tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 18, 2015 12:00am-2:01am EST
which manifestly, we are not doing now. >> alright, with this i would like to thank everyone for being here today and for your lively participation in the discussion. if you could please join me in thinking ambassador crocker [applause]. >> thank you for taking time in your busy schedule to be with us. thank you to the center working hard to make this happen. we appreciate it. >> see you at another event in the future.
on the next "washington journal", mr. crystal on this week's debate and what it means. after that executive director of the sierra club with details of the paris climate change agreement. washington journal is live every morning at seven 7:00 a.m. eastern. you can join the conversation with your calls and comments on facebook and twitter. >> this week on newsmakers, senator lamar alexander talks about successful efforts to pass the ever child succeed at. president obama signed the legislation on december 10. senator alexander chairs the education committee and was president george w. bush secretary of education. he is a former governor of tennessee.
>> american history tv, every weekend on seat band tv. louisiana state louisiana professor on the history of the united states. >> he starts out in 1727 by establishing the junto. the young man's improvement club. these were about improving their community and individual morals, they would read books and share ideas. these were young men like himself who were not born into wealth but who believed it was possible to rely on yourself, study and get ahead in society. >> sunday morning at ten on road to the white house rewind, we
look back at the 2000 campaign of george w. bush and his announcement to run while in new hampshire. he went on to win the general election beating al gore. later at four on real america, the 1958 army film on the reason why the north atlantic treating organization was formed and why dwight i i was in higher convinced 12 other nations to support it. >> they gave sufficient authority to organize, equip and train and nato force for the defense of europe the task before him was unprecedented. though each of the countries would supply and support their own forces, the supreme commander would be responsible for a single for. >> the changing historical
changes for a complete schedule go to cspan.org. >> form policy experts discuss the implementation of russia's military operation in syria for the u.s. and turkey. a panel in washington d.c. is hosted by the set foundation for political economic and social research. this is about one hour and a half.
>> good morning everyone. i want to welcome all of you to this discussion on russia and syria and implication for the united states military. we have a great panel to discuss the most recent incident which is the downing of the russian jet as well as perspective on u.s. and russia relations, and we will see how that is going forward and how the relationship is but in particular in the context of syria. as you know russian intervention, intervention, military intervention and direct intervention in syria has complicated the dynamics on the ground.
there were expectations that this could perhaps lead to some sort of contribution from russia to the fight against isis but let's say that russia has been ambivalent about that. it's not entirely clear what russia is doing in syria. it seems to be putting the opposition against the regime so they seem to be helping the asad regime but also doing some operations against isis. we will discuss what the goals of russia in syria is in the downing of the russian jets along the border of syria. as to how that will impact the relationships as well as the syrian conflicts going forward.
i have a great panel with me here with distinguish speakers. he is deputy director with the russia and eurasia program. he's also a good commentator on a variety of issues. he was just telling us he got back from russia yesterday, last week, sorry. so he had fresh things to say about u.s. russian relationships.
anna is the research fellow. she focus on eastern european politics and the transatlantic relationships. to my colleagues who cannot be the research director,. [inaudible] and the most recent incidents as well. he is the author of a book on obama and syrian policies as well. i want to thank my panel and think you first of all for being here for this discussion and without further ado, i will just turn to my left.
then we will go to anna for her assessment of what that means in the context of russia and syria. then we will move to this discussion on russia turkey relationships. they will have each about ten minutes and then we will go to a discussion as well. thank you very much for coming. >> thank you to everyone in the audience who came today. i'm not going to talk about the downing of the rushing plane by the turkeys air force because we can discuss it during the q&a. i want to provide a little bit broader picture of russians actions in syria.
there is always a prehistory to this. in this case i would say the important part goes back to the cold war the soviet union was a a key player in the middle east and had a number of clients in the region, including syria and iraq and egypt and some others. the soviet union support for these regimes was part of the globalization of the cold war. that was in the 1960s. the middle east became this kind of chessboard on which some of the latter-day cold war conflicts between moscow and washington played out. when the soviet union collapsed in 1991, moscow lost its regional hinterland but also its role as the leading patron as some of these regimes in the middle east. to the extent that when the united states led the coalition
to push the iraqi army out of kuwait in 1991 it got the soviet union on board with that campaign despite the fact that iraq had been a client state of the soviet union. with the end of the cold war and the soviet collapse, russia entered a period in which they try to integrate more deeply with the west and adopt more of a western identity that included an approach to form policy that was largely in line with the united states and its allies. in more recent years since the turn of vladimir putin, they have reversed course on this count and wants to reestablish themselves as a great power with their own political agenda and that does not overlap with the west or the united states specifically.
