tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 10, 2015 6:00am-8:01am EDT
republican colleagues do not understand that war must be a last resort, not the first resort. it is easy to go to war. it is not so easy to fully comprehend the unintended consequences of that war. as the former chairman of the senate veterans' affairs committee, i have talked to veterans from world war ii to iraq and i have learned a little bit about what the cost of war entails. in iraq and afghanistan we lost over 6,700 brave men and women and many others have come home without legs, without arms, without eyesight. let us not forget that 500,000 veterans of the wars in iraq and afghanistan came back to their families with post-traumatic
stress disorder and traumatic brain injury -- 500,000 brave americans. the suicide rate of young veterans is appallingly high. the divorce rate of those who serve is appallingly high and the impact on their children is appallingly high. god knows how many families have been devastated by these wars. mr. president, we should also not forget that many hundreds of thousands of innocent iraqi men women, and children died in that war, and those whose lives have been completely destabilized, hundreds of those of people whose lives have been totally altered, including those who are fleeing that country today fleeing that country today with only the clothes on their back
as refugees. the cost of war is real, and it is easy to give great speeches about how tough we are but let us not forget the cost of war on the men and women who serve in our military and people in our countries. yes, the 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 ensure that iran does not get a nuclear weapon without having to go to war. mr. president, i believe we have an obligation to pursue diplomatic solutions before resorting to military engagement especially after nearly 14 years of ill-conceived and disastrous military engagements in that region. the agreement before us calls for cutting off iran's pathways
to the fissile materials needed for a nuclear weapon by reducing its stockpile of uranium by 98% and restricting the level of enrichment of uranium to well below the level needed for weaponized uranium. the agreement requires iran to decrease the number of installed centrifuges by two-thirds, dismantle the country's heavy water nuclear roorkt so reactor so that it cannot produce any weapons-grade plutonium and commit to inspection and verification by the iaea. only after iran has demonstrated to the international community its compliance with the tenant tenets of this agreement the united states and europe union will lift the sanctions. this agreement also contains a
mechanism for the snap act of those sanctions if iran does not comply with its obligations. does this agreement achieve everything i would like? no it does not. but to my mind, it is far better than the path we were on with iran developing nuclear weapons capability and the poe teption -- potential for military invention by the united states and israel growing greater by the day. let us not forget that if iran does not live up to this agreement, sanctions may be reimposed. if iran moves toward a nuclear weapon all available options remain on the table. i think it is incumbent upon us, however, to give the negotiated agreement a chance to succeed and it is for these reasons that i will support the agreement. thank you.
mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: is not frr illinois. mr. durbin: how much time is remaining on the democratic side? the presiding officer: 16 1/2 minutes. mr. durbin: thank you very much. mr. president, i don't know that we've faced a debate of this historic importance for 12 years, because it was about 12 years ago that swreeted on the floor -- that voted on the floor of the united states senate on whether to invade iraq. senators don't forget those debates. what's at stake is war. what's at stake are human lives. not only then mi the enemy but innocents and those who are friends. i remember that debate very well. there were 23 of us who voted against the invasion of iraq. one republican, lincoln chafee, 22 democracy.
-- 22 democrats. at the time we were told by vice president cheney, secretary rumsfeld and others that iraq had weapons of mass destruction and we had to stop them for fear they would use those weapons against our allies and friends even against the united states. it turned out there were no weapons of mass destruction. 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 -- eemerged from those efforts after all the costs were paid. those who are quake quick to talk about a military option, should be reminded of the extraordinary cost of that alternative. i have always felt then and now that diplomacy -- diplomacy should be the first effort to try to avoid military action, to try to avoid a war. and that's what this is b about. this president barack obama decided to make the sanctions regime tougher than ever. to do it, he had to engage countries from around the world that depended on iranian oil and were prepared to stop importing iranian oil to punish them until they would come to the negotiating table.
he gets absolutely no credit for that from the other side of the aisle, none. but he should. and then he took our major leaders and allies in the world and brought together a p-5 plus 1 coalition. we met with the ambassadors from those countries. it was hard as a student just an amateur opportunity of history, to sit across the table from the ambassadors of china russia the united kingdom germany, and france and imagine that coalition coming together for any purpose that would serve the united states and the cost of world peace. but they did. p-5 plus 1 came together and entered into serious negotiation in an effort to stop the iranians from developing a nuclear weapon. that was the goal. that was the reason for the sanctions. there are many aspects of iranian foreign policy and conduct which are reprehensible to me, even to this day that don't reach that level of
nuclear weaponry. but we ez is focused on nuclear weaponry because we knew that was critical. if iran developed a nuclear weapon, it would threaten our greatest friend and ally in the middle east, israel, as well as other countries in the region that have worked closely with the united states and triggered an arms race on the arabian peninsula which would have been devastating. so we set out to stop that from happening. mr. president, something happened during the course of that negotiation which was unprecedented in the history of the united states. on march 9 2019 47 republican senators signed a letter to the ayatollah, the supreme leader in iran. it was a letter that i read over and over again and still cannot believe. 47 republican senators on march 9, 2015 open letter to the
leaders of the republic of iran in which it basically says we know you're in negotiation with the united states over stopping the development of a nuclear weapon but understand -- this letter makes it clear that this president does not have the last word. that's never happened before. i've asked those who studied the history of this country if there's ever been a time when the united states of america was involved in delicate international negotiations, and a group of senators and congressmen wrote to the other side, to the iranians to tell them think twice before you negotiate with the united states of america. never happened. unprecedented. so for 47 republican senators, they did not want to wait until the agreement was reached or written. they decided in advance to warn the ayatollah in iran not to negotiate with the united states or to assume any agreement would be enforceable with congress for future presidencies.
