tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN June 4, 2015 5:00am-7:01am EDT
agreement not based upon trust it's based upon terms of an agreement to make sure that we can keep iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state. one last point if i might. if we're successful in reaching a diplomatic agreement we have removed one threat that is a nuclear iran. that is an important goal for us to achieve. but then what does iran do next? do they take a course of joining the community of nations in peaceful activities and nonproliferation? we certainly hope that would be the case but we don't have any illusions that that would automatically occur. or do they act with the increased economic empowerment to have more negative impact in yemen and syria and iraq and spreading terrorism? we need to be prepared in how the united states can best act to make sure that the iranian activities are channeled towards positive rather than
negative activities. and then lastly, if we are not able to reach an agreement, we also need to be prepared as to how we act to make sure iran does not become a nuclear weapons state. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses. >> thank you so much. we will now turn to our witnesses. our first witness is the honorable james jeffery currently with the washington institute. ambassador jeffery previously served as the deputy national security adviser to president bush. ambassador to albania turkey, and iran. we thank you for being here. the second witness is the honorable martin indick, executive vice president of the brookings institution has twice served as ambassador to israel and most recently special envoy for the israeli pal stillion negotiations. you have done this often. you can sum rise your comments and your written documents will be entered into the record. we thank you for being here and look forward to your testimony.
>> thank you. mr. chairman, ranking member carden, members of the committee, it is an honor to be back here. the question of iran as you just said be it in the nuclear context or in the regional context is one of the most important issues today in the middle east. but it is not the only one because we are dealing with a region again as you said that is in crisis. a set of crises we haven't seen since the end of the otmon empire almost 100 years ago. and these impact our vital interests in the region. combating terrorism weapons of mass destruction, supporting our allies and partners, and ensuring the free throw of hydro car bons for the world economy. the action of the u.s. congress in passing the review act is a step in the right direction because it will allow the american people to have a say in something of great importance to their security as well as is the people in the region and around the world.
as we don't know at this point what ab agreement will look like at best we only have a sketch of the possibilities based upon the april 2 understandings we can't make a final determination. obviously that will be based on verification questions what happens with the nuclear materials, and the status of the infrastructure. but in any case, in looking at iran's program it is important again as you said to put this in the context of its actions in the region and i would propose the following as areas of conversation. first, agreement cannot be considered without looking at iran's record of destabilization throughout the region. either an iranian nuclear weapons capability or an agreement that grants iran a special status just shy of having a nuclear weapons capability would pose extraordinary new threats to a region already under stress.
second it is the nature of the regime itself. two of my colleagues at the washington institute made published a piece in the "new york times" april 26. we wrote, iran as a revolutionary power with hedge monic aspirations. it is a country seeking to assert its dominance in the region and will not play by the rules. any decision must bear this sobering thought in mind and must not read iran's willingness to sign an agreement about its change of heart. i am not passing an judgment on the agreement itself. we signed agreements on nuclear agreements but we did this with our eyes open and we need to do this with iran as well. third, in particular given iran's role in the region, no nuclear agreement is better than one that might push one by months iran's ability to break
out a capability. the administration's assertion that there is no alternative to approving an agreement is incorrect and tant amount to advocating that any agreement is better than none. were iran to walk away from the agreement that was laid out in general terms in april the united states probably could ensure that the international sanctions currently in place stay on. if we tee sided in the end to not go along with an agreement, i think it would be hard to keep the international sanctions that the e.u. and other countries have put on but we would have other means to do this. but in the end getting to your point any agreement is based upon our willingness to use military force to stop iran from trying to achieve a breakout capability, trying to achieve a nuclear weapons capability. we can't get around that fact. the administration officially has that as its position that
it will act if iran does that. but these words are undercut constantly by arguments that military force will have no effect or it will have little effect or it will lead to war. having spent a fair amount of time in war i don't say this lightly, it's unlikely that we will see anything like vietnam or iraq. we have tremendous military capabilities if we need to. i hope we don't. finally, there is the issue as you said of reassuring our friends and allies. camp david was a step in the right direction but it focused only on conventional threats to these arab states. that's not what they are worried about. they're worried about infiltration of the arab areas iraq, lebanon, syria by iran in many ways. so in short in looking at this agreement, what's important is not only what is in the agreement but our willingness to use force to back up our commitment that they do not ever get a nuclear weapon and
our willingness to push back against iranian efforts throughout the roiming. those are the three issues that i think are crucial. thank you, sir. >> mr. ambassador. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. gentlemen, i greatly appreciate the opportunity to testify today on this critical issue. i want to applaud all of you, if i may, for the way in which as mr. card p said, you came together and drafted and passed legislation which will give the senate a very important role in overseeing the details of this agreement. and i also applaud the deliberate way in which you are going about making sure that you understand the technical dimensions of this which i couldn't come close to understanding. so thank you on behalf of all of us for taking this so
seriously. i think that if you are presented with an agreement you will likely have to make a choice either to endorse it an agreement that will remove sanctions on iran but should ensure that it remains nuclear weapons free for at least 10 to 15 years. or on the other hand to reject the agreement. which would leave iran three months from a nuclear weapon under eroding sanctions. it is a difficult choice. in making that choice, you will need to take account moorning other things the regional implications of the deal. and what can and should be done to say meal yor rate the negative fallout from the region. that is whative endevered to address. in my view, if the arrangements currently being negotiated for inspection and monitoring
together with the mechanisms for reimposing sanctions should the iranians be caught cheating, if those are robust enough to deter and detect iranian cheating, the deal will be worth upholding. in other words the likely regional implications of the deal in my view are not sufficiently negative to justify opposing it. indeed given the state of turmoil ine engulfing the middle east, ensuring a nuclear free iran for at least a decade and tight monitoring of its nuclear program for much longer than that will help remove a primary source of tension sand may foster greater cohesion amongst our partners in the region in dealing with the other sources of conflict sand instability there. put simply, everything that we're all concerned about in the middle east will become much greater concern were iran
to acquire nuclear weapons. >> one question that i think is on the minds of a lot of people is whether this deal will lead our regional allies to decide that they too should pursue a nuclear weapons program or at least a civilian nuclear program that would give them ability to cross over to nuclear weapons, the former saudi ambassador to the united states has said that whatever iran has we will have the same. and that has fueled speculation that the saudis and others -- egypt, jordan -- perhaps turkey -- will go down the nuclear road as well as a result of this agreement. that would be a bitter irony, indeed since the whole purpose of this agreement is to prevent a nuclear arms race in the roiming. so it would be ironic indeed if
it were to spark one. i actually do not believe that there is a high risk of that happening. to put it simply, why would saudi arabia -- which has not embarked on a nuclear program for the decades in which iran was pursuing one -- now decide to go for a nuclear program in the context of a deal in which serious curbs are going to be placed on iran's nuclear program? plus, if they want the same then they would have to agree to the same kinds of inspections and arrangements that would be imposed on iran as a result of this agreement. i find it hard to believe that the saudis would agree to do that. much appolice to the others. egypt talks about a nuclear program the same with jordan but they do not have the skine disk capabilities, the costs time, and the restrictions that
they would have to accept including the additional protocol that iran will accept as part of this agreement seems to me makes it unlikely that we need to face that kind of problem. what about israel? i think that israel's leadership is deeply alarmed by this to say the least. and has good reason to be concerned about the intentions of the iranian leadership. and they have the duty to take that seriously. but since this agreement will turn the clock back on iran's nuclear program facing at least one year away from a breakout capability for the next 10 to 15 years, israel has no reason to preempt for the time being. and i think that israel's concerns later on in the way which this agreement could pave the way can and should be addressed including in terms of entering into agreements with israel to expand its assistance to give it the capability to defend sand deter against a
possible nuclear iran which as a result of this deal i believe will be put off long into the future. thank you. >> thank you both for your testimony. i know we have a lot of participation. i know the ambassador has a hard some at 11:00. i'm going to defer on my questions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. again let me thank both of our witnesses. as i said in my opening statement if we reach an agreement with iran, if we're successful in having an agreement that prevents them from moving forward with a nuclear weapon program, there are still many issues in our relationship with iran. so i just want to sort of crystal ball where we are after an agreement. iran could very well continue its current policy of supporting terrorism and interference in so many countries that are making it very challenging for our
partners in the region. how do we influence the iranian calculations? we have seen in the past that the passage of sanctions in regards to their nuclear proliferation was effective to bring them to the table to negotiate and we hope reach an agreement. what type of strategic alliances and what type of actions should the u.s. be contemplating in order to affect the calculation iran is using in its engagement in yemen, its engagement in lebanon, its engagement in iraq and syria? do you have any advice as to where we should be trying to develop those types of alliances and strategic partnerships? one last point on this. and that is in the last 10, 15 years our strategic partnerships in the region have changed. we have had very close relations with egypt president. that went through a very difficult period.
