tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 1, 2015 6:00am-8:01am EDT
have had guam qualms about, i want you to comment on those reports. number two, if you could, generally comment about the cooperative actions of north korea and iran and how this might be impacted. number three we have had witnesses before on this issue, and they really were forceful, including ambassador burns, forceful in saying it's important that we send a strong military message should any agreement go forward. and when it comes to sales and transfer of arms and other things, you began to speak to this. i want to give you the time to address, what military options, what are our strongest saupgzoptions that we still have and how we can act on this. i'm going to give all three of you the remainder of my time so you can answer some questions and i won't be interrupting you. >> thank you congressman. let me say quickly because i want my colleagues to have a chance to catch up here. but on the european partners,
france in the final comments when they signed on to the agreement, it was bastille day. july 14th. and the foreign minister said that he thought this agreement was not only a strong agreement, but he hoped it would be remembered in the same way as having the positive impact for the world, the way bastille day was remembered as having the impact for the development of france. and they supported this agreement and voted for it. with respect to north korea and iran, this is a very different agreement from anything that ever existed with north korea. there are about seven or eight different major differences between the north korean agreement, not the least of which north korea pulled out of the npp, and north korea had already exploded a nuclear weapon, and iran has not. and there are many differences. and we, i would rather lay them out on the record, if we can.
but this covers all possible nuclear-related activities. the agreement with north korea did not. we also have consent to the process of inspections. north korea -- i mean, there are a whole series of things. finally, on the military option, i said it again and again. everybody has. ash carter has reiterated it. president obama is the only president who has actually commissioned the development of a weapon that can do what is necessary to deal with the facilities that are at risk. and he has not only commissioned its design. he has deployed it and he has made it clear that iran will not get a weapon. he's prepared to use any option necessary in order to achieve that but his preferred option is the one he is pursuing here, which is a diplomatic solution. and which resolves this issue in a way that avoids the conflict that some people seem to be not even addressing, which would be almost inevitable as a
consequence of not accepting this deal. ernie? >> in terms of the first question about the dynamics with the eu or the other partners in general, first of all on the nuclear dimensions side, i should emphasize i have talked about our team but every one of the six countries had technical experts involved. they had very robust discussions we did not share our own classified discussions, but made sure we were coming out in the same place. to be honest, in many areas we pushed the envelope. in some areas, they pushed the envelope. the good news is i think we all came out of this very satisfied with the technical dimensions accomplished the job of blocking nuclear weapons' pathways. there are some specific examples one could give in terms of additional infrastructure removal from centrifuge places in terms of 20% uranium issues, but these were very robust.
i think all six countries feel very, very confident in our conclusions. >> congressman, i think on the sanctions side, we have very different systems here in the united states and the eu. and the questions we're getting on irgc underscore we need to look at our system and their system and understand they're different. they're not enlisting the irgc for terrorist activities. if they do, at the end of phase two, the list for nuclear, the terrorist sanctions still stays in place. so i think people looking at the document ought to understand what is actually going to be in place after it's in effect. and i think the cooperation with the europeans requires we not distort what they're doing. they're not taking the rgc off the terrorist list. >> >> thank you, gentlemen. i have received numerous questions from people in texas
and i will submit those for the record. they're pretty simple questions, but i will submit those for you to answer. the secretary kerry, this question is for you. following up on chairman mccaul's comments about the secret deal, secretary rice said that she has seen this deal with the iaea and that it will be shared with congress. so if she's seen it have you seen it? >> i don't believe that susan rice, national security adviser, has seen it. i think -- >> she said she did six days ago. she said six days ago she had seen it and reviewed it and that congress will get to see it in a classified section. my question is have you seen it? >> no, i haven't seen it. i have been briefed on it. >> but you haven't read it? you haven't seen it. let me ask you this -- >> it's in the possession of the iaea. >> are you going to read it?
>> we don't have access to the actual agreement. >> secretary rice has access to it but you don't have access to it. >> i don't know about that. >> that's just what she said. i'm just going on what she said. is the policy of the united states still that iran will never have nuclear weapons? >> yes. >> is it the policy of the ayatollah, if you can answer for him, that iran wants to destroy the united states? that still their policy, as far as you know? >> i don't believe they have said that. i believe they said death to america in their chants, but i have not seen specifics. >> i kind of take that to mean that they want us dead. that seems like it would be their policy. he said that. you don't think that's their policy. i'm not mincing words. do you think it's their policy to destroy us? >> i think they have a policy of opposition to us and a great emnity. i have no specific knowledge of
the plan by iran to actually destroy us. i do know that the rhetoric is beyond objectionable. i know that we you know are deeply concerned with iran's behavior in the region. deeply concerned with their past activities. which is why president obama felt -- >> reclaiming my time. i got your answer. let me ask another question. i'm reclaiming my time, senator. thank you, secretary kerry. we heard a -- >> if they did want to destroy us, they have a much better shot of doing it if they had a nuclear weapon. >> you don't know if it's their policy. that's my question and that's your answer. next question is it our policy or our belief that after the deal, whether the deal is approved or not, do we have a policy in the united states that we want expect, desire a regime change by the people of iran to
have their own, say, free elections? weigh in on our policy toward a regime change in iran. >> well as you know congressman, president obama was very outspoken with respect to support for transformation in iran around the time of the elections. our policy today is specifically focused on pushing back on their activities when in the region that destabilized the reenggion threatened israel our friends and allies. that is specifically where we are gearing up to take a specific set of steps that will define a new security alliance with the region. >> okay so we want to push back. we want them to stop their naughty ways. but regime change -- i mean, i personally think the best hope for the world for safety including in iran, is for the people of iran to have free elections and the people of iran really decide who their government should be in a free
setting. let me ask you another question. secretary moniz. this might be my last question. if i understand the agreement the oil sanctions, which is prohinted iran from exporting oil, that's going to be lifted. is that correct? >> well sanctions are relieved. that would be among those relieved. under this deal, that's one of the ones that will be relieved? >> if the sanctions are relieved, yes. >> now being the secretary of energy, let me ask you this. why are -- why is the united states lifting the sanctions on the exporting of oil on iran but we're not lifting its sanctions on america exporting crude oil like texas sweet crude? >> we don't have sanctions on our exports. we have a congressional law that in the 1970s restricted exports.
>> do you support that law being changed? you know that's the question. do you support the law -- >> this time has expired. >> i'll put that in the record. >> we need to go to david sis illini. >> just a point of personal privilege. i wanted to make sure we knew what we were talking about on the record that properly reflects this. susan rice's quote is we know their contents and we're satisfied with them. we will share the contents of those briefings in full and classified sessions with congress. she has not seen them. she has been briefed on them. >> and that -- of course reclaiming my time. we are still looking forward to that briefing. but now we must go to david of rhode island. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to the witnesses. not only for being here today but for the ongoing conversations, and i want to particularly thank the administration for really making sure that members have all the information that we need as we
navigate through a very sober decisionmaking process with enormous consequences. i thank all three of the secretaries for their service. i have a series of questions that i'm not asking to support a conclusion that i have already made but actually to help me in arriving at the right conclusion. i would like to set forth the questions, recognize you can answer some, and the others, if you would submit in writing i would appreciate. the first is on parcheen the agreement says that the iaea will provide progress reports by october 15th and then the final assessment by december 15th. we know obviously this is a site where there was nuclear testing of some kind. my first question is is it at all concerning that this final conclusion or the set of final conclusions might inform in a substantive way whether we should go forward and is there any concern there will be something revealed in this report that will impact whether or not iran is in compliance from the outset? that's the first question. because you'll be asked to vote
on in the first round of sanctions relief will be provided before that december 15th date. second question is it's been argued that we're in the same position in 15 years with no options off the table except the economy of iran will be fortified, they'll be able to withstand sanctions in an enhanced way, and that the ability to reassemble this international coalition will be very difficult as the countries will be doing business and re-engageing with iran. do you agree with that assessment? or do you conclude that that's a sensible tradeoff that some have suggested? third, you concluded mr. secretary this agreement makes our world, our allies, including israel, and the region safer. i have no doubt you have concluded that is correct based on your best assessment. if you would just provide for us kind of some thinking of why it is that the current israeli leadership does not see it that way. you know, as they obviously have sort of come to a different
conclusion. why do you think that is? four, after 15 years, iran most have suggested, is a nuclear threshold state. but that they must negotiate comprehensive safeguards again with the iaea. and whether or not i know there's been some discussion, have you seen those, but do we have some ability to influence what that agreement is? do we have any ability to influence its content or monitor their compliance going forward? that's between iran and the iaea. fifth, is the likelihood of an international consensus remaining if a deal is rejected? what happens if the deal is rejected? some have suggested actually some top level israeli officials suggested iran will comply with the terms of the agreement. we'll get relief from other partners, and the u.s. will be isolated. others have suggested iran will rush toward the development of a nuclear weapon with no constraints.
is there any reason to believe iran would comply with the terms of the deal if it's rejected and not proceed quickly to a nuclear weapon? if the weapons -- six, if weapons are transfers to hezbollah during the five-year period, which is a violation of the u.n. resolution but also a violation of the interim agreement, would that constitute a violation and cause snapback? in these intervening five years, if arms are sold to hezbollah? and finally, what will happen to the u.n. security resolution specifically the listing of the arms embargo and the provisions if congress does not approve the agreement? do those remain enact? and the last question, secretary lew, they described the process in which noncompliance in the agreement might result in sanctions snapping back to the u.n., but this would only work in major violations.
