tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN July 29, 2015 6:00am-7:01am EDT
the continuation of inspections is under what is called the additional protocol. the additional protocol is exactly that. >> that's what we don't get to see? >> absolutely. you see that, you can read every component of it. i was sharing some thoughts with the committee earlier about the things that it empowers the iaea to do. the kind of accountability is very in-depth and significant. that is what i was trying to point out. this is not some light set of requirements. >> we will go to mr. moberg of alabama. >> secretary kerry my questions require brief answers and i hope you will cooperate. three months ago iranian brigadier stated that a racing israel off the map is not -- erasing israel off the map is nonnegotiable.
do you believe this accurately reflect the government goals? yes or no. >> i believe it accurately reflects some people's attitudes, but i don't know if it is possible for iran to do that. i think israel has enormous capacity, obviously. >> i didn't ask for all that. i just ask if you have a judgment. >> it is not an implementable policy by iran. >> less than two weeks their code -- weeks ago the ayatollah letter rallied it was legally consummated by chance of death to america and death to israel. do you believe -- that was frequently punctuated by chance -- chants of death to america. >> i see no evidence that they have a policy that is able to think that against us. >> iran is the world's foremost sponsor of terrorism, do you believe that? >> yes. >> and they will use the weapons
made available to kill americans and israelis? >> they may, and we have as you note -- as you know responded to that since 1979. we have put sanctions in place specifically because of their support for terror. >> i understand that. you answered my question when you said yes. next is the obama administration willing to use military force to prevent iran from obtaining building, testing, or using military weapons? >> yes. >> what has iran done in the last couple of years that causes you to believe iran will abide by the iran nuclear treaty, or that they won't become a responsible member of the international community? >> the only thing that indicates to us at willingness to try to comply is the fact that they have complied fully with the interim agreement for the last two years, and that we have put in place such a strict set of consequences that is deeply in their interests to comply -- if
they have produced two thirds of a centrifuges, stripped their stockpile. there is a lot of incentive there for them to fully comply. >> that focuses to a large degree on the nuclear side. what about the use of conventional weapons and whether they will retain their status as the world's foremost sponsor of terrorism? >> we have serious concerns which is why we are engaged with our friends in the region. i will meet with them as we lay out the plans for pushing back, we will be engaging in special forces training, counterterrorism, counter finance. a series of steps in order to empower all of us to do a better job of producing those activities. >> september 11, fourth -- 14 years ago, proves muslim fundamentalists are very willing to sacrifice their lives in
order to kill non-muslims. even the in -- religious zealotry of the iran government, how confident are you that iran will not use nuclear weapons to further death to america if they obtain a nuclear weapon? >> they will not obtain a nuclear weapon. i am confident that under this agreement they are not going to secure one. -- >> is that because of your earlier statement that this administration is willing to use whatever means necessary? >> that is certainly one element, but i leave that all elements of this agreement will prevent >> them from even getting geared up possibility. >> on occasion you have used the phrase all options are on the table. do those options prevent iran from having nuclear weapons include the use of nuclear weapons by the united states? >> i've never asked. i know of no president of the united states who has ever taken
all military options available to him off the table, but i also don't know of any realistic situation in which that would present a very feasible strategy, given the proximity of great friends of ours to iran and the consequences of that. but there is no option that has ever been discussed. >> so when you talk about the use of military force, it is fair -- is it fair to concur that we are really talking about conventional weaponry? >> what the president has laid out, and let the military has designed, is an approach -- and i am not going to discuss that plan in open session, but a plan that significantly meets the task of preventing them from having a nuclear weapon. that is the goal. that is the objective. our current set of options a college that. >> thank you mr. chairman.