we are trying to rebuild that today. jordan has been a trusted partner but there have been issues in regards to that relationship. the only partner that we've had that has been a consistent partner to the united states has been israel. and they have of course had problems with where we are heading on the iranian arrangements. what advice would you have for the united states to plan in a post agreement middle east with iran? >> thank you, senator carden. the problem of rolling back iran's nevada fair yuss activities in the region -- nefarious activities in the region is that they have been able to exploit two advantages which we have a hard time dealing with. first of all, the collapse or
erosion of the effectiveness of state institutions in these countries provides fertile and low cost grounds for them to exploit by building parallel institutions in effect, to exercise considerable influence in these countries. and when they do so, they do so by taking advantage of the fact that there is a shia population in each of these countries that is open to their influence, whether it be through cash or arms or training. and they have of course iranion revolutiony guard corps specifically designed for that purpose and they're very effective at it. so that presents a great
vulnerability and therefore presents great difficulty in terms of how we can counter it. the answer lies essentially in strengthening the institutions of governance in those countries. but that is a difficult challenge which we don't usually do very well. i think you used the word partnership and partners. i think that is essential in this effort. first of all yes we have to provide reassurance that we are not about to abandon our traditional allies whether it be egypt, jordan saub and the gulf states. that's a very important adjunct to the process of doing this deal with iran. but then we have to work with them particularly of course the sunni arab states in terms of
building capabilities to go in and bolster the institutions there that can counter the vulnerabilities that iran exploits. people are now saying that this is a long-term project and thrsh somehow i think perhaps trying to escape direct responsibility for making something happen on their watch. it is a long-term project. but we have to start now and we have to start in the context of this nuclear deal precisely because the fear of abandonment which i think is vastly exaggerated by our allies and traditional partners in the region needs to be addressed if we are to ensure that we start a process of containing and rolling back iran's destabilizing activities in the
region. >> senator ambassador has outlined exactly what the problems are and a lot of steps that we could take. a few very specific short-term ones because long term we can foresee doing anything anywhere in the world but the question is what are we going to do right now? first we have to restore our military credibility. we have to have congressional support for use of military force if iran goes to a breakthrough. we have to know what the administration and the next administration's red lines are for when they would strike if iran did that. besides the impact of that on a nuclear negotiation, that would have an impact in the region by making people think that we really will live up to our commitments. in terms of specifics in this region we need to do more in syria against assad. i'm not advocating trying to overthrow him or going to war
but ideas like a no fly zone like arming the resistance fighters not just to fight isis but also to fight the assad government but to basically ensure that the other side assad and his friends russia, hezbollah and iran we are not going to let them win. we are pushing for a negotiated settlement to ensure that place remains independent, sand independent from iran. the same thing in yemen. there are various steps we can do to again reassure these people that it is not just their physical computer from an iranian and land inif i tration by ambassador indick said shia supported, almost ideological religious movement. >> thank you. >> senator perdue. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you both for being here today and your testimony and your service to our country. i have a question about the money and the sanctions. today it is estimated that we have about as much as $140
combl in held cash through these sanctions on just their oil exports alone. president obama back in april mentioned that there would be a signing bonus. we don't know any details but we have seen estimates as high as $50 billion. iran is producing their potential capacity somewhere around 36 billion annually in terms of oil and exports. that's larger than venezuela. that's just an estimate. iran spends about 10 to 17 billion a year on their current military. those are estimates we have seen. that sounds low but those are what we have seen. so it puts it in perspective that they are about to have a cash windfall. so what i am concerned about with their history of supporting terrorists around the world what is your learned opinions about what we can expect from this windfall of cash? i don't think it's going to domestic programs. so the question is -- and it looks like two differing points
of view. what can we expect given this windfall of cash of coming at the end of these negotiations if we get a deal? >> it begins with the idea do we think that signing this agreement is going to either flip iran into being a stttuss quo power in the region, or serve as some kind of encouragement that will happen over the longer term. i see no evidence of that given iran's past and given its ideological and religious role in the region and the very strong efforts it has made not just under the current regime but turned shaw to have a hedge monic position in the region. we can expect that to continue and we have seen this around the world with other countries that have achieved regional power. and iran is probably not all that different. totally aside from the religious aspect. so it is very hard for me to
believe that they will not use some part of that to further enhance their efforts from gaza to lebanon to iraq to syria to yemen and they will find new places as well. so it will be more of a threat because of that. i also think that they will take some of the money and devote it to their domestic side as well because the rohanie government came to office on that basis. >> thank you, senator. i think that we need to first of all bear in mind that this is kind of inevitable cost of doing an agreement that puts meaningful curbs on iran's nuclear program. we need to make sure that they are meaningful. that we can ensure that the iranians don't cheat or we detect them if they do and we can put the sanctions back on if they violate the agreement. but if we are going to go ahead
with the agreement we don't have an option but to lift the sanctions. that's the basic deal sheer. i think you are absolutely right to be concerned about the windfall and how it will be used. i think as jim has said some of it will be used for the economy. there is a high expectation for the iranian people this will produce economic benefits. but they've got a lot of money to spend for other purposes. and i find it hard to believe that the iranian revolutionary guard corps and the ministry of intelligence -- who are the main vehicles for spreading their destabilizing influence across the region -- are not going to get paid off to go along with an agreement which they have made clear that they are not happy about. and it doesn't cost a lot of money to do what they've been
doing. so a boost to that activity could be problematic. so one example is that the assad regime in syria is hurting economically now. it's also hurting militarily. but were the iranians to infuse some cash into that regime it would help it hold on. and there are other ways in which it could provide funding and arms and so on to the shia militias in iraq which would tilt the balance even further in the favor of the shia militia's versus these nascent sunni militias barely able to stand up. and that's not a good thing. so there are all sorts of ways in which it could become problematic. having said that, there are thing that is we can do and need to do to prepare for that and to counter it. and that's what's so important
about needing to recognize that as a complement to the deal there has to be a u.s. strategy for the region that is designed to deal with iran's destabilizing activities. >> have you seen a strategy yet? >> it's nascent. i think the camp david meeting with the gulf countries is the start to that. it has some specific references which i think it would be worthwhile for you to get further explanation from the information.
