tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 2, 2015 10:00am-12:01pm EDT
[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, >> here is a look at what is ahead today on c-span. coming up in an hour or so, secretary of day john kerry will take about the iran nuclear agreement. chris coons became the 33rd senator to pledge support of the deal. the administration only needs one more senator to sustain a presidential veto. we are learning california democrat judy chu has tweeted out she will support the deal. still unclear when the house will consider the agreement after they return next week. state kerry at the
national constitution center in philadelphia to talk about this. expected to get underway 11:00 eastern. we will also open the phone lines to your reaction after the beach. more programming greater today with nikki haley at the national press club. this will begin at 1:00 eastern. after that, a hearing on immigration enforcement. thoughts -- the funds to get your thoughts when that is done at about 5:00 eastern. finally, we will continue showing you the c-span sunnicits tour. >> this sunday night on q&a, suffered losses professor deborah brodie. the high cost of life schools and the high cost of diversity in the profession.
correct that think we need a different model of education that includes one-year programs for people doing routine work. it is an option for people who want to do something to show lies in the third year. three full years for people who want the full general practice legalization we now have. it is crazy to train in the same way someone who was doing routine divorces in a small town in the midwest and someone who is doing mergers and acquisitions on wall street. with a one-size-fits-all legal education that is extremely expensive. and that assumes you can train everybody to do everything in the same way. in twocensed to practice states, and i would not trust myself to do a routine divorce. 8:00 eastern on
quests i want to thank all of the witnesses here today and all of those in attendance. i know there was a little bit of an outbreak prior to us convening. we do hope you will respect now that the meeting is in order out first of any kind are unwarranted and respect the democratic process. we thank you for being here. we also thank you for your
courtesy as we move ahead. i know the witnesses have agreed. they have agreed to be her as long as we wish. we will start with seven minute questions. i do know based on last night's presentation there is sometimes wantdency for witnesses to to interject. what i would say is obviously we conduct our meetings with a lot --respect and currency courtesy, and i would ask the tonesses to respond directly the question from senators on both sides of the aisle. if you asked directly to a witness. if someone else wants to interject, they can do so. making sure we do not end up in a somewhat filibuster situation.
we are able to fully get questions answered. i want to start today by thinking our committee. we would not be here today, we would not have the information that we have today if we had not iran nuclear agreements review act. this would not be taking place. i think the american people now understand what the debate was all about. when congress put in place sanctions to bring iran successfully to the table as we did, we granted the executive branch something called a national security waiver. what that meant was, the executive branch has the ability congressional he mandated sanctions to suspend them until such a time as we permanently waived them down the road.
unfortunately the executive branch went directly to the united nations, something that certainly was not in the spirit of this, but this is what was always intended. i do want to say while secretary kerry has often said congress will have the ability to weigh in at some point in time, prior to the law being passed, we now read the agreement and realize what we meant is a years from now we would have the opportunity to weigh in, because that is what is stated and the agreement. i want to thank everyone, all 19 members coming together, unanimously making that's rolening and giving us a that did not exist prior to the passing. we had a briefing last night. i left in there and talk to members on both sides of the aisle and was fairly depressed
after last night's presentation. with every detail of the deal laid out, the witnesses successfully batted them away with the hyperbole it is either this deal or war. never able towere appropriately question or get into any of the details, because every time we did it was either this deal or war. so i believe that to be hyperbole. i know the secretary pulled out a letter that was written in 2008 by the prior administration. playingught about it last night in bed, iran last what he was really pointing out with that letter, unless we give , ask.hat they want that is what that letter was
used for. let me walk through that. we have been through an incredible journey. we began 20 months or so ago with a country that was a rogue nation, that had of boot on its neck. dismantleal was to the program. we have ended up in a situation where the deal on the table basically codifies the industrialization of their nuclear program. transition that has occurred. yet everyone here, knows there forot one practical need the program their building. not one. we have not had a single scientist, not a witness can lay out any reasoning, not a single reason for a ron to be developing this program from the standpoint of what it means to
them. not one. nine months after the agreement goes into effect we realize after monday's u.n. adoption, unless congress intervenes, in 90 days this will be implemented. six months after that and a total of nine months from now, all of the sanctions that exist will be lifted. incredible. now, there will be a few remaining sanctions, but the big ones that matter will be lifted. so we will have access to billions and billions of dollars. there are a economy will be growing, shipping oil around the world. an amazing thing. what happens, and i think all of us figured this out, right now we have some leverage, but nine months from now, the leverage will shift to them because we have a sanctions snapback. is calledhad is what
a nuclear snapback. the way the deal is structured, they can immediately say a few abstentions, we're out of the deal. so the leverage shifts to them. the possible military dimensions, i think most of us call it the previous military to rent -- dimensions because we know they were involved in that. no bearinghat has for the agreement. i know the witnesses will say they do not think it is proper, they won't implement. according to the agreement, it has no bearing whether the sanctions or -- are removed or not, yet it was such an important piece for everyone to know. last night we had witnesses saying i never said that. of the mantrapart since day one. anywhere, anytime inspections.
now the process they are declaring his 24 days. 24 days begins after the iaea has found violations they are concerned about, and then you give iran time to respond. by the time it kicks in, they are a 24 day process. it could be months. it is very easy to cover things up like that. all of the focus has been on finding uranium. there are other aspects that are difficult to find. i know they have said it is the most comprehensive inspection regime we have ever had. that is not true. i have talked to secretaries of state and others. we had a far more intensive andection program in iraq did not service particularly well. ben and i have written a letter
asking for additional material fact we do not now have. one of the items we don't have is regarding the agreement , anden iran and the iaea my sense is we are never going to get that letter. the inspection entity we are relying on to find out whether iran is cheating, we do not even have this to that agreement. we do know one of the current interesting.ery we have a professional athlete that sense about a month. he is incredible fascias a role model. incredible integrity. a role model for the world. i was talking to him a couple of weeks ago about the programs that professional athletes go through for drug testing. it is incredible. that is anytime, anywhere. there are polities to this that
unfortunately i am told i cannot get into. there are qualities to this program that would not he unlike causing athletes to mail in their own urine specimens in the mail. and as believing that it came from them. so i have some questions. i want to talk a little bit about who we are dealing with here. to iraqus have been many times. . will never forget general or the nl in baghdad. every time we visit him in baghdad combo he would have on .is coffee table the ifp's maim and killd to
americans. there on theing coffee table, every single one of them made by iran. we developed the technology to counter that, what they did next was developed and you he, explosively formed penetrator. what they do is they have an explosion that heats up copper. it will go through a piece of machinery to maim and dismember american. this was all a ron, every single bit of it. we have all been out to waterbury and have visited these incredible he rose. in some cases, two legs and two arms. we see them all over the country that are living with us today.
this is the country we are dealing with. this is a country that has created some of the most disturbing types and methods of naming americans that have ever been seen. they tried to kill in ambassador not long ago. we know that. we went over with others to see something, the holocaust museum had put together. a young man named caesar had taken photographs of the syrian presence. syria -- the #would not be in office today if it were not for a ron. we went over and envisioned the torture happening that has been photographed and chronicled. many of you have seen it on the internet. it is an amazing thing. it is happening right now as we sit here. some people might say that was
iraq and should we have been there or not? this is happening this very second with the support of iran. this is happening in a prison in syria that iran is supporting. some have said we're not done as much as weak could have to stop it because of the negotiations. college, i was not a particularly good student. the first part of college i was interested in sports. the later part i was interested in working. i learned one thing. i learned about the critical path method and ended up building buildings all over the country and they learned you start with something like this, and you lay out a vision and lay it out and you begin with the
end in mind and put first things first as the critical path. what i have seen the secretary do, i know he developed a tremendous warrant with iran's foreign ministers and talks about it often, but what i think you have actually done in the negotiations is codify a perfectly aligned pathway for a ron to do -- to get a nuclear weapon just by abiding by the agreement. i look at the things that they need to do, the way it is laid out, and i do not think you could more perfectly lay it out. from my perspective, mr. i am sorry, not unlike a hotel guest that leaves only with a hotel bathrobe on its back, i believe you have been fleeced.