what a contrast that 47 republicans would decide in the midst of negotiations to send that letter. what a contrast with the democratic side of the aisle for the last six weeks i've been in touch with my colleagues over here. they're probably tired of hearing from me, talking about this agreement and where they stood. and i know but for a few what they went through. many of them were -- tried to educate themselves on the terms of this agreement because it is complicated. they were talking to experts in the field. one senator came back and spent five hours with the intelligence agencies here in washington to try to understand the complexities of this agreement and how they worked. and after all that time, after all of that reflection after all that study, these senators announced their position. 42 supported the president's position and four opposed. instead of prejudging the agreement or instead of assuming the agreement was bad they took the time to read it and study
it. they took the time to use their responsibility as senators to make sure they understood this historic document. and 42 came out in favor. i will tell you mr. president that at this point in history we have a tough decision to make whether we as a nation will pursue this agreement in an effort to stop iran from developing a nuclear weapon or the alternative. i have yet to hear a critic of this agreement honestly present the alternative. the alternative is obvious. today -- today -- iran owns enough fissile material to make 10 nuclear weapons. the prime minister of israel has warned the world they are only months away from developing a nuclear weapon in iran, and yet we hear from the other side of the aisle we should walk away from any inspections any agreement to stop a nuclear weapon. what is going to happen the next day in iran if that point of
view prevails? what happens if this agreement that we've entered into should flounder and fail? the door is closed, no inspectors, no negotiations and iran is on its own. that is not the recipe for a safer world. that is not the recipe for a safer israel. as far as i'm concerned. and that's why i support this. and i'm happy to be joined in my support by leaders like general colin powell, former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff under a republican president former secretary of state under a republican president who has endorsed this agreement. he's told us, don't trust iran mistrust iran, if you will, and verify. and we are going to send in scores of inspectors to verify inspectors who have access to everything in iran. and if there is a dispute over
access, it is one that can be resolved in a matter of days or weeks. i might add that there are telltale pieces of evidence for the development of nuclear weapons that the iranians could never destroy in that period of time. we will know if they have breached this agreement. and in knowing that, we have created the authority within the united nations for the united states alone -- the united states alone -- to reimpose sanctions based on a breach of this agreement by iran. it's an extraordinary agreement. could it be stronger? of course. but when you look back throughout history at the skeptics who've attacked presidents of both political parties who have tried to reach agreements to create a more peaceful world this is no different. when president ronald reagan literally a matter of the deity of the republican party decided
to sit down and negotiate with mikhail gorbachev over nuclear weapons, the conservative wing of the republican party said he was signing a suicide pact, he was wasting his time and threat nipping the united states. ronald reagan in negotiating with mikhail gorbachev. and the same thing held true when richard nixon decided to negotiate with china. the critics on the right were quick to condemn him. the chinese were sponsoring north vietnamese who were killing american soldiers. there were plenty of reasons not to do it. richard nixon did it with bipartisan support and the world's a better place for that courage that he showed. so at this point as we bring this aspect of the debate to a close -- i see senator reid is here who is going to be recognized soon -- we listen carefully to those who are critical of this agreement. it turns out not a single republican member of the house or senate is supporting this agreement. not one. not one. it's hard to think back in
diplomatic history when it's been such a partisan division within congress on an issue of this historic importance and magnitude. but that shouldn't deter us. working with our allies we need to move forward with the inspections, with the deadlines and make certain that we do everything in our power to bring peace to the middle east short of war. those who want military action should speak up and say so. i don't. i want to see this done through diplomatic means and i believe that this effort is a good-faith effort to achieve that. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. reed: thank you mr. president. of the vote that the senate will soon take on the resolution to descra prove the joint -- disapprove the joint comprehensive plan of action, or the jcpa, is both momentous and historic. i, along with my colleagues, have carefully and conscientiously reviewed this
agreement and we've each applied our independent judgment as to whether or not it achieves the primary objective that the president set out for the negotiations when they began in november 2013. to prevent iran 7 from -- to prevent iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. since the conclusion of the negotiations i reviewed the text of the agreement attended and participated at hearings of the armed services committee and the banking committee with government witnesses and non-government witnesses. received a series of classified briefings and reached out to rhode islanders for their views. these venues, all of them, provided a full range of views and opinions and were critical in my review in my decision with respect to the jcpoa. in my view, evaluating the jcpoa rests on three factors. the first is the sufficiency of the revisions to cut off all iranian pathways to a nuclear weapon. the second is the ability to conscientiously and continuously
monitor and verify adherence to the provisions. and, finally, we have to evaluate whether this agreement will leave us in a better position than a rejection of the agreement. this last point whether the agreement leaves us in a better position than rejecting it, touches on two alternatives suggested by opponents of this proposal. first suggested alternative is that there is a better agreement awaiting us if we simply reject the jcpoa and impose even more stringent sanctions. the second suggested alternative is that without the jcpoa and with the possibility that an enhanced sanctions regime cannot be reconstituted we can exercise the military option which will be more effective and less costly than following through with the jcpoa. for the reasons i will discuss in detail in the course of my discussion today the jcpoa in
my view, does provide adequate measures to interdict iranian pathways to a nuclear weapon and an unprecedented monitoring and verification regime moving forward. in addition our national intelligence means will provide further insights into iranian activities. and in this regard, we will be aided by many international partners whose intelligence activities are acutely focused on iran. as such, i believe that the jcpoa, if scrupulously implemented, will accomplish our collective objective of preventing iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and is a better option than the alternatives suggested in lieu of the jcpoa. that is why i intend to support the agreement and will vote against the resolution of disapproval. but to begin this discussion, i think it is important to recognize where we were when president obama began his efforts to cut off all iranian pathways to a nuclear weapon. perhaps the most revealing
description comes from uzi arhad, who in 2009 was the national security advisor to newly elected benjamin netanyahu. he described iran's nuclear capacity in an interview with an israeli newspaper. in his words -- quote -- "the point of no return was defined at the point as which iran has the ability to complete the cycle of nuclear fuel protection on its own the point at which it all has the elements to produce fissile material without the dependency of outsiders. iran is now there." and that was in 2009. this was the situation that confronted the president and the world in 2009. to glibly suggest today as some do that the international community could negotiate iran back after they passed the point of no return to a position of no enrichment is to ignore the reality of iranian efforts particularly from the year 2000
forward. for example in 2006, the iranians possessed less than 400 centrifuges in a research facility. by 2009, they had well over,000 centrifuges -- 8,000 centrifuge, together with the central elements of a nuclear program taken them to the point of no return as citd -- indicated by uzi rahab. security advisor general colin powell recently made this point as well, he said, iran, in his words, "has been on a superhighway for the last 10 years to create a nuclear weapon or a nuclear weapons program with no speed limit." in a similar vain, amis s yadler, former head of the israeli defense forces military director made the point that any analysis of possible options regarding the iranian nuclear program must