in these circumstances, as we can see in yemen, aircraft aren't the most effective things. we need their troops on the ground because of our own reluctance to put troops on the ground. >> i really want to get to the question on the s 300 russia announced they've done these deals sand surface to air missile programs russia has used these in the ukraine we are told. russia has said it's a depeevensive weapon but it allows iran to project power in the region. are you concerned about this development? >> very much for several reasons. first, while there's no u.n. resolution or requirement against that, the u.n. language says exercise restraint in providing weapons to iran. the russians just blew through that and there is no lifting of
these resslutions until the u.n. does so and it sheant yet. problem number two is the fact that these do have a capability that is under certain circumstances threatening to our air power and those of our friends and allies. it sends a signal to the region that iran has a big sand very aggressive buddy backing it again leading to ambassador and i have been talking about a desire on the part of our folks in the region to say who is backing us and how are you backing us? >> thank you. >> i might interject a question. is it in our national interest that iran dominate the region as they are beginning to do? sand if not, should congress take into account as we look at the details of any deal should we look at the fact as or look at whether the administration has that counterveiling
strategy with potentially this much money coming into their hands and their influence in the region? should that be a factor as we look at whether a deal with iran should be soop proved? both of you briefly and then we will move to senator menendez. >> well, i think you are right to focus on the details of the deal that's going to be complicated enough in itself. but certainly i don't see any reason why you shouldn't question what the strategy is. i believe the administration is developing that strategy. but definitely you should look into that and see what they are doing. it is critical. it is not in my view sufficient . the problems that iran can create in the region additional problems to what it is already doing as a result of this deal is not a reason for not doing the deal but is a reason for insisting that there be an effective strategy to deal with the kind of turbo boost that
the iranians are going to have in the region. to answer your question about what our interests are in the region. well basic interests come down to the free flow of oil sat reasonable prices which is less important to us directly now but still critical for the global economy which we depend upon. and of course the protection of our allies in the region starting with israel. and in that context domination by iran would be dangerous for all of those interests and therefore something that we have traditionally opposed sand i think should continue to oppose. >> very quickly, senator. i agree. the answer is absolutely not. further more, our whole foreign policy since world war ii and particularly since 1989 has been based upon not allowing anybody to dominate any region. we went into combat against milosevic for that in the balkans, against iran in 87-8,
against sad am in 1991 and then later several times because if you have that, the whole international ardor goes down the drain as one regional hegmon dominates the other countries and starts robbing them of their sovereignty and rights to live in peace and follow their own will. iran has a model for this one of the more moderate iranian officials was in exile actually has laid it out and it basically is a security arrangement in the region with israel weakened, united states out of the region, arm sales to our allies stopped, and again iran playing a predominant role. so they know what they want and they are working on it. >> i have one quick point. it's important to understand soonie arab states will not accept iranian domination. and so the consequences of a
greater success by iran dominating the region will be a counterveiling effort to prevent that from happening and therefore a deepening sectarian sunni sheesa conflict. >> and add to that point. and sunni arab states if not helped coached led and backed by us are going to go about resisting this domination in ways we are not going to like leading to this conflagration that he just warned about. >> thank you. senator menendez. >> thank. sand thank you both for your long service to our country. the more i listen to your responses, the more i am concerned that the strategy that should exist under the hope that we will get an agreement that actually could be supported and embraced as a good agreement is a strategy
that is all on the come when it should be up front. because the turbo boost that you said is something that we will be behind the curve on. and what worries me as part of that is when the administration says to those who are skeptical about the nature of what the final deal will be based upon the interim agreement and based upon the different understandings of that interim agreement and based upon actions like iran increasing its fuel enrichment by 20% which may be within the japoa but also has to be eliminated by june 30 which is an extraordinary action they will have to do unless they ship it out which they say they are not willing to do. so when you tell your adversary that you are negotiating indirectly, if not an agreement, then what? the suggestion it's agreement
or war. which i reject. i think there is a third way. but when you send that message if not an agreement then what? and when you say that if necessary we will use our military capabilities, but then undermine the essence of that capability by saying it won't have much result at the end of the day, the message you are sending in your negotiation is one of weakness not of strength. and you let the other side know that you need or want this deal as badly as they do. that is a dangerous negotiating pousetur from my perspective. with a lack of a strategy up front and already sending those messages i think it's a dangerous proposition. so it seems to me that this strategy is something that we have had two years of thinking about negotiations we would have been evolving a strategy in the hope that we achieve the successful negotiation and know what to deal with in the aftermath. let me ask you, shouldn't our
focus in the region be to strengthen the state system in the middle east? >> yes. >> i will take that for an answer. >> easier said. it's very good to see you here. just on the first point if i might. i don't think that the alternative is war. but i do think we need to look seriously at what the alternative is. given where we are. now, if the iranians do not agree to a regime that provides verification inspection monitoring and snapback sanctions, then we should walk away, in my opinion, because we will be justified in doing so and we will have a credible
case to make to our partners in this negotiation, the p 5 plus 1 and others that the iranians were not prepared to agree to a deal that was acceptable. and that's the critical point here. but if they are willing to accept all of our stipulations when it comes to inspection and verification and snapback, then i think walking away from that deal will have consequences. it will mean that we will not be able to hold the sanctions. and faced with the kind of erosion of support, we will have a much harder time dealing with the iranian nuclear program that will continue and pick up steam. then -- we're three months away. >> what is verification, what is snapback? what is possible military dimensions?
how far research and development can go. how you define those are incredibly important. because when we started this negotiation, for example we were told that iraq they would -- dismantled by them or destroyed by us. we were told that fordo would be closed. the reality is that neither one of those are the case. so -- and there's a whole history of goal posts that have been moved. my concern is what is the definition of those elements that you describe? but getting back to my question. your answer is yes we should strengthen the state system in the middle east. now, is it fair to say that iran's influence at least up to this date has been to destabilize state actors in the middle east? and we see that in yemen and we have seen it in lebanon. we see it throughout the region. is that a fair statement? >> senator, it certainly is. there are two major threats to
the state order in the middle east. and everything including our security and that of the region is based upon that. one is extremist sunni movement such as al qaeda and isis. another is iran which uses both religion and stradigsal state craft to try to subvert countries. and we know the tools. it's denying a monopoly of force by government. it's winning over the loyalties of part of the population hezbollah and lebanon, the hootsdzies and yemen for example. some of the shia militias in iraq. more to iran and to their own countries. there's a religious element to this as wol. >> let me get to two last question. if our interest is to support state systems and at the ran's whole purpose as to be undermining state systems is it fair to say that even with the sanctions and the drop in oil
prices that have bit significantly on their economy they are still using a fair amount of their resources to do exactly that to undermine state actors? is that fair to say? >> yes. it certainly is fair to say. and that's part of what i was -- >> and if that's fair to say, then when you have even greater amounts of money it would seem to me that yes some of it will go for domestic purposes but a fair amount of money if you're suffering and you're using your money not to help your people but to go ahead and promote terrorism so when you have more money you can help your people to some degree but you can still promote that terrorism. that is a real concern. and finally, let me just say do you think the gulf partners looking at the budapest memorandum think that our guarantees really mean a lot? we told ukraine that if they gave up its nuclear weapons that in fact we would guarantee its territorial integrity.
that hasn't worked out too well for the ukrainians. so you're going to tell the gulf region, don't pursue a nuclear pathway because iran is at the precipus of it. and we are going to guarantee your security? ink that's a little tough for the gulf partners to believe in and of itself. if you add the obligation to keep israel's qual tative military edge to whatever you are going to give the gulf partners and the real concern is a nuclear one, i don't quite see how that works. >> well, first of all i think that our gulf partners are far more concerned about iran's activities in their neighborhood than they are about iran's nuclear ambitions. and that's the only way to explain why they haven't sought nuclear capabilities themselves. they certainly haven't lacked
the funds to do so. so i do think that you could see coming out of the camp david summit that they do care about getting these assurances from the president. and they have committed themselves in that commune cay to endorsing supporting or welcoming a deal that would have the kinds of things that we have been talking about in terms of inspections and verification and snapback and so on. but i think that what they are looking for reassurance about is the united states is going to be with them in terms of the problems that they face with iran in their region. it's not about nukes as far as they are concerned. and that's a much harder think for us to do for them. we can protect them against san external iranian threat but dealing with the kind of subversion that iran is involved in, exploiting the
chaos and collapse of institutions in that region is much harder to do especially if we are not prepared to put our own forces on the ground to do it. then we've got to find other forces to do it. and we've got to look to them to do it. that's why we talk about partnership. it's going to require them to work with us on this as well. >> senator. >> thank you chairman. thank you both for being here and thank you for your service. i want to follow up on senator menendez's point because to me it is absolutely critical. we have done nothing since we left iraq with all our pulling all of our troops out to demonstrate in the past 18 months exactly what our commitment is, in my judgment. you mentioned the ukraine. there was conversations about whether or not we would back the right people in the middle east whether or not we would confront iran in terms of its nevada fair yuss activity. but i remember -- nefarious activity. but the best deals in my business were the -- where i
walked away. and the worst deals i ever made was when the deal was more important to me than common sense. and i worry we're getting into a situation where we are not walking away. have you heard credibly either one of you from your positions some of the conversations the iranians have said? like we won't allow military bases to be inspected or we are not going to allow this or that? aren't those the type of things they should know we will walk away from immediately? and shouldn't we have made that statement definitively so it's without question? >> we have heard these statements. i have heard, for example, the deputy negotiateor has in conversations that did come to our attention with the parliament in closed session in tehran say that in fact maybe some of these things are negotiable with the americans. so again that's the problem we have we haven't seen the agreement in its final form.