in the process of being fleeced what you have really done here is you have turned a ron from being a pariah to now congress being a pariah. a few weeks ago you were saying no deal is better than a bad deal. know there is no way you could have possibly been thinking about war a few weeks ago. no way. and yet what you say to us now andver and over yesterday over and over on television that if somehow congress were to turn this down, the only option is war, whereas a few weeks ago, for you to turn it down, the only option is war. i don't think you can have it both ways. if congress were to say the
sanctions cannot be lifted, it would not be any different than the snapback we now have where in essence the united states on its own, the united states on implementn snapback's, but my guess is the other countries would not come along. which way to decide that it is. i know you speak with a degree of disdain about our regional partners when you describe our -- their reaction to the deal. one thing we have to remember is that if we had actually dealt with this mantle and the nuclear program, they would not be responding in the way that they had. not only is this not occurred, in addition, we are lifting the ballistic missile embargo. i have no idea how that entered into the equation, but it did.
we are lifting conventional weapons embargo in five years. in a very cute way with auditory language in the agreement. we are immediately lifting the ballistic missile testing programs. we are lifting that band. so i have to say based on my reading, ied on my believe you have crossed a new threshold in u.s. foreign-policy . now it is the policy of the united states to enable a state -- state sponsor of terror to obtain sophisticated industrial new year development program that has, as we know, only one real practical need. that is what you are here today to ask us to support. i look over to your testimony and the appropriate questions after. senator cardin. >> thank you very much for
convening this. i want to thank secretary kerry and your entire negotiating team. wendy sherman and many others who have devoted the past two .ears to negotiating with iran incredible service to our country, incredible sacrifice to the families. we thank you very much for your dedicated service, your hard fusion -- and the service to america. the iranian nuclear agreement review act that senator corker referred to passed earlier this year was an effort by the members of congress to set up the appropriate review for a deal with iran. we are extremely pleased that after very difficult negotiations we were able to get a unanimous vote of the
committee, support of the white house, and we believe we accomplished two major objectives in passing that statute. appropriatet up the review for congress. it allows us to take action or we don't have to take action. it recognizes the fact that the sanction regime was passed by congress, and that we have a role to play in regards to implementing any agreement as we now see that congress has a role to play. processt off an orderly . this hearing is part of that process. it took you two years to negotiate this agreement. it took you two months in vienna to get to the final details. we are on day four of the review of 60 days. i have not reached a conclusion, and i would hope the members of
the congress would want to get , allowthe information those directly involved to make their case. we have hearings set up next week and the following week and we will get outside experts. many of us have taken advantage of that opportunity in the past, and i would hope we would use that opportunity before drawing a conclusion. but there is a second objective to be around nuclear agreement act. that is to concentrate all of our efforts on the bad guy, iran. two's the with unity as much as we could in the united states so that our negotiators could concentrate on vienna and not on washington in dealing with getting the very best possible agreement. i must tell you, mr. chairman, i
looked at framework that we agree to an april in looking at the final agreements we are gotten today and our negotiators got a lot, particularly on the nook their front, which is beyond my expertise, we got things that there were many rumors during the past couple of months of what was going to be in the agreement and how it would be weekends from the april framework that in fact have been strengthened since the april framework. i want to applaud our negotiators at taking the strength of the unity and turning it into results in vienna. we will be talking a little bit about that as we go forward. is clearly to prevent iran from ever becoming a nuclear weapons power. that is our simple objective. we know who we are dealing with.
this is a state-sponsored -- state sponsor of terrorism. this is a country that abuses human rights. we know all of that. but we singularly are trying to prevent iran from becoming a nuclear weapon power because they know that if the increasingly ancient. usestandard we have to because there is no trust in said wee supreme leader will trample upon america. we do not trust a wrong, but we have to leave emotion out of this. you have to look at the agreements, and you have to the complianceer with the agreement by the united states will put us on a path that makes it less likely or more likely iran will become an error weapons power. that has to be the test to be
used. so i have many questions that i hope we will get answers today. i hope those answers will us ine a debate among congress and the american people and help us make the right decisions. since there is no trust, the inspection and enforcement regime is particularly important . we need to understand how it works. -- toe sufficient time if discover if iran is violating the terms of the agreement in order to take effective action? that is a question we need to understand. we need to know the breakout times. we need to know what happens the time. do we have sufficient opportunity to prevent iran from ever becoming a nuclear weapons date? are the inspections robust enough to deter iran from cheating? and if they do, will we discover and be able to take
action? you raised the 24 hour window area i think all of us recognize there would be a protocol for inspection. but we need to know whether the 24-hour delay, knowing iran and what they are likely to do, does that compromise the ability to .ave affected inspections that is a question we need to know the answer to. have we cut off all pathways for iran to obtain a nuclear weapon? militaryrly the cofer operations. we know that is a major concern. that is why it is particularly important. iaea and inspectors are doing. credibility, but we want to know whether they
have the capacity to do what we are asking them to do need to know about the prior military dimension in order to go forward and make sure we can contain any opportunity they may use for pervert opportunity. will we discover it and be able ? we have read the agreement and still have questions, and we hope he will get answers as to whether we're prevent -- effectively prevented iran from using covert virginity is to develop a nuclear weapon. will this agreement provide us with sufficient access to the people, places and document so that we know the prior military dimension? are this not back provisions for re-imposing sanctions adequate if they violate the agreement? willis an issue i hope we have a chance to talk about. at the end of the time limits in
the agreement iran will have the capacity to ask and. nasa german, i rightly pointed out to an industrial capacity eerie and they could get to nuclear enrichment and uranium enrichment. that they can do. do we have sufficient capacity knowing their commitment to nonproliferation, knowing the requirements of the additional protocols, is not going to be adequate to prevent iran? do we have sufficient enough breakout time that if they try to become a new we're weapons state that after there will be sufficient tools to prevent them from becoming a nuclear weapons power? these are questions we need the answers to. i want to be reassured the united states has the ability to impose this for support of terrorism, human rights abuses and the ballistic weapons program. no one expected to change on implementation date. we know who we are dealing with.
will we be able to use the powers we have used in the past and build upon them and take action against iran, particularly in light they will have additional resources? can we do that, and can congress work to strengthen the tools 08.out violating the jcp i want to know how the administration is updating the regional the turn strategy against destabilizing iranian activities and how we will work with our partners to build up their capacity to counter iran, especially israel. the german mentioned the lifting of the international arms embargo. that is a great concern as to what impact it will have on the regional partners. need toe questions we get the best information we can in making our decisions. we mentioned this. what are our options?
how will we be received internationally? will we be able to maintain infective enforcement with the international partners? and will iran comeback to a negotiating table with a country that has walked away from an agreement? these are questions we need to understand. we need to know the options. what are the consequences if we don't go forward? we have a full plate. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses, and i hope the members will use the information we get today to debate the issue, take the time we have and do what is right or the american people and ultimately make the decision we think is best to prevent iran from becoming a new we're weapons power. >> thank you. >> thank you.