begin with the recognition that they have already passed the point of no return. in his words "the starting point for comparing the various scenarios is not one in which iran has zero nuclear capabilities but one in which iran has been, however illegitimately, a nuclear threshold state since the beginning of the current decade." the iranians advanced their nuclear program as the international community insisted on no enrichment but failed either through sanctions negotiations or other actions to significantly interrupt iranian progress on its nuclear infrastructure or nuclear know-how. instead when the negotiations began under president obama iran had already acquired approximately 19,000 centrifuges and other essential components of the nuclear program. indeed the administration's diplomatic efforts to build an international coalition to give affect to the sanctions which ultimately forced the iranians
to negotiation was done with the p-5 plus 1's recognition that a no-enrichment approach would not lead to negotiations. this was not a realistic option. with that prologue, let me turn to the elements of the agreement that were critical to my judgment. if the area of cutting off pathways to nuclear material for nuclear weapon and enrichment capacity this is an objective objective, on strains through the verification provisions, eliminates iran's ability to add produce tone yum or uranium. it caps the stockpile to 300 kilograms for 15 years. why is this significant? first, before november, 2013,
and the initiation of the agreement, iran had more than 12,000 kilograms of fully enriched this is enough to make vi -- six or seven weapons. and it won't have enough to produce a single weapon, even with additional enrichment. it will have to break an agreement with the 300-kilogram cap to feedstock the quantity needed for a single weapon. on the plutonium pathway iran has agreed to the heavy water research in iraq. the redesigned and rebuilt reactor, which must be approved by the p-5 plus 1 will have the nuclear research and isotopic production. why is this important? iraq has been the most
concerning elements of iran's suspected weapons infrastructure and this part of the reactor puts iran's pathway to a shelf. in an alternative scenario, the heavy water reactor could have been a proliferation with unmatched in that portion. it could take iran an easy acquired of uranium from the ground and over a period of time and through a series of processing steps make weapons grade plutonium. the elimination of this heavy water reactor as the iranians approved it is enormously important. and iran is forced to use its first generation technology known as ir-1's. this is a significant check
because it eliminates iran's most significant centrifuges. while it allows them centrifuges in the future, it limits it to iaea and consistent with the protocol. also significant to the p-5 plus 1 that have ten years of evaluating and assessing iran's intentions to determine whether the plant and program are peaceful as statemented by the transportation bill to the jcpoa. the international community has insight into iran's program. this is a significant opportunity to gauge intentions and gauge by their compliance to the elements. under the jcpoa it's the research the testing and the
deployment of the first ten years. after that period of time, the international community will continue to have a critical dis trust and verify mechanism built into the provision. it has submitted to the iaea under the additional protocol. this plan is subject to all of the iaea's inspection and monitoring tools. furthermore, the jcpoa has a prohibition to iran's activities that could contribute to the design of a nuclear explosive device. this significant prohibition goes beyond the nonproliferation treaty. taken together, the closing oft of the pathways to uranium and r&d the breakout time for a single nuclear weapon will be at least one year for the first ten
years of this agreement and critically the breakout time will be longer than the two to three months it was in november 2013. before we move on to the next area analysis has been ranged about the first ten years of the agreement. sometimes referred to as the out years. during this time, iran's breakout time too shrink substantially. however, the initial ten years that the jcpoa will be critical for the community to assess iran's intentions. a recent analysis of the jcpoa by reobtain horn, an expert a fellow on the is instructive in this area. in his words leaders believe their national interests are served by the nuclear weapons
it is best with no guarantee of success. within the out years jcpoa's prohibitions will remain there place. iran's nuclear program would give the united states prompt warning of any effort to make a dash for the bomb. in any phase in any case, the 5 plus 1 must begin now to communicate its insist that iran operate consistent with the peaceful program after the initial ten-year period. the international community must convey its stock terms to iran that its buildup of ability after ten years beyond what they need for their peaceful cycle will be against the provisions of the jcpoa and would need to reevaluate the options. if we are consider the verification. for me, the agreement must be
built on a principle of distrust and verify. former secretary of colin put it nicely. don't trust never trust and always verify. and the architecture of the negotiators' agreement took this approach and set new residents -- precedents in key stoke. invoke logical monitoring. thus it is a custom built rigorously regime that is more stringent than any other previously credited. the jcpoa does the following. inspectors will be able at the iaea will have regular actives. this includes iran's two primary sites. inspectors will be able to
inspect the uranium mills and facilities that supports iran's nuclear program for at least ten years and in many cases far beyond. the verification regime established by this agreement has the effect of making the entire iranian nuclear program auditable. this is a powerful tool that will make it possible for iaea inspectors to know whether iran is diverting material to a possible covert program. iran has agreed to apply provisionally iaea protocol. this additional protocol the iaea comprehensive safeguards agreement augments iran's ability for clandestine facilities. this is beyond the jcpoa's terms. a dedicated program will be
established to establish all of the purchases made on the items. these steps will provide a mechanism for the iaea to control what's coming into the country and whether it is consistent with the programs in iran's intentions. such procurement outside the channel will be a violation of the jcpoa. this agreement is often said to be like, but there are significant differences between the two and the jcpoa was significantly written with verification based on the lessons of the agreement. as indicated the weakness of the 1994 framework was that the
iaea monitoring at yun bon. that was the only site. at the jcpoa iran must implement the additional prose colonel under the nuke nonproliferation treaty. and the iaea is designed to address the proliferation of a nuclear weapons program as iraq did after the war. take part in any element in the fuel cycle of state. the jcpoa is significantly more stringent in this regard than the 1994 framework. more specifically, the additional protocol will allow iaea inspectors essential to suspected and undeclared sites any why in country to prevent clandestine nuclear activity. if iran does not provide
access, it is in violation of the agreement and sanctions will be reimposed. iran's compliance with the protocol in the years after the jcpoa will continue to provide the iaea with the powerful tool to conduct inspections. again, the creation of the additional protocol was a direct response to the efforts to circumvent the iaea's efforts in iraq and north korea. an additional element in the compliance regime is the independent and unilateral role that the u.s. intelligence community and its intelligence liaison services will play in compliance or noncompliance. while we can never be certain that these provisions represent a complete picture of iranian activities, they are a picture of iran's perceptions and
compliance and key elements of their compliance. and with the armed services committee and intelligence, these will also serve as a critical tool for my colleagues and i to gauge the success or the failure of this agreement. over the course of the armed services hearings, there was detailed questioning on several topics but one in particular. on the 24-day period of time that iran has to it under the agreement to potentially delay access for iaea inspectors under a suspected activity, secretary moniz had a helpful insight. in his words "the 24-day period in itself is new and in a sense there has never been a time limit in terms of access to cleared sites." nuclear materials we have very very sensitive capabilities and historically those have been
proved. but secretary money knees went on to speak -- moniz went on to say that it gets more difficult. however, when one has nuclear weapons specialized activity such as a neutron those are difficult in that time period. but as one gets farther and farther aaway something that they do normally, it is difficult for intelligence to put together intelligence in those activities. but the nuclear material in the end you need to do nuclear materials to get the weapon and that's how we have extraordinary techniques. now, critics have said that this 24-day period of time is too long and offers a range of agreement for the activities. the secretary money knees said this is a possibility -- money niece moniz said, it covers the
tracks in 24 days is extremely extremely difficult. and iran's intentions are subjected to questions for evaluation. if iran is questioned the iaea at every turn it should be suggested as an attempt on the third page of the agreement. i quote iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will iran ever seek to develop or acquire nuclear weapons. this is a strong restatement of its basic obligations under a nonnuclear state under the treaty and a iaea inspectors should be seen as a clear warning of possible reneging on this agreement.