but certainly those are very, very important points. you do not have full eyes on which supposedly is critical -- it is critical to this agreement if you cannot visit military installations and if you cannot interview their scientists and other technical officials. so that's very, very important. and this is something that the administration should insist on. and if they don't get it they should walk away or wait until they do get it. >> we must be believeable in our negotiation or we will get taken. that's the point i want to make. secondly, what the senator raised is not the russian it's the 300 isn't it? isn't the s-300 capable of carrying a tactical nuclear war head? >> i don't believe so, senator. again, it's a surface to air system. in theory surface to air system ks be refigured to carry nuclear war heads. but frankly, iran has a really disturbing arsenal of
long-range missiles. that's why we're putting the defense systems into europe some 3,000, 40 nourks miles away. they have mills that will be able to go that far, further than the s-300 be fly. so its threat is to shoot down our arblingte and cruise missiles. >> i have tremendous respect for your sablet sand knowledge. let me ask you this. what do you fear the most about making a deal with the iranians or not making a deal? what should our biggest concern and fear be? >> in terms of making the deal, i think there are two major concerns which we've been discussing. one is that they will cheat. they've cheated before on their negotiations. we have seen in the case of korea that they got away with cheating and built a nuclear weapon. so that's got to be the concern within the deal. to make sure that they don't
have that ability. and i agree with you. if we don't get that we should be prepared to walk and that you are absolutely right in any negotiation sazz you pointed out. but particularly a negotiation with iran being ready and willing to walk away if we can't get our minimum requirements is critically important to the negotiations. and i think that the stafmentse that they've been making -- which do not accord with the things that they've already agreed to in the negotiating room is an indication that they are posturing for their public. that their public -- that they have a problem with their public opinion. they've raised the expectation of the public opinion that there is going to be a deal on their terms. so i think that actually we have a better ability to walk away than they do at this point. so we are in fact in a stronger position if we focus on the issues within the parameters of the deal. and make sure we get what we need in that regard. the second problem is outside
the deal. and we have discussed that already this morning. which is how do you contain and roll back their activities in the region? you can't do that as part of the deal but you are going to have to have a strategy to deal with it alongside the deal. >> senator, in terms of a deal, the thing that i am most worried about is that we will wind up looking like we keep on making compromises and therefore we are seen as either weak and that has a huge impact on our ability to deter them in the region. or people will think that u.s. government actually believes that this deal will change the tune in tehran and that they will be potential status quo power or potential partner in regional security. and i think that's woriesome. having taken a few hits at the deal, here is one of the thing that is the deal will give us. it will give us more international support. this is important for two
things. first, the international sanctions -- and the most effective ones -- do hinge on a good relationship between us, and some of the other players including china in particular as iranian oil importer. but secondly, i several times cited the importance of us being willing to use military force. our experience has been sadly that when we didn't have international support for us, iraq and vietnam being two examples, we had a much harder time. and therefore, international support is of value that you do get in this agreement. it has to be balanced grens other ones. possibly sending a signal of weakness, possibly people questioning our deterrence in thairan. but there is a certain value to an agreement if it is verifiable and if it gives you the one-year time before they could break out. >> just to follow up. to understand, a good deal in your definition of mine, which is a good deal for the american
people and of the middle east, would be preferable to not making a deal because it would raise our stature with the international community? >> no, sir. there's no good deal at this point. a good deal would be no enrichment. a good deal would be they are out of the business of having a nuclear weapons threshhold capability. so it's a question of a bad deal that may be better than a set of other circumstances. or perhaps living with the other circumstances. one of the thing that is a deal does give us is the ability to mobilize the international community if iran breaks out. and that ability to mobilize the international community typically has been very successful. we've had to use military force. such as in korea in 1950 or kuwait in 1991. >> thanks to both of you very much. >> senator cane. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you to our witnesses. my assessment of the status of the u.s.-iran dynamic sazz
adversaries prenovember 2013 was that the combined weight of congressional executive international sanctions were putting deep pressure on the iranian economy, hurting and affecting the iranian economy. that helped bring them to the table. but i don't necessarily think that combined weight of sanctions was slowing down their nuclear program. in fact it may have accelerated their program. the extent they felt isolated. you can look at them as a resistance economy. they were putting an unreasonable amount of effort into advancing the nuclear program. so the status before the president and american diplomats engage in this discussion i think is one where the sanctions were working against the economy but the iranian nuclear program was accelerating in a dangerous way. since nober 2013, i've been to israel twice and back in january 2015 and even the israelis who were worried about
an ultimate deal acknowledged some grudgingly some enthusiastically that they think the jap with a period has been a positive. that the combination of roll back of some elements of the iranian program together with additional inspections has been a positive. they like that better than the prenovember 13 status quo. now we move to the situation of what we're going to think about with respect to a final deal. this is a sincere question. it's going to sound like i'm not sincere. do either of you doubt that the region the united states and the world are safer if iran doesn't have a nuclear weapon than if they do? >> i think this is the primary benefit of a deal that is
enforcible. that is that it will give the region and the united states and our allies there particularly israel a 10 to 15-year nuclear free iran in which we will no longer be faced with this kind of sense that iran is about to cross the nuclear threshhold. >> in other words, a bellicose iran without a nuclear weapon may still be bellicose. >> the other states in the region will have a strong incentive so we have a nuclear arms race on top of everything else that's going on. so yes we need the breathing space. the breathing space is worth
something to us. and time is not neutral in this situation. 10 to 15 years we can use the 10 to 15 years to roll back iran. >> absolutely. let me splore now the decision tree of no deal and deal. i don't think no deal automatically means war but no deal does have some consequences. how important is it to the effect of the sanctions that currently exist and more that we might want to put on that there's an international coalition supporting the sanctions versus the united states just proceeding alone? >> at this point it's very, very important because the sanctions that have really bitten deep are the ndaa sanctions which run third countries through their financial systems which countries actually could resist but we had both temporary waiver authority, or if they were reducing bit by bit.
and, frankly, they wanted to help us put iran under wraps. so they did cooperate. but the cooperation was getting tougher and tougher if you talk to the people who were actually trying to excute it on the u.s. government side. so -- and the second set of sanctions that are really effective are the e.u. sanctions which not only ended up a imports but frankly through hitting insurance funds transfers banking and other auxiliary elements of the international trade system really led to iran losing more than roughly half of its oil exports. that combined with the drop in oil prices put ishe in the economic situation we see. so it's important to maintain that if we can't get a deal. >> let me follow up and ask this. so if there is no deal, then it is very critical whether the community perceives that the absence of a geel is because iran is being unreasonable.
or they were willing to be at least somewhat reasonable and the united states or other parties refused to make a deal. so if it looks like iran is being unreasonable there's a greater chance to hold the coalition together to keep sanctions tough. if it looks like the u.s. or other partners are being unreasonable it's difficult to hold the coalition together. would you agree? >> it depends very much obhow the deal breaks down. if there's a deal that meets the requirements of the p 5 plus one in terms of snapback and let's say the congress decides in its wisdom that this isn't a deal they can support. so we are responsible for in effect walking away, i think it will be very hard to maintain the international sanctions in those circumstances. but if iran refuses to agree to for instance, inspection of its military bases, then we have a great deal of credibility in walking away. and i think actually we should.
because i believe that they will then buckle under and accept what we need. >> let me ask about the other part of the decision tree if there is a deal. if there is a deal that generally meets the april 2 framework and iran accepts it, i'm particularly interested in inspections. we want to make sure that they're vigorous and immediate everywhere. credible military threat. to my way of thinking, to take out an nuclear program, is combined of some elements. capacity backbone, but also the intel that gives you the information about how to do it. now, we have intel now that has been demonstrated in the past the intel that we have. and that is not going away. but isn't intel plus the additional information that you get from an aggressive and significant inspections regime better than intel without that?
