotiations with the soviets even while they still supported the north vietnamese. gray mallard noted in testimony before the senate foreign relations committee recently, claims that the u.s. cannot reach advantageous agreements can strain nuclear arms with states seeking to contain,
subvert or overthrow are wrong. the reagan administration's core national security strategy for competition with the soviet union states that u.s. policy towards the soviet union will consist of three elements: external resistance to soviet imperialism, internal pressure on the ussr to weaken sources of imperialism and engaging the soviet union which protect and enhance u.s. interests. i do not, even with the j.p.o., suspect that the iranian support for their proxies will ought -- automatically abate under this agreement and i do not think this agreement is a forcing mechanism. i think it takes the scenario of a nuclear armed iran off the table. and i believe it is for the time
being sensible for the united states and our parties to take stock of iran's willingness to comply with this agreement, monitor its activities closely to see if they increase, decrease or remain the same, and parallel work with our regional partners to build their capacity to counter iran's a symmetric threats. on the matters of our partners in the middle east i see two critical matters that must be addressed. our partners in israel see iran as a significant ongoing threats to their national security. it is incumbent upon the united states to better understand the concerns of the israelis with respect to their gaps in addressing the iranian problem set and to identify areas of cooperation on mitt romney -- on military and intelligence matters that address these gaps and maintain their qualitative military edge at all times. second, it is also critical that our partners and allies know that the united states will not
abandon the region in the wake of this nuclear agreement. this message is critical for all of our partners to hear and understand. the may 2015 joint statement following the united states meetings at camp david provided a road map of how the administration intends to proceed. the joint statement indicates the united states will be increasing training and exercising engagements with g.c.c. special operations forces elements so as to better enable our partners to confront iran's asymmetric capabilities as well as enhancing the ballistic missile defense capabilities, the g.c.c. and improving interoperability to increase collective defense in order to counter iran's support of terrorist proxies. these are important and essential efforts that will consume significant time in the middle east and will be critical that we ensure that they are resourced appropriately. the added benefits of these activities is they will provide the united states military with additional access and
capabilities in the region to ensure that the military option remains credible to the iranians and available to the president. mr. president, i approach this vote with deep suspicion regarding iran and i see the agreement for what it is. a combination of opportunities and risks. i believe these negotiations would necessarily focus on denying iran a pathway to a nuclear weapon. a nuclear armed iran would be a formidable force in the middle east, as it is repeatedly demonstrated not a force for peace and stability. a nuclear armed iran would likely prompt a nuclear arms race in the region that through accident or design could lead to catastrophe. this agreement provides the framework to close off iran's pathways to a nuclear weapon. rejecting the resolution of disapproval is vitally important, but effective i am --
i am implementation of the jcpoa will be the real test. it is necessary for congress and the president to invoke every effort to monitor and sustain provisions of the agreement. this effort demands constant attention and ample, more than ample funding for the indefinite future. as general brent scowcroft, former national security advisor to president george herbert walker bush stated in a "washington post" op-ed supporting the agreement, implementation and verification will be the key to success, and congress has an important role. it should ensure that the iaea and other relevant bodies and u.s. intelligence agencies have all the resources necessary to facilitate inspection and monitor compliance. i believe general scowcroft is correct. an iranian compliance is critical no matter how you vote
on a resolution of disapproval. it is also important that we ensure the administration is able to follow through on the commitments they made to our allies and partners in the middle east, especially to the state of israel. again, general scowcroft makes an excellent point. the united states must work -- in his words -- closely with the g.c.c. and other allies to moderate iranian behavior in the region, countering it where necessary. absent support and resources for the implementation phase of this agreement, these efforts may not happen and our efforts to reassure our partners in the region may fail. soon this debate will be over. i believe sustaining the j.c.p. will leave us in a stronger position. but regardless of the outcome of this debate, we must not relax our efforts in countering iranian nuclear aspirations, regional aggression and the sponsorship of terrorism. i believe the jcpoa will give us
valuable tools to monitor and interdict their pathways to nuclear weapons but it will require day-to-day surveillance and, where necessary, intervention to increase our chances of success. in many respects we are at a moment that recalls the emotional words of winston churchill. now this is not the end. it is not even the beginning of the end. but it is perhaps the end of the beginning. we have concluded an agreement that dramatically constrains iran's nuclear ambitions. now the hard work begins each day to ensure that our aspirations become a reality. thank you, mr. president, and i will yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from. mr. connecticut. mr. blumenthal: thank you. i'm horned to follow mile
colleagues -- i'm honored to follow my colleague from rhode island. the question of whether the senate should accept the agreement of the p-5 plus 1 and iran and their illicit and treacherous nuclear program is one of the most difficult and critical matters of national security that i have confronted since my election to the united states senate. i am deeply grateful to many in my state of connecticut, here in washington, d.c., and around the country who have offered me their insight, interest and involvement. most especially, the people of connecticut who have given me their thoughts in letters and emails and phone calls and one one-on-one conversations across our state in a vast variety of settings, whether it be parades or fairs or one-on-one meetings or meetings and groups. and i have made my decision
based on conscience and conviction. i will vote to accept the proposed agreement concerning iran's nuclear program and against the resolution of disapproval before the united states senate. my two paramount goals have been consistently and constantly to prevent a nuclear-armed iran and do so by peaceful means. i believe that this agreement using diplomacy, not military force, is the most viable remaining path now available, now available to prevent a nuclear-armed iran. this agreement is not the one that i would have negotiated or accepted, but it's better than no deal. this agreement is an opportunity for us to push back and deter
iran, and it brings on us a special obligation of vigilance and vigorous enforcement. it can be made better. it can be improved and strengthened through unilateral action by the united states of america and through consultation and collaboration with our allies, not resuming or reopening the negotiations but acting in collaboration with our allies as well as through actions that we can take in the nation alone and working closely with our ally, our friend, our critical partner in the middle east, the state of israel. the administration set forth a case that the current agreement immediately reduces iran's nuclear program and places it under a series of overlapping