how would the administration treat minor violations? i invite, maybe to start with you, secretary lew. the ones you can't get to, i appreciate your answers and thank you for the work you have done. >> i'll start with the snapback question. we have reserved the right for snapback in whole or part. obviously, if there's a small technical violation, that will not bring back the whole sanctions regime. the goal would be to get them back in compliance. if there's a need to make it clear that violations that are small will get a response we have the option of putting some of the smaller sanctions back into place. if there's a major violation, we have the option of putting, of course, all of our unilateral sanctions and ultimately going back to the u.n. for the international sanctions as well. we have all the authorities we need to do that. >> arizona. >> thank you. mr. secretary you said you said no country would accept anytime
anywhere inspections, but i submit iran is not a normal country. iran is a terrorist state under a heavy international sanctions. it's neither got the moral nor the geopolitical equal of the united states. or our negotiating partners and i think we have to stop treating it like one. it aspires to be a regional power, the u.s. right now is the only world superpower. and my question is this really the best deal we could get given the fact that we seem to have most of the cards? and we have had most of the cards since these sanctions were imposed. secretary moniz, you said the deal includes anytime anywhere in the sense of a well-defined process and a well-defined end date. but all that depends on iran acting in good faith. we shouldn't make the assumption because iran has been stonewalling the iaea on the military dimensions while claiming to cooperate for years. they're doing that as we speak.
first, the process is not just 24 days. if iran balks, it's a minimum of 24 days. before the clock starts the iaea has to tell iran about the concerns about a particular site and they have to provide an explanation. but there's no time limit. does anyone believe that iran will respond immediately for the back and forth discussion for negotiations won't take place? only after these delays in the high barriers are taken care of at best, maybe can the iaea make a formal request and start the 24-day clock. but at the end of the 24 days, there's no punishment if iran says no. instead, the matter goes to the dispute resolution mechanism which has lots of opportunities for delay and more barriers. does anybody believe that the p5 plus 1, not this administration and certainly not the europeans will derail the entire agreement by imposing sanctions and restarting iran's nuclear program just because iran is
denying access to one sensitive site? more likely, there will be overwhelming pressure for a compromise. one that's no more substantive than what's in the final agreement. kicking the can down the road is always one option. it's worked in iran for years. i think all of this led cia former director michael hayden to warn in front of this commitsy that the deal is taking inspections from the technical level and put it at the political level. and i just think that's a formula for chaos, obfuskcationobfuscation, ambiguity, and doubt. i think on the 24 days we're kidding ourselves if we they think that the 24 days is the total length of the deal. i think it could be much much longer. and i would like to know how ultimately we're going to deal do find infractions. my second question is of all the sanctions to be lifted in the iran nuclear agreement, few are more significant than those
against a shadowy $100 billion organization belonging to the islamic supreme leader. the u.s. delisting the headquarters for the execution of the imam's order will pump 10s of billions of dollars into the supreme leteader's personal coffer bolstering iran's ability to promote its agenda abroad. it's estimated he'll gain access to as much as $95 billion. the u.s. treasury designated ico and 37 subsidiaries in june 2013 noting its purpose is to generate and control off the books investments shielded from the view of the iranian people and their regulators. explain why ico will be designated? >> congressman, i'm going to turn to ernie for the first part of that because it's important to understand the 24 days. you are, i say respectfully,
misreading the 24 days. by the way, that's an outside period of time. it could be less than that. it's very possible it could be 18 days or something. but ernie, why don't you discuss that? >> first you started out with the question of iran being unique in terms of verification. that's why we have the verification system in this agreement that is unparallels. this goes beyond what anyone else has accepted because of the distrust built up over iran. the iaea can cut that off any time by declaring their request for access, and then the 24-day clock runs. it is not the beginning of dispute resolution. it's the end of dispute resolution. in fact, at that point, they're in material breach. you asked about would there be a response if it was, quote, only one site? well, i'm going to turn it over to my colleagues, but i want to emphasize in the snapback it says in whole or in part. so a graded response is
possible. >> going to go to mr. alan grayson. >> mr. secretary i have five minutes. i have ten short questions. i'm hoping for ten short answers. will implementation of the agreement increase iran's support of terrorism? >> you want these? >> yes. >> we have no way to know. i presume in some places possibly. only in the sense that they are committed to certain things that we interpret as terrorism, they don't, and we're going to continue to conflict on those issues. >> all right. if the agreement is implemented, will iran in fact allow inspections at all its military sites? >> they have to. if they don't, they're in material breach of the agreement and we'll snap back the sanctions. or take other action if necessary. >> if the agreement is implemented, do you think there's a significant risk that iran will cheat on the agreement and develop a nuclear weapon secretly? >> i don't think they're able to develop a nuclear weapon
secretly because our intelligence community tells us with the regime we have established here, it is physically impossible for them to create an entirely covert secondary fuel cycle. and we have a sufficient intrusive inspection mechanism and capacity on their fuel cycle that they can't do it. you can't make a bomb at 3.67% enrichment for 15 years. you can't make a bomb with 300 kilograms of a stockpile for 15 years. you can't make a bomb if you can't go enrich and move forward without our knowing it. and we have submitted and we believe with clarity that we will know what they're doing before they can do that. >> if an agreement is implemented, is there a significant risk that iran will adhere to it for a year, let's say, then pocket the $50 billion and then violate the agreement and build a bomb? >> again they can't do that. because the red flags that would go off, the bells and whistles that would start chiming as a
result of any movement away from what they have to do. they have to live for 15 years under this extraordinary constraint of a limitation on the number of centrifuges that can spin. on a limitation, and there are indeed, on 24/7 inspections. on day-to-day accountability with live television with respect to their centrifuge production and so forth. so it is not possible for them during that period, in one year two years five years to sort of make this decision and stiff us. if they did, in some way if they just radically said, you know, we're going to change this whole deal and we're breaking out of here then we have snapback of all the sanctions with the full support of the international community, which would then be absolutely in agreement that they have to do it, and we have the military option if that was necessary. >> but briefly on a follow-up, isn't it true in that scenario they would then have $50 billion in their pockets they wouldn't have? >> no, i doubt after one or two
years they would. they have investments in their economy and they would be moving, but you have to look at this in the real world. here they are trying to attract investment. frantz, germany, china, all kinds of countries. is the your presumption that a country that has destroyed its stockpile, reduced its centrifuges by two thirds put concrete in its culand ria, totally stripped the ability to do fissile material, that that country and is now seeking investment and trying to build its economy, with a population of 50% of the country under the age of 30 who want jobs and a future, is it your presumption that they're just going to throw this all to the wind and go create a nuclear weapon after saying we'll strip our program down and won't? i don't think it's going to happen. >> what about after 15 years? if the agreement is implemented, is iran in fact likely to build a nuclear weapon after 15 years at the end of the deal?
>> all i can say to you is that they can't do it without our knowing what they're doing. because after 15 years, they have to live by the additional protocol. they have to live by the modified coat 3.1. they have to live with inspectors, 150 additional inspectors are going to be going into iran as a consequence of this agreement. and those inspectors are going to be given 24/7 access to declared facilities. so if iran suddenly starts to enrich more, which we will know all of the bells and whistles go off. the international community would be all over that with questions and restraints. >> my time is almost up. i want to ask you this. >> may i just -- this is the agreement that codifies a permanent ban on nuclear weapons in iran and we have to take -- >> thank you mr. secretary. i want to ask this one additional question, and i had one more, but that's the way it go. tell me exactly what you expect will happen if the agreement is
rejected? specifically, there's been some suggestion that iran will adhere to it anyway. sanctions will remain in place anyway if the agreement is rejected. >> i heard that for the first time last night when i met with an israeli friend who suggested that might be possible. it's physically impossible. >> explain why. >> i'll tell you why, because in the legislation that you have passed, which you have given yourself the ability to vote you have also put in an inability for the president to waive the sanctions. so there will be no waivering of the sanctions. there's no way for deal to work because our lifting of sanctions is critical to the ability of other countries to invest in work and critical obviously for iran to get any money. so nothing works for them unless this deal is accepted. >> we have a lot of members who still want to ask questions. we need to go to tom marino. >> mr. secretary of state, we all know what iran has done as
far as giving weapons to terrorists. to do iran's dirty work. what will stop iran from giving nuclear material or even more weapons to terrorist organizations? and how is nuclear -- how is a nuclear iran going to make the world and the united states a safer place. more particular how is a nuclear iran going to make american citizens feel safer? >> well the opposite of your question is to suggest that somehow you or we can prevent them from having any nuclear program at all. now, you all have a responsibility to show us how that's going to happen. >> i'm going to show you how -- i'm going to show you right now how it's going to happen, mr. secretary. you answered my question. i'm going to show you how that's going to happen. i'm going to take secretary lew's words. the sanctions have crippled
iran. if we ratchet them up, and get our allies to ratchet those sanctions up, you can bring iran to its knees where it cannot financially function. that's how to do it -- >> let me just tell you, i suggest -- i really suggest very respectfully that you spend some time with the intel community. ask the people who have spent a lifetime following iran very closely whether or not they agree with your judgment that an increase in sanctions will in fact bring iran to its knees. they do not -- they do not believe there is a capitulation theory here. and you will not sanction iran out of its commitment to what it has a right to. iran is an npt country. there are 189 of them. >> and we have a right to protect the american citizens from this disaster, this country having nuclear power. sanctions have worked.