and so wouldn't a deal that gives us significant inspections enhance our intelligence and thus enhance the credibility of our military threat? >> i think that's absolutely the case. being on the ground and being able to go anywhere any time is critically important. we are going to still need the intelligence assets that we have been using. and working with our allies and their intelligence capabilities. but being on the ground makes a huge difference. in iraq -- and i had some experience when i served in the clinton administration on this. when we had inspectors on the ground, even though they were being blocked in various places -- you remember that cat and mouse game. nevertheless, we always had a much better insight into iraq's nuclear program. in fact we were at that point comfortable about retiring the nuclear file because we were persuaded because of the
inspections that on that front as opposed to biological we actually knew what they had and knew that we were able to monitor it and control them and prevent them from getting nuclear weapons. so i think that was very interesting example in the way which both give us an ability to know. and in this case, the inspectors are going to be at the mine head, at the milling, at the enrichment process, at the stockpiling, and in iraq -- the iraq the plutonium reactor heavy water reactor. so we are going to have a full visibility on their program. and that goes on i think 25 years of that kind of inspection. i think that will give us some degree of oogsshurens that we will know if they cheat. >> thank you. i will interject that -- that was a good line of questioning and i appreciate it. there is an agreement that we have not had access to that
lays out what iran is able to do from year 10 on. it's called the iranian nuclear development program. there's a document that outlines that. for some reason the administration will not share it with us. i have asked both at the energy level the secretary of state level, and the chief of staff of the president. so i think that there are legitimate concerns about what happens after year ten. and it makes me concerned that their unwillingness to share that with us means they think it is something that will undermine the american people's confidence. so hopefully they will be forth coming with that. >> in your testimony, there was a quote that i will read here. once sanctions are removed iran will be the beneficiary of the unfreezing of some $120 billion of assets, oil revenues will
increase by some 24 billion annually. it's reasonable that it will be used to guard the ministry of intelligence, and the iranian armed forces will be beneficiaries also. do you know what the amount iran sponsors terrorism -- the level of funding that they actually contribute? mr. indyk: it runs to $10 billion. >> according to reports. mr. indyk: not to hundred billion dollars, but the $10
billion to $20 billion range. sen. gardner: would they stop once the economy turns around from funding that line item? mr. indyk: it's a -- mr. jeffrey: it's almost inconceivable that a country would ratchet back. typically they double down and try harder. that doesn't mean they will use all of that money or even most of the money because they do have pressing nondomestic needs. they have a lot of popular pressure to spend more on a consumer economy. some of that will flow to the domestic side. clearly some of it will flow almost by all evidence we've seen with iran and other countries to nefarious activities through the region. sen. murphy: --sen. perdue:
these are going to make israel more safe? mr. jeffrey: they are going to make anyone more safe. sen. gardner: you said the should be judged in the context in which it operates. a far more offer -- active u.s. program to contain iran's asymmetrical military moves to expand its influence in the region. the president has said there is no military solution. the president has talked that we can't back away now. could you explain that remark further? mr. jeffrey: to the extent i can. officially he says he will use all necessary measures if iran were to break out to a nuclear weapon. he has also said that he doesn't think that a military solution is going to buy you very much. he said the other day to an
israeli journalist it would give you a temporary stop. that is true. that we have seen military force before. against iraq three times of the israelis and by us in 1991. an unbiased in 1998. -- then by us in 1998 lead to the termination of weapons of mass destruction programs. after 2003 when we went into iraq, that's when the iranians halted their weaponization program, and it's when the libyans decided it was high time for them to give up their programs. military force can have an effect beyond how many target you hit and how long it will take to reconstitute. it does have a political influence on the other side. i wouldn't rule it out. sen. gardner: there are been conversations written in "the wall street journal," and others talking about the bifurcation of political restraint with nuclear restraint.
the agreement seems to have tunnel vision on the issue of nuclear restraint without addressing any other areas of iranian political restraint. that's ideological religious to dramatic moves to expand influence in the region were use those efforts in the various ways against our allies. and the united states. do you think we have lost track of the fact that we also have other areas that need to be restrained? mr. indyk: i don't think so. it was not possible to address those concerns in this negotiation without weakening the ability to get will be needed in terms of blocking the four pathways to a nuclear weapon. if we had allowed the agenda to widen, to address the issues of their activities in the region, they would have used it is a trade-off.
they would have links their behavior in the region to the negotiations about the nuclear program. if they agreed to less original disturbing activity, they would expect us to be more lenient on the nuclear program. we couldn't enter into that. plus, the arab allies say it's not of your business to be discussing those issues with them when we are not at the table. that affects our direct interest. i don't think it was possible to address it within the context of the deal. but we do need to address it outside the deal and in parallel to the deal. that is the burden of my argument. i think that the use of force the threat of the use of force, the credible threat is critically important in terms of deterring a breakout by ron board cheating on this agreement. but actually using the force has a problem. that's what the president was referring to. that's what happened in the case
of israel's bombing of a nuclear reactor. what the iraqis did was took their whole nuclear program underground. we had no visibility on it. and we were surprised when we actually went into the country in 1992 to discover that they had this massive nuclear program that we knew nothing about. that is the danger here. but if we have to use force what you end up with is something less than what we can have through the deal. 10 to 15 years of a nuclear free iran versus two to three years by bombing all their facilities but they got the know-how, they can rebuild. they will no longer be under any obligations. and they will claim that they that have a justification for getting nuclear weapons because they were attacked when they didn't have nuclear weapons. mr. jeffrey: the ambassador is right. the reason we went in 1999 to
find that was on the back of american tanks. sen. udall: i think it's been a very good discussion and you've have had some very insightful comments. one of the issues here that has been raised is iranian dominance , the region -- iranian desires. do you believe the u.s. foreign-policy has contributed to be strengthened having -- strengthening of iran? some of the decisions we made? mr. indyk: now we will get contentious. sen. udall: i'm not trying to be contentious. mr. indyk: not you, me. we go back to the experience of the clinton administration.
we have real concerns about what saddam hussein was doing to his people. we were constantly looking at what we needed to do to prevent that. but we were always constrained by the concern that we had that if we took him out, we would open the gateway to the influence of iran in iraq. that was a major concern during that time. that's what happened as a result of taking saddam hussein out. i was in favor of that war, but i was also in favor of doing a whole lot of things that would have prevented that from happening. that's what happened. once the gates of babylon were opened to ron -- two iran, that open the way for them to exert their influence across the region. they were already in lebanon. but iraq was of big price for them. it was done courtesy of the u.s. army and the u.s. taxpayer. sen. udall: ambassador jeffrey
do you have the same view? mr. jeffrey: certainly going into iraq was a benefit to iran but he didn't have to be as bad as it turned out to be. there were steps we could have taken -- sen. udall: what could we have done? mr. jeffrey: we could've made it clear that in other ways would have stay there longer. iraq's security was in our interest, and that we were in there for the long haul, not trying to get out. that's the first thing. sen. udall: but staying there for the long haul would have meant changing the shia government in such a way that they were going to be inclusive. you actually think we could have made them do that? it looks to me like there was just a real desire in terms of dominance and not being inclusive. i don't know really how the united states -- could you tell me how the united states can
make the government do that? mr. jeffrey: the answer is, we can't. it's an important point, even at the point of a gun. we can have influence on these irrational people. some of them are pro-iranian some of the march. some of them are opportunistic. in the time from 2008 when the shia molesters -- militias were put down, to 2013, the country was able to live in relative peace and relative rapprochement between the various groups. one thing happened with slowly, other forces including iran leading the charge push towards a more shia dominated system. secondly, and more seriously, this is the point where we most contributed to iran spread in the region, syria happened.