joachim -- >> joachim of texas. >> thank you gentlemen. i want to imagine another scenario, a scenario where we do not make a deal, we walk away from it, and there is military action against iran. can you imagine for me what the fallout would be from a de-stabilize iran. we have seen other nations -- libya, iraq, egypt >> -- where there have been destabilizing regimes. what would happen if iran was destabilized in the same way? >> you know, congressman, it is very hard for me to get into the speculated game here. when we have in front of us a plan that accomplishes the task
of preventing iran from achieving a nuclear weapon, which they say they don't want to do anyway, and have made very strong agreements about their commitment not to do -- it seems to be focused on the destabilized side of it and the military side of it is not the right focus. the right focus is on this agreement, that a cop as is the goal of preventing them from having a weapon. the region is obviously destabilized and in flames. that is another reason why i think we should take really carefully about the consequences of turning away from this deal. >> let me point out, secretary kerry, so that i'm not quite -- coy here, i am inclined to support the deal. one of the questions i have here though is a big concern if we find out they are cheating. at that point a decision has to
be made if we are going to hold true to our position, which is we're not going to let them have nuclear weapons. >> frankly, congressman, this is the easiest decision in the world for the president. and for all of us. >> but here's my question. what is the tipping point where sanctions will no longer work and you have to take military action if you are going to keep them from getting that weapon? >> the tipping point is a clarity with respect to what effort is being put into breaking out of that situation and where they are in a process. the tipping point is how much time you have with respect to where they are starting and where they can wind up. we are convinced that with the depth of accountability and verification that is built into this agreement, we will have in norman's tipoff -- enormous tipoff.
there is a lengthy enough. of time that our interests, the interest of the region is protected. we are confident about our ability to have accountability in that process going forward. but i would say to everybody, if this is rejected, then you have no inspections. you don't have a regime in place. you don't have sanctions. iran may undertake, not immediately, but has certainly indicated they would consider themselves free to do so. as they do it, what are the options that are then available to us? it seems to me when you compare this to scenarios, this becomes not that propagated a choice. >> to put this in context, can you go over -- there has been some discussion, but can you go over again the deal that was offered in 2003 by the bush administration? >> in 2008 is when it was
offered. in 2003 there was discussion. the p5+1 made an offer to iran for their suspension of enrichment and reprocessing that the united states -- the p5+1 -- would treat iran like any non-nuclear nation, provide technical and financial assistance for peaceful nuclear technology. a support for r&d improve relations with iran and support iran and laying an important and constructive -- work -- role in international affairs.
reaffirmation to refrain from the threat of use of force. cooperation on afghanistan. steps towards normalization of trade and economic relations. it goes on. all of these things were offered in exchange for suspending enrichment. now, they didn't suspend. they went up to 90,000 centrifuges. that fact is one of the driving factors in our coming to the conclusion, the president coming to the conclusion, that we needed to arrive at an agreement that recognize their ability to have nuclear power. with our ability to know what they are doing. >> thank you mr. kerry. appreciate you being here. you said you were going -- we were going to be briefed on that side agreements that the iaea has with iran. is that correct? >> yes. >> i want you to use your power to make sure we are not reached with the same staff that briefed
hillary clinton on benghazi. make sure that we get it decent briefing. you say frequently that this is the strongest negotiation that you could get -- you felt like it was. the president said he would walk away from a bad deal. i would submit this. you come to us and say that other countries don't appreciate the congress is weighing in. i has set from the get go, i think there are a lot stronger positions you should've taken. you tell me if you operated from this basis. one, i believe jeff duncan over here when he said american hostages should have been released. number two, the demand should be in for iran to dismantle all of its centrifuges. three, give the iaea unfettered, 24/7 access.
four, stop the exporting of terrorism. five, denounced terrorism and prosecute those who put -- perpetrated. restore civil rights in their own country number six. stop the death chant to israel and america and they need to represent -- acknowledge israel's right to exist. if this is not based on trust, if this is based on actions shouldn't we have required them to show by their own actions. it's been 18 years, a fourth of the time, how about just two years. shouldn't we have the required -- shouldn't we have required them to share with their actions that iran -- you said earlier
