tv Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin D-IL on Iran Nuclear Deal CSPAN September 2, 2015 10:22pm-10:59pm EDT
>> i would have to make assumptions about how often we would be compelled to make airstrikes or stand up initiatives. the military options that exist would disrupt the program by several years, there's nothing to say that we cannot repeated. -- repeat it. >> is there information to suggest what iran's response would be, should we engage in an airstrike against them? >> i do not think it rises to the level of intelligence, but the analysis suggests they would counter are presence in the region at every opportunity and use these activities that they have available to them. >> thank you. there has been a lot of ofcussion about the 24th day delay. it in the foreign relations
committee to the extent to which we would be able to detect nuclear activity, uranium. in an extended. beyond the 24 day delay. activity does not include nuclear material? do what extent the believe we could detect other activities other than uranium related or radium related? >> permit me to reinforce the fact that having a 24 day timeframe is in new, there has never been a time limit in terms of access to undeclared sites. , we haveear materials very specific capabilities and those that have -- and we can add those classified. it would be difficult. weapons has nuclear specialized activities such as,
exquisitely driven neutron initiators, we would not be without tools to detect activities in that time. . as one gets further away to conventional explosives testing, which is something that military's do, it is a question of intelligence, putting together the context for suspicious activities. but in the end, you need to do nuclear materials to get to the weapons and that is why we have this technique. if i may add a comment, if you permit, just to go back to senator wicker's comment on advanced centrifuges. i do not know the article that you quoted, but it forgot to mention that their most advanced machines, their current machines, they are already level.ng at full cascade two different machines. they will be dismantled for this
is -- before this is implemented. >> i am informed that senator preside onquired to the floor of the senate, which is critical to her presence, so i will ask the indulgence of my colleagues to allow her to proceed. >> thank you, gentlemen thank you for being here. this will be one of the most significant votes that we take as members of congress, moving forward. it is imperative that we get this right. statesg ago, the united discovered that we had had a data breach at opm. simple. data, personal records, they had apped into. t , i have veryter concerned regarding the government's ability to detect
cyber attacks on our government, but by china, russia, and iran. with respect to iran, according to director of national , iranigence james clapper the cyberattacks involved in proliferation, hacking which compromised the marine corps internet, a las vegas casino, and attacks against u.s. banks. in addition, these attacks with recent successful attacks leads me to have a less than full confidence. let alone the cyber capabilities of the iaea. the is vital that iaea protect its equipment, vital to ensuring effective monitoring of iranian facilities under this agreement attacks.yber
simple yes or no, secretary carter, are you concerned regarding iran's ability to contact the effectiveness of iaea monitoring equipment through cyber? >> i am sorry, i cannot give you a yes or a no. i am very concerned about youian cyber activity and named three countries i could go on with. this is a big problem. sadly, i share the lack of confidence that you have in the adequacy of defenses. you would think with all we have paid attention to in protecting our own networks, that we would be secure and we are not and we know that. it is not just iran, it is others as well. that is why we are trying to make investments in that area of pull of our socks -- full socks in cyber.
>> do you share a concern? has -- but the iaea >> they are much more advanced? >> i didn't say that. cyber is a something that keeps us up all the time. we have to develop our capabilities. >> fantastic. i have no confidence that we would not be able to know if they were tampering as we try to monitor activities or as the iaea tries to monitor activities. >> the iaea is aware of this and they do have measures. >> i hope that they improve those measures. i believe that we are vulnerable, as we have seen with our own infrastructure. general dempsey, we have heard discussion today about the choices that the president has
with this agreement. outletss ago many news had quoted president obama as the choice is the iran nuclear deal for war. this seems to be a military decision and i understand that you advise the president on these issues. isn't that what you have told the president, is that we either take this deal or we go to war? >> no, and no time did that come up or did i make that comment. >> who advise the president that we would go to war if this was not signed? >> i do not know. >> i think it is imperative that everybody on this panel understand that there are other options available out there. and a multitude of options. we are taught in the military
about diplomatic options, operations, military operations, and economic types of sanctions and opportunities that we might have. the presidency outright reject everything but war is outrageous to me. and i do hope that you are able to better advise him that he needs to be careful with his language, because that seems to be the rhetoric we hear out there that we either go to war or we accept this deal. i reject that premise. >> as long as we agreed a military strikes on a sovereign nation is an act of war. >> absolutely. thank you.