nothing in the last 15 years has had the same effect on the region as what happened in syria and the fact that we didn't react to it. it's delivered repeatedly and bad ways. the rise of isis, one of the biggest humanitarian -- sen. udall: you could make the argument that the rise of isis was because of what happened in iraq. i think there is a significant connection there to what's going on. but let me ask ambassador and it -- indyk. you mentioned there should be a no-fly zone, should that be done unilaterally by the united states or collectively through the u.n. another multinational organizations? mr. indyk: i don't think u.n. collective action is an option. the russians sen. udall: will be till it. sen. udall:-- the russians will
stall it. sen. udall: is there any reason to push that anyways? mr. indyk: we are operating a de facto no-fly zone in syria because the syrian air force will fly where our air force flies. there are plenty of ways in which we can affect the calculus of the syrian assad regime. i don't know what we can take out the helicopters that are dropping barrel bombs. we only need to take out one or two, i believe. and the syrian regime would get the message. there certainly things that we could do that i think would stop short of a formal declaration of a no-fly zone that would give relief to the syrian people, and would send it a very important signal to not just our arab
allies, but so many across the arab and muslim world that are deeply affected by the fact that we are not doing anything. we are flying there against isis, but we are not doing anything against the syrian regime. sen. udall: thank you, and thank you mr. chairman. >> i have been supportive of these because i thought it would be holder -- harder to hold the commission together longer. it was the multilateral nation of the sanctions there really bit, especially the financial sanctions. and success came because it was iran versus the rest -- versus the west. going to these negotiations probably the only way to really
keep this coalition together if iran doesn't comply now we can come back and it won't be that simply nothing will be good enough for the u.s., but there is a material breach that is demonstrated that iran simply will not live to the agreements that were set out. if that is the case. i have been supportive of the negotiations. i agree with the formulation that senator kaine put forward that the sanctions were effective certainly in debilitating their economy. but it didn't do much to slow their drive towards a nuclear weapon. i do not have the same level of sanctions -- i do not know how the same level of sanctions over a span of time would have a different result. but given where we are -- i agree with formulation that an agreement that really truly does limit their ability to move
forward to nuclear weapons, if only for 10 or 15 years come is better than not having an agreement. and that we can focus on the other issues. that's when i want to ask you a bit about. ambassador jeffrey, and your remarks you stayed at in the region, we need a strong commitment -- the region needs a strong commitment from the u.s. to push back iran's actions in iraq and syria and elsewhere. what would that look like in iraq? what would a stronger commitment from the u.s. look like right now in iraq? mr. jeffrey: the camp david meeting action to have a final statement that had pretty good language. it said that they believe that iran should be required to agree, engage in the principles of good neighborly relations strict noninterference and
respect for territorial integrity throughout the region. these are exactly the things it is not doing. in iraq, one reason iran is gaining influence -- we saw this in the balance between tikrit and ramadi is that we are not as present as we should be. and therefore, the iraqi people, including even many of the sunnis i know and ramadi are having to turn to the shia militias, some of whom are under the thumb of iran hezbollah and to his considerable degree, other group. there is not an effective iraqi military. one of the reasons there isn't an effective iraqi military is that we haven't put our troops as we have done in every other conflict i have been involved in on the ground with these units technically to advise them, to call in air support. but frankly in many respects to
strengthen their spine and to reassure them that as long as our troops are there, they will get air support. they will get medevac. they will get resupplied and they won't be overrun because we will let it happen. i cannot describe what a difference that makes. i'm sorry -- i saw it in vietnam, i saw it in iraq. having americans out there would increase the capabilities of the iraqi forces tremendously. it would also show americans are willing to put skin in the game. if we take casualties, we are willing to do this because iraq is important to us. iran is want to put people out there. sen. flake: do you have any thoughts? mr. indyk: the prime minister is definitely better, but his government to inclusiveness is constrained by pressure from iran. we need to be equally assertive
in terms of pressing him to go through with the commitments he has made when it comes to conclusion. they feel excluded. as long as that continues, it will affect the morale of the military the willingness of sunni soldiers to fight, and so that's point number one. conclusion is critically important. we need to be actively engaged in that. point number two is we should be building more actively the capabilities of the sunni militias and the kurdish peshmerga. again, because of our respect for the sovereignty of iraq, we are going through the iraqi government. in the iraqi government, under pressure from iran, is restraining what we can do there. i think we've made some kind of breakthrough on that front now. just this morning with sunni militias, they will be going to be sunni militias, think that's quickly important.
we need to be arming the kurdish forces as well. in a more robust way. it's on the military level, i endorse what investor jeffrey said in terms of embedding our special forces. but it's also political and arming of the militias. sen. flake: but a return to nuclear negotiations for a minute. if we could see that iran -- our goal is to keep them in a one-year break out period. what is their motivation, the real motivation now come to the negotiating table. wouldn't they have more leverage if they were to complete the march towards a weapon and then negotiate after that? why did they come to the table now? they fear strike, or they not as close as we think the more -- think they are? mr. jeffrey: when netanyahu drew a redline on 20% enriched
uranium, they were close to 200 kilograms. when you get above 200 kilograms, you will have enough for what's called a significant amount. 25 to 27 kilos of 90% enriched for at least one nuclear device. they were right up to that point. but that was also in the international community was really hitting them hard with sanctions. they were having a huge impact on their economy. also both israel and the united states released making noises about a military strike. that not only had an effect on iran, it had a frightening effect on many of our friends, including the europeans who had never seen a war they don't want to run away from. that may be a bit unfair. they were very nervous about us or the is really striking. they were willing to do these very dramatic sanctions, ending all oil imports and doing other things against iran. you have a combination of events that put iran under pressure. and then they decided maybe we will back off a little bit.
but the important thing is they are giving up nothing. this is on the express decision of the supreme leader. they are not closing anything down, they are not blowing up a reactor like the north koreans did. they are not admitting guilt and their possible military dimensions. they are basically just putting things in storage for a while or converting things. they are not admitting guilt and they are not really changing their entire program to get to this one ear. -- one year. mr. indyk: 1.i think worth noting about the agreement. they are giving up something very significant when it comes to their iraq heavy water reactor. which is the most dangerous and expeditious way they can get plutonium for nuclear weapon. they have agreed there to reconfigure the core, to ship out the spent fuel.
and not to have any kind of reprocessing facility. that's a very robust measure. it's designed specifically that way because that is precisely the way the koreans broke out. and so while it is true that they haven't blown up anything, they have accepted the kinds of curbs that we need to be sure that they have blocked -- that we have blocked their path way. we have to be concerned about cheating. we have to be concerned about what happens at the end of the road. i think that in terms of what our negotiators have generated here, within the confines of the iranians having to be able to say we didn't blow up anything essentially is not a bad deal. in that regard, it's a good deal.
sen. flake: thank you, mr. chairman. --sen. markey: thank you, mr. chairman. you call for the use of military force against iran to prepare for the possibility that they will violate an agreement that has i have been reached. this is the committee that would have to pass an advanced authorization for the use of military force against iran. we already have two authorizations for the use of military force that are open-ended, not limited by geography. we have a third one that is pending before this committee. with regard to what the limitation should be for the authorization for military force by the united states against isis. could you talk a little bit about what you think should be in that resolution?
what type of military force we should be explicit in -- explicitly putting in that region, and what should be the conditions in which this committee passes in advance operation for the use -- authorization for the use of military force, given that we don't know what the conditions will be that could possibly then trigger the use for that advanced use of military force in a resolution you would recommend? mr. jeffrey: thank you, senator. this was something that would be part of a package if the senate did not -- if we do get to an agreement, the first up, then under the iran nuclear review act, we looked at the act and he didn't take action to stop the lifting of sanctions, thus the agreement would go forward. this would be a measure to ensure that if we do have this agreement, it is clear to all including the iranians but also
including to our friends in the region that this isn't a watershed event in our relations with iran. it is simply a deal to get them to stop moving towards nuclear weapons capabilities. therefore, if they were to try and break out, they still could do this within a year under the agreement as we understand it that current u.s. policy laid out by the president repeatedly is that we will use military force to stop iran from getting a nuclear weapon. given recent events, including the syrian debacle, it will be helpful if we knew that the u.s. people, through the u.s. congress, supported that action. sen. markey: just so i understand. you want this committee to authorize the use of military force against iran explicitly it in the event that they violate the agreement, or in the
event that there is no agreement? mr. jeffrey: in the event, with or without an agreement, that iran is on the edge of getting a nuclear weapon. it is u.s. policy that we would use all means at our disposal, it means military force to stop iran from actually achieving a military capability. as that is our policy, but as there is some question as to our willingness coming given the syrian experience, to carry out that redline policy, it would be helpful of the u.s. congress were to do that. sen. markey: it was not as 30 carry out the redline policy because assad exceeded to what was the goal of the administration. which was to cook -- to put
their chemical weapons under -- we do not have to go beyond the redline because assad accepted the conditions. i'm trying to zero in here, in terms of what you're asking for. is it that we should be having this debate now, or should we have this debate after the administration concludes the deal with the iranians? mr. jeffrey: after he concludes the deal with the iranians. sen. markey: if the deal is what is acceptable to the united states, and to iran should we still pass an advanced authorization for the use of military force against iran? mr. jeffrey: yes there are many people that think even with the deal you are going to have an iran that either will cheat or will try to get around it. sen. markey: what do you think of that ideal, ambassador indyk?