i know that our witnesses here today need no introduction. they are well known not only here but around the world. i think each of us deeply appreciate this. appreciate the tremendous effort that you put up, put out on behalf of our country. we thank you for being here today and being willing to be here today, as long as it takes for everyone to get their answers. with that, i would like to introduce collectively secretary john kerry. he used to serve with us. moni's who have been incredibly valuable to us and someone i think we all appreciate deeply. secretary lou who served in multiple positions, certainly affirmed by the committee
several times. we thank you all for the great service to our nation in spite of some of the concerns we have today. i think you all understand the drill. take five minutes or so to its line. just to warn people in advance, andll defer to questions move to you immediately thereafter and use my time to interject as things move along. with that, secretary kerry. chairman and mr. members of the committee and friends and former colleagues. we really do appreciate the chance to discuss with you the comprehensive plan that p1 and plus five partners have developed. to everyonesize here, this is not just the united states of america. these are other nuclear powers.
china -- theya, have a pretty good understanding of the field and the challenges, and i appreciate the way in , camethey and germany together and contributed. all of part of the debate. you are not just looking at what table negotiated, you are looking with the international community, the p5 plus one negotiated. they are not dumb. , everyone ofrts them in nuclear technology and gratification and verification. smart people who that a lifetime on this. they have signed off on the agreement. secretary'sby two whose health was invaluable in reaching the deal. i want to thank all of you from the role you played.
we all remember the debate. we passed it to the man -- unanimously. it played a significant role in bringing iran to the table and making it clear we needed to bring about a serious and productive negotiation with iran. from the day those talks began we were crystal clear we would stop except anything less than a good deal. it up front as a deal closed off pathways. the two uranium pathways, plutonium and the covert pathway. so we set our standard, and we believe we have achieved that standard. of verymost two years intensive talks, the facts are crystal clear that the plan isounced last week in vienna in fact a deal that does shut off the pathways and provides us with guarantees through the
lifetime and participation that we will know what they are doing. the chairman mentioned the opening comments, some phrase about unless we give iran what they want. , they arty have what they want. they got it 10 years ago. they already have conquered the fuel cycle. when we began negotiations, i ron had enough material for 10-12 bombs. 19,000 centrifuges. 163 when the prior administration was engaged in very topic. so this is not a question of giving them what they want. a question of how do you hold the program back? how do you dismantle the weapons program?
reallynderstand what was on the table here. we set out to dismantle their ability to build a nuclear weapon, and we have achieved that. nobody has ever talked about actually dismantling their entire program, because when that was being talked about, 120 threent from centrifuges to 19,000. everyone here knows what the options are for stopping that. ,t is called military action because they are not going to stop it otherwise. they proved it all those years. so, under this terms of this agreement, iran has agreed now to remove 90% of its stockpile, voluntarily destroyed 98% of their stockpile of your aged uranium. they are going to dismantle two thirds of their installed centrifuges and they are going to take out the existing core of an existing heavywater reactor
and fill it with concrete. iran has agreed to refrain from producing or acquiring highly enriched uranium and weapons grade plutonium for at least 15 years. and if they began to do that, ernest muniz will tell you, we will know it immediately. iran has also agreed to accept the additional protocol, and the additional protocol is an outgrowth of the failure of the north korea experience, which put in additional access requirements precisely so that we do know what iran is doing. and they have to ratify it before the un's sanctions -- un sanctions are lifted at the end of this process. they have agreed to live by it from day one. they are going to live by the
additional protocol. in addition, there are additional transparency measures. we can go into in the course of this hearing. now, if iran fails to comply, we will know it. and we will know it quickly and we will be able to respond accordingly. by reinstituting sanctions, all the way up to the most forceful options we have today, none of them are off the table at any point in time. so many of the measures that are in this agreement are therefore not just for 10 years, not just for 15 years, not just for 20 years, not just for 25 years, of which there are measures for each of those periods of time, but they are forever as long as iran is within the npt. by the way, north korea has pulled out of the npt. iran has not pulled out of the npt. remember two years ago when our negotiations began, we were facing in iran that was enriching uranium in a facility that was secret and buried underground. and they were never the stockpiling enriched uranium and had installed nearly 20,000 centrifuges. they were building a heavy water
reactor that could build weapons grade plutonium. and experts assessed that the breakout time that as a result, the interval required to rush to be able to produce enough material for one nuclear weapon was about two to three months. if this deal is rejected, we return immediately to this reality. except that the diplomatic support that we have built with all these other countries, that we have accumulated, or to secure -- would disappear overnight. let me underscore the alternative to the deal we have reached is not what i have seen on some ads on tv suggesting disingenuously. it is not a, quote, better deal. some sort of unicorn arrangement involving iran's complete
capitulation. that is a fantasy, plain and simple. and our own intelligence community will tell you that. every single department of our intelligence community will reinforce that to you. the choice we face is between in agreement that will ensure iran's nuclear program is limited, regular sleep scrutinized, and wholly peaceful -- rigorously scrutinized, and wholly peaceful, or no deal at all. that is the choice. there are 189 nations who live by the npt. five of them are, as we know, the main nuclear powers of the u.s. -- un. 184 of them are not nuclear in power. but they live by it. and we have lived by what the iaea does with respect to ensuring the a surety of all those with hundred 84 nations. including 12 that enrich. if the u.s. congress moves to
unilaterally reject what was agreed to in vienna, the result will be the united states of america walking away from everyone of the restrictions that we have achieved. and a great big green light for iran to double the pace of its uranium enrichment, proceed full speed ahead with a heavywater reactor, install new and more efficient centrifuges, and do it all without the unprecedented inspection and transparency measures that we have secured. everything that we have prevented will then start taking place. and all the voluntary rollbacks of their programs will be undone. moreover, if the u.s. after laboriously negotiating this multilateral agreement with five other partners were to walk way from those partners, we are on her own. our partners will not walk away with us, instead they will walk
way from the tough bilateral sanctions regime they have helped to put in place. and we will have squandered the best chance we had to solve this problem through peaceful means. make no mistake, president obama has made it crystal clear that we will never accept a nuclear armed iran. he is the only president who has developed a weapon guaranteed of attaining that. but the fact is that iran now has -- we all don't like it, but whether we like it or not, iran has developed experience with a nuclear fuel cycle. they have developed the ability to produce the material for a bob. -- bomb. and we cannot on that knowledge away. -- cannot bomb that knowledge away, nor can we sanction the knowledge away. remember, sanctions do not stop iran's nuclear program from growing steadily.