they came to the table with an norma's suspicions about the united states. it appears. they are the ones supporting terrorism. how did we get here and how do you consider this to be a good deal? >> congressman, plain and simple, all the things that you just listed, there never would have been a negotiation. >> my heart pains for them. these are bad actors. >> congressman, what you need to think about is our security. we are better off with iran not having a nuclear weapon. our primary objective here was to have a negotiation, because they were already at 19,000 centrifuges, already with enough material for 10 or 12 bombs. already enriching at 20%. they were steps away from a plutonium reactor. >> i get that. >> we rolled it back. >> how long before we knew about
fort al? >> how long was it there before we knew about it? years? >> in 2003 we discovered that they were actually trying to make a bomb. >> you said that. this is about the trust. you are implying that we can catch them. >> that's not trust. that's verification. >> i'm running out of time. are you aware of the fact that today iran to the united nations, new sanctions could kill the nuclear deal. we are not the bad actors here. in a letter to a 15 minute -- member body he said iran may
reconsider his -- his commitment. sanctions under the deal are impaired with a nature or scope similar to those that were placed irrespective of whether sanctions are related on -- introduced on nuclear or other grounds, unless the issues are immediately remedied. today they are threatening to walk away from the deal if we introduce other sections. you are saying the hostages are different? >> we go to hawaii. >> thank you mr. chairman. the toughest global sanctions will be dismantled in exchange for iran's compliance. what is the status of the human
resolution, and the application of congress disapproves this deal and override presidential beater? >> congresswoman, we have built into this agreement a process that was kind of a compromise. our friends, our allies thought they should go immediately to the u.n. and implement immediately. but because congress had already voted to have a review. , we persuaded them to have a 90 day. during which it could not be implement it. they had their vote. that was a balance between the desire of our friends to exercise their own sovereignty and do they want, versus our desire to protect congress is right to review -- congress' right to review. >> what happens of congress
overrides the beater? >> there would be no deal. >> that you and resolution -- that u.n. resolution? >> the entire deal dies because we cannot lift the sanctions. that would be part of the vote. we would see this deal die. >> thank you. >> die without any other option. no alternative whatsoever. >> secretary moniz, what materials could be cleaned up within the 24 day. before an inspection? >> there would be an attempt presumably to do all kinds of cleanup. as i said, we have experience in both the unclassified and classified arenas in terms of being able to detect very small amounts of uranium. using nuclear materials, there
would definitely be a strong signature. >> if iran fails to allow inspectors entry within that 24 day. period, what consequences with a face and under what timeline? >> if they fail to do it they are in breach. we can snap back all the sanctions. obviously all options are available. >> so immediately after that 24 day period -- >> if they fail to provide access they are in breach, and if we have cause to have gone for access to an undisclosed facility of which we have deep concerns, everybody will join with us in ratifying that concern. we will be operating with the consent, if you will, of the international community because of iran's noncompliance.
which is one of the reasons i believe we have huge leverage. >> and after termination day when the snapback mechanism will no longer apply, i ran will still be suspect -- subject to additional protocol. what are the consequences for if they violate that additional protocol after termination date? >> we still have the power of bringing unilateral sanctions. we can go right back to where we were square one. or we have of -- or we have other options. >> i think the concerns is the time it takes for those sanctions to apply. what other immediate consequences would there be? >> if they are in material noncompliance in a way that is threatening, obviously we are in a much more serious situation with the potential, needless to say, of the president taking the
most dramatic option. >> i would just add, exactly as secretary kerry said, we would depend on their motivation. what are they doing. in my view, anything that shows movement towards a nuclear weapon would have to be responded to quite forcefully. i would also add, going back to something i think is relevant to your statements, p5 by definition have a very strong interest in seeing the integrity maintained. >> thank you. >> mr. scott perry, of pennsylvania. >> thank you gentlemen. in the context of these statements -- from 1994, not so long ago. we are talking about the context of this deal, so from 1994, the
entire world will be safer. also united states and international inspectors will carefully monitor north korea to make sure it keeps its commitment. we all know, those of course are quotes from president clinton. north korea is what it is. we are where we are. within that context, secretary kerry, reading your quote recently with the reporter from al arabia -- i don't know how to interpret at this point in time except to take it at face value. we are going to continue our policy. and then it is very troubling -- it is very disturbing, very troubling and we will have to wait and see. what will we have to wait and see secretary kerry?