are you going to retract any statements made by secretary lew and anyone else who has said it would cripple them, it would take them years to get servicing again. >> if you're going to quote me, let me speak for myself. >> i quoted exactly what you said. cripple iran and it will take them years to recover. so if we up the sanctions -- >> the other part of what i said is the reason it was crippling is because we had international cooperation. we have worked very hard to get that international cooperation. the parties that we worked with reached an agreement here. >> look who we work with. we work with china and we work with russia. the people who want iran to be in that position because it jeopardizes the united states. >> the power of our sanctions is not going to have the affect -- >> i disagree with you. the economists disagree with you. individuals i have read article after article on disagree with you. >> congressman, as we have said again and again, and i want to repeat it now. we are absolutely committed that
iran will never get the material for one bomb. not for one bomb. >> but you didn't answer my original question, mr. mr. secretary. my original question is, how is that going to make the united states citizens safer? >> let me tell you. i'll tell you exactly how it makes the united states citizens safer. because if iran fully implements the agreement we have come to iran will not be able to make a nuclear weapon. and we have created an agreement which has sufficient level of intrusive inspection and verification. that we are confident in our ability to be able to deliver on preventing them from having enough fissile material for the one bomb. now, mind you we have started in a place where they already had enough fissile material for ten to 12 bombs. we have already rolled that back. and that made america safer. by the way, it also made israel and our friends and allies in the region safer. everything we have done thus far in the interim agreement, which
has been enforced for two years has made the world safer. >> i'm going to reclaim my time. you're repeating -- i understand. i have 40 seconds left. >> if you repeal this deal, that's not making america safer. >> i hope you're right, because if not, you, the executive branch in congress, is going to have a disaster on our hands, and we need to be accountable for the united states. i want to ask an important question. secretary kerry this is an extremely important topic for the future of this country's security and the safety of the american people as well as our allies in the middle east. i would first like to ask you a simple yes or no question. in accordance with the office of mampg management and budget as well as the national archives directive as well as state department policy, have you ever used a nongovernment and personal e-mail account to conduct official business? >> no. that's my business on a government account.
>> we need to go to dr. ber era. >> i want to thank the wenlsz witnesses. i'm going to go through a series of questions as i try to make my decision with regards to this deal. secretary kerry, in multiple times you have said this, the negotiations had one objective. to make sure they cannot get a nuclear weapon. secretary moniz, you're the expert here. would you, in your opinion do you believe this deal makes it less likely within the next decade, next 15 years. over a lifetime, for iran to obtain nuclear weapons? >> far less likely. >> okay, great. i don't trust iran. secretary kerry, you said multiple times there's nothing in this agreement that is based on trust. secretary lew, you have said there will be no immediate sanctions relief. is that an accurate statement?
>> sanctions relief will only come after iran complies with all the measures to stop the nuclear program. >> in your estimation, is there enough in the verification regime, in this deal, that will allow us to -- >> i would defer to secretary moniz, but i have been persuaded by everything i have read and seen that it is the toughest verification regime we have ever had. >> is that correct? >> and secretary lew there is no signing bonus? >> there is no signing bonus. >> okay, great. you know moving on then, secretary of defense ash carter is not here. but i'll direct this to secretary kerry. in your opinion would you say that secretary carter as well as our joint chiefs are satisfied with the icpm provision of no missiles for eight years as well as the arms embargo for five
years? that they would be okay with that? >> yes. >> okay. >> moving on, secretary kerry, you pointed out in your time and history in the senate, you're a very strong defender of israel and had a strong record of support of israel. in your opinion do you believe this deal makes israel safer or less safe? >> i am absolutely convinced beyond any doubt this deal makes israel safer, and the region. and the world. >> would you say that president obama shares that opinion? >> yes. >> secretary moniz we've talked a lot about the 24-hour framework. is it accurate that you believe as an expert here that within that 24-hour framework, we will be able to detect any activities, nuclear activities et cetera. >> 24 days. >> i'm sorry, 24 days.
>> access to undeclared sites that work with nuclear material i feel quite confident we can detect it. >> that there will be no cheating, we can detect it in the 24-day period? >> i want to emphasize, i work with nuclear materials, other work non-nuclear work might be more difficult. >> okay. secretary lew, if in fact there's no nuclear activity going on and iran is complying with the terms of this deal, i do have a serious reservation that they will continue to spend it on terror groups. fund organizations that destabilize the region. and that is worrisome obviously. in your opinion, do you believe that if we acted in a unilateral manner to impose new sanctions or reimpose existing sanctions, not based on breaking the nuclear deal, but based on other
activities activities, that we would be able to impose sanctions strong enough that they result -- >> we totally agree that their actions on terrorism and regional destabealism are and continue to be an area of concern. we have been putting actionsanctions in place. we have reserved the right to put parties on the list again if in fact they're violating terrorism or destabilization provisions. we have powerful tools. i think the world knows we mean to use them. i believe our credibility in doing it has to be for real. it has to be that we're listing people for reasons of terrorism and regional destabilization. >> you feel we have the tools if we have to work unilaterally. >> we definitely have powerful tools. >> great. i'll yield back the remainder of my time. >> wheal go to jeff duncan. >> thank you. secretary kerry, there's still three or four americans imprisoned in iran.
i put their pictures here to remind you of them today. i understand not using them as pawns in negotiations but what should have been -- what should have happened is they should have been released as preconditions before ever sitting down with iran for anything. with that, i yield to mr. dos santos wheres. >> thank you. secretary kerry, for these side agreements between the iaea and iran, can you at least confirm one of the agreements is about the military site the other about the possible military dimensions of iran's nuclear program? >> i believe there's just one basic agreement which contains the approach to the pmd. >> so can you confirm that the congress will not -- >> i think he's been more briefed on it than i have. there's two appendicize. >> congress will be briefed on
the contents of the agreement per what we know. >> we will not be given the actual agreement. >> i don't believe we get the actual agreement. >> the problem with that is the iran nuclear agreement act that congress passed and president obama signed required the executive branch to provide congress with all documents and specifically defined all documents to include any side agreements. so the executive branch has a binding legal obligation under the iran nuclear review act to provide those documents. >> actually we don't have a side agreement. so we are in compliance. gr doesn't matter. >> the iaea is an independent u.n. agency and it makes an independent agreement under standard procedures. >> the nuclear review act, with all due respect, applies taany agreement iran may have with any other parties, any other relations agreements to be entered into or implemented in the future. if there's an agreement between iran and the iaea under the iran
nuclear agreement act, that needs to be provided to congress. so if you're not in compliance with that act, how is the clock even starting to run for the 60-day review period? >> congressman i'm not sure legally the congress of the united states has the power powerful as it is, to be able to dictate to the iaea a change in its procedure. >> that's not what we're doing. we passed a bill the president signed it. laid out the conditions before we would then -- >> we don't have the agreement. >> you're not going to request the agreement and bring it so we can review it? >> congressman, we don't possess the agreement. >> these are protocols worked out to satisfy the iaea-iran agreement. >> which are very important issues because we need to know the pmd. we need to know more about the site. we need to evaluate the efficacy of the agreement. >> the iaea will then be
providing its report on december 15th which summarizes all they have found. >> which is after the window congress has to review the agreement, so we're not going to be privy to that information, and we're going to be asked to cast a voes on this. let me ask you this, secretary kerry. you had alluded to in previous questioning about the ability that if iran cheats, we can snap back the sanctions. the problem, though, i see is in the agreement itself, it says iran has stated if sanctions are reinstated in whole or in part iran will treat that as grounds to cease performing its agreements. so if you have a situation where iran is doing incremental cheating and then there's a movement to have the sanctions reimposed, if you do that, iran is saying it's going to walk away from its agreements. it's structured in a way to let iran get away with small violations because the cost would be to blow up the deal you have spent so much time
negotiating. >> congressman with all respect, that's a misread of the paragraph and a misread of what we have here. the paragraph was requested by iran because they were afraid because congress kept rattling its saber about more sanctions, and so they said well, what guarantee do we have if we agree to this that congress isn't going to pass more sanctions on the same thing or, excuse me, not more just take the sanctions they had and bring them back after we made an agreement? so that paragraph merely says that we are not going to re-agree that we're not going to reimpose the sanctions and put them back. it does not, as secretary lew said, prevent us from bringing any other additional or inappropriate sanctions for other things. the sanctions language also says in whole or in part. so we're allowed for any minor infraction we're not facing this, bringing the whole thing and risking the whole deal. we could bring a small amount. also remember, the reason iran
is coming to the table to make this agreement is they want the relief from the sanctions. and if indeed they were in flagrant violation, all of our friends who helped negotiate this will be standing with us all in agreement, that we have to put sanctions back. >> we must go to new york. >> grace. >> thank you to all of you for being here for your time and dedication to this important issue and spending so much time with us here in congress on the hill to discuss so many of our concerns. i want to ask, during the negotiations, did this law of the land that iran's nuclear agreement review act signed by president obama and known to all parties of the negotiation, was it known to all the parties? >> well, obviously, the other parties became very aware of the fact that congress was requiring
a review period. they were very concerned about it. >> and so i want it bring up one example of during the cold war, congress played a very important role in the development of nonproliferation agreements dealing with nuclear weapons. specifically, the threshold test treaty, which i know is a treaty, but we also have our law here. the treaty was initially blocked by the senate because of concerns over soviet compliance. the treaty was not submitted to the senate for approval for two years after signing. and wasn't ratified until after the u.s. and soviet union reached agreement 14 years later on additional provisions to enhance america's ability to verify soviet compliance. so this all leads me to believe that congress should be, and we are, and we have the ability and authorities to compel a better deal should it choose to disapprove of this one. what are the key differences
between the jcpoa here and the cold war examples other than the fact it was a treaty and there were multiple parties? >> well, one of the principle differences is that we have not had any engagement or any dialogue with iran since 1979. and the lack of diplomatic relations even which is different from what lack of diplomatic relations, which is different than what we had with the soviet union, makes this a very, very complicated situation. so you have to take and analyze what is achievable here in the context of the threat, the nuclear program, and i believe given the nature of the political system in iran, the challenges with respect to their own politics, the notion that we're going to be able to go
back to the table is just a -- it's a fantasy. there is no latitude here, because iran came to this table with enormous suspicions about even engaging with the united states. there is a huge debate in the country about whether or not they should, whether or not we could be trusted, whether or not we thought this was worth the risk. and many people in the country suggested we did not act in good faith. in indeed, all of a sudden we stand up in vienna, seven nations strong embrace an agreement, the united nations has supported the agreement we turn around and say, we're not going to perform, i think the intelligence community will confirm to you resoundingly, we will not be back at the table. certainly in the near future, and i would think certainly not with this iranian government or leadership.