let me discuss the duration of the agreement. critics have made a variety of comments. some argue that iran can begin enriching at beyond a low enrichment level in 2016. that is true by iran could do that tomorrow without this agreement. nevertheless some tharg this agreement simply suspends iran's program in place for a decade. this my view, this is not an accurate categorization as many of the access and verification elements go well past 10, or 15 years. iran's commitment on the nuclear nonproliferation treaty remain in place and their compliance with it will be a key metric for the p-5 plus 1. further, the international community's ability to impose sanctions always remains available. now i want to address the area of possible military dimensions or p.m.d. iran has agreed to address all
the past and present outstanding p.m.d. issues in a exroonive and time -- in a comprehensive and time-limited manner. this is laid out in paragraph 66 of annex 1 of the jcpoa and is detailed in the july 14, 2015, road map for the confirmation of past and present outstanding issues regarding iran's nuclear program. resolving the issue of p.m.d. is critical for a number of reasons. it is critical that the iaea is able to complete its investigation of p.m.d. and issue an independent assessment of any nuclear weapons-related work iran has conducted in the past. the iaea made clear in the director general's 2011 report on p.m.d. that unanswered questions remain. the u.n. security council has endorsed and republican forced a requirement that iran address these questions. under the agreement if iran
complies the iaea will again gain being a stows parchin. however, iran gets nothing in the way of sanctions relief if it does not address these unanswered questions to the satisfaction. iaea. -- of the iaea. some critics have also suggested that the iaea has outsourced iran its inspection of parchin the most.i have been briefed extensively on this matter in a class fight setting and those briefings are consistent with the conclusion of iaea director general ukia amano. he has stated that the agreement is technically sound and does not compromise the iaea's safeguard standards in any way. secretary moniz has further assured me of this fact. we know the iranians have
repeatedly attempted to eradicate any sign of their activities at the parchin site. thus, it is likely that any significant p.m.d. activities have occurred there in the last four years. we do not know what signs of past activities will remain at the site. importantly, the iaea will be able to 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 diddimensions 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 inin 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 you 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 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 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 nuclear infrastructure. the choice before us on the nuclear agreement review act is 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 fuel to the aspirations and the support of terrorism.
any of these other objectional a rainy behaviors would be far more dangerous if iran acquired nuclear weapons. as i said earlier, i evaluate disagreement with great skepticism. iran is a major sponsor of terrorism and a leader and other destabilizing activities across the middle east. as i mentioned previous though the negotiations would ensure this agreement would not focus on iran's support of terrorism. this matter remains outstanding in charting a pragmatic and national strategy that is critical. more broadly however these negotiations are not without precedent. during the cold war we negotiated with the soviets despite the persistent stabilized activities in many parts of the world. in fact, president nixon was in negotiation with the soviets even while they still supported the north vietnamese. and nonproliferation expert at harvard noted in testimony before the senate foreign relations committee recently,
claims that the us cannot reach advantages greatness with states are seeking to contain or subvert or even overthrow are wrong. reagan administrations security strategy for competition with the soviet union states that u.s. policy towards the soviet union will consist of three elements. extra resistance to soviet imperialism, and to pressure on the us as our to we can the source of imperialism and engaging the soviet union in negotiations to attempt to reach agreement which both protect and enhance used interest which is consistent with the principle of reciprocity and mutual interest. i do not even with the jpl suspect that the iranians support for the prostheses will automatically upgrade this degree. and if you think this group is the forcing mechanism for modifying a rainy behavior
region. i do however think this agreement takes a near-term scenario of a nuclear-armed iran been unsupported it's proxy melodies off the table and believe it is for the time being sensible to the united states and our partners to take stock of iran's willingness to comply with this agreement monitor its activities closely to see if the increase, decrease or remain the same and in parallel, work with original partners to build their capacities to counter iran's threats. on the matter of original partners in the middle east icq critical matters that must be addressed. first our partners in israel rightly see of it as a significant ongoing threat to the national security. it is incumbent upon the united states to better understand the concerns of the israelis with respect to their caps and addressing the iranian problems and identify areas of cooperation on military and intelligence matters address these gaps and to maintain their
qualitative military edge at all times. second, it's also critical to our partners and allies know that the net states will not abandon the region in the wake of the nuclear agreement. this message is critical for all of our partners to hear and understand the the may 2015 joint statement following the united states and the gulf meetings provider without the administration intends to proceed. the joint statement decades the trampled increasing training and exercising engagements with gcc special operations forces elements, to battle any of our partners to confront iran's asymmetric capabilities will enhance a ballistic missile defense capability. the gcc and improving the interoperability to increase collective defense in order to counter iran's support of terrorist proxies. these are important and central efforts that will consume significant time in the middle
east. and would be critical that we ensure that they are resourced appropriate. the added benefit of these that give these as to provide the nights its military with additional access and capability in the region to ensure that the military option remains credible to the iranians and available to the president. mr. president, i approached this bill with deep suspicion regarding iran and a cd agreement for what it is. a combination of opportunities and risks. ideally these negotiations were necessarily focus on denying iran a pathway to a nuclear weapon. a nuclear-armed iran would be a formidable force in the middle east and as it has repeatedly demonstrated, not a force of peace and stability. moreover, a nuclear-armed iran would likely prompt a nuclear arms race in the region that the accident or design could lead to catastrophe. disagreed provide the framework to close off iran's pathways to
nuclear weapon. rejecting the resolution of this approval is vitally important to. but effective i'm relating implementation of the jcpoa will be the real test. as such it is critical to both the president and the congress exert every effort to ensure that their unfitting efforts to monitor and sustained provisions of the agreement. this effort immense continent difficult potential a more than ample funding for the future. us a jump and scowcroft -- as general scowcroft recently 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 the iaea and other public bodies and u.s. intelligence agencies have all the resources necessary to
facilitate an inspection and monitor compliance. i believe the general scowcroft is correct. and iranian compliance is a critical no matter how you go through revolution -- resolution of disapproval for it support we intruded administration israel to follow through on the commitments they have made to our allies and partners in the middle east. especially to the state of israel. by jim general scowcroft makes an excellent point. that united states must work, in his words come close with the gcc and other allies to moderate on many behavior in the region, countering it were necessary. absent support and resources in the implementation phase means these efforts thing that happened at our efforts to ensure our partners we may fail. soon this debate will be over. i believe it will leave us in a stronger position to counter potential iranian proliferation. but regardless of the outcome of this debate we must not relax in
encountered iranian nuclear aspirations, rachel direction and a sponsorship of terrorism. i believe the jcpoa will give us invaluable tool 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, it is perhaps the end of the beginning. we have concluded an agreement that dramatically constraints iran's nuclear ambitions. now the hard work begins each day to ensure the that our aspirations, reality. thank you, mr. president, and i will yield the floor.
mr. president? >> the senator from connecticut. >> i am honored to follow my colleague and friend from rhode island in those powerful remarks come and wish to add my own on the same topic. the question of whether the senate should accept the agreement between the p5+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 this might 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 the insight, interest and involvement. most especially the people of connecticut who have given me their thoughts and letters and e-mails and phone calls and one on one conversations across our state in a vast variety of
settings, whether its parades or bears or one on one meetings or meetings in groups. and i've made my decision based on a conscience and conviction. i will vote to accept the proposed agreement concerning iran's nuclear program and against a resolution of disapproval before the united states senate. my to 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 to 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 as an opportunity for us to push back and deter iran. and it brings on as a special obligation of vigilance and vigorous enforcement. it can be made better. it can be improved and strengthened through unilateral action by that united states of america and through consultation and collaboration with our allies. not resuming or reopening the negotiation but acting in collaboration with our allies as well as through actions that we can take the nation alone and working closely with our allies our friend our critical partner in the middle east the state of israel. the administration set forth the
case that the court agreed immediately reduces iran's nuclear program and places it under a series of overlapping safeguards. together these measures pushed a threshold nuclear power back from the brink. the agreement imposes an interested inspection and surveillance regime relying on international certification and verification by the international atomic energy agency. future united states presidents have the authority immediately after executive order to reimpose our sanctions if iranian actions are inconsistent with our national security. rejecting this agreement is fraught with unacceptable risks. are negotiation partners and allies have signaled clearly that they are simply not coming back to the table.