we can see this in the middle east is one of the key areas that he is looking to insert his own rule and establish himself as an independent player and pursue goals that may or may not be aligned with the west but that russia defined on the basis of how they perceive their own interest. this is the context in which the arab spring broke out which russia viewed in very different terms than did the united states or many of its allies. the typical way that we talked about the arab spring in 2011 when it was happening was that this was their release of pent up frustration on populations that had been oppressed for too long by autocratic governments and was part of the natural human way of striving for democracy. but the russia sought as a revolt from secular authorities by a whole range of radical and uncontrollable forces, forces that threaten stability in the middle east and in russia's neighborhood and given the large muslim population in russia too. for that reason moscow was
opposed of regime changes in terms of the arab spring and was very worried that u.s. foreign-policy was going to have blowback effects for russia. the u.s. has gotten involved, moscow argues they've only contributed to the instability. the u.s. involvement in the be a into thousand 11 and the efforts in syria, more recently. in syria, russia has seen and argued that the u.s. is repeating the same restriction of the past. they're forcing regime changes to overthrow a government in favor of uncontrolled chaos and the very slim likelihood that a capable democratic government will emerge in its place. given that background, russia's military intervention in syria, despite a lot of the rhetoric
that gets tossed around, i think it only in small part, maybe the asad regime part. surely there is an interest in propping up in preserving his role to some extent but i think there's a bigger set of issues here for russia's intervention. one that maintaining the coherence in the institution of the syrian state, whether those institutions will ultimately be headed by asad or not. i think the fate of asad as a bargaining chip that moscow holds to help secure its own larger interest. at the same time it's not only about establishing or reasserting the control of the syrian state of institution but it's also about asserting moscow's role, again as it was in the cold war as a regional
powerbroker. at a time when the united states have declined. what their military intervention has done and was designed to do was to ensure that russia has a seat at the table in any negotiations about a future peace deal. this includes giving russia essay but also as a key balancer in politics as well. they want to play a role in bouncing the interest of syria, iraq, iran, saudi iran, saudi arabia and other regional powers as well. you can see given the role that russia has played in a different demo craddick issues, it's been successful in inserting itself into the center of the conversation. they may now hold the key to a peace deal, but it's possible to them imagine a a peace deal that didn't include moscow. russia is not going to match the influence it had during the cold war.
they want show other states that russia is a force they can turn to, especially if they want to balance against the united states. we've seen this over the last year or so. egypt was a country that had been very much identified as the pro- western camp the united states had turned its back on the country and the time of need and when the new government consolidated itself, sense that the united states was a fair weather friend. while egypt is not shipping out in the united states camp, the fact that it has engaged in
diplomatic overture with moscow and there have been agreements on military sales and other kinds of corporation is indicative of how russia is seeking to promote itself as an alternative, as a kind of balance on the scale in the region for countries that don't think they can rely entirely on the united states for their security. in doing this russia gains more pieces in the game that they are playing with us. there is also the context beyond the middle east. of course it's not coincidental as they would have said in the soviet. that russia syria intervention came shortly after a couple of weeks after the signing of yet another cease-fire in the
ukraine. one that seemed to be holding, at least at first. the point is that when they started intervening in syria and intervening in a way that seem to line up with what the u.s. and the allies allies were trying to do in terms of allegedly fighting against the islamic state forces pushing for a a peace agreement, suddenly the u.s. was forced to engage with russia which made it harder for them to focus on russia as an adversary in terms of ukraine. the number of european countries have argued that you need to engage russia, you need to form a military partnership in order to go after the people who can threaten additional terrorist attacks in europe as well as potentially in the united states, and to deal with the civil war in syria. these are all much higher priorities than the conflict in the ukraine.
if the price of the cooperation with moscow is to take the focus off of ukraine, and we've seen in the last week or two in the discussion about sanction, then from russia's perspective, that is also good. i've hope i i've helped set the seed here a little bit not only in terms of syria but the middle east as well and the overall balance between russia and the united states which now touches on -- if you want to talk about some of those specifics including the downing of the jet by the turkish air, i'm happy to do that during q&a. >> thanks for having me along.
i'm a slight bit disappointed you didn't start off with the treaty. >> ellie had ten minutes. >> 12 - 17 wars. it's a fun history of any of you are bored this weekend. i actually wanted to agree largely with what jeff said on the major drivers of why russia is doing what they're doing. the interest that russia has in maintaining sovereignty and its position that it once had in the middle east, they weren't as discrete acting for me. i think these are all incredibly important points.