by the way, they didn't choose to produce them. unlike north korea, they created a nuclear weapon and exploded one and pulled out of the npt, iran has done none of that. the vienna plan will provide a stronger, more comprehensive, more lasting means of limiting iran's nuclear program than any alternative that has been spoken of. and to those who are thinking about opposing the deal because i of what might happen in 15 or 16 or 20 years, remember, if we walk away, the year 15 or 16 or 20 starts tomorrow. and without any of the long-term verifications or transparency safeguards that we are put in place. over the past week, i have spoken at length about what exactly this deal is. i also want to make clear what this deal was never intended to
be. first of all, as the chief negotiator, i can tell you i never uttered the words anywhere anytime nor was it ever part of the discussion we had with the iranians. this plan was designed to address the nuclear issue. the nuclear issue alone because we knew that if we got caught up with all the other issues, we would never get where we needed to to stop the nuclear program. it would be staying there forever, negotiating one aspect or another. and the highest party of president obama was to make sure that iran could get a nuclear weapon. -- couldn't get a nuclear weapon. so we were disappointed that. we didn't set out, even though we don't like it and i have extensive plans that i will layout to you if you want them, about how we are going to push back against iran's other activities. against terrorism support, it's contributions to secretary
violence and other things. all of those are unacceptable. they are is unacceptable to us as they are to you. but i have news for you. pushing back against in iran with a nuclear weapon is very different from pushing back against in iran without one. and we are guaranteeing they would have one. so, we are working very closely with the gulf states. just today in saudi arabia, carter was there yesterday, the foreign minister said that iran's nuclear deal appears to have all the provisions necessary to curtail iran's ability to obtain a nuclear weapon. that is saudi arabia. the varieties are supportive. -- emirates are supportive. so i would suggest that we are in going to continue to press iran for information about the missing american, about the immediate release of americans who have been unjustly held, and there isn't a challenge in the entire region that we would push back against if iran is involved
in it, but i will tell you none of those challenges will be enhanced if iran gets a nuclear weapon. so the outcome cannot begin to buy sanctions alone. i wish it could. but it can't be. and by the way, it also can't be guaranteed by military action alone. our own military tells us that. the only viable option here is a comprehensive diplomatic resolution of the type that was reached in vienna. and that deal, we believe that we will show it to you today and in the days ahead, will make our country and our allies safer. it will ensure that iran's nuclear program remains under intense scrutiny for ever and we will know what they are doing. and it will ensure that the world community is united in ensuring iran's nuclear activities will remain wholly
peaceful, even as he also stay united and pushing back against its other activities in the region, which we object to. we believe this is a good deal for the world. a good deal for america. a good deal for allies and friends in the region. and we think it does deserve your support. mr. corker: thank you. secretary moniz. secretary moniz: thank you, mr. chairman. i do appreciate the opportunity to come here to discuss the agreement. the agreement prevents iran from getting a nuclear weapon, provide strong verification measures that give us time to respond if iran chose to violate the terms, and fundamentally takes note of our options off the table. i want to stress that america's leading nuclear experts and our national laboratories were
involved throughout these negotiations. our god, los alamos, oak ridge, the pacific northwest, savannah river, all played important roles. these nuclear experts were essential to evaluating and developing technical proposals and support of the u.s. delegation. as a result of their work, i'm confident that the technical underpinnings of this deal are solid and the department of energy stands ready to assist in the implementation. the deal leaves the president objectives -- president's objectives. the jcpoa would extend for at least 10 years, the time that it would take iran to produce just material for a nuclear explosive. the deal addresses the uranium enrichment, plutonium, and covert pathways to a nuclear weapon. the parameters, as the making member mentioned, are maintained and in fact strengthened, not
weakened, but strengthened in the final agreement. this means restricting the number, type, and location of centrifuges, dialing back the r6d program -- r&d program, reducing iran's stockpile, and prohibiting introduction of any material. excess infrastructure is also removed. all these reasons taken together establish the one your breakout timeline for accumulating highly enriched uranium. and something that we have not stressed, but i do want to add, at the end of these 10 years, iran will have far fewer than 19,000 centrifuges because they knowledge the breakage rate, if you would like. they will not have a large replacement capacity because of the agreements. in addition, iran will have no source of weapons grade plutonium.
the reactor is transformed under international oversight and him and participation to produce far less plutonium that the current design, no weapons grade plutonium in normal operation, and essentially immediate recognition if they try to deviate from that -- from that practice; furthermore, all of the plutonium bearing fuel from that reactor goes out of the country for life. the life of the reactor. this deal goes beyond the parameters in a number of ways. one area is that iran will not engage in several activities that could contribute to the development of a nuclear explosive device, including multiple point explosive systems. and neutron -- special the tide sources.
these commitments are indefinite. and i've read will not pursue plutonium or uranium or uranium alloy metallurgy. because iran will not engage in it kept these be there to use weapons grade material for the explosives device, an additional period should be added to our stated breakout timeline. to be clear, the deal is not built on trust. it is pretty hard-nosed, hard-nosed requirements and ensure inspections, transparency, and verification. irish are you, this is not what iran wanted. it is a substantial dallying back of their program. to preclude cheating, international inspectors will be given unprecedented access to all of iran's declared nuclear facilities. i guess we could make it exception if there was a military occupation, but that is not the case here. and any other types of concern. as well as the entire nuclear supply chain from the uranium supply, the centrifuge manufacturing and operations, it
gives access to the radio supply chain with a 25 year commitment. -- the uranium supply chain with a 25 year commitment. and we still have the additional protocols in place to monitor iran's nuclear activities, but another thing we have also and -- as their adherence to modified code 3.1, which means that they must notify the iaea even before they start building any nuclear facility. this eliminates kind of a loophole where one could do something covertly and then say, you know, oops, we were planning to notify before we brought in nuclear material. they must do this now in the planning stage so it is another thing we have been 25 years. the iaea will be permitted to use advanced technologies, and him and use advanced technologies, and this was nailed down, including things
like real-time enrichment monitoring, which i might say is a technology developed by our laboratories. in this case, i oak ridge. -- by oak ridge. if the international community suspects iran is cheating, they can request access to any specific location. i would say that i would like a secretary kerry, i did say the words anytime anywhere and i'm very pleased that yesterday a member of your caucus acknowledged, however, that the full measure was anytime, anywhere in the sense of a well-defined process with a well-defined and time. -- 3nd time -- end time. in fact, the iaea can request access to any suspicious location with 24 hours notice under the additional protocol, which iran will implement. the deal has not changed that baseline. the deal is if there is then the
agreement is not reached, then when the iaea request access, this 20 were our day clock will start. and this is a new tool a finite time for resolving disputes within what we think is a short. of time -- a short period of time. -- we will then be able to have to implement a detect microscopic traces of nuclear materials, even after the thames are made to remove the evidence -- after the attempts are made to remove the evidence of materials. iran's history provides a good lens all of the gearing .vailable at www.c-span.org we think you look to the constitution center in philadelphia to hear from secretary of eight kerry.
[applause] >> their friends, we think all -- dearfor coming today younds, we thank all of for coming today to here message from a great american leader. not long ago secretary kerry asked me and my partner, sam none, which was involved with us in the property threat reduction about thete an op-ed iran agreement. we were eager to do so, and grateful it has been published. at the same time, the title of this is there is no perfect nuclear agreement. the just of the article is what happens next? how the implementation occurs?
we send that from the experience of dealing with russia. ukraine. .elarus over a 20 year time. there were treaties. star one treaty, serve to treaty. was the chairman on the foreign relations committee. i was privileged to be with him to work with him for ratification of the treaty. they are important treaties. more important is the follow through. with regard to the following situation for 20 years i went to russia at least once every year, and often to cause expand and ukraine. really attempting to visit with russians, attempting to make sure the best was happening,
mainly that nuclear weapons were being destroyed. over the course of that 20 years , 700 nuclear weapons were destroyed. weaponsntioned, these were on large missiles. several could go out in different directions. they were targeted not only the military installations of our but at our major cities. i was appalled one time to find in the of last -- indianapolis on the target list. i served as mayor for eight years old libya's to the fact that we could have been obliterated at any time. this is why i took seriously ended very grateful to secretary kerry as a member of the foreign relations committee was so supportive throughout those years of the effort sam and i put in. now we are in a new chapter. a very important one. this is an agreement that
deserves the support of the american people, and more immediately, the support of the united states congress. it comes after arduous negotiations involving the secretary of state talks and dit arguments with iranian officials, likewise sometimes with our partners, the cart -- the countries that are backing us including russia, china, germany, france, great britain. these are very important partners. a have been involved in the sanction against iran, other pressures have been placed against that country. secretary kerry was in arduous negotiations to help bring about a remarkable agreement. let me just say, it comes after a lifetime of public service. some of the parallels in our
substantial, but one is, i volunteered for the navy and served really most of my burke.der admiral allie secretary kerry volunteered for the navy and he ended up out in the mekong delta. star, awarded the silver the bronze star award, and three purple hearts for that very significant service. quite early in his career he was willing to give his life for this country. he served as lieutenant governor of massachusetts under governor , anda guest -- dukakis then he came to the united states senate. ,8 years of magnificent service last four as chairman of the senate for -- foreign relations committee.