in 1979, u.s. hostages. they qe3, u.s. marine barracks. 1992, the israeli embassy in argentina bombed. 2011, the attempted assassination of the saudi ambassador in d.c.. the killing and maiming of hundreds in iraq and afghanistan, not to mention the support of a sod, has below hamas. what will we have to wait and see? >> it was to see the implementation of the plan. look, you and i can have a speech off if you want. we could have a competition for who is angrier about some of the things iran has done historically. we understand they have killed americans. we understand all of this. but they were marching towards a nuclear weapon. >> congressman, you
misunderstand. the american people see iran as a crocodile or a shark, and we are saying, let's see if he doesn't something. -- does something. you have said, we have no better option. mr. secretary, with mr. -- with respect, if you would use the treaty process as provided by the constitution, maybe we would not be in this situation. furthermore, you say this is the only deal we could get. congress has a long history of instituting better deals. including the arms control agreement and the threshold test ban treaty that failed to reach a vote. there is a history of that, of getting a better deal. if the ayatollah does not like
it and does not want to negotiate it, boo hoo. we stand for america. with that being said, in another interview, if you don't get a majority congress to approve this deal doesn't that undermined the deal? and your statements, you mean they don't care over there. as long as the deal is implemented. that's what we care about. this deal being implemented. so do you care more about this deal, or american sovereignty? and the approval of the american people through their duly elected representatives? >> congressman, i don't need any lessons from you about who i represent. i have worked for our country since i was out of college. don't give me any lessons about that. let me just make it crystal clear to you, this is america's interest. because america is the principal
guarantor of security in the region, and particularly with respect to some of our closest friends. we believe that iran was marching towards a weapon, and we have rolled that back. >> let me ask you this mr. secretary. is it possible that iran will acquire russian air defense missiles to protect nuclear sites? possible or not possible? is it possible that iran will acquire russian air defense missiles to protect nuclear sites? >> those are not in the agreement. >> in relations to the arms embargo >>? >> no, they are not banned. >> we are going to mr. boyle of pennsylvania. my intention is to keep going. >> i actually wants to address my question to secretary moniz
and i will probably be very boring here, but a very technical question. when i asked the president specifically he directed it to you saying you are one of the top 10 expert in the world. there was a report about six days ago in the new york times that really question to the 24 days. there are some that say look, 24 days is not exactly like you are flushing a whole program down the toilet. that certainly would not be enough time in which to hide in illegal behavior. the former executive director of the iaea contradicted that and said that while it is true with some of the larger scale operations some things for manufacturing uranium components actually could be covered up in 24 days. i'm really trying to get a clear answer on this issue. i actually think this is one of the key components when trying to look at this in an intellectually honest way to see if we really have a verifiable
deal. >> yes. the issue i want to emphasize like i've always said, is work with nuclear materials. we have very high confidence in terms of finding microscopic amounts. when you go to things like triggers, things that do not involve nuclear materials that are important for a nuclear explosive, then that gets into a higher stage of requirement. in a classified environment we could talk more about it. even their there could be some signals that are quite interesting, and may be quite detectable. but certainly, one gets further away from the nuclear materials than -- then there are more possibilities of cover-up and at
least semi-credible explanations for pursuing other activities. for example, any military does work with conventional explosives in chambers. the question is, was that work around certain hemispherical shape, for example, with multistate -- multipoint detonation. that requires more and more investigation. but nuclear material would be very significant. >> let me switch, because this is something that the israeli ambassador raised in my office, -- and my office has raised. i realize that some of this is bashing the administration, but there are those of us on the democratic side who do have real, genuine concerns with the 24 days. the other is the question of how exactly we bring forward, and what we have to reveal to demand
or requested that a site is being inspected. it has been pointed out that we would have to reveal why exactly why we suspected this site meaning we would have to compromise where we got intelligence, and why we suspected it. can you talk about how that process would work, and why we would have to reveal to the iranians widely would inspect a site? >> protecting sources and methods is important. having said that, clearly in the past, intelligence agencies from many countries have shared information. i also note that at of the seven countries involved in the talks four have worked together closely, the europeans and the
united states, and i think we would do all we could to provide the iaea with relevant information for a suspicious site, no matter where it was. for the sources and methods, you have to go to the iaea. >> can secretary kerry weigh-in? secretary kerry: we are very careful not to disclose sources and methods. we have ways of providing information, and making it available in ways that do not compromise that. that will not happen. that is not something that our community feels prevented by or stop to fire. you mentioned the israeli ambassador was talking about these concerns. sandy levin is the longest-serving jewish member in the united states congress, and he came out today -- >> i read his statement.
secretary kerry: said that israel's security would be important to me and my country. israel would be more secure if iran does not move toward possession of a nuclear weapon, and i agree an agreement is the best way to achieve that. >> two minutes remaining. >> secretary moneys, with respect to the agreement from the iaea and possible dimension, abby read those documents or agreements? secretary moniz: i have not seen them. >> and no one has a copy of these agreements? secretary moniz: to my knowledge, no one has a copy. in vienna i had a broad oral briefing, but i never saw any papers. >> who briefed you? >> dg amano.