i wanted to take the next level down and talk about some of the things russia is doing to try to get there. i want to focus on the military aspect and note that ever since russia where the shooting down of the russian jet, russia has really used that as an excuse to ramp up its military positioning in the region. just in the past several weeks, you've seen the russians move-in they have a lot more military equipment including a a submarine if they move in, more ships down to the base, they have, is the stationing of s400y near to the tradition border. the town name taught starts with
an h and m. i'm not going to attempt it. 300 was the last version but 400 is the most up-to-date version. it has a 400 kilometers shooting radius which makes it now nearly impossible for the west, if they wanted to institute a no-fly zone over syria because it covers much of that area, area, it also covers the area into turkey on the air force base it covers half of israeli airspace, part of lebanese airspace and others. dave you really used it as an excuse to ramp up their military
positioning in the region, in part because i think jeff said he wants to solidify this agreement and they want to be a major player. they want to reinsert themselves >> one other thing i want to mention is what i think is a very important domestic component for the russian government. i spend a lot of time watching russian television and there is a lot of talking about the other. there is always a kind of enemy that is presented on russian television. if the u.s. is standing in the way of russia doing what it wants to do, it's europe is standing in the way europe has terrible values.
now it's turkey. we saw vladimir putin give his annual three hour long, which is actually shorter than usual because it's usually for a half or five hours, hours, but he stood up and gave his annual press conference and he was very unkind toward the turks. you'll see things on russian television and talk to us about how turkey is supporting isis. they were using terms never seen before on television like turkeys turkish isis. to me it's a way to distract from the reality at home which is that the russian economy is not doing terribly well. oil has fallen to a new low. growth is expected to decline. we see a decline in the gdp.
the money for all of these wars have to come from somewhere and that includes ukraine as well. the russian people are being asked to make a sacrifice for this. they have sacrificed willingly until this point and i think they will continue to do so for a long while. i'm happy to go through the reasons why i think these are true. you saw president putin get up today saying this is an all turkey's turkeys fault in russia has nothing to do with this and it is us against the world, in some way. i'm going to pick on a a project
of mine. i once lived a long time in crime area. i spent a lot of time with crimean tartar's tartar's who are generally related to turks. a lot of times there was a lot of talk of the comedian tartar's on television. it's not a point that is very much talked about and perhaps a little example to the discussion, i wanted to bring it out anyway just to pinpoint the way that the russians are using this as very important internal mechanism of control. i think i will start their stopped there and open for questions. >> let me give a little bit
about the background of the turk dish russian relations. i lived in moscow. there was a meeting in moscow about the turkish russian people and the relationships. there were russian and turkish speakers. they were cautious of the optimism activity. [inaudible] there was almost very high optimism that for people who define the u.s. china relations usually use the wrong concept. they were saying the relations are so high, especially energy,.
[inaudible] there's a high volume of trade. the russians are probably the highest in the region when you compare them to the different countries. there cautious optimism about the statements. we have to find a way to contain this crisis. in five months, they met twice in moscow. actually they are supposed to meet yesterday.
in st. petersburg they were going to meet. a month before this, both the foreign ministry organized an event in moscow. they discussed how to contain possible fallouts in the relation because of the disagreement in syria. some of our colleagues, they want to discuss the tragic relations,. you have to improve these relations and create some kind of understanding so there was very high optimism among the policymakers and newsmakers and
first day that was considered their reaction. and then the first reaction. but then this gradually increase to public opinion. issues like banning the import of turkish troops so to make a statement is becoming a missile and they are shooting the turkish jets. issue with the turkish embassy and the significant
and then just part of that. with the reports from though why pg after that incident but i could not confirm this but then they would talk about that. so russia goes on as if it is victimized and then to say they are victimized for the foreign policy. so turkey tried to ds believe the prices. and it address of so-called.
but to think about it and that russian vision of the international system and the obama administration and secretary kerry in particular has used the phrase to engage than 21st century diplomacy of twentieth century tactics. that is a way to characterize in the sense the 18th-century was characterized by a handful of great powers. attitude dispose of the smaller territories. there was still largely though way that they
understand the way the international game is played. and if a side -- assad is a bargaining chip that it is just between the united states and russia over who will get these squares to and upon their side. and trying to arrive at the settlements. with us years of influence does it have a right to affiliate itself with western institutions? ukrainians can get this for themselves according to the established international
rules. they have the right to pick which system they want to join. whether that is a good idea or not but reischauer argues know it doesn't. russia is the great power. it is a periphery. on the basis of the powers. so to sit down with the united states planned to negotiate a new framework a skier of the influence and then to see something similar play it and though he's. that allows it to read to its own interest in the
region and. to account for the russian equity and interest in the region and. to the extent that we engage in that game reluctantly there wasn't much interest of having russia at the table and told intervention forced our view and. ended the meeting that it was not regime change per se. and for the last two years it was something quite different.