one final question, you also asserted that if congress does disapprove, the international sanctions regime -- and iran goes back to two months breakout time. i understand russia and china's top priorities may not be the views of congress here in the u.s., but if you can help me understand what is the basis for the view that these two countries would also just allow iran to fully violate the deal, why would they -- why wouldn't they hold iran to their nuclear commitments set forth in the agreement? and? they allow them to do that, why do we also believe they will be there with us in any sort of snap-back scenario? >> well i think that russia and china are very, very serious about the nonproliferation component of this, as we are. russia has agreed to export the
spent fuel and process it in russia in order to help make this work. china to be the lead entity with our co-chairmanship on a committee that will work to redesign the iraq reactor in away that is acceptable to all of us. they have taken on major responsibilities. they both have a huge interest in the nonproliferation piece of, this but they both belief that the other components of the resolution with respect to arms and missiles was thrown in as an add-on. not because it referred directly to the nuclear part of this -- of the resolution. the resolution was a nuclear agreement and in that regard i think they would have -- they did experience serious -- >> we'll go to darrell issa of california. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
i guess i have to be careful when i say mr. secretary, but secretary lew, let's start with you, were the sanctions -- or are the sanctions that are in play as of today effectively curtailing both the money flow and the economy of iran in a way that has brought them to the table. >> congressman, i think that the sanctions have been very effective at slowing the great of roet in iran's economy making inflation high and the exchange rate on their currency very unfavorable. i don't think it stopped them from doing a lot of other bad things around the world. and they've maintained even in a very difficult set of fiscal challenges blind activities, which we have to stay focused on stopping. >> the question, mr. secretary was did it bring them to the table, or did they just come out of goodwill? >> i believe the sanctions brought them to the table and the sanctions were, in fact, designed to bring them to the table.
>> secretary kerry you'd agree with that? >> i do agree with that. i think the sanctions and other strategic designs but essentially the sanctions are what crystalized -- >> classified annex, a long list of ships and aircraft and banks that were received relief under this. i'm sure you're both familiar with those 20, 30 pages. the question i really have here because i think we're all focusing on the nuclear deal, but i want to focus on iran an exporter of terrorism, directly of americans kidnappers directly and indirectly, of americans since 1979. all of those sanctions that we're agreeing to lift is there anyone that doesn't think those sanctions and more are appropriate as long as they
continue to export terrorism kill americans and others? i'll start with secretary lew from a standpoint of those tools that we're lifting. those 40 pages of whatever single space, a huge amount of things that will now be able to carry oil, move money and is so on. those are, equally effective in deterring or slowing their ability to export terrorism, aren't they? >> congressman, as a class we are listing for relief from sanctions entities and individuals who were violating the nuclear -- >> but those entities -- those entities are banks in many cases. >> a bank that was designated as a nuclear violator -- so bank
sadarat stays on the list. if there are institutions delisted that are relisted subsequently under authorizes that deal with terrorism, we right to do that. i think the delisting of nuclear parties is what you would expect if there's a nuclear agreement. the nuclear sanctions would go away, but other sanctions stay in place. >> and they can be again congressman, i want to emphasize we hair with everybody the concern about iran's behavior around the region. we have ability -- >> let me give you a hypothetical. what if at the same time as we don't reject this plan, we bring you a package of new sanctions. what if in fact, congress determines the only way we can
accept this risk is if we can truly snap back now relative to their promise, just the day after you signed this, they agreed to stabilize bahrain, continue what they're doing in yemen. obviously their support for hezbollah and hamas, the assad regime and taking of lebanon and syria. so with that real threat with that goal, with that continued activity is there any reason we should not either reject this agreement or -- and/or include further sanctions in order to keep them from expanding their support for the murder of americans and our allies around the world and the destabilizing of the middle east one that is leading to an arms race? >> congressman, we have powerful tools to snap back sanctions -- >> no, not snap back. i'm saying today. today they are, in fact, doing all of this.
what would you say -- >> the gentleman suspend. we need to go to -- >> i just want -- >> simply because these junior members do not have sufficient time. so, lois. >> thank you, mr. chair. thank you, gentlemen. some quick follow-up questions and then some new ones. if there is a -- if new enrichment sites are detected under that 24-day rule, will those sites then become under a constant inspection? >> if a new site emerges in this? >> absolutely. >> and could you tell me how many countries, other than the p5+1 are currently engaged in sanctions and how much would you say did it take to have all these sanctions in place to get them to the table? >> can congressman, i would have to check but our sanctions and
international sanctions are being honored around the world, so it's many, many countries. it's taken us years to put that regime in place. i'd have to underscore two points. one is our unilateral sanctions are powerful, but the ability for them to really have an effect still requires cooperation. and the international sanctions wouldn't exist without cooperation. we have spent a lot of effort with countries for whom it is substantial economic cost, they have cooperated to try to stop iran from getting a nuclear weapon. >> so, how would a snap-back affect all those countries? it concerns me how you could actually get the snap-back -- >> i think as secretary kerry said earlier there is enormous unity in the gold of keeping iran from getting nuclear weapons. if they violate the agreement, if, in fact, a snapback is warranted because of nuclear issues, i think that both the international and the u.s. unilateral sanctions would, in fact, snap back. we are going to continue to prosecute our unilateral sanctions on things like terrorism, on things like
regional destabilization, but -- >> and human rights. >> and human rights. but they're obviously different regimes. >> once congress -- if we don't disapprove this agreement, if it goes forward, will the congress -- u.s. congress have any role -- any further role in this agreement number one? number two can any president alter this agreement or refuse to abide by it in the future? >> well, congress will always have a role, obviously, and you've made that crystal clear in the context of what we're doing here now. so, yes, there will be an ongoing role with respect to the enforcement, the implementation, our -- >> do we have to vote on anything? >> afterwards? >> to repeal sanctions or -- >> ultimately, yes. ultimately the iran sanctions act itself. there is the lifting of
sanctions. ultimately you would have to vote. >> if we don't do that pursuant to the agreement are there any penalties on our part? >> actually, iran is fry to break the agreement because we will have broken it and then all bets are off in terms of compliance. >> can a future president refuse to abide by the agreement? >> absolutely. a future president can but it's our judgment if the agreement is fully implemented and is working well, no further president is going to choose to do that because the implications. if it's working, it's achieveing of our goal of not having a nuclear weapon in iran. >> the appeal would be way down the road. it's not something that happens in the next year or two. it's many, many years in the future. probably eight or more years. >> i want to get, again, to this this -- to the troubling issue of the inspections. are you saying there is no limit
to inspections by the iaea that it will go on forever? did you say that? >> yes. what i'm saying is there is a process, congresswoman -- >> who pays for that? >> it's paid for -- we pay a certain element of the budget. it's a u.n. agency. we represent certain percentage of that budget, about 25% and others contribute to it. we train all the inspectors. it's one thing we do and do very effectively. but it's an independent entity. >> excuse me. is it a separate, secret agreement that we don't see that's going to allow this continuation of inspections? that's what's not clear. >> no. the continuation of inspections surnd what is called the additional protocol. the addition at protocol is exactly that. >> that's what we don't get to
see? >> absolutely, you see that you can read every component of it. i was sharing some thoughts with the committee earlier about the things that it empowers the iaea to do. the accountability is very indepth and significant. this is not some light set of requirements. >> we'll go to mr. mo brooks of ambassador ambassador. >> thank you, chairman. three months ago brigadier general said erasing israel off the the. >> some people's rhetoric and some peoples attitude -- >> in the iranian government? >> i don't think it's possible for iran to do that. i think israel has enormous capacity. >> i didn't ask for all that
other. i'm just asking if you have a judgment as to -- >> my judgment is it is not a employmentable policy by iran. and death to israel. do you believe his comments accurately reflect iranian government roles? yes, no or i don't know? >> i think they reflect an attitude and rhetorical excess but i see no evidence they have a policy employmented against us at this point in time. >> to kill americans or israelis? >> well, they may. they may. we have, as you know, responded to that from 1979 when they took over our embassy forward. we have put sanctions in place specifically because of their