time heughout that pursued foreign relations vigorously at work, i must say, in a nonpartisan way to bring about results. succeeded joey biden as the chairman of the committee. memberither ranking whether republicans were in control or not in control, but we worked together. secretary kerry, myself, and joe, to see if we could get a 16-0 vote from the foreign old -- foreign relations committee. the best vote for america in the face of the world, as opposed to a 9-7 agreement where the treaty was eked out. this is still a very important principle. a genuine pledge to ,e with secretary kerry today
to note that here is a man who not only has served in the senate but was a candidate for president of the united states in 2004, and barely lost by a few electoral votes. he came back and continue that service as chairman of the foreign relations committee, and now since 2013 as our secretary of state. it is like -- it is a genuine honor and personal privileged issues to you today, my friend, secretary john kerry. [applause] thank you. thank you very much. jack's, thank you so much for that introduction.
i want to say good morning to all of you here. it is great for me to be able to be here in philadelphia. i have delighted to see so many young people with us. i know school has started, and i know the choice between coming here and sitting in class was a very tough one. we are glad you made the choice. grateful thatrly senator lugar chose to come here this morning in order to introduce me and to reaffirm his support for this agreement or it but i am -- for his a great -- for this agreement. but i am all even more grateful for his service to this country over the course of a lifetime. as a former colleague of his in the senate foreign relations committee, i can say that big lugar --dick lugar is one of the pathfinders ofe all time.
he has a lasting legacy of making this world safer. he is also someone who has consistently placed our country's interest above any other consideration, and he has a very deep understanding of how preventproduce -- nuclear weapons from falling into the wrong hands. he is one of our experts when it comes to that judgment. that he ispropriate here with us this morning, and i think everyone of us joins in saying thank you to you, dick, for your tremendous service. [applause] it is also fitting to be here in , at this absolutely magnificent center. and one of ourl, nation's most revered founders, benjamin franken, and i must say, i never quite anticipated
-- to be able to look down at the independence hall there is inspiring for all of us here. i would say a quick word about ben franklin. in addition to his many inventions and his special status as america's first diplomat, franklin is actually credited with being the first person -- known -- to have made a list of pros and cons. literally dividing the page into writing all the reasons to support a proposal on one side and all the reasons to oppose it on the other. this morning i would like to invite you, all of you, those here, those listening through the media, to participate in just such annexes size -- in just such annexes size. vienna two months ago in the united states and to other nations -- and five other
nations reached an agreement with iran on ensuring the peaceful nation -- nature of that country's nuclear program. as early as next week congress will begin voting on whether to support that plan, and the outcome will matter as much as any foreign-policy decision in recent history. , presidentr lugar obama and i are convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that the framework that we have put forward will get the job done. assessment, we have excellent company. nations top9 of our nuclear physicists and nobel prize winners, scientists from one end of the country to the other, congratulated the president for what they called -- a technically sound, stringent, and innovative deal that will provide the necessary
assurance that iran is not developing nuclear weapons. the scientists praised the agreement for its creative approach to verification, and for the rigorous safeguards that would prevent iran from obtaining the material for a bomb. layout the fact -- facts thatout the caused those scientists and many other experts to reach a favorable conclusions that they have. i will show why the plan will make the united states, israel, other states, and the world safer. i looks plain how it gives us the access that we need to ensure that iran's nuclear program remains wholly peaceful, while preserving every option to respond if iran fails meet its commitments. i will make clear that the key elements of the agreement will
years, asor 10 or 15 some are trying to assert, or for 20 or 25, but they will last for the lifetime of iran's nuclear program. and i will dispel some of the false information that has been circulating about the proposal on which congress is soon going to vote. now, for this discussion, there is an inescapable starting point . a place where every argument made against the agreement must confront a stark reality. the reality is how advanced iran's nuclear program has become, and where it was headed when president obama and rouhani launched the diplomatic process that concluded this past july. two years ago, in september of
2013, we were facing and iran that had -- we were facing and iran-- we were facing an that had already completed the nuclear cycle. it had already enriched -- uranium. it had already completed 10 to 20 bombs. it was already enriching uranium to the level of 20%. which is just below weapons grade. an it ran -- and iran -- iran that had already installed 10 to 20 centrifuges and that was moving rapidly to commission a heavy water reactor to create enough plutonium for another bomb or two a year. that, my friends, is where we were when we began our negotiations. moment atremembered
the un's general assembly the previous fall is when prime minister jan who had held at the cartoon of a bomb -- prime up ater netanyahu has held cartoon of a bomb to show just how dangerous iran's nuclear program have become, and in 2015 he returned to that podium to warned that iran was positioning itself -- to rush forward it to build nuclear bombs before the international community can detect it, and much less prevented. its.d much less prevent the prime minister argued rightly that the so-called right out time, the interval required for iran to produce enough nuclear material for one bomb, had whittled to as little as two months, even though it would take significantly longer to actually build the bomb itself using that material, the prime minister's message was clear.
i ran had successfully transformed itself into a nuclear state. in the obama administration we were well aware of that troubling fact. more important, we were already responding to it. the record is irrefutable that over the course of two american administrations it was the united states that led the world in assembling against iran one of the toughest international sanctions regimes ever developed. but we also had to face an obvious fact. sanctions alone were not getting the job done. not even close. slow, letfailing to alone halt, iran's relentless march towards it -- towards nuclear weapon capability. so president obama acted. thate reaffirmed his doubt
iran would absolutely not be permitted to have a nuclear weapon. he marshaled support from every corner of the international community. he made clear his determination to go beyond what sanctions can accomplish and find a way to not , to throw into reverse , iran's rapid expansion of its nuclear program. strategy weped our cast a very wide net to enlist the rod -- broadest expertise available. andat down with the iaea our own intelligence committee to ensure that the verification standards we sought on paper would be effective in reality. andonsulted with congress our international allies. we examined carefully every step that we might take to close off each of iran's potential
pathways to a bomb. and of course, we were well aware that every proposal, every provision, every detail would have to withstand the most painstaking scrutiny. we knew that. and so we made clear from the outset that we would not settle for anything less than an agreement that was copperheads effective, and with lasting duration. we began with the interim agreement, reached in geneva. a joint plan of action. it accomplished, diplomatically, what things is could never have done or did. it halted the advance of iran's nuclear activity. and it is critical to note -- you don't hear much about it but it is critical to note -- that for more than 19 months now iran has complied with every
requirement of that plan. but this was just the first step. from that moment we pushed ahead. seeking a broad and enduring agreement, sticking to our core positions, maintaining unity among a diverse negotiating group of partners. we arrived at a good and effective deal that we had sought. and i ask you today, and in the days ahead, as we have asked members of congress over the course of these last months, consider the facts of what we achieved, and judge for yourself the difference between where we were two years ago and where we are now, and where we can be in the future. iran's this agreement so-called breakout time was about two months. with its agreement it will increase a factor of six, to at
least a year, and it will remain at that level for a decade or more. without this agreement iran could double the number of its operating centrifuges, oma -- almost over a million, and continue expanding with ever more efficient designs. with this agreement iran's centrifuges will be reduced by two thirds for 10 years. iran canhis agreement, continue expanding its stockpile of enriched uranium, which is now more than 12,000 kilograms, if -- enough, if further enriched, for multiple bombs. with this agreement, that stockpile will shrink and shrink some are, a reduction of some 98%. no more than 300 kilograms for 15 years. agreement iran's
heavy water reactor would soon be able to produce enough weapons grade plutonium each year to fuel one or two nuclear weapons. with this agreement the core of that reactor will be removed and filled with concrete, and iran will never be permitted to produce any weapons grade plutonium. iaeaut this agreement the would not have assured access to undeclared locations iran were suspicious activities might be taking place. ,he agency could seek access but if iran objected there would be no sure measure for resolving a dispute, which is exactly what has led us to where we are today. that standoff. with this agreement the iaea can go wherever the evidence leads, no facility, declared or
undeclared, will be off-limits and there is a time certain for assuring access. there is no other country to which such a requirement applies. this arrangement is both unprecedented and unique. havedition the iaea will more inspectors working in iran using modern technologies such as real-time in richmond monitoring, high-tech electronic seals, and cameras that are 365 -- atching, 20 47, 24/7, 365. furthermore, iran has agreed never to pursue technologies that would allow for a nuclear enrichment device. so the agreement deals with the critical issue of weaponization. because of these all -- all of
these critical limits and guarantees, we can sum up by saying that without this agreement the iranians would have several potential pathways to a bomb. without they won't have any. would -- withey it they won't have any. newon't build any heavywater reactors or engage in uranium in richmond for at least 15 years, and after that we have the ability to watch and know exactly what they are doing. the iranian pathway will be blocked because of the d productions of uranium enrichment, and for 15 years they will not enrich uranium to a level higher than 3.67%. let me be clear. bomb from auild a stockpile of 300 kilograms of uranium enriched only to 3.67%.