from an extraordinarily we can position. in the asymmetric arena, their starting from a position of relative influence. >> what changes in the military structure you think the u.s. needs to take to make sure i were national security is assured and that our -- what specific changes should the armed services committee be supporting in the near and longer-term? >> that is almost a separate hearing. i would suggest we need the budget certainty that they have articulated. we should not consider reducing our force presence in the middle east area. >> secretary lew, let me turn to
the economic sanctions that could be available. my colleague from iowa has mentioned. could those be put back in place in the u.s. alone even without our allies using its banks to implement a severe sanction system? >> we certainly have significant tools that we have used unilaterally and could use again unilaterally. went we have seen is the impact of multilateral sanctions that has had a question impact on iran's economy. they have reached agreement that we are here discussing the notion that we could unilaterally equal or surpass that. it is something that is consistent with what we have learned. >> cleanup be able to equal or surpass it.
we could certainly make a significant and also severely damaging effort if we choose to do so. >> we can. the snapback provisions that are in this agreement if iran violates it makes it so that both the u.s. and international sanctions would be back in place. >> the challenge will be to mobilize our partners. >> i don't think it is a challenge. international sanctions act in a way that we can work our will by exercising a veto if there is a disagreement. >> do you have a comment? >> there is a surreal reality here. the president of the united states is not mandating a war. it is not his choice. he is not advocating war.
he is saying if you analyze the alternatives here and this is what i mean i surreality, could they continue some sanctions, to what end? to negotiate? with who? iran has made it clear that if this is rejected, they consider themselves free to go back in and in rich and go back to where they work with the 12,000 kilograms and 12 alms, etc. the inevitable consequence of that would be, what are you going to do about it? we will have lost the international support unit in international community is ready to enforce this deal. if we are not unilaterally, they walk away.
it is not a choice the president wants to make. they believe it is their right in their program. >> senator ayotte. >> i want to thank the chairman of all of the witnesses for being here. this'll probably be the last time general dempsey testifies before the committee. i want to thank you for your dedicated service. i know when you appear before the committee on july 7, i was the person who asked you. there have been floated views that iran was pushing for the lifting of the resolution on ballistic missiles and the resolution of arms. we know it is in the agreement of five years and eight years. just to be clear, when you came
before the committee then come he said under no circumstances should we believe pressure on iran. was it your military recommendations that we not agree to a lifting of those sanctions? >> yes. i use the phrase as long as possible. that was a point at which negotiations continue. yes. that was military advice. >> thank you. i want to ask about an issue that was talked about on the iranian cyber activity. a number of years ago we saw that there was an interruption of iran's nuclear program through some other cyber activity. that was reported in the press i believe. and this agreement according to paragraph 10.2 of the deal, the united states is actually obligated under this agreement
to help strengthen iran's ability to protect against sabotage of its nuclear program. it might be hard for americans to believe that we would agree to help iran protect against sabotage of its nuclear program in light of its prior intentions. i wanted to ask your opinion on that. do you think it is a good idea for the u.s. to help iran protect its nuclear program against sabotage? >> i hadn't thought about that. i've been like that opportunity to do so. i think this committee in the senate will consider some cyber legislature that we have been eager to see past some time so we could get ourselves better protected. >> iran continues activity on the cyber front, we agree to protect its nuclear program against sabotage.