support for terror because of their abuse -- >> i understand that. you answered my question when you said yes, they may. next, is the obama administration willing to use military force to prevent iran from obtaining building, testing or using nuclear weapons? >> yes. >> and what has iran done in the past couple of years that causes to you believe iran will abide by the iran nuclear treaty or wants to become a responsible member of the international community? >> the only thing that indicates to us a willingness to try to comply with this agreement is the fact they have complied fully with the interim agreement for the last two years and that we have put in place such a strict set of consequences that it is deeply in their interest to comply if they have reduced two-thirds of their centrifuges stripped their stockpile put -- emptied out fordah, so there's a
lot of -- >> that focuses to a large degree on the nuclear side. what about the use of the conventional weapons and whether they will maintain their status as the world's foremost -- >> we have serious concerns, which is precisely why we're engaged with our friends in the region. it's why i will be in doha in a few days to meet with them, as we lay out the plans for pushing back against those opportunities. we'll be in special forces training, counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, counterfinance, a whole series of steps in order to empower all of us to do a better job of reducing those activities. >> september 1 11th 14 years ago shows their desire to kill non-muslims and other foes. given religious zealously how confident are you that iran will not use nuclear weapons to further death to america or death to israel if iran obts nuclear weapons? >> they won't obtain a nuclear
weapon. i'm confident under this agreement and with president obama's commitment they're not going to secure a nuclear weapon. >> is that in part because of your statement that this administration is willing to use whatever means are necessary of a military nature to prevent iran from having nuclear weapons? >> that is certainly the final backup to it. i believe all the elements of this agreement will -- -- if it's implemented fully, again, if it's employmented will prevent them from even getting near that possibility. >> on occasion you've used the phrase, all options are on the table. do those options to prevent iran from having nuclear weapons? >> i've never asked that. i know of no president of the united states who have ever taken all military options available to them off the table. i also don't know of any realistic situation in which that can present a very feasible strategy given the proximity of
friends from iran and the consequences of that. but i don't think the president has taken any -- there's no option that's been discussed. >> when you talk about the use of military force, is it fair to infer that we're really talking solely about conventional alal weaponry? >> what the president has laid out is -- and what the military has designed is an approach and i'm not going to discuss that plan in open session here but a plan that sufficiently meets the task of preventing them from having a nuclear weapon. that's the goal. that's the objective. and our current set of options accomplish that. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. joaquin castro of texas. >> thank you, chairman. thank you, gentlemen for your work and diplomacy on behalf of the nation. i want to imagine for a moment another scenario. a scenario we don't take a deal,
we walk away from it and there is military action against iran. can you imagine for me for a moment, what would the fallout be from a destabilized iran? we've seen other nations, libya, iraq egypt where there have been destabilized regimes, secular leaders who have been replaced by fundamentalists and terrorism that has now been franchised almost across the world. . what would happen if iran was destabilized in the same way? >> you know, congressman it's very hard for me to get into this speculative game here. there's too much talk about military option and this and that when we have in front of us a plan that accomplishes the task of preventing iran from achieving a nuclear weapon, which they say they don't want to do anyway, and have made very strong affirments about their
commitment not to do. it seems to be focused on the destabilized side of it and the military side of it is not the right focus. the right focus is on this agreement that accomplishes the goal of preventing them from having a weapon. the region is obviously destabilized, in flames and that's another reason why i think we should think really carefully about the consequences of turning away from this deal. >> i guess, let me point out, secretary kerry, that you know i'm not coy to support the deal. one of the questions i have is a concern that we find out that they are cheating and at that point a position has to be made, which is we're not going to let them have a nuclear weapon. >> frankly congressman, that's the easiest decision in the world for this president, and for all of us here. >> but here's my question mr. secretary. what is the tipping point where
sanctions will no longer work and you have to take military action if, in fact, you're going to keep them from not having -- >> the tipping point is a clarity with respect to what effort is being put into breaking out if that's the choice they've made and where they are in that process. the tipping point is how much time you make a judgment that you have -- >> sure. >> -- with respect to where they're starting and where they can wind up. but we are convinced that with the -- we will have enormous tip-off to this. that's why a year was built into this agreement for the first ten years, and even after that. there's a lengthy enough period of time that our interest the interest of the region our friends, israel, others, is protected. and we're confident about our ability to have accountability in that process going forward.
but i would say to everybody if this is rejected, then you have no inspections, you don't have a regime in place, you don't have sanctions, iran may undertake, not, immediately, but they've considered themselves free to do so. and as they do it what are the options that are then available to us? it seems to me when you get those two scenarios, this becomes not that complicated of a choice. >> to put this in context, can you go over again -- i missed some of the discussion but can you go over again the deal offered in 2003 by the bush administration. >> in 2008 is when -- >> in 2003 there was discussion about 163 centrifuges, but the p5+1, the same p5+1, made an
offer to iran for their suspension of enrichment and reprocessing that the united states and the p5+1, excuse me, would then recognize iran's right -- treat iran's nuclear program in the same as that of any nonnuclear weapon state part to the ntp once confidence had been built. provide technical and financial ability including state-of-the-art power reactors support for r&d and legally binding fuel supply guarantees, improved relations with iran and support iran in playing an important and constructive role in international affairs work with iran and others in the region on confidence-building measures and regional security, reaffirmation of the obligation to remain from the threat or use of force cooperation on afghanistan, steps towards normalization of trade and economic relations and it goes on. all of these things were offered in exchange for suspending
enrichment. now, they didn't suspend. they went up to 19,000 centrifuges. and that fact is one of the driving factors in our coming to the conclusion, the president coming to the conclusion, that we needed to arrive at an agreement, which recognized their ability to have nuclear power under safeguards agreement, under the ntp, with our ability to know what they are doing. >> randy webber of texas. >> thank you, mr. kerry. appreciate you being here. i hope that you will -- you say we're going to be briefed on that side agreement that the iaea has with iran. is that correct? >> yes that is correct. >> i want to implore you to use your power to make sure we're not briefed by the same staff that briefed susan rice and hillary clinton on benghazi or sergeant bowe bergdahl. make sure we get a briefing there. you say frequently this is the strongest negotiation you could
get, you feel like it was. the president said he would walk away from a bad deal. and i would submit this, now, you come to us and you say there's not 535 secretaries of state and other countries don't appreciate that congress is weighing in. but if you were going to get a strong deal i have said from the get g i think there's a lot stronger position you should have taken, so i'm going to lay out some preclusions and you tell me if you operated between that basis. i agree with jeff duncan when he said american hostages should have been released first and foremost. number two. the demand should have been for iran to dismantle all of its centrifuges. number three, give the iaea unfettered 24/7/365 day access. number four, stop the exporting of terror to syria to iraq and everywhere else. number five, denounce terrorism and prosecute those who perpetrate it restore civil rights in their own country,
number six. stop the death chant to america and israel. and they need to recognize israel's right to exist even as a jewish state, i might add. number seven, secretary kerry they've been a bad actor going back to 1979. so, if this is not based on trust, if this is based on actions, shouldn't we have required them to show by their own actions, i don't know say for half of the time since 1979, say, 18 years or a fourth of the time, nine years how about just two years shouldn't we have required them to show with their actions? you said in your exchange with grace mentiong said earlier me and my colleague were up here thinking, who cares? we're not the bad actors here. they're the one exporting terrorism. did you start from that basis of strength? if you did how did we get here?