a point firm in my direct conversation and meeting. there is no better deal available now. the present sanctions will soon become unenforceable, producing an economic windfall for iran whether not that united states accepts this agreement. that united states, instead of iran would be isolated. and iran's nuclear program would be unconstrained. rejection would fracture our unified efforts with our allies, and greatly weakened international pressure on iran and undermined american leadership on this issue and others especially economic sanctions are needed in the event of a violation. this agreement has shortcomings. no doubt your and they are are serious. i listen to my colleagues, including chairman corker, who may get the respect, and others here today enumerate a number
of them. and yet i remain convinced that the most constructive and clear eyed role for congress is to support specific steps to make implementation and enforcement of this agreement stronger and more effective. in fact in my view, the day after this agreement is approved and accepted, is as important as the agreement itself. the day after and the months after and the years after because that is when this agreement must be enforced vigorous and strenuously, and gunwielding. i have taken additional time to take a look at the script to take a blueprint for diplomatic steps to strengthen it. specific i'm working with a
ranking member of the foreign relations committee, senator ben cardin of maryland, to craft new legislation. congress must act to encourage and enable diplomacy with iran, which is not only possible but critically important. now we must begin the process of addressing those shortfalls and shortcomings unwanted impacts and consequences revealed during congressional review of of the agreement. number one, countering iranian terror with a dollar for dollar sanctions. to counter iran's role the leading state sponsor of terror, congress must sustain and expand existing sanctions back crackdown on terror financing and demand their full enforcement by both the united states and the european union. i will continue, indeed, will increase pressing secretary of state john kerry to take long
overdue aggressive steps to interdict arms to hezbollah. and i will work to block as well as financing and logistical support from iran applying tools and techniques available through our banking and financial system. number two, empowering our allies to counter iranian and care proxy. we must renew and reinvigorate our efforts to protect our allies especially israel, our major strategic partner in the middle east from the threat of iran and its care proxy. we need a new framework of defense cooperation that takes into account how this agreement will affect the changing threats from iran. congress must work to expand israel's qualitative military edge and bolster intelligence cooperation. the pentagon must establish a new
joint training exercises that involve our strategic air assets, and invite israeli pilots to train flying long range bombers. now is the time to aid israel with extra f-35 joint strike fighter squadron and the tankers they need to cut off any threat to israel well before it reaches their borders. no equipment should be precluded if need for israel's self-defense. estimate of the senate armed services committee i will work to establish that a parallel agreed with israel to cover threats to both nuclear and conventional along with an ongoing joint review for him bringing together the united states become israel and nato members to enhance our deterrence capability. and number three, preventing a nuclear-armed iran. that united states must reaffirm unequivocally that iran will
never be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon, and all available options will be used to stop it from ever accumulating enough highly enriched uranium or weapons-grade plutonium to produce one. such a policy is consistent with this agreement. congress must articulate in statute that that policy is unchallengeable and that iran you violations both during this agreement and afterward will be met with strong unquestionable action. it must be clear that we will defend our vital interest in the persian gulf region, those vital interests include preventing a nuclear-armed iran. it is a fundamental point of our foreign policy. as a member of the agreement
that united states is in a stronger position to deter and remedy violations, by the economic sanctions or military action as a last resort. if the agreement is rejected and economic sanctions or military actions are ever necessary, we would act alone. that's the simple fact about our rejection. if the agreement is accepted we act with a coalition of allies and partners with the legitimacy and credibility of diplomacy having run its course and with the intelligence produced by inspections that will help to guide any military action necessary as a last resort. and it will be popular support at home, which is absolutely necessary for such action. that support is essential. because acting without it will make it difficult if not impossible for the president to
seek in effect to enforce the very terms of an agreement that this nation has rejected, if that is the result. most importantly this agreement cannot be based on hope or trust. history belies both in our experience with iran. this deal is not an agreement that i have long sought. it's not the agreement that i would've preferred, but it makes the threat of a nuclear-armed iran less imminent that it requires the united states and the international community to sustain their commitment to verify and enforce its provisions over many years. and am ready to join in the hard work of preventing a nuclear-armed iran on this difficult diplomatic past. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor.
>> mr. president? >> the senator from new hampshire. >> i come to the floor today, i believe this is probably the most important foreign policy issue that certain i have worked on in my time in the united states senate. and it is one of great consequence to our nation and also to our allies ma and i don't come to this decision lightly, but they are many reasons why i would urge this body to disapprove the agreement that has been entered into between the obama administration and the iranian government and the p5+1 nation's.
first of all we need to understand the country that we are dealing with. just today iran has said the iranian supreme leader ayatollah khamenei has said i am saying to ensure that they will not live to see the end of these 25 years your with allah's help the we know such a thing as a sinus regime in 25 years. of course, this is not the first time we've heard this from the supreme leader of the leaders of iran. even now we are in this position even after having entered this agreement and having had the president go to the u.n. to seek approval of this agreement prior to coming to the congress but we know that while does a good was being negotiated hewitt the iranian foreign minister smiling for the cameras and negotiated with one the president of iran was actually at rallies in iran what they were shouting down
with america death to israel. iran itself has a history that is important for us to understand. that history is a history of noncompliance. iran has time and time again failed to comply with u.n. resolutions and failed to meet its obligations. iran has violated u.n. security council resolutions. iran has violated the nuclear nonproliferation treaty in the past. iran has consistently been unresponsive to the international atomic energy agency in the past, the iaea. out of nfl to enter questions about its past nuclear weapons activities. if there is no covert undeclared nuclear facilities in iran today, a former iaea deputy director has said it would be the first time in 20 years. so one of the important issues that ugly for any of us in
reviewing this agreement is what is the inspection regime that will be put in place to assure not only that we're doing a full inspection at the declared facilities of iran, but also the undeclared facilities. and the reality is that under this agreement, the process for seeking inspection by the iaea for undeclared facilities is a process that only a lawyer could love. and i happen to be one because if you look at the language of the actual agreement you will see that is the iaea in paragraph 75 has concerns regarding undeclared nuclear materials or activities activities consistent with the jcpoa or locations that have not been declared the iaea first have to provide iran with the bases for such concern and request codification.