and that they are seeking to play. by likin syria and depraved. and with the u.s. position is that it does not change our equipment to upholding the cease-fire agreement and holding russia to its commitment. but here in hands if you see they european players france or german officials. and then to say we had
another more pressing issue. and then let's not do anything hasty. and mid miss some degree you can do that. >> did to do the job to lay that out. it did precisely the way they you said that the russians want to sit down with united states perhaps europe for china to hammer out. i do agree. it would be called maybe the delta conference 2.go when
the great powers that there to hear route who would have one area of influence. and then how will it was the greatest catastrophe. budget he wants the great pressure of russia backed the status that it used to have. perhaps flooded your putin will try to correct what he sees that the wrong done when russia lost that status.
in and now he comes back to say you did things i did not like the balkans. you have to think about what russia may do. we are of major player. and that is precisely what they want. to be a player and where do you have to consider it everything you do. but that secondary goal is nato. and that the risk of sounding slave dealer best.
one of though long-term goals is to weaken nato. to be exposed as an alliance that doesn't mean much of anything if he tries to do that in turkey with the article five negotiations but nothing may happen. that may be another prospect we have to face trying to display to the row that europe is weak and they go is weak none of these are real players in that sense it says it will do something it will. it tempting to cast itself putting itself up against
the united states is attempting to prove it is something different that it can be trusted but it is a very different sense as correctly layout perhaps 80 the or twentieth century frayed of action. >> talk about the unwillingness in to to facilitate some type of transition. do you think in six months down the road he can say i have delivered on these?
so perhaps it is beyond that >> that is the fear of most ukrainians to a large extent the ukrainian leadership that they would be forgotten it be given that putin played ninth in syria. in the fact that cry me it is officially russian will free up the conflict. and as mentioned now starting to see a little bit of a breakdown and there is a strong possibility.
because that is their greatest fear that they lose the sovereignty to make their own decisions because of what may or may not happen it is conjecture and we will see that we spend a lot of time trying to warn the partners. >> failed to regain the past the anti-corruption law. >> it is funny, well maybe not but with the first pass sanctions of the russians for corrupt individuals to do business in europe and
what kind of we'll drill equipment the key in sen from prince to russia is first to put the counter sections of a europe. but they created an entire q paid but then they they day big show of the swiss and french and the bill to cheeses just to build those. why are they doing that? their century themselves and removing all kinds of delicacies from their supermarket.
obviously they will just repackage that under the bell of russian naval. but the al reared with a dose that could afford to go to buy the fancy cheeses were the ones that vladimir putin doesn't necessarily like any way. so much is actually hurting them the second question. but now talking about that is another question and. udc overtures ted platitudes
side the globalization for russia to make your economy dependent on outside forces that you cannot control. so beginning with the imposition of the sanctions of crimea, there has been a real emphasis not only counter sanctions but reducing russia's exposure on the import substitution than stimulating domestic production especially to the point like the financial sector if you can do things domestically that is fine
but there are those such as the chinese to develop an alternative arrangement between moscow and beijing. and i would argue that here you see something similar. the one of the striking things that i have heard well in moscow was the extent that but that with the aside rose. >> natalie turkey but the end states and europe pity to prepare itself. it impartial in the --
becoming more self-sufficient and to control russia's economy. that is the flip side that what you see with some of the sanctions it is stimulating domestic alternative so they get used to be a deal they cannot rely on the outside world even for basic items like tomatoes. >> and seeing a return but there is this said federation and be able to support ourselves but because russia has been through so many famines relatively recently, been
able to support yourself or feed herself but that is also connected to russian society over the past couple of years that during those early years in putin made his name on revitalizing the country to give a standard of living they cannot take vacations abroad they could do nye's renovations and to do things in and that is what i would call the social
contract so in the political sphere with the economy to make life better. and to see an increased interest the way being a star talked about. it is said to each in the social contract you have to remember the day and when they try to build a better soviet union. not a better russia per but in ourselves back up on the stage to instill that in its bid -- respect or freer. you are sacrificing it can
>> i will just open to queue and it this point. in but will take several questions. >> can you wait for the microphone? >> last friday the russian and minister of defense stated the islamic state of influence is expanding. they have seized about 70 percent the number of terrorist is about 60,000 people. there is a threat these actions will be transferred to central asia. and it does the address they will have a problem.