you consider this to be a good deal. >> well, congressman, plain and simple. all the things you just listed there never would have been a negotiation. >> oh, my heart pains for them. these are bad -- >> pardon me? >> my hard pains for -- >> congressman, what you need to think about is our security. we are better off with iran not having a nuclear weapon. >> no question. >> our primary objective here was to have a negotiation because they were already at 19,000 centrifuge already with enough material for 10 to 12 bomdz, already enriching at 20% and they were a step away from a plutonium react that's true could produce enough material for one to two bombs a year. >> how -- >> we stepped into that. >> i get that. >> and we rolled that back. >> you said that. how long before we knew about fordau. >> we discovered it. we blew the whistle. >> how long was it there before we discovered it. >> i don't know a precise amount of time. >> ten years? >> but congressman, we discovered that and we also --
>> i'm sorry, you -- >> let me just say, in 2003 we discovered they were actually trying to make a bomb and we did it without inspectors, without this regime. >> you've said all that. this is about the trust you keep saying we're going to have. >> no there's no trust. >> well, you're implying that we can catch them at what they're doing and get fordau uncovered for 10 or 12 years. >> that's not trust. >> we can supply that information. >> let me do this. >> sir, we can -- classified environment, we'll be happy -- >> i'm running out of time. are you aware of the fact that today today, iran to united nations, new sanctions could kill the nuclear deal. they're still uttering threats against us. i may remind us. we're not the bad actor here. in a letter to a 15-member body u.n.'s embody said to iran, quote, may reconsider its commitmentings end quote, if the pact if lifted under the deal are quote, impaired by
continued application or 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 such new sanctions are introduced on nuclear-related or other grounds unless the issues are remedied within a reasonably short time. today they're threatening to walk away from this deal if we implement other sanctions. on even other grounds. you're saying the hostages are different. >> we have to go to tulsi gabbard of hawaii. >> with the u.n. security council voting to unanimously support this deal with iran the toughest -- what is the status of this u.n. resolution and implications if congress disapproves this deal and overrides presidential veto? >> well, congresswoman, we built into this a process that was
kind of a compromise because our friends, our allies, thought they should immediately go to the u.n. because congress had already voted to have a review period, we persuaded them to have a 90-day period during which time it could not be implemented. they had their vote, but there is a grace period. that was a balance between the desire of our friends to exercise their own sovereignty and do what they wanted under the u.n. versus our desire to try to protect congress's right to review. >> so, if congress does go through the review process and disapprove of the deal at that point, what happens with the -- >> if congress were to override a veto and disapprove the deal there would be no deal. >> that u.n. resolution that was passed unanimously would no longer stand? >> the entire deal dies because
we can't lift the sanctions without the ability to wave. that's been taken away. that would be part of the vote. we would see this deal die. >> thank you, secretary. >> die without any other option. >> secretary moniz, what evidence or materials could potentially be cleaned up or hidden within the 24-day period listed in the inspections regime? >> there would be an attempt presumably to replace flooring to all kinds of clean-up and, as i say, we have experience in the both unclassified, classified arenas in terms of being able to detect very very small amounts of uranium. so, using nuclear materials, there's -- there would typically be a strong signature. >> and if iran fails to allow inspectors entry within that 24-day period, what consequences
would they face and under what timeline? >> if they fail to do it they are in material breach of the agreement. we can snap back all the sanctions and, obviously, all options are available to us that are available today. >> so immediately after the 24-day period f they've still not allowed -- >> if they fail to live up to the 24-day period and provide the access they are in material breach of this agreement. if we had cause to have gone and ask for access to an undisclosed facility about which we have deep concerns, everybody will join with us in ratifying that concern and we will be operating with the consent, if you will, of the international community because of iran's noncompliance which is one of the reasons why i believe we have huge leverage for compliance. >> after termination day when the snap back mechanism will no longer apply, airan will still be
subject to the additional protocol. if they violate that additional protocol after termination day? >> we have power to bring unilateral sanctions. congress can join us. we can go back to square one. or we have obviously, other options available to us. >> i think the concern is the time it takes for those kind of unilateral sanctions to apppply whether they be from the united states or global community as we've seen from the past. what other immediate consequences would there be -- >> if they are immaterial, noncompliance in a way that is threatening, obviously we're in a much more serious kind of situation and confrontation with the potential, needless to say, of the president taking the most dramatic options. >>. >> i would add this exactly as senator kerry said, it would depend upon their motivation,
what they were doing. certainly in my view, anything that shows movement toward a nuclear weapon would have to be responded to quite forcefully. i would also go back to something congresswoman meng asked, i think it's relative to your statements as well is the p5+1 by definition have a special role in the npt and a very, very strong interest in seeing its integrity maintained. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. scott perry of pennsylvania. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, gentlemen. we certainly appreciate your indulgence. we know it's been a long time. in the context of these statements is how i'd like to ask my questions. 1994 not too long ago 11 13-year context for this deal for the most strict portion of it, so from 1994 the entire world will be safer as we slow the spread of nuclear weapons is one statement, and also the
united states and international inspectors will carefully monitor north korea to make sure it keeps its commitments. we all know that's, of course quotes from president clinton that none of that happened. i mean, north korea is what it is. we are where we are. in that context, secretary kerry, reading your quote recently with a reporter from al arabiya. i don't know how to interpret at this oint in time except to take it at face value in relation to chants of death to america, death to israel, we're going to continue our policy. and then it's very troubling -- it's very disturbing, very troubling and we'll have to wait and see. what will we have to wait and see, secretary kerry? before you answer, 1979, 52 u.s. hostages, 144 days. 1983 the u.s. marine barracks 241 americans killed. 1992, the israeli embassy in argentina bombed. 2011, the attempted
assassination of the saudi ambassador in d.c. the killings and maimings of hundreds in iraq and afghanistan, not to mention support of assad, hezbollah, hamas and activities in iraq, syria and yemen. what will we have to wait and see? what was your -- >> to see the implementation of the plan, congressman. >> i don't want a speech-off. >> we can have a competition about who is angrier about the things iran has done historically. we understand they've killed americans. we understand what they did. we understand all of this. but they were marching towards a nuclear weapon. >> mr. secretary, you must understand -- >> no no. >> you must understand americans see iran as a crocodile or shark that does what it does. we're saying, we're going to with
all due respect, it is not congress's job. this is the administration. if you would use the treaty process as provided by the constitution, maybe we wouldn't be in this situation. furthermore, you know, you say, well, this is the only deal we can get. there's no better deal. congress has a long history of instituting better deals. for example 280 treaties, unilateral accords including the arms control agreement s.a.l.t. 2 and the threshold test ban treaty that failed to reach a vote and were modified. so, there is a history for that, of getting a better deal. if the ayatollah doesn't like it and doesn't want to negotiate it, oh boo-hoo. we're here for america. we stand for america. you represent america. with that having been said you
know, it's -- in another interview, if you don't get a majority in congress, doesn't that undermine the deal? in your statement, they don't care over there. i'm assuming you mean iraq. as long as the deal is implemented. that's what we care about. that this deal being implemented. so, do you care more about this deal or the u.n.'s approval or american sovereignty and the approval of the american people through their duly elected representatives, mr. secretary? >> congressman, i don't need any lessons from you about who i represent. i've represented and fought for our country since i was out of college. >> god bless you for your service. >> don't give me any lessons about that, okay? let me make it chris cal clear to you. this is america's interest. because america is the principal guarantor of security in the region. particularly, with respect to some of our closest friends. we believe iran was marching towards a weapon or the capacity to have a weapon and we've rolled that back congressman.
>> that's your opinion. >> that's indisputable -- >> met me ask you -- >> that's a fact. >> is it possible iran will acquire russian air defense missiles in relation to the arms embargo lifting to protect nuclear sites? possible or not possible? >> say is that again. >> is it possible that iran will acquire russian air defense missiles to protect nuclear sites? >> those are not in the agreement. they have a-300s -- >> in relation to the arms embargo lifting. >> no, they're not banned by the arms em ba bar goe. they're outside of it. >> we're going to brandon boyle of pennsylvania. my intention is to keep going to give our junior members an opportunity to ask their questions. >> thank you. i want to ask my question to secretary moniz and i'm probably going to be boring here but a technical question. when i ask the white house and the president specifically, he directed it to you saying you're one of the top ten experts in the world on this. so, with that build-up, there is
a report about six days ago in the new york times that really question this issue of the 24 days. there are some, such as you've said look 24 days, it's not exactly like you're flushing a whole program down the toilet. that certainly wouldn't be enough time in which to hide illicit behavior. former deputy director of the iaea contradicted that. saying while it's true with some of the larger scale operations some things such as manufacturing uranium components as well as triggers, toolactually could be covered up. i'm trying on get an answer because i think it's a key component trying to look at this in an intellectually honest way to see if we have a verifiable deal here. >> yes, i spoke with mr. mr. hinenan, up the river at harvard these days. the issue i want to emphasize
what i've always said is that work with nuclear materials, we have very very high confidence in terms of finding microscopic amounts there. when you go to things like triggers things that do not involve nuclear materials but are important for a nuclear explosive, then that gets into a higher stage of rirmentd. as i've said in a classified environment, we could talk more about it. even there there can be some signals, some signals that are quite interesting and certainly may be quite detectable. but certainly one gets further away from the nuclear materials, then there are more possibilities of both cover-up and for at least maybe semicredible explanations for pursuing other activities. for example, any military does work with conventional explosives in chambers.
so, the question is was that work around certain hemispherical shapes with multipoint nation and that requires more and more investigation. but nuclear material, to leave quite significant signatures typically. >> i wanted to with only a couple minutes let me switch because this is something the israeli ambassador raised in my office and has been raised a couple of times. again, i think is a legitimate -- i realize some of this is bash the administration and that this part of politics but there are those of us on the democratic side who do have real, genuine concerns. the 24-day is one of them. the other is the question of how exactly we bring forward and what we have to reveal in terms of our intelligence to demand or request that a site is being inspected? it has been pointed out we would have to reveal exactly why we
suspect a site. meaning we would have to compromise where we got intelligence and why we suspect it. can you talk about how that process would work and how much we would have to reveal to the iranians just to inspect the site? >> that's something you should ultimately get from the intelligence community, and personal protecting sources and methods is particularly important. now, having said that, clearly in the past, intelligence agencies from many countries have been able to share information. also note, of course, four out of the seven countries involved in the talks are very -- work together quite closely. namely the europeans and united states. i think we would do all we could to provide the iaea with relevant information that would point to a suspicious site no matter where it was.