so that's the first step. than if iran's explanations do not resolve the iaea's concerns come to agency may request access to such locations for the sole reason to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities. and the iaea also asked to provide iran the reason for access in writing and make available all relevant information. and then iran may come back and propose alternatives alternative means for resolving the iaea's concerns that enable the iaea to enable the absence of undeclared nuclear materials or activities. and so if those alternatives are not excepted from iran then if the two sides are not able to reach a satisfactory group to verify the absence of an undeclared nuclear facility, then at that point in fact there's a process that goes into
place and a process has been described on this senate floor, can take up to 24 days a week understand there's a whole litigation process that occurs even before those days and this can be a much longer process. and then how does this get resolved? this gets resolved essentially by a committee process. so then we have a committee resolve all of this. that's what i say this is a lawyers agreement terms of an inspection regime. and this committee, if you look at paragraph 78, that members of the joint commission by consensus or by vote of five or more of its eight members would advise on the necessary means to resolve the iaea's concert. this process if you add up all the days is a lengthy process, and again it certainly is so far away from the anytime anywhere inspection regime.
and we have to understand that iran has a history of using every means possible to delay inspections come especially to areas that event and declared or that they are trying to hide their nuclear facilities. that's what i describe it as an inspection regime that only a lawyer could love. because this will allow iran to litigate access to the undeclared sites, and we already know that they have a history of doing that. one of the issues that i've taken a keen interest in since i've been in the senate is iran's missile program. and we heard all of on the administration that they were not going to address iran's support of terrorism, that they're going to keep that issue separate. that they're going to keep issues of iran's support for terrorism around the world. we've heard about that in this debate today. the support for groups like
hezbollah, hamas, to support for the houthis in yemen. their support for the taliban actually in afghanistan. their support for terrorism around the world. yet at the last minute in this agreement, the administration conceded to incredibly important points your number one, iran to have the resolutions lifted on having arms arms sales and transactions within five years and then within eight years allowing the u.n. resolutions on missiles or icbms. and has her own secretary of defense has described, the significance of coursing icbms is in the eye which means intercontinental, meaning missiles that can hit the united states of america, and yet that was lifted the last minute and
that was lifted over the objections over the recommendations of our highest military officer, which is the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff chairman martin dempsey. and, in fact this is been a focus of might in the senate because i had been concerned that we have heard from in the armed services committee from any of our top defense and intelligence officials that the preferred method for iran to deliver a nuclear weapon to the united states of american would be in fact an icbm. and that is certainly represents a threat to america and to our allies. in fact, i was so concerned about this battle last summer i wrote the president of the united states come and 26 senators have joined me in the letter that he wrote to the president. and in that letter i expressed
to the president the believe that the iranian deal should in fact, address iran's icbm missile program. and the reason that i wrote and lead this effort is because we have been hearing for years before the senate armed services committee from people like the director of national intelligence, james clapper, testified before the committee in february of 2014 that we said iran would choose a ballistic missile as its preferred method of delivery of nuclear weapons. we also heard repeatedly that, in fact and 2013 we also heard from director clapper that the iranians are developing two systems that could have intercontinental capability as early as 2015. and here we are in 2015. some of estimated that it may take a few more years. regardless, according to public
testimony our intelligence community, iran could have icbm capability in the next few years. and here we have in conjunction with this agreement our blessing it because we agreed that the u.n. resolution against their missile program that said no iran come you cannot have icbm capability, now it's okay. it would be legitimate for them to icbm capability. why do you need icbm capability if you don't have any interests in delivering the most destructive weapon to the world to countries on the other side of the world, including our own. so this issue of course as i said was against the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff advice. in fact, when i heard public report about the fact there were reports public about the agreement before it was signed
that iran was pressuring with support from other countries like russia to lift the arms embargo, to lift the missile embargo. and so i was so worried about it that a week before the agreement i asked chairman dempsey on july 7, i asked him about the reports that these resolutions may be lifted on arms and missiles. and he told me under no circumstances should we release the pressure. that's exactly what happened in this agreement. and, in fact the chairman came back to our committee after the agreement was signed to testify about the agreement. had asked him again about including this in the agreement and he told me it was against his military advice. to left the arms resolution and to left the missile resolution. so as i look at their grave
concerns we should have for our national security, this is one of the top concerns. and insufficient inspection regime legitimizing their ability to icbm capability allowing them in five years to legitimately have more arms for we already know they're supplying arms and cash around the world to their terrorist proxies. this agreement of course gives them with in a nine-month period, we know billions of dollars more cash to support terrorists and get one of the things i've heard on the floor today is for my colleagues on the other side of the aisle that are supporting this agreement is a bad some of his leaves on the table all of the tools that we need to do with iran's support for terrorism which, of course destabilize the region. except the problem is that nobody told the iranians at this
point, because they have a very different viewpoint on this agreement. in fact, iran has taken the position that if any other sanctions are reimposed, but they can walk away from the agreement. if you look at paragraph 26 of this agreement, i would argue that the liquid in the agreement that allows them to make that argument unfortunately. iran has specifically stated that it would treat the imposition of any sanctions that are similar to those that were in place before this deal as a reason to walk away. so why is this important? it's important because we know the support terrorism around the world. my colleagues have said this is, we have to deal with their support for terrorism and we still have the tools in our toolbox to issue top sanctions
to do with her terrorism even while being part of this agreement. the problem is is that the language doesn't necessarily bear that out in the agreement. and then at july 20 letter, iran to the u.n. security council that it would reconsider its commitments under the jcpoa if the effects of the determination of the security council, european union announced its nuclear related sanctions are restricted measures are impaired by continued application of the imposition of new sanctions with the nature and scope identical or similar to those that were in place prior to the implementation date. irrespective of whether such new sanctions are introduced a nuclear related court on the grounds. unless the issues are remedied within a short time. so in other words, iran is taking the viewpoint under the dilemma to this agreement that
if we reimposed any of the sanctions that are listed as part of this agreement, which by the way these are the toughest sanctions, right, these are the tools in our toolbox, even if they commit acts of terrorism that they can walk away from this agreement. so let's put this all together. iran within nine months gets more cash for this agreement. they didthey get to keep their infrastructure for the nuclear program because they get to keep their centrifuges. they are now in a position where people are all doing business with them because we know that many countries around the world i want to be up to do business with iran so infusion of cash and relationships of there. and then they're continuing to support terrorism. they commit to their proxies another, a major terrorist event that triggers something that we want to do here. we want to take tough sanctions
against them because they support a terrorist attack against us or our allies, and yet they are going to take the position that we can't reimposed any other sanctions no matter what they do because the language of the agreement in paragraph 26 they are interpreting it that way. so if you're iran right now this is a pretty good deal for you. you can get the cash. you can get the legitimization. people are doing business with you again. you can continue to support terrorism, and are hence apparently in their view are tied on sanctions. and so this is in my view when i hear from those that are supporting the agreement that somehow we saw all the tools in our toolbox to deal with terrorism, seems to me that you look at the language of disagreement and other iranians are supporting it, we have tied our hands and will be in a weaker position to do with their support for terrorism around the
world no matter how egregious their behavior is. and this is the is a real issue when i think about our national security when you have the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world and they will now have legitimate access to developing the icbm program with the lifting of sanctions and the u.n. the legitimate purchasing of arms and we know that there are people, countries like russia lining up to sell these arms to them and then will weaken our ability to impose terrorism related sanctions in the future. mr. president this agreement, if i see where we stand today, i heard many of my colleagues also talking earlier about the 60-vote threshold in the united states senate. when we voted on the iran nuclear we do act, we voted on it i believe 98-1.