so they may have hideous concerns but to focus on those. that is my question that the policy maker would say. there was a lot of debate about the price. and it turns out that many people said so i have a concern about that. maybe that is the starting point of the agreement but of course, is a they english language and it is tragic.
system. >> on the of question of russia in terrorism maidu agreed that that was russia's main interest the nation's bin 90 percent of their time bombing actual isis targets. and as a convenient and i am not convinced they care that much about terrorism in the region. they dealt with it quite harsh the in the past.
there have been in the incident where the kremlin has chosen to the terrorist incident and so i think the series the apartment bombings which that was used to start the second chechen war and the attack in 2003 which was used as an excuse to accomplish something domestically in there are several others where the tragedy in 2001 to crack down the media inside of
russia. it is very adept of flat from amendable said. so i am not totally convinced for if they did not care than they should not allow saudi arabia in. if they really care there would not allow the chechens to send students to study in saudi arabia that continues. but don their reaction to the shootdown, there really wasn't much it is important to note those from in russia or those better not related to each other as far as i know. i am just talking those from crimea.
and i will stop there. so i do think russia is a concern as a potential from the blow back but i do think the analysis is different. talk about the modern rebels it generally has ben such a thing as a modern rubble. with the formation of this rebel alliance and to the russians will be willing to engage.
though to some extent not all of them were prevent all of them from coming over. and that much was generated and then to have the movement from news pakistan from the beginning of the 2000's with barely substantial numbers. not because of anything that is going on in syria and is a way to follow those ambitions. it is not only a question of what is going on in the
crowd. but in neck eastern mediterranean i have a lot to say except from the power projections saddam point i think this is one of the key equities but also over the course of conflict we have a small repair shed but did not host anything but it is pretty heavily armed now. with the installation of weaponry for the eastern the
>> do you think that the russians think about their weight? rebate are very aware of their capabilities on and off than the uncertain period it is above their weight and in other areas they advanced capabilities. is an quite advanced with the piece of weaponry. and as you rightly mentioned that was just saw long article in "the new york times". with their witnesses and their strengths with the modernization programs.
but they have done some work that they're still not entirely there. but given that direction to have been they have made merge rides wishes the one that expose them through the weakness and. what are they trying to achieve? i gave riyal would like to know that. there is never just one goal. there will always be someone is the extent and the major
goal is the restoration of russia. alongside united states and china or whoever else perhaps the saudis or india. that is precisely what russia wants. everything else is just a matter to get there. >> to a your question. keep in mind the russians assume they would operate over territory that there was a threat to the plane they did not assume the rebels had the capability but since it was shut down the have introduced the
bombing against the rebels would be accompanied by fighter planes. and as an unmentioned on the military side with the last couple of years 2.0 of all the things we said we would reform the only one was the military with the professionals station in terms of the military industrial complex so there is the love this stuff that is happening doesn't have the capabilities of the united states compared to a country like china.
we have to take this seriously. the what was said at one time it is the army with a state more than a state with an army but in the military domain yes. the measures of national power are measured on the economic front for the cultural front but it has placed on the dimension of its power. in terms of the strategy for syria i heard the term from a russian analyst and that is a good way to describe john say they don't need a
side so they want some sort of regime to control the area is cheap to be important student then laura the very least responsive to version neck ways. i don't the directions necessarily think that is the worst outcome is vivid with the russian and this this russia is very committed to territorial integrity. >>.
[laughter] the public thinks it is the violation of the consequences. but with that the escalation it and if you want to go from public opinion it needs to be short and decisive for victory. and then have the weaker country. so if you want to get their attention is the influence on the economy as well. escalation of this crisis once at this point.
george. envisage the american in its aquarium society of original books and pamphlets related to the history of the united states. then we will talk with the author to discuss the book of her migration of african-americans after the civil war. >>. in case it did break out there were organized -- organizations at this time was very forward looking. and we will visit mechanics hall. listed as the national register of historic places. and also served as the platform for social and
cultural activities. >> the first women's rights convention happened after word most came here to speak and if anything happens and it hit happened here at home >> and finally the special collection from the father of modern rocketry. you will learn of his contribution to science. >> he attributes his first interest in space travel in a career in science to a day in 1899 he went outside with a saw to trim the dead branches of a cherry tree. he climbed the tree with the latter and while he wasn't
this is to an half-hour's. >> would like to thank our witnesses for being here. we know senators that are here at the moment, others will be joining. this hearing is the first public meeting the committee has held as we began overseeing the implementation of the iran deal. i would like to underscore the importance that we play some oversight efforts. in many ways i think that is the strongest element of the firebrand review act.