>> do have plans to request those documents be provided to congress, consistent with the iran nuclear review act. secretary moniz: i do not know if it is consistent. i will check with our folks. i don't think we judged it is consistent, but we will brief the contents. >> if you could provide the rationale for why you do not rank the definition of agreement would encompass -- secretary kerry: i just said i don't know, congressman. >> if you could provide us the lingual justification so that we -- secretary moniz: of course. >> there was a report on the associated press report in the associated press today that the agreement between iran and the iaea may not be impleetd. something that iran may be the one to take soil samples. can you guys comment? is it, in fact still being
negotiated between iran and the iaea? >> in session here, we can't discuss what the methology is. we're happy to take this on in classified session. >> can you confirm the ap story? have you seen it? >> absolutely not i cannot. >> you can't -- >> i cannot confirm it. i haven't seen it among other things. >> secretary moniz we get into a very complicated agreement. very important. i know you guys worked hard on it, but sometimes i like to take a step back and just a few years ago it had been the policy of the united states that an agreement -- iran gives up nuclear program no enrichment. the president when he was debating governor romney in 2012 said the deal will accept, that they end their nuclear program. it's very straightforward. secretary moniz, i mean do you acknowledge this agreement -- i know you think it's good.
put that aside. do you acknowledge that this agreement doesn't meet that standard of where they're ending their nuclear program that they are allowed to maintain a significant nuclear program in the international community will be helping them to develop nuclear technology? i know you guys are going to say you're confident you can dweblgt that's used in a military capacity, but that does represent a change, does it not from where we were just a few years ago? >> congressman, i've had conversations with members of the prior administration. and it's inappropriate for me to tell you who or speak for them. i think if you talk to them you will learn that they had come to a conclusion by the end of that administration that that policy wasn't working and that they were going to need to in fact, have some structure of enrichment and some structure of the program. there's a distinction here between iran's nuclear weapons capacity and a peaceful nuclear
program. unlike north korea which pulled out of the ntp, iran is still a signatory to the npt. iran has not exploited an ordinance. iran has not gone forward to make a weapon even though they had enough material for 10 to 12 bomdz. so iran is stating in this agreement its willingness to comply with and live within the nonproliferation treaty. under the nonproliferation treaty, countries have a right to a peaceful nuclear program. >> so just so i get clear with the question, you're acknowledging there has been a reappraisal in kind of the gold posts and it's been shared with the bush administration and the obama administration. >> i don't think they shared it publicly but they shared it with us privately -- >> so, to that -- >> may i add the construct going in then, this was among the p5+1, that our basic construct quoob to get the one-year breakout time -- >> secretary kerry, just real quickly, because this is not
going to be ratified as a treaty, there are a lot of states florida in particularly where state legislatures have enacted sanctions against iran in various capacities. do you acknowledge that this deal will not affect states' abilities to do it since it's not going to be approved as a treat y it's not going to be considered extreme law. land? more of an executive-to-executive agreement? >> that's correct but we've urged to take steps not to interfere with that. >> mr. ted of florida and don't feel compelled to use all your time. >> yes, sir. i appreciate it. mr. secretary i want to ask you a simple yes or no question. the iran sanctions act expires on december 30th -- or 31 2016. will this administration support legislation --
>> we obviously are committed to the isa but i don't think any decision has been made on timing or what steps the president will take. >> can we do the snap-backs without this? >> yes, we can. according to this we can't because of the iran sanctions act expires. those are necessary to -- >> no, we have other existing authorities where we could snap back both financial and -- >> can you guarantee this body those acts are -- -- facilities are in place so snap back works without an act of congress? >> yes. >> i have a problem with the secret deals going on, and you're asking us to support this deal without ng arings august to rye it read it. you're asking us to vote on something. we don't know what's in that deal. >> you will.