it is just not possible. finally, iran's covert pathways to a bomb will also be blocked. under our plan there will be 2 monitoring of iran's key nuclear facilities. as soon as we start the of limitation inspectors will be able to track iran's uranium, as it is mines, then milled, then turned into yellowcake, then into gas, and eventually into waste. this means that for a quarter of everyury, at least, activity throughout the nuclear fuel train -- chain will receive added scrutiny. and for 20 years the iaea will be monitoring the production of key centrifuge components and iran in order to ensure that none are diverted to a covert program.
synthesizes uranium its technicians would have to do more than very a processing facility deep need the ground -- then every a processing facility deep beneath the ground. they would have to come up with a completely secret nuclear supply chain. a secret source of uranium. a secret milling facility. a secret conversion facility. a secret enrichment facility. and our intelligence community which manages our nuclear program and our nuclear weapons both agree, i ran could never get away -- it ran could never get away with such a deception. -- i ran could never get away -- iran could never get away with such a deception. and if they do then they will be in violation and that sanctions
can step back into place. we will also have other options to ensure compliance if necessary. requirementsthese it is no wonder that this plan has been endorsed by so many leading american scientists. expert on nuclear nonproliferation and others. more than 60 top security than 100 retired ambassadors, people who served under democratic and are public and presidents alike, are backing the proposal, as are retired generals and admirals from all five of our uniformed services. one of the great names of our also onesecurity he is of the great respected figures who are supporting it. internationally the agreement is being backed, with one exception
, by each of the more than 100 countries that have taken a formal position. the agreement was also endorsed by they -- by the united nations security council on a boat of 15 15-0.a vote of this not only said something very significant about the quality of the plan -- particularly when you consider the all of those members are should powers -- but it also invite the reflection of those who believe the united states can walk away from this without causing great harm to our international reputation, to relationships, and should -- and to our interests. you have probably heard the claim that because of our strength, as of the power of our banks, all we americans have to do if congress objects to this plan is returned to the bargaining table, about our chests, and demand a better deal. i heard what critics say he
would use sanctions together ran iran an -- to give choice between having an economy production. nuclear that's a nice sentiment that is not based in reality. i was there when our nation came together across party lines. but remember, even the toughest restrictions did not stop iran's nuclear program and speeding ahead. from a couple of hundred centrifuges to 5000, to 19,000. we have already been there. if this agreement is voted down those who don't know will not be able to tell you -- those who vote no will not be able to tell you how many centrifuges iran has. if it is approved we will be able to tell you exactly what the limits of iran's program will be.
the fact is that it wasn't either sanctions or threats that finally stopped -- stopped the expansion of iran's nuclear activities. the sanctions brought people to the table, but it was the start of the negotiating process, and the negotiations themselves, recently concluded in vienna, that actually stopped it. only with those negotiations to iran begin to get rid of the stockpile of 7% enriched uranium. only with those negotiations did it start installing more centrifuges and sees advancing the iraq reactor. only then did it commit to be more forthcoming about iaea access and negotiate a special arrangement to break the deadlock. so just apply your common sense. what do you think will happen? if we say to a--
iran now, hey, forget it, how will they react? how will our negotiating partners react? will happen to that regime that brought iran to the bargaining table in the first place? the answer is straightforward. not only will we lose the momentum we have built up in limiting iran's nuclear activities, we will also almost surely start moving in the opposite direction. sanctions remember don't just staying in one inection -- don't just sting one direction, they also impose certain those who forgo opportunities in order to abide by them. it is a tribute to president obama's diplomacy, and before
that to president george w. bush, that we were able to convince countries to accept economic difficulties and sacrifices and put together the copperheads a sanctions regime that we did. many nations that would like to do business with iran agreed to hold back because of the sanctions, and -- and this is vital -- and because they wanted to prevent iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. they have as much interest in it as we do. that is why they hope the negotiations will succeed. that is why they will join us in insisting that iran lives up to its obligations. us if wewill not join unilaterally block away from the very deal that sanctions were designed to bring about. and they will not join us if we are commanding even greater sacrifices and threatening their businesses and banks because of a choice we made and they
opposed. sowell it may not happen -- well -- so while it may not happen all at once, it is clear that the plan will start to unravel. the pressure on iran will lessen. pathusly that is not the that some critics would have us believe to a so-called better deal. it is a path to a much weaker vision for united states america and to a much more dangerous middle east. this is by no means a partisan point of view that i just expressed. henry pope, secretary of treasury under president george w. bush, he helped design of the iran's -- of the iran sanctions regime. itt the other day he said -- would be totally unrealistic to that ifthat we back --
we back down from this deal the sanctions would remain in place. and paul hogarth, who chaired the federal reserve under ronald this agreement is as good as you're going to get. to think that we can unilaterally maintain sanctions does not make any sense. we should pause for a minute to contemplate what voting down this agreement might mean for iran's hardliners. for those people in iran who chants ofhance -- death to america, death to israel, and to prosecute journalists for doing their jobs. among those who most fervently want this agreement to fall apart are the most extreme factions in iran, and their opposition should tell you all
you need to know. very beginning these extremists have warned that negotiating with the united states would be a waste of time. why on earth would we now take a step that prove them right? let me be clear. rejecting this agreement would not be sending the signal of resolve to iran. it would be broadcasting a message so puzzling most people across the globe would find it impossible to comprehend. aser all, they have listened we warned over and over again about the danger of iran's nuclear program. they have watched as we spent two years forging a broadly accepted agreement to rain a program in. they have nodded their heads in support as we have explained how the plan that we have developed will make the world safer. who could fairly blame them for not understanding if we suddenly switch course and rejects the
very outcome we had worked so hard to obtain? new andby offering some viable alternative, but by offering no alternative at all. it is hard to conceive of a quicker or more self-destructive low to our nation's credibility and leadership, not only with , butct to this one issue across the board. economically, politically, militarily, and even morally. we would pay an immeasurable price for this unilateral reversal. dick mentioned in his introduction, i have been in public service for many years. and i have been called on to make some difficult choices in that time. thee are those who believe decision to support the iran agreement or not is just such a choice.