>> could i ask secretary kerry to weigh in on that point. >> yeah, congressman. i've been through this kind of thing a little bit on occasion. we're very careful not to disclose sources and methods. and we have ways of providing information in making it available and ways that don't have that. i can assure you that will not happen. it's not something -- our community feels stopped by. you mentioned the israeli ambassador was in there talking to you about these concerns. sandy levin is the longest serving jewish member of the united states congress. he came out today -- >> i read his statement. >> well, he was asked about it. he said, israel's security has and always will be of critical importance to me and our country. i believe that israel, the region and the world are far more secure if iran does not move towards the possession of a
nuclear weapon. i believe the agreement is the best way to achieve that. >>er with going to mr. ron de santos of florida. a vote on. two minutes remaining. >> secretary moniz, with respect to the agreement between iran and the iaea for possible military de mentions have you read those documents or agreements? >> no, sir, i have not seen them. >> and you -- to your knowledge nobody in the u.s. government has a copy of the agreements? >> to my knowledge we do not have a copy. >> have you -- >> again, in vienna we had very broad oral -- i had at least a broad, oral briefing but i never saw any paper. >> so, you were briefed in vienna before the vcop was announced? >> shortly before, yes. >> who briefed you? >> d.g. amano. >> do you have any plans to request that those documents be provided to congress consistent with the iran nuclear deal act? >> i don't know if it is kebt
consistent so i'll check with our folks and make a determination. i don't think we judge that it is consistent, but we'll, as we've said, we will certainly brief the contents if appropriate class -- >> if you could provide us the rationale for why you don't think the definition of agreement would encompass -- >> i said, i don't know. congressman be i just said i don't know. >> no, i'm saying if you would make that determination, if you could provide us kind of the legal justification for -- >> well of course we'd have to. of course, we'd do that. >> very good. there was a report in the associated press today that the agreement between iran and the iaea may not be impleetd. something that iran may be the one to take soil samples. can you guys comment? is it, in fact still being negotiated between iran and the iaea? >> in session here, we can't discuss what the methology is. we're happy to take this on in classified session. >> can you confirm the ap story? have you seen it?
>> absolutely not i cannot. >> you can't -- >> i cannot confirm it. i haven't seen it among other things. >> secretary moniz we get into a very complicated agreement. very important. i know you guys worked hard on it, but sometimes i like to take a step back and just a few years ago it had been the policy of the united states that an agreement -- iran gives up nuclear program no enrichment. the president when he was debating governor romney in 2012 said the deal will accept, that they end their nuclear program. it's very straightforward. secretary moniz, i mean do you acknowledge this agreement -- i know you think it's good. put that aside. do you acknowledge that this agreement doesn't meet that standard of where they're ending their nuclear program that they are allowed to maintain a significant nuclear program in the international community will be helping them to develop nuclear technology?
i know you guys are going to say you're confident you can dweblgt that's used in a military capacity, but that does represent a change, does it not from where we were just a few years ago? >> congressman, i've had conversations with members of the prior administration. and it's inappropriate for me to tell you who or speak for them. i think if you talk to them you will learn that they had come to a conclusion by the end of that administration that that policy wasn't working and that they were going to need to in fact, have some structure of enrichment and some structure of the program. there's a distinction here between iran's nuclear weapons capacity and a peaceful nuclear program. unlike north korea which pulled out of the ntp, iran is still a signatory to the npt. iran has not exploited an ordinance. iran has not gone forward to make a weapon even though they
had enough material for 10 to 12 bomdz. so iran is stating in this agreement its willingness to comply with and live within the nonproliferation treaty. under the nonproliferation treaty, countries have a right to a peaceful nuclear program. >> so just so i get clear with the question, you're acknowledging there has been a reappraisal in kind of the gold posts and it's been shared with the bush administration and the obama administration. >> i don't think they shared it publicly but they shared it with us privately -- >> so, to that -- >> may i add the construct going in then, this was among the p5+1, that our basic construct quoob to get the one-year breakout time -- >> secretary kerry, just real quickly, because this is not going to be ratified as a treaty, there are a lot of states florida in particularly where state legislatures have enacted sanctions against iran in various capacities. do you acknowledge that this deal will not affect states' abilities to do it since it's
not going to be approved as a treat y it's not going to be considered extreme law. land? more of an executive-to-executive agreement? >> that's correct but we've urged to take steps not to interfere with that. >> mr. ted of florida and don't feel compelled to use all your time. >> yes, sir. i appreciate it. mr. secretary i want to ask you a simple yes or no question. the iran sanctions act expires on december 30th -- or 31 2016. will this administration support legislation -- >> we obviously are committed to the isa but i don't think any decision has been made on timing
or what steps the president will take. >> can we do the snap-backs without this? >> yes, we can. according to this we can't because of the iran sanctions act expires. those are necessary to -- >> no, we have other existing authorities where we could snap back both financial and -- >> can you guarantee this body those acts are -- -- facilities are in place so snap back works without an act of congress? >> yes. >> i have a problem with the secret deals going on, and you're asking us to support this deal without ng arings august to rye it read it. you're asking us to vote on something. we don't know what's in that deal. >> you will. >> i think it's disingenuous as representatives of the united states citizens to vote on a deal that we don't know what's in it. >> we're not. i've said to three or four congressman -- >> i heard that. it's not clear the information will be forthright. we're going to get briefings but
briefings is not the same as being able to read the actual agreement i realize it's the iaea with iran but we're paying 25% of the budget of that place. i think we as the representatives of american people, we deserve that. zoo congressman, on sanctions act. first thing, it doesn't expire until the end of 2016. now would not be the appropriate time. it's premature to take action. i think respectfully, we know if there's a problem in 2016, it won't take very long for congress to act. >>. >> saw it's premature to take action. this is my last question -- or statement. you say this is the best deal we get. if we walk away from the table we walk away alone. i feel that you -- this negotiating team put america in that situation because of the way you negotiated this from the very beginning. if we go back to the very beginning, iran will not be
allowed to have a nuclear weapon. you said, mr. secretary i heard it come out of your mouth, anywhere, any time, anyplace. that's been passed on. we're beyond that point. it's beyond the point of trying to prevent iran from having a nuclear weapon. we're trying to prevent something we can't instead of preparing that for which we will have. we've been boxed into a bad corner because you negotiated from weakness instead of -- as a super power and you go into the u.n. to get their approval first so we look like the guys. this is a bad deal. i think if we operate from a level of strength, iran will come back to the negotiating table. to think they're going to come back to the negotiating table a year or two from now, i think that's a fallacy and disingenuous to america. >> congressman i urge you i urge you, congressman, with all respect, to spend time with the intel community. i think you'll hear a different --
>> no disrespect we get those people in here all the time. we hear intelligence briefings. we hear this a-s a bad deal. if you say, president obama is going to make america safer -- >> congressman -- >> wait a minute. the intelligence community is telling us to build missile defense systems on the east coast, bolster the ones on the west coast and alaska because this is a great deal i think we should run away. >> the intelligence community is not saying that. the intelligence community supports this deal, congressman. what's more, they were an integral part of helping shape it. furthermore, the reason we were able to get the good deal we got is because we did operate out of position of strength, which is why they're dismanteling two-thirds of their program, undoing their stockpile, living by restraints on enrichment and have accepted additional protocol as well as 25-year restraints on their uranium and so forth.
>>. >> >> just to add the agreement, is the iaea and iran -- the iaea will complete its pmg. that's the agreement. that's the protocol. >> thank you. secretary kerry earlier you had had -- countries in the future will not trust negotiating with the u.s. state department because they're now negotiating with 535 individual members of congress. for 228 years the constitution provided a way out of that mess by allowing treaties to be with the advise and consent of 67 u.s. senators. why is this not considered a treaty? >> congressman, i spent quite a few years ago trying to get a lot of treaties through the united states senate. frankly, it's become physically
impossible. that's why. because you can't pass a treaty anymore. and it's become impossible to you know schedule. it's become impossible to pass. >> and i sat there leading the charge on the disabilities treaty which fell to basically ideology and politics, so i think that's the reason why. >> i may not disagree with that. political world around here is pretty challenging for both parties, certainly the congress and the president. i will say one of the concerns voiced to me by my constituents is the fact in the president's press conference about this agreement, he threatened to veto the congress' action if we didn't agree with him anyway. so, there was this arbitrary poke in the nose of the congress
when it was unnecessary and so my folks back home are saying, i want to have some say in this. my only say is through you. i think that maybe could have been handled a little different. secretary moniz -- go ahead, secretary. >> yeah, i understand. >> secretary moniz, is it not billions of dollars cheaper to build a natural gas power plant rather than a nuclear power plant? why do you think iranians have gone down the nuclear road? typically a nuclear plant has lower operating costs. >> in this case, the natural gas quoob would be free to them. >> i'm not sure it's free. certainly in the sense -- i'm not arguing one way or the other but just what the argument is is that it's more valuable than as
an export product where of course, with lng prices for example, in parts of the world there's quite a bit of rent to be captured. >> yeah, sure, sure. secretary lew, appreciate your patience today. you haven't been called on that much. but in light of the how tantalizing the sanctions have been on this economy, it still strikes me odd that iran would continue to move toward this very, very expensive construction project as opposed to other alternatives. does it seem odd to you? i mean billions and billions -- >> which expense? >> the actual expense of constructing nuclear power plants. they've been under great stress economically. >> i think that they have been under enormous stress, like any government, they make decisions based on their short and long-term needs. i can't question why they've chosen one form other another.