>> i think it's disingenuous as representatives of the united states citizens to vote on a deal that we don't know what's in it. >> we're not. i've said to three or four congressman -- >> i heard that. it's not clear the information will be forthright. we're going to get briefings but briefings is not the same as being able to read the actual agreement i realize it's the iaea with iran but we're paying 25% of the budget of that place. i think we as the representatives of american people, we deserve that. zoo congressman, on sanctions act. first thing, it doesn't expire until the end of 2016. now would not be the appropriate time. it's premature to take action. i think respectfully, we know if there's a problem in 2016, it won't take very long for congress to act. >>. >> saw it's premature to take action. this is my last question -- or statement. you say this is the best deal we
get. if we walk away from the table we walk away alone. i feel that you -- this negotiating team put america in that situation because of the way you negotiated this from the very beginning. if we go back to the very beginning, iran will not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. you said, mr. secretary i heard it come out of your mouth, anywhere, any time, anyplace. that's been passed on. we're beyond that point. it's beyond the point of trying to prevent iran from having a nuclear weapon. we're trying to prevent something we can't instead of preparing that for which we will have. we've been boxed into a bad corner because you negotiated from weakness instead of -- as a super power and you go into the u.n. to get their approval first so we look like the guys. this is a bad deal. i think if we operate from a level of strength, iran will come back to the negotiating table. to think they're going to come back to the negotiating table a year or two from now, i think that's a fallacy and
disingenuous to america. >> congressman i urge you i urge you, congressman, with all respect, to spend time with the intel community. i think you'll hear a different -- >> no disrespect we get those people in here all the time. we hear intelligence briefings. we hear this a-s a bad deal. if you say, president obama is going to make america safer -- >> congressman -- >> wait a minute. the intelligence community is telling us to build missile defense systems on the east coast, bolster the ones on the west coast and alaska because this is a great deal i think we should run away. >> the intelligence community is not saying that. the intelligence community supports this deal, congressman. what's more, they were an integral part of helping shape it. furthermore, the reason we were able to get the good deal we got is because we did operate out of position of strength, which is why they're dismanteling
two-thirds of their program, undoing their stockpile, living by restraints on enrichment and have accepted additional protocol as well as 25-year restraints on their uranium and so forth. >>. >> >> just to add the agreement, is the iaea and iran -- the iaea will complete its pmg. that's the agreement. that's the protocol. >> thank you. secretary kerry earlier you had had -- countries in the future will not trust negotiating with the u.s. state department because they're now negotiating with 535 individual members of congress. for 228 years the constitution provided a way out of that mess by allowing treaties to be with the advise and consent of 67
u.s. senators. why is this not considered a treaty? >> congressman, i spent quite a few years ago trying to get a lot of treaties through the united states senate. frankly, it's become physically impossible. that's why. because you can't pass a treaty anymore. and it's become impossible to you know schedule. it's become impossible to pass. >> and i sat there leading the charge on the disabilities treaty which fell to basically ideology and politics, so i think that's the reason why. >> i may not disagree with that. political world around here is pretty challenging for both parties, certainly the congress and the president. i will say one of the concerns voiced to me by my constituents is the fact in the president's
press conference about this agreement, he threatened to veto the congress' action if we didn't agree with him anyway. so, there was this arbitrary poke in the nose of the congress when it was unnecessary and so my folks back home are saying, i want to have some say in this. my only say is through you. i think that maybe could have been handled a little different. secretary moniz -- go ahead, secretary. >> yeah, i understand. >> secretary moniz, is it not billions of dollars cheaper to build a natural gas power plant rather than a nuclear power plant? why do you think iranians have gone down the nuclear road? typically a nuclear plant has
lower operating costs. >> in this case, the natural gas quoob would be free to them. >> i'm not sure it's free. certainly in the sense -- i'm not arguing one way or the other but just what the argument is is that it's more valuable than as an export product where of course, with lng prices for example, in parts of the world there's quite a bit of rent to be captured. >> yeah, sure, sure. secretary lew, appreciate your patience today. you haven't been called on that much. but in light of the how tantalizing the sanctions have been on this economy, it still strikes me odd that iran would continue to move toward this very, very expensive construction project as opposed to other alternatives. does it seem odd to you? i mean billions and billions -- >> which expense? >> the actual expense of constructing nuclear power plants. they've been under great stress