i respect that, and i respect them. but i also believe that because restrictions on iran's program that are included in this agreement that i just described, because of where that program was headed before negotiations began and will head again if we walk away, it has of the utter absence of a viable alternative to this plan that we have devised, the benefits of this agreement far outweigh any potential drawbacks. , the goal of preventing iran from having a nuclear weapon is supported across our political spectrum, of it has the backing leaders on every continent. so what then explains the controversy that has persisted in this debate? a big part of the answer, i before thehat even ink on the agreement was dry we
were already being bombarded by agreementt what the will or won't do, and that continues today. the first of these myths is that the deal is somehow based on trust or a naive expectation that iran is going to reverse course on many of the policies of the policies it has been pursuing internationally. critics tell us over and over again, you can't trust iran. well guess what? there is not a single sentence, and that single paragraph in thatwhole agreement depends on promises or trust. not one. the arrangement that we worked out with tehran is based exclusively on verification and proof. that is why the agreement to structure the way it is. that is why sanctions relief is tied strictly to performance, and it is why we have coordinated the most far-reaching monitoring and
transparency regime ever negotiated. those same critics point to the fact that two decades ago the united states reached a nuclear framework with north korea that did not a cop was when it set up to do, and were told -- we are told we should avoid the lesson cannot. well the truth is, we did learn a lesson from a. the agreement with north korea was four pages, and only dealt with plutonium. iran runs 159with detailed pages, applied to all of tehran's potential pathways to a bomb, and is specifically grounded in the transparency rules of the iaea's additional polyp -- protocol, which did not even exist two decades ago with north korea deal was made, because it was developed specifically with the north korea experience in mind.
lesson learned. the reality is that if we trusted iran or thought that it was about to become more moderate this agreement would be less necessary that it is, but we don't. we would like nothing more than to see a random act differently acthen to see iran differently, but not for a minute are we counting on it. iran's support of terrorist groups are not recent policies. they reflect the perceptions of its leaders about iran's long-term national interest, and they are no grounds for expecting those calculations change in the near future. that is why we believe so strongly that every problem in the middle east, every threat to israel and to our friends in the region would be more dangerous if iran were permitted to have a nuclear weapon. that is the inescapable bottom line.
that is also why we are working so hard and so proactively to protect our interests and those of our allies. in part because of the challenge posed by iran we have engaged in an unprecedented level of military intelligence and security cooperation with our friends and allies in israel. we are determined to help our allied address -- our allied -- collocateds new and security threats. we work with israel every day to enforce sanctions and prevent terrorist organizations, such as , fromand hezbollah obtaining the financing of the weapons that they seek whether from iran or from any other source. and we will stand with israel to stop its adversaries from once again launching deadly and unprovoked attacks against the israeli people. provided $20 have billion of our military more thanto israel,
half of what we have given to nations worldwide. we have above that invested some $3 billion and the production and deployment of missile-defense programs, and we saw how in the last gaza war lives were saved in israel because of it. we have given privileged access to advanced military equipment such as the f 35 joint strike fighter. israel is the only nation in the middle east to which the united states has sold this aircraft. the president recently authorized a massive arms resupply package featuring penetrating ammunition and air to air missiles, and we hope soon to conclude a new memorandum of understanding. a military assistance plan that will guide our cooperation through the next decade. and diplomatic way our support diplomatically our
support for israel remains rocksolid as we continue to support every effort to delegitimize the jewish state or to pass by as resolutions against it in international bodies. understand -- i understand personally there is no way to overstate the concern in israel about iran and about potential consequences of disagreement or rejecting this agreement might have on israel's security. the fragility of israel's mission has been brought home to me on every one of the many trips i have made to that country. in fact, as secretary of state, i have already traveled to israel more than a dozen times, spending the equivalent of a full month there. even ordering my plane to land at the airport went commercial air traffic was halted during
the last gaza war, doing so specifically as a sign of support. over the years i have walked memorial to the 6 million lost, and i have felt in my bones the unfathomable horror of the holocaust and the undying reminder never to forget. i have climbed inside a shelter where children were forced to leave their homes and classrooms to seek refuge from rockets. the shreddedsed remains of homemade missiles in gaza, missiles fired with no other purpose but to instill fear in the hearts of israeli families. i have piloted in israel jet -- an israeli jet and observed firsthand the tiny nest of tininess- tidiness --
of israeli airspace from which it is possible to see all of their neighbors at the same time. and i have bowed my head at the western wall and pray for peace for israel, for the region, and for the world. backseat to no one in my commitment to the security of israel. a commitment i have demonstrated through my 28 plus years in the senate. and as secretary of state i am fully conscious of the existential nature of the choice israel must make. conviction that israel, more than any other country, sibley cannot afford a mistake and defending its security. and well i respectfully does it -- disagree with prime minister netanyahu about the benefits of the agreement, i do not question his instincts, the basis of his concern, or that of any israeli. i am also also -- convinced, as is president obama , our senior defense and military leaders, and even many
former israeli military and intelligence officials, that this agreement puts us on the right path to prevent iran from ever getting a nuclear weapon. the people of israel will be safer with this deal, and the same is true for the people throughout the region. , we are ensure that also taking specific and far-reaching steps to coordinate with our friends from the gulf states. theirent obama posted leaders at camp david earlier this year. i visited them last month, and later this week we will mention -- welcome cana villa of -- king abdulla of saudi arabia to washington. they are alarmed by iran's nuclear program. we must and we will respond on both fronts. we will make certain that iran lives up to its commitments under the
it, and we will continue strengthening our security partnerships. golfe determined that our runs will have the political and nuclear -- political and military support that they need. to that end we are working with them to develop a missile defense and provide special operations training, authorized urgently required arms transfers, strengthen cyber security, engage in large-scale military exercises, and enhance of arms interdiction shipments. we are also deepening our theort in the fight against threat posed to us, them, and all of civilization. by forces of international terror including their surrogates and their proxies. we will maintain international pressure on iran. united states sanctions imposed support forehran's
terrorism and its human rights record, those will remain in place, as will our sanctions aimed at preventing the proliferation of ballistic missiles and transfer of conventional arms. council'security prohibition on shipping weapons, all of those will remain as well. we will also continue to urge tehran to provide information regarding an american who disappeared in iran several years ago, and to release the u.s. citizens its government is unjustly imprisoning. we will do everything we can to see that our citizens are able to safely return to where they belong. home. with their families. , the united states will oppose iran's the stabilizing policies with every national security tool available , and disregard the myth. the iran agreement is based on
proof, not to trust. i sending letter that to all members of congress today i make clear at the administration's willingness to work with them on legislation to address shared concerns about regional security consistent with the agreement that we have worked out with our international partners. this brings us to the second piece of fiction, that this deal would somehow legitimize iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon. i keep hearing this. years iran has had a civilian nuclear program. under the nonproliferation treaty you can do that. it was never a realistic option to change that. but recognizing this reality is not the same as legitimizing the pursuit of a nuclear weapon. in fact this agreement does the exact opposite. safeguards iran is
prohibited from ever pursuing a nuclear weapon. this is an important points. i wants to be sure that everyone understands. community isonal not telling iran that it can't have a nuclear weapon for 15 years. we're telling iran that it can't have a nuclear weapon. period. there is no magic moment, 15, 20, or 25 years from now where i ran will suddenly get past -- iran will suddenly get a pass. in fact they are required by this agreement to sign up and abide by the iaea additional protocols that came out of the north korea experience. that requires inspections of all nuclear facilities. what does this mean? it means that iran's nuclear program will remain subject to
regular inspections forever. accessll have to provide to all of its nuclear facilities forever. iran will have to respond properly to request for access forever. time embarkst any on nuclear activities that are incompatible to a peaceful program, it will be in violation of the agreement forever. we will know about that violation right away and we will retain every option we now have to respond whether diplomatically or through a return sanctions or by other means. short, this agreement gives us unprecedented tools, and all the time we need to hold iran accountable for its choices and actions. now it is true some of the special additional restrictions
that we successfully negotiated, those begin to use after a. after a in to ease period. but it would define a lot -- defy logic to vote to kill the whole agreement for that region -- reason. if your house is on fire, going up in flames, would you refuse to extinguish it because of the chance that there might be another fire in 15 years? obviously not. you would put out the fire and you would take advantage of the extra time to prepare for the future. doesn't maket just sense to conclude that we should vote no now because of what might happen in 15 years, thereby guaranteeing that what might happen in 15 years will actually begin to happen now. because of this agreement is rejected every possible reason
for worry in the future would have to be confronted now, immediately, in the months ahead. iran would begin advancing its nuclear program. we would lose the benefit of the agreement that contains all of these restrictions and it would give a green light to everything that we are trying to prevent. needless to say that is not the outcome that we want. it is not an outcome that would be good for our country, nor for our allies, or the world. there is a third myth. a more technical one. that iran could in fact get away with building a covert that -- nuclear facility because the deal allows a maximum of 24 days to obtain access to a suspicious site. , 24e is no way in 24 days months, or 24 years to destroy all the evidence of illegal activity that has been taking place regarding nuclear
activity. because of the nature of the materials and their natural precursors, you can't eliminate the evidence by shoving it under a matches are rushing it down a toilet or carting it off in the middle of the night. the materials may go at the telltale traces remain year after year after year. the.ys is of time -- 20 minutes of the amount time during which they must allow access. we have the votes to decide the issue. once we have identified a site that raises questions we will be watching it continuously until the inspectors are allowed in. let me underscore that. the united states and the international community will be monitoring iran nonstop. you can bet that if we see something we will do something.