so you would think that at that point we wouldn't be worried at all about actually getting to the debate on the actual bill. i would hope that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle when they voted for the iran nuclear review act were serious about having a substantive vote given that this was a vote of 98-1 on this agreement big and ugly the american people deserve nothing less than a substantive vote on the merits of this agreement as provided for by the iran nuclear review act. i know that many of my colleagues are here to speak but i want to raise one final issue that we've heard about on this floor, and that is actually being able to see the full text of this agreement or now, we all know that when you have an agreement especially the country that is a history of cheating that language matters. we know that because the
iranians already taken all kinds of different positions on what the language means in this agreement to their benefit. and yet we have not been given access to the two-sided agreement between the iaea and iran. yet what we know, and by the way, that's a direct violation of the express language of the iran nuclear review act which says congress should have access to side agreements. but what we do know about these side agreements that have been reported in the press is truly disturbing. and that is that one, that side agreements themselves come information has been leaked that indicates tehran could declare some areas of suspected nuclear sites including the parchin military complex off limits to inspectors and that iran could even be permitted to self inspect there. can you imagine allowing a country the history of cheating
the ability to self inspect or collect their own samples in terms of how inspections would be done? and yet we are saying this is, those are supporting the agreement is think this is a robust inspection of method. i would ask i would ask my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who are supporting this agreement, does it not trouble you that should not be given access to language of the side agreements, given that what has been leaked about them is that they pertain to the actual inspection process at important sites like parchin? i would hope that our constituents would expect us to review every word of the language as something so important to our national security, that in and of itself i would say is a reason to be
highly skeptical of this agreement, along with the other issues that i have raised. finally, we have a long history in this body of debating important international agreements, including agreements that deal with the very sentimental issues involving our foreign policy. issues that involve nuclear nonproliferation, issues that involve many sensitive treaty issues, and we had a long history of actually debating this in a bipartisan manner and working in nearby paterson matter to -- bipartisan manner to go left and position where a majority of the united states senate on a bipartisan basis have said that we have serious
reservations about this agreement and have declared that they're going to vote against this agreement. and yet the administration is continuing to push forward to get this done, to make sure that this agreement is fully implemented without reaching out in a bipartisan fashion to ensure that the strength of the congress in a bipartisan fashion is behind something so important on our national security. that should say something about the merits of this agreement or disagreement is deeply flawed. this is an agreement that i believe does not protect our national security and, in fact in the long run will undermine our security in this country by giving iran more cash, legitimization on a nuclear weapons program, in terms of keeping the infrastructure for
that program, legitimizing their icbm program, and begin hurting our ability on closed further sanctions if they conduct act of terrorism which they certainly have a history of doing to the proxy. so, mr. president, i hope as we continue this debate that we will disapprove this agreement which i do not believe protects our national security. thank you, mr. president. >> the senator from indiana. >> mr. president, i intend to speak at much greater length on this issue, perhaps tomorrow but i am pleased to the opportunity to participate in this colloquy and i will be brief. i know my colleagues are waiting to speak also. first, i want to commend senator corker, the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee. together with his work with senator cardin, we have a bipartisan agreement supported by some of the most knowledgeable foreign policy
experts of the democrat side and on the republican side before us. had we not, had senator corker not been able to make that arrangement, it would have been a done deal before the congress even saw what was agreed to in this negotiation with iran. now happening, i think my colleagues here have been amazed at the difference between what we were told the agreement did and didn't do as to what we actually learned it does and doesn't do as we poured over word by word and next to annex looking through every piece of information here that is relevant to our decision here and so i'm thankful for the work of senator corker who has taken some heat for not doing more. he saved us and safety the american people from not having, from having the ability for us
to examine this in detail the and that's what this debate here is all about. the american people deserve to know what's in disagreement. the consequences of this for the future of america, for the future of the world are significant and almost mind-boggling. and so we have to get it right. and to get it right we need to read every word. so here i am shortly after delivery of the 157 pages, together with the annexes over a weekend poring through the distance to understand exactly what we have and what we are dealing with, and i what i've come up with. today instead of going through the various items and i will talk more about this tomorrow and it's been well presented by my colleagues here from new hampshire and by others this afternoon including the majority leader, i would like to discuss something that i don't think has been raised yet. and that something is the ambiguity that exists throughout this agreement, and particularly
in the annexes to the agreement. we know that they are to secret agreements which we don't have access to and now anyone can go forward and support an arrangement when you have side secret agreements that you're not allowed to know what they are. that in and of itself should be reason not to support an agreement. but having said that let me just send a little bit of time regarding these ambiguities and the vagueness of some of the language that they could have major implications. the annex uses familiar forms of mushy language. i'm going to quote, as determined where appropriate, among others as mutually determined when beneficial what are the actual obligations that we are undertaking if we vote for this agreement that's full of words like that?
this is not clear to me, nor i would think it is clear anyone in the administration are we question the administration on this issue and who they essentially said, well, this is to be determined at a later date, or if this issue comes up we will try to get some consensus on how to go forward. my own conclusion is that this language was not a mistake. these people who negotiate on our benefit have had a lifetime of negotiating engagement. i assume many of them were attorneys and lawyers that new come to know and understand that a word, definition of a word or phrase is everything. you have to understand exactly what it is or you will end up with confusion. these ambiguous obligations i think are purposefully designed to placate the iranians were offering them a vision of a
robust military nuclear infrastructure develop not only with the acquiescence of the west but with our material assistance. and for that if we examine the agreements taxed let alone the annex text, this same pattern of misleading ambiguity holds. and many of the detailed commitments that are in this agreement, specified in the agreement and the annexes of their will to us is conditional ambiguous terms dominate. i couldn't help but notice that this was and an occasional occurrence pixar asked and wasn't an occasional occurrence. i asked my staff to look at some of these ambiguous definitions and count the number of them. the phrase as appropriate or where appropriate, achieving this as appropriate or obligated
to this, as appropriate for where appropriate were sprinkled throughout the text 34 times. as mutually determined or i consensus to be concluded occurred 28 times, and find a future agreement or conditional commitments are there as against current commitments. at the same time the phrase iran intends to occurs more quickly than it should in place of affirmative obligations. now, any lawyer representing a client what you're buying a house or leasing a car or losing an apartment or entering into a business contract commuting to to that lawyer and basically say, look, i want an out. overcome if you're on the other end of the negotiating process you can say put some ambiguous vague language in there, to be determined, as appropriate, by consensus, so that if something goes wrong i have an excuse to
opt out. and i think that's exactly what iran was trying to do. so if we come up with a breach of what we think is a breach of the amendment, it's easy for iran to say well, that needs to be by consensus, and without consensus, we see that same such and such. and you see it wrong. if we press the case of iran that, of course, gives them the option of withdrawing from the agreement. and at an important time, now having over $100 billion in their hands, now having signed contracts with many nations around the world long-term contracts for delivery of oil minerals or whatever, now having put in cells and a much different position with sanctions lifted they may use that exact language as a means of escaping. or turn it the other way around
that iran says wait a minute our intentions is such and such. you didn't understand what we are trying to say to you. and then how are we going to respond. so this puts us in a very tenuous position. i can't, i can recall a number of times when i told my wife got, but you going to stop and pick up milk on the way home. well i intended to do that but i got a phone call. wait a minute. i thought you going to clean the garage and saturday. i intended to do that but joe called and said let's go play golf. i intend to get it was a good intention. well that's fine in any kind of a marital relationship or any other kind of relationship. many of those are just meaningless things but when you're talking about an agreement that binds the united states on the basis of how it's negotiating adversary and uses these words, it can put you in real trouble.