economically. >> i think that they have been under enormous stress, like any government, they make decisions based on their short and long-term needs. i can't question why they've chosen one form other another. inadequate in order to have a foundation for economic growth, they do need more power. and that's going to require investment. it's one of the reasons that i believe they have domestic needs. their domestic infrastructure is in pretty bad condition right now. >> it seemed to me one of the possible solutions to this whole deal would have been for the p5+1 countries to 1 countries in building alternative sources of electrical power to meet that need as opposed to setting this canard up they can go ahead and nuclearize. i'll hand back. >> thank you. if you can keep these comments
brief, there's votes going on on the floor. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank the witnesses for being here and for your service. secretary kerry you said in your opening statement, there have been major distortions and president obama actually said yesterday that there have been no factual arguments on the other side worth scrutiny. simple yes or no. these are the facts that are basing the negotiations off of at the outset. they're holding american hostages sponsoring terrorism, calling for death to america on israel wiped from the face of the earth. guilty of egregious human rights violations and creating instability around the world. are those facts true? yes or no? >> yeah. they are. but -- >> would you say those facts looked in collectively would suggest that iran is guilty of bad behavior? >> well, i think it's more than just bad behavior. they're destabilizing countries and blowing people up somewhere
is beyond bad behavior. >> i'll take that as a yes. how would a deal -- let's say i wanted to sell my business to lee. back when i was in the business world, we were doing an acquisition. i would say to my team, you can't do a good deal with a bad guy. so can you just sort of understand our concern about this deal because it sure looks like if we're doing a good deal as you suggest, it's with a bad guy. >> i understand exactly what you're saying, and it's -- it's, you know, we confronted questions about what could be achieved and not achieved in the course of these negotiations ourselves and came to the conclusion, therefore, that nothing is based on trust. that we are going to set up something that you can read, we can read everybody can understand what the expectations are. and that's one of the reasons why from a position of strength we believe we achieved something that really helps establish some level of confidence over the
years, and that's the level to which they will reduce their current program reduce their stockpile, live by limitations on enrichment, which are absolutely ascertainable and so forth. so we've created we think a dynamic here where you get over the hurdle of the things you don't like and bad behavior because you've created something that is verifiable and has certainty in it. >> any chance that iran's strategy is to get the deal signed, get the $50 billion and a year or so down the road start to violate the agreement knowing that -- >> as we said earlier. >> i know, that's the challenge of going last or next to last, but i appreciate you staying. isn't there a chance a year from now, it's going to be a whole lot more difficult for us to get the band back together and be able to put in place some protections. >> not if they're breaking the agreement. >> russia and china are going to go along and say gosh, the united states, we understand your concern and what can we do to get --? >> we're convinced about the seriousness of purpose of all of our five other partners in this
effort. >> you know, hindsight's 20/20, and i'm not asking you to necessarily evaluate how we got to this point. but any credibility to the concern that i think someone earlier mentioned that maybe decisions by ambassador rice or the administration or your negotiating team really put us in a position now where if we don't sign this deal, we're really left without any good options? any concern in hindsight we could've done things differently? maybe resolution 1929, other decisions that were made along the way that put us in this box in terms of having no great options? >> well, we think we have a great option. the great option is the agreement that we came to and we did not create the box. by the way. you know you guys decided you wanted to review it and now you're reviewing it. and i'm sorry about the consequences of that review, but that's not our creation. the consequences of the review are the reality that this agreement can, you know, not go
forward. and there are consequences to that. >> i have no regrets, sir about having the responsibility of reviewing this agreement. >> i'm not arguing with you about your right to do it. but we are arguing that the consequences when you weigh the benefit of this agreement going through versus the consequence of not doing it are serious. >> but -- >> and you know -- >> one last question, sir i appreciate your time. but you said earlier that this was never about making sure iran did not have a nuclear program, but rather making sure they did not have a nuclear weapon. >> the capacity to build a nuclear weapon or get one. >> what did president obama or candidate obama mean in the debate with mitt romney in 2012 when he said the deal we will accept is they end their nuclear program, it's very straightforward. he really was talking about the capacity to create a nuclear weapon, not -- >> having played mitt romney for him in preparation for that debate, i can assure you that's what he meant. >> thank you for your time. hope you're doing all right with your crutches. i spent a lot of time over the year on crutches.