we intend to hold another hearing in january after the administration submits the 180 day report, as required by the iran review act. f third, if implementation day occurs. i'm sure there are more to follow after that and we will work with that and we'll work with the ranking members and others to make sure those are scheduled in a timely fashion. as we begin this process, it is worth noting whether or not any of us supported or opposed this agreement, the deal is being implemented at present. i think no matter what anyone's view on the agreement is, or was, we all support the goal of preventing iran from getting a nuclear weapon. one area we agree on is to be top on any destabilize or illegal action. with that view, i think the agreement is off to a terrible start. i know we have talked about this and classified settings said today we will talk about it publicly. since the agreement was signed, iran has has convicted an american washington post reporter, launch cyber attacks against the state department, defied eight you and travel ban, and sent to russia, exported
exported weapons to syria and yemen, violated the un ballistic test twice, and and lied to the iaea in an investigation. i realize not all of those issues are covered by the iran agreement, but but they all relate to the relationship with iran. it is very evident that they are taken a very different tack than the administration officials thought would be the case after the agreement was agree to. anyone here point to any subsequent consequences that iran has space, i'm sure during this hearing that will be a constant theme because we see no evidence of them paying a price for any of these actions. instead of consequences, iran got what it wanted an hour administration supported a resolution at the iaea closing investigation which, i think all of us believe, we thought they would maybe get a d- in their actions.
actually it was an ass. i thought our witnesses, i know our witness will say most of these actions fall outside of their jurisdiction including the missile tests. but i do not think we can take a narrow view of this oversight. failure to impose any consequences on iran regarding the violations of the security council sets a very dangerous precedents which we have talked about. before before implementation of the nuclear agreement when sanctions are lifted and leverage shifts to iran. so we hope you'll talk with us today about how you plan to enforce the agreement when it appears we are paralyzed at present, to act for fear of iran backing away from the agreement. most of us have talked about the leverage shift that will take place and it will be even more difficult for them to be pushed back again. we thank thank you again for being here. i look for to the comments of our distinguished ranking member is certainly your testimony and
questions. >> thank you mr. chairman. first, let me just pause for one moment, on behalf of the democratic members of this committee and i think i speak on behalf of all members of the committee, congratulate you on an incredible year as chairman of this committee. the way that you have conducted your leadership on the senate foreign relations committee allowing us to have important input into very important foreign security issues for the united states. i want to thank you and congratulate you. i want to remind you though, the members of this committee receive a set compensation. it is not based upon the number of committee hearings we have. i think this committee have set an all-time record on the number of hearings and briefings, which i i think was because of the issues. we started with senator menendez
relationship and with your leadership, senator keynes, and others and took on a very important responsibility to deal with iran's nuclear ambitions. we also had to deal with russia's activities that were not helpful in ukraine and syria. we dealt with eight state department authorization bill, we dealt with individual bills and resolutions in a way that was in the best area of the senate committee. i've said many times, your timely consideration of nominations, we have had so many and actions in this committee that was in against the best tradition of the senate and a nonpartisan manner, thank you very much for that. i can tell members of this committee and senator menendez will agree, the working relationship among the staff,
majority and minority cannot be better. fortunately this is our last hearing, i hope. [laughter] so, on to today's hearing. the responsibility goes well beyond the actions we took in regards to after the agreement was agree to. we have an oversight function and today's hearing is the first of the oversight function of the senate foreign relations committee. as you indicate, we will be having a series of opportunities during the course of next year as it relates to this agreement. we all share the common objective to prevent iran from becoming a nuclear weapon state. together we want to work to make sure iran does not obtain nuclear weapon capacity. we want to see how we can work
in that regard. the pmd possible military convention was certainly disappointing, i do not not think anyone here is the price. when it pointed out was iran sheets and they cheats. i think it verifies the point that is a go forward we need to make sure there is zero tolerance from any deviation from iran's obligation under the jcp la. i think that think that is the lesson that is learned. i also want to point out that we have to be able, the review act points to this, consider it the other activities that iran is going to participate outside of the four corners of the jcp oa. their support for terrorism, their human rights violation,
their ballistic missile ambitions and test. let me first mention, jason and his unlawful detention. over 500 days he has been held in captivity. we need to make sure we do not lose sight of that gross violation of that individual's rights and iran's other activities that violate the human rights. not only of its citizens, but citizens of other countries. yesterday in a commission we held a hearing and pointed out that the incarceration of journalists is a way that you try to prevent a country from dealing with the rights of its citizens. i think this is a particular case that i hope you will always keep in mind, this person is unlawfully detained, he is an american citizen, we have to use every tool available to bring him home safely. the ballistic missile tests that the chairman referred to, not one, but two now confirmed on
october 10 and november 20 first. in clear violation of the united nations security resolution 1929. do we expect the security council to take action? they should. but we understand russia, understand russia, we understand china, we understand the politics. we also know about u.s. leadership and what the unita states must do. for zero tolerance of violations. it is not only up to u.s. actions but we have a coalition we hope, with europe. they will be watching very closely what the united states does in response to these violations, as well as our influence on our european allies to make it clear to iran that we will not tolerate any violations of their international obligations. i look forward to this earring and i look for to working with you at all members of this committee and a common objective to prevent iran from becoming a nuclear weapon state. >> thank you.