mr. indyk: it strikes me as a built-in suspenders approach. we don't need it -- a belt and suspenders approach. we don't need it. i am wary of it because it puts the iranians finger on our trigger. i'm not sure that that is a wise path to go down. the president's statement that he is willing to use all means a surge of prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon is clear. we have deployed significant forces in the gulf, and taken measures with the gulf allies to ensure that the iranians understand that there's a real capability there. if we're trying to get at the question of will to actually use that, i think there are other ways that can be done without
compliance. i just disagree with you ambassador jeffrey. i think that would be a dangerous statement for us to be making at a point at which we have reached an agreement that is acceptable to the p5 plus one and i thank is going to lead to a sigh of relief across the planet. this would be an unnecessary escalation in terms of the dynamic that would have potentially been created between our country and iran. mr. jeffrey: i understand your point. nonetheless, it is the policy of the u.s. government that we would do this. that is announced repeatedly by the president at almost every opportunity when he does talk about the iranian situation. secondly, the deal with syria the willingness of the russians to try and negotiate a deal i believe happened only after this committee passed a resolution authorizing the use of force by
the u.s. government against syria. sen. markey: i would say, again, that while it is the policy of our country that iran would not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon, the premise of the treaty will be that they are not going to get a weapon because it will be against the safeguards that will be in place of give us the tripwire to have us act as though they are not in compliance. that they will not be in compliance in that we are authorizing altered force. i think that would complement -- complicate our ability to gain the full benefits of the treaty we're hoping can be negotiated. chairman corker: we fight about 10 minutes, usually secretary kerry comes in and says we have a hard stop and then stays hours later. i wanted to give you the opportunity to stay and make
sure this is fair and balanced until we end or if you need to leave and go to your board meeting, you are welcome to do that. mr. indyk: thank you. i apologize to all of you that i have to chair a meeting that i convene with 30 people and i couldn't change that. i apologize i have to leave. chairman corker: thank you for your service and being here today. the record will remain open for some time, if you would answer questions, we would highly appreciate it. with great appreciation, you are dismissed. thank you. with that, senator risch. sen. risch: mr. jeffrey, i guess that would like your thoughts on this. my problem with all of this is i have a threshold question i have trouble getting beyond. we have made reference to it here today. and that is the fact that when we started these negotiations we said this is great. we are going to sit down with
the iranians, get them to the point where they say we want to be a normal country, we're going to give up meddling in other people's affairs, we're going to give up being sponsors of terrorism, we are actually going to quit doing act of terrorism. and then i find out they say that's off the table we are not want to talk about that at all. if the negotiations are regarding what they're going to do over the next 10 years developing a nuclear weapon, but in so doing -- if i vote for that, i am voting for a condition by which we, and everyone here who votes for it is going to boost the iranian economy by taking off the sanctions. secondly, release a whole lot more cash. and we know for a fact, an absolute fact that a portion of that money is going to go to sponsor terrorist activities and are going to kill -- releasing
that money is going to kill fellow human beings. i don't know who they are i don't know where they are, i don't know how many there are. but i know for a fact that my vote in releasing the sanctions and releasing the cash is going to result in the death of innocent human beings somewhere in the world. on the other side they say we need to vote for this because we're going to get them to stop building the nuclear weapons. as they build a nuclear weapon we don't know what's going to happen. we may even get the spine to stop them from doing a militarily. but i know for a fact what's going to happen if i vote for this. how do you morally justify that kind of a vote? mr. jeffrey: that is a tough question, senator. i think if i would make the case for in agreements, it would be first of all it is separate from all of its other nefarious activities. as you pointed out, as we
discussed here today -- sen. risch: it is in separate. it is tied closely and directly to that. mr. jeffrey: but if the agreement is not only linked with very clear american willingness with our friends and allies to use force against iran, either on the nuclear account, we just have this discussion a moment to go on, or to block their actions in the region to kill more people, and if that agreement gives us more international support to do just that, that would be a case for doing it. that is, in the end we might be able to be more effective in stopping these guys if it's very clear to everybody that we are really in the business of stopping these guys. i think what you heard today from police me is that it's not clear that we are in the business of stopping them. that's the thing i focus on. sen. risch: i appreciate that. i hope you can appreciate the dilemma that this puts us in.
the second dilemma that i have, with this whole thing started and i started drilling down into what we rectally doing here is -- two parties are sitting out the table, wanting to get to a different point. i am yet to be convinced that the iranians are negotiating to agree to get to a point where they will never have a nuclear weapon. indeed, as i have analyzed this, it seems to me that they are negotiating for a pass and a time frame on which they can count on being able to have a nuclear weapon. this is a 10 year deal. we are dealing with the culture this 5000 years old. 10 years to these people is absolutely nothing in the overall scheme of things. even if you stretch it to 15 years, which some people refer to. one of the things that concerns
us, and it concerns the chairman, is that we aren't getting the answers we want about what happens at the end of this ten-year period. even in classified settings, they are not telling us things that we need to know, people who are going to have to sign off on this thing. if i were the iranians, i would say look, let's cut the best deal we can. we get the sanctions off, our economy grows, people are happy, we are able to use the money to do the research that we need to do to get where we want to get at the end of this ten-year period. at the end, they say we kept our part of the agreement, now you keep yours and leave us alone. because we are going to build a nuclear weapon. so far, no one has been able to assure me that this agreement is going to be such that the iranians are going to say ok, we are never going to build a nuclear weapon. everyone is saying well that probably isn't what we're going to see.
if that's not what we are going to see, then they've effectively negotiated a path and a timetable towards which they can have a nuclear weapon. just putting this off for this time seems to me to be not a good bargain at all. your thoughts? mr. jeffrey: first of all, this agreement is and stop anything. it's an agreement all about a period of time. if everything the administration says happens, happens, you get approximately one year of notification, assuming that you have inspectors on the scene during which you can react if they start violating the agreement. at the end of that year, they will be at a point where they can get a nuclear device. at the end of 10 years, that time period shrinks. the restriction on 5000 functions that if you just goes
away. they can increase that to almost any number. secondly, the limitation on the kind of centrifuges -- there are far more efficient ones. that research and goes away too. sen. risch: along with even more efficient ones that will be developed. mr. jeffrey: that too. although there is a restriction in a hypothetical occasion that they adhere to the rules there's a 15 year that they cannot do any research. at the end of 10 years, with unlimited centrifuges, because they will have 18,000 plus some of the new ones, i have seen indications that within just a couple of months, almost as fast as where they are now, they could probably return to a nuclear weapons capability, a significant amount for one nuclear device. so you shrink at the end of that time.
it doesn't mean they're going to do it. whether we have one year or one week, the question is, if they are moving to a nuclear weapon, what are we going to do about it , and more importantly, what do they think we're are going to do about it, which is why get to the importance of not just the president, any president saying he or she will use military force, but the importance of the u.s. people in the u.s. congress saying that. in the end, that's the only thing that's when you stop them from getting a nuclear weapon. sen. risch: i think that as well put. the comment was made by either you or mr. indyk, that all of this is doing is putting it is in storage. my time is up. mr. jeffrey: mr. indyk was right -- what the records show they do change the core of the plutonium heavywater plant. that is the one concrete thing that goes away this entire
agreement as it's laid out. sen. risch: for the period of time it's an effect. mr. jeffrey: for 15 years. sen. markey: one quick follow-up. we were never going to get a permanent agreement. it does matter when you were talking about what's 10 years what's 15 years, with 20 years? we were always talking about a period of time. one of the 15 year restrictions is on -- the stored, enriched contract. that is a 15 year research and. so even though they will begin to spend more centrifuges after the 10 year period the fact that they should abide by their continued restriction on their capacity as -- is a significant
limitation on their breakout capacity. mr. jeffrey: absolutely. most of their stock would be pure rainy and -- your uranium. it would drop somewhere between one half and one third of that between 10 and 15 years. at the end of 15 years, almost all restrictions are off because they can enrich up to 20% or any percent from that time on in the amount of stock they can have is unlimited. i think as chairman corker said, the president himself said it is 10 years. he has changed his mind since then. but i think the 10 year is basically -- if you're going to make an argument for this agreement, you should hang your hat on 10 years. sen. murphy: it's important to note that the inspections last will belong -- well beyond the timeframe. i want to come back to this question of the comprehensive strategy to try and push back on
iran's growing influence in the region. i do think it is a rewrite of history to suggest that this set of sanctions on iran to try and change their disposition on nuclear weapons programs was about all of their other behavior in the region. i certainly believe what i was voting for those sanctions that should iran choose a different path when it comes to a nuclear weapons future and we would engage in a conversation about withdrawing some of those sanctions. in part, that's what we have a separate set of sanctions in place for some of their other behavior in the region. and we reserve the right to increase those sanctions should they not change that behavior. i understand the moral question that we have to accept the part of this money may be used to support a group like hezbollah. we are not accepting the premise of the sanctions in the first place if we extrapolate an expanded tools were sorts of other behavior in the region.