inadequate in order to have a foundation for economic growth, they do need more power. and that's going to require investment. it's one of the reasons that i believe they have domestic needs. their domestic infrastructure is in pretty bad condition right now. >> it seemed to me one of the possible solutions to this whole deal would have been for the p5+1 countries to 1 countries in building alternative sources of electrical power to meet that need as opposed to setting this canard up they can go ahead and nuclearize. i'll hand back. >> thank you. if you can keep these comments brief, there's votes going on on the floor. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank the witnesses for being here and for your service. secretary kerry you said in your opening statement, there have been major distortions and president obama actually said yesterday that there have been
no factual arguments on the other side worth scrutiny. simple yes or no. these are the facts that are basing the negotiations off of at the outset. they're holding american hostages sponsoring terrorism, calling for death to america on israel wiped from the face of the earth. guilty of egregious human rights violations and creating instability around the world. are those facts true? yes or no? >> yeah. they are. but -- >> would you say those facts looked in collectively would suggest that iran is guilty of bad behavior? >> well, i think it's more than just bad behavior. . ld a deal -- let's say i wanted to sell my business to lee. back when i was in the business world, we were doing an acquisition. i would say to my team, you can't do a good deal with a bad guy. so can you just sort of
understand our concern about this deal because it sure looks like if we're doing a good deal as you suggest, it's with a bad guy. >> i understand exactly what you're saying, and it's -- it's, you know, we confronted questions about what could be achieved and not achieved in the course of these negotiations ourselves and came to the conclusion, therefore, that nothing is based on trust. that we are going to set up something that you can read, we can read everybody can understand what the expectations are. and that's one of the reasons why from a position of strength we believe we achieved something that really helps establish some level of confidence over the years, and that's the level to which they will reduce their current program reduce their stockpile, live by limitations on enrichment, which are absolutely ascertainable and so forth. so we've created we think a dynamic here where you get over the hurdle of the things you
don't like and bad behavior because you've created something that is verifiable and has certainty in it. >> any chance that iran's strategy is to get the deal signed, get the $50 billion and a year or so down the road start to violate the agreement knowing that -- >> as we said earlier. >> i know, that's the challenge of going last or next to last, but i appreciate you staying. isn't there a chance a year from now, it's going to be a whole lot more difficult for us to get the band back together and be able to put in place some protections. >> not if they're breaking the agreement. >> russia and china are going to go along and say gosh, the united states, we understand your concern and what can we do to get --? >> we're convinced about the seriousness of purpose of all of our five other partners in this effort. >> you know, hindsight's 20/20, and i'm not asking you to necessarily evaluate how we got to this point. but any credibility to the concern that i think someone earlier mentioned that maybe
decisions by ambassador rice or the administration or your negotiating team really put us in a position now where if we don't sign this deal, we're really left without any good options? any concern in hindsight we could've done things differently? maybe resolution 1929, other decisions that were made along the way that put us in this box in terms of having no great options? >> well, we think we have a great option. the great option is the agreement that we came to and we did not create the box. by the way. you know you guys decided you wanted to review it and now you're reviewing it. and i'm sorry about the consequences of that review, but that's not our creation. the consequences of the review are the reality that this agreement can, you know, not go forward. and there are consequences to that. >> i have no regrets, sir about having the responsibility of reviewing this agreement. >> i'm not arguing with you about your right to do it. but we are arguing that the consequences when you weigh the
benefit of this agreement going through versus the consequence of not doing it are serious. >> but -- >> and you know -- >> one last question, sir i appreciate your time. but you said earlier that this was never about making sure iran did not have a nuclear program, but rather making sure they did not have a nuclear weapon. >> the capacity to build a nuclear weapon or get one. >> what did president obama or candidate obama mean in the debate with mitt romney in 2012 when he said the deal we will accept is they end their nuclear program, it's very straightforward. he really was talking about the capacity to create a nuclear weapon, not -- >> having played mitt romney for him in preparation for that debate, i can assure you that's what he meant. >> thank you for your time. hope you're doing all right with your crutches. i spent a lot of time over the year on crutches. they're not any fun. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. kerry, just now in response to his question i want to understand with regards, this isn't a treaty because it was difficult to pass. is that -- is that correct?
>> well it's not -- there are a lot of other reasons. we felt, we don't have diplomatic relations with iran. it's very complicated with six other countries. it's just very complicated process. so we thought that the easiest way to get something that had the leverage had the accountability, could achieve our goal was through a political agreement. >> and mr. secretary, if you would be able to submit for the record just a little bit more background as to why this is not treated as a treaty. i think it would be helpful for us. >> absolutely, sure. >> okay. >> and you said a little earlier the reason iran came to the table is because they wanted the relief from the sanctions. the iranian supreme leader said the islamic republic of iran will not give up support of the frepds in the region, the oppressed people of yemen the oppressed people of bahrain and fighters in lebanon and palestine. there is so much state sponsorship of terror in that
list a hezbollah leader said this past weekend, the united states remains the great state in both before and after the nuclear accord. the leverage that brought the iranians to the negotiating table was the sanctions relief. let me just recap some of the stuff that wasn't part of the negotiations. iran developing icbms overthrowing foreign governments, sponsoring terror, unjustly imprisoning united states citizens including a marine a pastor a reporter pledging to wipe israel off the map. none of that was part of the negotiations. iran's neighbors who know them the best trust them the least. it's just something for us to think about. i'd also ask if you can submit for the record just for the sake of time a little bit more in the plan. as for stopping all the other iranian terror that wasn't part of the deal. i think it would be very helpful for congress to have a better sense of what the plan is regarding everything that wasn't part of the deal.
and mr. secretary if we remove the sanctions, we're removing the leverage that brought the iranians to the table. over 70 years ago, a leader of the free world held up a document declared it peace for our time. i'm afraid that many years from now if the american people through the representatives in congress accept this bad deal that just like the munich agreement of 1938 this iranian agreement will prove to not be in the best interest of american security or the stability and safety of the free world. there is an alternative other than war. it's a better deal. now, you say getting a better deal is fantasy land. some other stuff i would consider fantasy land is believing that you have access to military sites when the iranian leadership tells us we don't. fantasy land is agreeing to a three-member advisory board where one of the members is declared an independent member. but there's no details in agreement whatsoever as to how that independent member is selected. fantasy land is saying there's a
secret deal with -- there's no secret deal with iran and the ia/ea even though we're acknowledging there is an agreement and that it's secret. fantasyland is saying this deal provides 24/7 -- saying that iran does not want to destroy the united states, dismissing their death to america pledge is just rhetoric. i don't believe that this is a great option as you just said to the last person. i know it the american public knows it. that there is an alternative other than war and it's a better deal. america got played like a five-string quartet. mr. secretary, a lot of americans have fought and died to make our country the greatest nation in the world. and you, sir, respectfully, you don't have the power to surrender our greatness. and i would strongly, you know with all of these hypotheticals that if congress rejects this deal that everything falls apart apart you have not yet answered
what you would do next. what would you three secretaries do if congress rejects the deal? because the answer on the next day is no one shows up to work. no one is working with the international community to try to protect america and their free world. so if congress rejects this deal deal when you wake up the next morning, sir, what would you do? >> well congressman, you threw a lot out there all at once. all of us take affront at the comments that are made publicly by many people in iran, whether it's in general or a leader of one or another, or the ayatollah ayatollah's comments. what's important is what iran does. not what it says, what it does. for two years now iran lived by a deal that many of your colleagues here called an
historic mistake. but they live by it. they've actually rolled their program back. and president obama is the first president in the united states who has challenged this issue who has actually rolled the iranian program back significantly and stopped them from the path to get a weapon. now -- >> with all due with respect, for sake of time. what you would do the next morning. you have not answered the question of what the administration. >> there's a vote on and your time has expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. if you could submit that for the record. i think it's important for congress to know what you would do next. >> sure. >> i want to thank our witnesses. for being with us today. these are not easy issues. congress will be taking an historical vote on this agreement in september. the committee will continue doing its job before that vote and after and i thank each of our witnesses, again, for being
>> each week, american history tv's reel america brings you archival homes that help tell the story of the 20th century. 16 years ago, july 28, 1965, president lyndon johnson held a white house press conference on the reasons for u.s. involvement in the vietnam war. the president announced u.s. forces in south vietnam would increase from 75,000 to 125,000 and that this would make it necessary to increase the draft call from 17,000 to 35,000 month. this 45 minute program is from the collections of the lbj library.