in light of what you said earlier i want to thank you and your staff for the way that you have made sure that we have had bipartisan efforts throughout the year. i want to thank senator menendez for the tone that he set before that, and thank all of the committee members were putting our national security interest in our foreign policy first. calling the other issues of this agreement to go by the wayside, so it has been an outstanding year. i want to apologize to the prm's, we are talking about this morning in our office, and our office, both of us have staff to cover a wide range of issues. you cover all of the issues. i think we have about hit the wall this year as far as the kind of things that people, and the demand that people have. i want to thank everybody. we did have a number of issues that needed to be addressed.
i think the committee together address those in a good way. thank you. i hope we'll get additional non- amenities and firms before the end of this week. with that, our first witness is the honorable stephen, core data for the iran nuclear implementation at the u.s. department of state. the second witness today, the honorable thomas am, assistant secretary of state for the bureau of international security. the third witness, lieutenant general frank, your retired u.s. air force and at the department of energy. we want to thank you all for being here. i think you understand that we would like for you to summarize in about five minutes without objection, your written testimony will be entered into the record. with that, if you would go in order in the order that i introduced
you. i would appreciate it. we thank you for changing travel plans to be with us today. thank you. >> thank you very much chairman corker and ranking member, and all members of the committee. i appreciate the opportunity to provide an update on how we are doing with implementation of the joint comprehensive plan of action, or the jcp oa. i have served as a crew member of the foreign service for almost 34 years. shortly after the jcp oa was concluded in july, secretary carey asked me to return to washington for my last post as investor a pole and for implementing the deal. in this job, i am leading a terrific team of colleagues. in the state department as well as the permit of energy, treasury, commerce, and other parts of the government to make sure the jcp oa is fully implemented to enhance the security of our country and our friends, and allies allies around the world. i'm pleased that to my colleagues are here with me
today. i'm especially honored to meet with this committee which has been a valuable partner in shaping our iran policy over many decades. with bipartisan support, are common strategic objective as you have mention of preventing a nuclear iran. as you mentioned, our government has numerous and serious concerns about iran's policy in the region which are unrelated to the nuclear deal. we continue to raise concerns about the americans, about iran's support to terrorism, test of to israel, and its human rights abuses. my job is solely focused on the critical task of making sure the jcp oa achieves its one crucial objective, preventing preventing iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability. fully implemented, the the jcp oa will dramatically scale back
iran's nuclear program and provide monitoring and verification tools to ensure it is exclusively peaceful as it moves forward. we are making progress towards this objective. october 18, marked adoption day under the jcp oa when the deal formally came into effect. on this day, all participants participants began making necessary arrangements for the implementation of their jcp oa commitments. that included iran's forming the iaea that it would provisionally apply additional protocol and fully implemented 3.1 which provides earlier declaration of nuclear facilities and granting access to iran's entire nuclear program from cradle to grave. these are two important mechanisms which will enter the international community has much greater insight into a iran's nuclear program then it has had before. the p5 plus one and iran have
issued an official document outline the plan for redesigning the heavy water research reactor so that it will no longer be able to produce weapons grade plutonium. the european union has taken actions to live nuclear related sanctions upon reaching, and only upon reaching implementation day when all of these commitments will be met. implementation date is the next major milestone in the jcp oa and it will occur after the iaea verifies that iran has completed all of the nuclear steps we specified in the agreement. these are the technical steps that will quadruple iran's breakout time to at least one year from the current estimate of less than 90 days. at that time, iran will receive relief from the u.s. and others for nuclear related sanctions. the time is within iran's control, however iran will receive no sanctions relief under the jcp oa until it has