they're not any fun. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. kerry, just now in response to his question i want to understand with regards, this isn't a treaty because it was difficult to pass. is that -- is that correct? >> well it's not -- there are a lot of other reasons. we felt, we don't have diplomatic relations with iran. it's very complicated with six other countries. it's just very complicated process. so we thought that the easiest way to get something that had the leverage had the accountability, could achieve our goal was through a political agreement. >> and mr. secretary, if you would be able to submit for the record just a little bit more background as to why this is not treated as a treaty. i think it would be helpful for us. >> absolutely, sure. >> okay. >> and you said a little earlier the reason iran came to the table is because they wanted the relief from the sanctions. the iranian supreme leader said
the islamic republic of iran will not give up support of the frepds in the region, the oppressed people of yemen the oppressed people of bahrain and fighters in lebanon and palestine. there is so much state sponsorship of terror in that list a hezbollah leader said this past weekend, the united states remains the great state in both before and after the nuclear accord. the leverage that brought the iranians to the negotiating table was the sanctions relief. let me just recap some of the stuff that wasn't part of the negotiations. iran developing icbms overthrowing foreign governments, sponsoring terror, unjustly imprisoning united states citizens including a marine a pastor a reporter pledging to wipe israel off the map. none of that was part of the negotiations. iran's neighbors who know them the best trust them the least. it's just something for us to think about. i'd also ask if you can submit for the record just for the
sake of time a little bit more in the plan. as for stopping all the other iranian terror that wasn't part of the deal. i think it would be very helpful for congress to have a better sense of what the plan is regarding everything that wasn't part of the deal. and mr. secretary if we remove the sanctions, we're removing the leverage that brought the iranians to the table. over 70 years ago, a leader of the free world held up a document declared it peace for our time. i'm afraid that many years from now if the american people through the representatives in congress accept this bad deal that just like the munich agreement of 1938 this iranian agreement will prove to not be in the best interest of american security or the stability and safety of the free world. there is an alternative other than war. it's a better deal. now, you say getting a better deal is fantasy land. some other stuff i would consider fantasy land is believing that you have access
to military sites when the iranian leadership tells us we don't. fantasy land is agreeing to a three-member advisory board where one of the members is declared an independent member. but there's no details in agreement whatsoever as to how that independent member is selected. fantasy land is saying there's a secret deal with -- there's no secret deal with iran and the ia/ea even though we're acknowledging there is an agreement and that it's secret. fantasyland is saying this deal provides 24/7 -- saying that iran does not want to destroy the united states, dismissing their death to america pledge is just rhetoric. i don't believe that this is a great option as you just said to the last person. i know it the american public knows it. that there is an alternative other than war and it's a better deal. america got played like a five-string quartet. mr. secretary, a lot of americans have fought and died to make our country the greatest nation in the world.
and you, sir, respectfully, you don't have the power to surrender our greatness. and i would strongly, you know with all of these hypotheticals that if congress rejects this deal that everything falls apart apart you have not yet answered what you would do next. what would you three secretaries do if congress rejects the deal? because the answer on the next day is no one shows up to work. no one is working with the international community to try to protect america and their free world. so if congress rejects this deal deal when you wake up the next morning, sir, what would you do? >> well congressman, you threw a lot out there all at once. all of us take affront at the comments that are made publicly by many people in iran, whether it's in general or a leader of
one or another, or the ayatollah ayatollah's comments. what's important is what iran does. not what it says, what it does. for two years now iran lived by a deal that many of your colleagues here called an historic mistake. but they live by it. they've actually rolled their program back. and president obama is the first president in the united states who has challenged this issue who has actually rolled the iranian program back significantly and stopped them from the path to get a weapon. now -- >> with all due with respect, for sake of time. what you would do the next morning. you have not answered the question of what the administration. >> there's a vote on and your time has expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. if you could submit that for the record. i think it's important for congress to know what you would do next. >> sure. >> i want to thank our witnesses.
for being with us today. these are not easy issues. congress will be taking an historical vote on this agreement in september. the committee will continue doing its job before that vote and after and i thank each of our witnesses, again, for being with us today and staying through the process of having all of the members ask their questions. we stand adjourned.
>> we will hear more about the iran nuclear agreement on this morning's "washington journal" up next on c-span. we will have general speeches with the legislative branch at noon. on this morning's washington journal, were cap representative ted yoho talks about the role congress has in reviewing the iran nuclear agreement. then a discussion on efforts by puerto rico's leadership to resolve the $72 billion debt problem with hurray joe pedro pierluigi.
and, how the american south drives the low-wage economy. host: good morning everyone. lawmakers on capitol hill struck a deal on highway funding. both chambers will now give another short-term task to the trust fund before leaving town for the month of august. meanwhile, secretary of state john kerry will once again testify in the iran deal. this hearing gets underway a little before 10:00 a.m.. we will begin the conversation here this morning on gun control in this country after the r