so let's talk about this more comprehensive approach that both you and ambassador indyk reference. part of my confusion is that often seems to begin and end with the question of increased military capacity that we are going to give to our partners in the region to try and control the bloodshed once it starts happening. rather than talking about all of the ways in which we can try to tap down on the reasons that groups like hezbollah and isis have influence in the first place, which is deteriorating conditions of governments of rule of law. that doesn't seem to factor into a lot of our conversations about what we should be doing in terms of growing a comprehensive strategy. even your testimony, i think him is limited to a handful of military tools that you are recommending. as we sort of grow this
comprehensive strategy nuclear agreements, isn't it more important to be putting in place a set of nonmilitary tools so that the conditions aren't so right for both sunni and shia insurgencies in these regions instead of simply having conversations about with the military cool -- toolkit is. mr. jeffrey: the reason i focused on the military is the long pole in the tent in any administration. i would argue particular in this one. we have hesitations about using military force. military force is a necessary but not sufficient part of the package to deal with the iranian threats to the region, which are now mainly about action in the gulf states.
but infiltration and civil actions. these selections, be it in ukraine or the south china sea have a military components. and people are nervous about getting involved militarily if we are not backing them, that requires some use of military force. many other things are necessary. one of the concerns i have is that if we don't getting gauged, our allies -- engaged, our allies will conduct policies and operations that will be too military, too one-sided, will lead to escalation. i'm a diplomat by profession, not a soldier. that is what people like me go out and do, try and leverage our military and sanctions and energy and other policy to get people to sit down and resolve disputes. be it in syria, or yemen. we are capable of doing that.
but the earnest money on the table, particularly now always has to be a willingness of necessary to use military force. that has to be part of the package. and people don't think it is. sen. murphy: i'm worried that you may misread where the reluctance lies in congress. the reluctance seems to find all of the non-kinetic tools that are part of this comprehensive strategy. what about the other sets of sanctions? we have the ability to increase or maintain sanctions against iran for the continued developments of ballistic missile programs, for their support of terrorist groups in the region. what do you make of the potential for a separate set of sanctions and their potential expansion to be part of this cover hints of strategy we're talking about? mr. jeffrey: to send the signal,
it's always helpful when the u.s. congress speaks with one voice and does something that will get a lot of attention, such as impose sanctions. on iran, the effective sanctions or international ones. those the ones that brought it to the table. the sanctions are narrowly focused on the nuclear account. it will be hard to get you win or even eu sanctions -- un sanctions because of russia. sen. murphy: part of the reason it has been hard to grow international support for those other activities as of the priority has been stopping iran's nuclear addition. to the extent that you take that issue off the table, at least for a short time, back to how ambassador indyk described it, it gives you the room to build a copperheads of set of international sections or without a country like russia to influence their other behaviors. thank you, i'm over time.
sen. shaheen: thank you both for being here and for staying. for people like me who had another hearing, so i'm late coming to this. there has been a lot of speculation about if iran gets a nuclear weapon, what that does to nuclear proliferation in the region. with the saudi's than follow, other countries will feel like they need to do that. so, is there some reason to think that if there is success in the final negotiations, that could have the opposite effect for the region? that it would help to address some of the concerns that we have heard from other countries? mr. jeffrey: we have heard nonofficial gulf state
personalities openly and more official ones behind the scenes say, this is an option if we are not happy with the result. i think it is a possibility ambassador indyk in his written testimony, took a somewhat different view that i urge you to take a look at as well. when i think is our friends in the region are going to look at everything we are doing. it is definitely not the policy of this administration or any conceivable american administration to have anybody in the region developing a breakout nuclear capacity, let alone actual nuclear weapons. we are not good to be in favor of that. the more we are doing things that they need for their security that are hard for us to do, that gets to the long pole of the military again. the more influence we will have to persuade them not to go down that road. the more they are feeling
lonely, ignored by us, threatened by iran, and there's a certain pride here, well if iran can have it, why can't i? then they are going to be more interested. again, ambassador indyk talked about a possible nuclear guarantee over the region. that is another idea, that these kinds of things that involve american commitments particularly military commitments, will give us more leverage to try and persuade these people not to go down that route. but it remains open to them. if they like what they are hearing, and particularly seeing out of washington and in our actions in the field, there is a real possibility that some of them i go in this direction. sen. shaheen: talking little bit more, if you will -- i know it's ambassador indyk's idea about the extension of the u.s. nuclear umbrella in the region. do you see that as making a real
difference? how will countries like iran react if we do that post negotiation? mr. jeffrey: i think rather like my suggestion for the advance authorization for the use of military force, which ambassador indyk was a little equivocal about i would be a little bit equivocal about that. both of us are trying to do the same thing. we are looking desperately for ways for the united states to show symbolically that we are in the game for these people. be it by decisions by congress be it by nuclear commitments, there are other ways. one of the other should be tried. to come among other things, deter these people are trying to get their own nuclear capabilities. i'm preaching to the choir here.
but people in the region are not happy with this agreement. sen. shaheen: to go back to senator murphy's line of questioning around -- you have suggested a range of other security supports for countries in the region. but as we are looking at other potential ways to shore up the direction in which we would like them to go, what other options do you think are most important for us to be looking at? with but the security situation on one side. -- let's put the security situation on one side. but at the economic things we can provide, what is most important? mr. jeffrey: i would say ambassador indyk and other is the committee have said preserving the nationstate in the stabilityof the states in
the region against both local forces in these panasonic forces, be it shia were sunni, that is the threat we are facing. it has a military component, but what are the other components? we shouldn't pick fights with these people we should be careful about talking about their internal situations. in a crisis situation, we are not going to be able to do too much about it. there are ways you can do this quietly, there are ways you can do it in an open and crude fashion. we shouldn't do the latter. that is one thing. then targeted economic assistance for refugees, for groups that are potential generators of instability is another. yemen leaps to mind, syria leaps to mind. and more willingness to tie our military, which i have to keep coming back to, to a negotiated solution. there are ways to resolve syria. they require both sides being
ready to stop fighting right now, one isn't. sen. shaheen: i hear what you are saying. but it appears to me that this is what we've tried to do in a number of countries in the region. yemen, certainly's in that category. egypt is in that category. i think syria early on was in that category. and yet, it has not led to success. and so what is the missing ingredient? not enough military might? there's a lot of concern that i hear from people in this country about engaging in troops in the same way that we have done in iraq and afghanistan over the last 13 years. so how do we get -- what is the missing ingredients that need to be included in order to get to success? mr. jeffrey: in a somewhat happier period of my life, i was
involved in the balkans. we had to conflicts there. at one point, bosnia seem to be more intractable as syria, and almost as many people die there in a country 1/10 of the size, right the middle of europe. when we went in, a lot of the attention was on our military our bombing campaign. and again later and kosovo four years later. but it was a whole series of international diplomatic efforts to mobilize international community. parsing the claims of all the sides so that everybody would get somebody out of this. offering for governance, economic support, caring for refugees -- it was an entire package that was put together and led by the united states that had a flashy military elements, but many other elements as well. it worked in bosnia. when the mullahs which regime didn't get it and tried the same thing again four years later, we did it again in kosovo. and this time, the serbian people decided they had enough of him.
but these were limited conflicts. our military use was restrained and it was backed by diplomacy by international legitimacy through the u.n. in the first place, nato the second. and economic and development programs that are did -- continuing today. that's why would .2. sen. shaheen: it appears to me that's what we have been trying to do in many of these countries, and yet we haven't seen the same level of success. mr. jeffrey: i said happier days, has the balkans are a lot more difficult in the middle east. any of us who spent a lot of time there no there are no easy answers to the underlying problems. we point to the underlying problems as why you have these accelerants of violence and instability, of social breakdown. but neither we nor the people of the region have figured out how to deal with them. there is not going to be any
final and complete solution about dealing with those. for the moment we are in a crisis situation and we have to put out the flames. sen. shaheen: thank you, mr. chairman. chairman corker: mr. ambassador, thank you for your testimony. without objection, the record remains open until the end of the day friday. hopefully, ambassador indyk will respond to questions that are asked. we thank you again, and the meeting is adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
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was signed into law this week. and what it means for national security and privacy. also, republican ryan zinke you member of the armed services committee, on the president strategy host: house lawmakers continue to debate over the legalization of marijuana in this country. democrats and republicans join together to approve several provisions preventing the justice department that have legalized medicinal use of the drug. with open and use growing we get your take on this debate. dial in at