verifiably met all of its nuclear commitments. since adoption adoption day, iran has been making tangible progress to meet reach those commitments. for for example, iran has begun dismantling their iranian by removing 5000 centrifuges and transferring transferred them for storage under continuous iaea surveillance. it has begun to move quickly now, to remove the remaining 8000 in the coming days. they are reducing their stockpile of various forms of enriched uranium to no more than 300 kilograms of up to 3.67% enriched material. it will accomplish accomplish this by shipping a significant amount of material outside of iran while diluting the remaining access to the level of the natural, or below. commercial contracts are in place to ship stockpiles to russia. we expect this material, about 25000 pounds of enriched up to
20% uranium will leave iran in the coming weeks. this step alone will significantly lengthen iran's breakout time. as i briefed the committee before, iran iran must also remove and render inoperable, the existing core of the reactor by filling it with concrete before implementation day can occur. these actions will effectively cut off iran's ability to produce weapons grade plutonium. iran and the p5 plus one are continuing work to advance the redesign and reconstruction of the reactor so that it can no longer produce weapons grade plutonium. the p5 plus one set up a working group to facilitate the project which will begin to meet soon after the new year. regarding the military dimension, and issued all of us have been focused, on october on october 15 the iaea announced iran fulfilled its commitment
under the roadmap clarification of past and present outstanding issues. as agreed to with the iaea. on december 2, the iaea director general release the final assessment of past and present outstanding issues regarding iran's nuclear program. the report confirmed and cooperated what we have long known, that iran has a structured nuclear nuclear weapons program up until 2003 but there are no indications that program is continuing today. this assessment gives us further confidence that the iaea will perform its duties related to the jcp oa vigorously, and and honestly. just this week, on december 15, the iaea board of governors of the special session adopted a consensus resolution addressing that report. the resolution summoned by the p5 plus one term focus of confirming what we knew about iran's past activity to fully
implementing the jcp oa. this gives the iaea better tools for detecting weapons related activities in the future. we continue to work closely with the iaea as it makes preparations of the jcp oa's monitoring and verification provisions of iran's nuclear program. the iaea will have monitoring of the key declared nuclear facilities which includes uranium mills, centrifuge production facilities. these measures specific to the jcp oa will give us increase confidence iran is not diverting material or equipment to another program. we said this deals not based on trust but rather intense verification of iran's program. that is why we are working so closely with the iaea to make sure it has everything it needs to do the job. meanwhile meanwhile we continue to engage with our international partners on other matters. the u.s. experts continue to
meet with our p5 plus one partners and others including the eu and iran to set up a procurement channel. the mechanism which we will review and approve, or disapprove transfers of nuclear supply group control items to iran's nuclear non- nuclear items. as well as other items we think is inconsistent with the program. in. in sanctions, we continue to work within the u.s. government along with the eu and others to make necessary arrangements to lift the nuclear sanctions once the iaea confirms iran has completed its commitment and we reach implementation day. full implementation is in our interest, our partner's interest as well. it will place iran's nuclear program under president verification and monitoring regime. fully implemented it will give us an international community, the tools necessary to ensure
that the nuclear program is peaceful, it will make us, israel, all golf israel, golf partners in the whole world safer. i'm at your disposal 24 seven, seven, every day the week as we go forward in this field. senators, i look forward to being in engagements with you. we value your guidance. >> thank you for that testimony. if we could, do a little less wholesome for the remaining witnesses, they'll be great. thank you so much for that. >> thank you mr. chairman and senator cardin and other members for this opportunity. you have my written statement so i will be less wholesome. for decades, my bureau, isn and its predecessors have had it a central assignment taking every opportunity to analyze, impede, and and frustrate the development by iran technology-related to nuclear energy into ballistic missiles
and other technologies. we did that job before there were negotiations with iran on its nuclear program, we did it throughout the negotiations, and we do it today, with the same tenacity and creativity, and partnership with dozens of dedicated agencies across the federal government. we will keep doing it. since the negotiation of the jcp oa we have devoted our chief resources and support of the ambassador's admission to to achieve full implementation of the jcp oa. in particular, we work hard unsupported cooperation with the international atomic energy agency, agency, as well as in creation with a procurement channel that can meet the limited, legitimate nuclear needs that iran may have under the jcp oa.