agreement gives us a wide range of enforcement tools and we will use them. standard we will apply to be summed up in two words -- zero tolerance. there is no way to guarantee that iran will keep his word, that's why this is not based on promise or trust. but we can guarantee that if iran decides to break the agreement it will regret breaking any promise it has made. there are many other myths circulating about the agreement, but the last one i would highlight is economics. it is important. the myth that sanctions relief that iran will receive is both too generous and too dangerous. the discussions that concluded in vienna, like any serious negotiation, involved a quid pro quo.
iran wanted sanction relief. the world wanted to ensure the holy peaceful nature of iran's program. so without a trade-off there could have been no deal, and no agreement by iran. it has accepted very important constraints. but there are some who points to sanctions relief as grounds to oppose the agreement. anymost important is, violation by iran, the sanctions will go back regardless of what we do. it is an illusion for members of congress to think that they can vote this plan down and then and expect iran's major oil customers to continue supporting the sanctions that are causing the millions of dollars every year. that is not going to happen. don't forget that the money that has been locked up as a result
of sanctions is not sitting in some american bank under u.s. control. the money is frozen and being held in escrow by countries with which iran has commercial dealings. we don't have that money. we can't control it. it is going to begin to be released anyway if we walk away from this agreement. remember as well the bulk of the funds iran will receive a that sanctions relief are already spoken for, and they are dwarfed by the country's unmet economic needs. iran has a crippled and for sector and perspective. it has to rebuild it to be able to pump oil. it has an agriculture sector that has been starved for investment. it has pension obligations, significant foreign reserves that are already allocated, and a civilian population that is sitting there expecting that the lifting of sanctions is going to
result in a tangible improvement in the quality of their lives. the sanctions relief is not going to make a significant difference in what iran can do internationally. it has never been based on money. the important thing about this agreement is not what it will enable iran to do, but what he will stop iran from doing. that is the building of a nuclear weapon. before closing, i want to comment on the nature of the debate which we are currently engaged in. some advocates of the iran agreement, including me of phrasingaccused scare agreements in order to get people to support it. curiously this often comes from people who have been raising scare scenarios to convince
people to oppose it. if this plan is voted down we cannot predict with certainty what iran will do. that we do know what iran says but we do know what iran says it will do, and that is to begin to expand its nuclear activities. we know that the strict limitations iran has accepted will no longer apply, because they will no longer -- there will longer be any agreement. and again it will begin operating thousands of other centrifuges that would otherwise have been mothballed. they will expand their stockpile toenriched uranium, free move ahead with the production of weapons grade plutonium. free to go forward with weaponization research. and just who do you think is going to be held responsible for all of this jacket -- for all of this? because iran was
repairing to implement the agreement. they will have no reason whatsoever to return to the bargaining table. the world will hold accountable the people who broke with the consensus, turned their backs on our negotiating partners. the world will blame the united states. so windows same voices that accuse us of scaremongering now begin suddenly to say, oh, wow, iran's of their facilities are once again out of control and must at all costs be stopped, what do you think is going to happen? the pressure will build, my friends, the pressure will build for military action. the pressure will build for the united states to use its unique military capabilities to disrupt iran's nuclear program, because negotiating is not going to work because we just tried it. president obama has been crystal clear that we will do whatever is necessary to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon, but the big difference is at that point we won't have the
world behind us the way we do today. rejected the fruits of diplomacy we will be held accountable for a crisis that could have been avoided but instead we will be deemed to have created. is, why in the world did we wants to put ourselves in that position of having to make that choice? especially when there is a better choice. a much more broadly supported choice. a choice that says us on the road to greater stability and security, but that does not require us to give up any options at all today. here is the decision that we are called on to make. two votes down this agreement is vote down this agreement is to solve nothing, because none of these problems will be made easier if it is rejected. none of them.
not iran's nuclear program, not its support for terrorist activities, and not its opposition to israel. to oppose this agreement is, tother intended or not, recommend a policy of national paralysis. it is to take us back directly to the very spot we were in two years ago, only to go back there devoid of any realistic plan or option. by contrast, the adoption and a limitation of this agreement will cement the support of the international community behind a plan to ensure that iran does not ever acquire or possess a nuclear weapon. in doing so it renews a threat from a uniquely fragile region, will discourage others from trying to develop nuclear arms, make our citizens and our allies take her, and reassure the world
that the heart of darkness can be addressed successfully by different means. americanst foreign-policy and the policy of the united states combines immense power with clarity of purpose, relying on reason and persuasion wherever possible. this has been demonstrated many times. our country does not shy from the necessary use of force, that our hopes and our values push us to explore every avenue for peace. reflectsdeal as let -- our determination to protect the interest of our citizens and shield the world from greater harm. it reflects as well our knowledge that the firmest foundation for security is built on mobilizing countries across the globe to defend, actively and bravely, the rule of law. agoeptember 228 years
benjamin franklin rose in the great city of philadelphia write debateere to close the on the proposed draft of the constitution of the united states. thatld a rapt audience when people of opposing views and passions are brought together, compromise is fromtial and perfection -- the perspective of any single participant -- is not possible. he said that after weighing carefully the pros and cons of that most historic debate, he said the following -- i consent, sir, to this constitution, because i expect no better and because i am not sure that it is not the best. my fellow citizens, i have had the privilege of serving our country in times of peace and in times of war.
peace is better. i have seen leaders act with incredible foresight and i have also seen them commit tragic errors by plunging into conflict without sufficient bond about the concert -- without sufficient the consequences. like ben franklin, i can claim no monopoly on wisdom, and certainly nothing can compare to the gravity of the debate of our nation's founding fathers over our nations rounding documents. but i believe, based on a lifetime of experiments -- that the iran agreement is a hugely positive step at a time when problem-solving and danger reduction have rarely been so urgent, especially in the middle east. the iran agreement is not a panacea for tec