i don't think anybody is talked about that yet. i wanted to bring that up as i said i'm going to be talking about my position and how i came to the decision not to support this. they doing that tomorrow. but this is a sloppily written agreement that combined deny states the obligations that we are not even yet aware of and i can give iran an out if it so chooses and comes to that point in time when within a three month was the breakout having nuclear weapons capability. they simply say sanctions are gone. we've got our money. we've done the research and even some with assistance with u.s. scientists and members of the negotiating team picked we are in the great position to go forward and which is going to do it. and we can use this language to opt out of the agreement. so without this is just one more
reason why each of us should carefully try to understand what it is and what it is in this agreement. weigh this against as we tried to make a judgment in terms of whether we should go forward or whether we have signed onto a very, very bad deal and should vote against it. with that mr. chairman, tried to i want to you to my colleagues i know who have been waiting patiently to speak. mr. president? >> the senator from oklahoma. >> i would like to take a moment to recap it and some the things i've heard quite a bit and heard a lot of the debate. as i processed through some of the debate, here's what i've heard. we'll see if some of my colleagues agree with this in the direction. i've heard a lot of conversation on the details of the agreement in trying to walk to the actual process can what does the text say. there seems to be two very different opinions about this. so let me just share what i am hearing back.
there are key things that iran needs to build a nuclear weapon. it doesn't seem disagreement stops them in the process and that seems to been the goal. disagree with to stop them from acquiring a nuclear weapon. what does iran need? they need time. this agreement gives them time, lays out a schedule backs up slows down the process of inspections, allows them time to be able to finish the research, amounts of the money a key aspect they need to vote for the funding of terrorism but to build a complete the technological research that had to have in those facilities. billions of dollars are released to iran almost immediately in this agreement for them to go to complete their research. it allows them ballistic missile capability. which is shocking to a lot of people that i've talked to in my state. they assume that the still action slows down the ballistic missile research and capability. it actually doesn't.
it pays the path and gives them permission to continue the ballistic missile research. it allows them to continue toward highly enriched uranium. again a lot of people i've talked to been surprised at that because the assumption was from so many times you from the president they shouldn't be allowed to have uranium. that was the conversation five years ago but now it's how much uranium can be enriched and what does that look like. there has been some conversations today by individuals that it said this will decrease the number of centrifuges they have. that is correct. it doesn't decrease the number of centrifuges but let me give you administration. if your company had 20 computers that were built in 1995 and you were told you could replace those 20 computers from 1995 with three computers with this year, would you take that deal? i think you would. that's the deal that we're giving to iran. we are telling them their oldest centrifuges the oldest
originally built, they are going to have to get rid of about two-thirds of those but they can still keep 5000 of even the oldest centrifuges, but they can install 1000 of the newest technology centrifuges and keep those going. welcome i would sorely think that's a deal that would take. and by the way, they are taking and they're asking us to take it as well. they have time they have money to pay a ballistic missile research, that highly enriched uranium at the permission to be able to continue their work on the most advanced centrifuges. and an additional defensive capabilities. they are allowed to continue to stockpile conventional weapons under this agreement and to be able to even add things like surface to air defense capability to double to defend their military sites. so you tell me. does iran have what it needs to be able to complete a nuclear weapon under this deal?
time, money ballistic missile, ability to complete the research, advanced centrifuges and defensive weaponry to be able to put around their facilities. yes. here's something we don't know that we can't discuss, that we would appreciate being able to discuss today, those ideals but we have the documents that coming. i posted those on my website. many others have done the same. we want americans to read those things because most americans when they read them are stunned with what this agreement sets. but what we can to get is thus ideal for either over and over from the president were not going to trust iran we will verify. we don't trust verify. literally put aside the grid people keep in what is the site agreement, which is beside agreement or is what is. demand agreement gives broad parameters difference is that will say we will have inspections. that's great how it inspections to be done? that's in the site agreement.
so we are agreeing that yes the we inspections when we asked the question how well inspections begin to we are told we can't read that document, that's a separate agreement between the u.s. and iran. literally i cannot verify how we are going to verify. i had been told trust and verify. i can't verify how we are verifying. that seems absurd and it's hard to imagine anyone in his body would say yes i will sign off on sunday i had never read i have never seen. in fact, the people in the administration of said they have never read, they have never seen. yet we've been asked to sign off on and give our authorization and suggest we would support that. i have a problem with that. and it's one of many reasons why i cannot support this deal. what i've heard over and over again by individuals that do support this deal to take my for this is a deal that is in front of us the president has agreed and it looked bad if we don't agree to it. my palm is a looking back.
my problem is a nuclear-armed iran. that's the problem. at the end of the day this is not about saving the face of america. this is about protecting the united states interest, such citizen and those of our friends in the gulf. this is not about saving face for the president. i've heard over and over again it would be too hard to get the coalition back together to renegotiate this. the reason we have this coalition together is because the crippling sanctions are one thing that you cannot do business with america and with iran. that's the deal. if we continue the sanctions in place to is not about getting the band back together is like leaving the sanctions in place and if you want to do business with the united states, you also have to agree to not do business with iran. it's not about getting everyone back together to leave them in place, let's finish we negotiating a. it's either war or this. quite frankly i think this deal in its place takes us closer to a conventional war. why? because it allows iran to begin
to almost immediately begin stockpiling conventional weapons. those in the gulf region are so concerned about that there were promising than they can get more weapons and by more advanced weapons from us. .. it destabilizes. i've heard over and over again today, what's our message to the world when the rest of the world has signed off on this and yet we say "no"? here's our message to the world: iran is screaming "gej "death to america"." israel is also standing up and saying this is a terrible deal for our nation and for the stability of the world. it's not about our message to the world. it's about standing up and being the world's superpower. that's who we are. let's take responsibility for our position in the world and to be able to finish what we're doing. i've also heard multiple times today, wll sig off o