i seem as i read this language that would also obligate us to inform the israelis, inform iran if the israelis were taking any activity to -- if we are complying with this agreement. we have heard a lot about sanctions. sanctions as i understand iran has written about the sanctions regime. one of the issues that has concerned me about this agreement is that once the sanctions, a long list of mainly congressionally mandated sanctions will be lifted under this agreement are undertaken if iran engages in terrorist activities, which it is known to do separate from the nuclear
program. iran seems to have taken a position in its letter to the u.n. and i have read the agreement. i have concerns that the agreement provides the same. that in fact iran says it is understood that reintroduction or an extension of the sanctions will constitute significant nonperformance. my question is as i read this, i'm deeply concerned that if we want to reimpose the sanctions on issues related to their terrorist activities and support for terrorism, which is another tool in the toolbox aside from our military options that iran could walk away from this agreement and if the answer is you disagree with this characterization, please tell me where where in this agreement i am wrong.
>> if iran complies with the nuclear agreement, we have never given away any of our ability to use other sanctions regimes. >> at secretary, with all due respect, the nuclear sanctions are the toughest sanctions that we would impose in other contexts, including on crude oil, oil and gas. >> senator, we reserve the right if there is a financial institution that is engaging in financing terrorism, it is not a nuclear sanction. >> iran seems to take in a different position. >> they believe we could put a different label on the. what we would have to do is make the case as we have on many occasions that it should be sanctioned for their behavior on terrorism, action writes, and regional stabilization.
we will continue to do that and do it regional -- they gently. >> thank you. every time we say goodbye to you, you come back. i know it is not by choice. are thrilled to have you here again. thank you for your service. mr. secretary, secretary of energy, in a year from now we have suspicions that something is going on, does the iaea have access to go inside that building and see it or not? >> we certainly have to the initial protocol and this agreement access anywhere that there is suspicion of nuclear activity. the protocols i would have to see with the iaea. it is different forward looking
and from resolving the possible military dimensions. we need to know what we are looking at on this. does the iaea have access? >> they must have access granted to resolve the issues that they need to resolve. they must have integrity. >> this is different moving forward than in the past. >> yes, it is different. even under the additional protocols with north korea, the lessons -- there is the additional protocol and the modified code. >> what are their proposals that have been put forward to say no
to this deal and to tell the other countries who are involved in regards to sanctions that a viable alternative -- france, germany, britain, and others -- jews us are them as you move forward economically? if you're going to continue to do business with iran, you cannot do business with us? do see that is viable moving forward? >> we do have powerful tools that make it very dangerous for a foreign business to violate u.s. laws. if they do business environment are sanctions -- whether we could do that again the whole world effectively without doing damage to our own economy is something we have to have series considerations about. the ability of the technical sanction to work is not the same as it being effective or necessary to attica to what we
would like to accomplish. >> i know you have been in the region there. he seems to me one of the challenges here is confidence. confidence that it will be safe. making sure that your child can sleep safe that night. that is what mr. netanyahu was trying to ensure. is there any putting together of a plan is says to iran, not one more inch? as we move forward, you will see there will be massive retaliation if there is action and we will make sure that they have success and will be viable and strong against whatever efforts iran has in iraq?
to lay out the plan of let people know, let iran know in advance i think would help create a better sense of confidence that there is a reason to stand with us. >> i think that is extremely important. that is what countries are looking for. that continued commitment of the united states to help them are tech themselves so they could sleep well at night and maintain the regional role and counter iran's malign influence and activities. the recognize what has been set up here. it would be an enormous problem. they are supportive of an agreement. at the same time, they want to
make sure that we are there. that is what the countries were told. it is to solidify all of the things -- >> and just about out of time. >> i think it is important i'm not comfortable with our people who are still in iran. they have to come home. i wish they had come home as part of this agreement. but this cannot rest. we don't leave anybody behind. we don't intend to leave them behind either. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. i would like to follow up a little bit of what senator blumenthal was asking you about with regards to the breakout time. >> what are some of the main factors to consider when you
populate that time? >> the key factors are the enrichment capacity in the stockpile of enriched uranium. there are many other factors as well recommend, such as the rate of which additional capacity could be built in during a breakout time. >> that would include the number of centrifuges as well? is that correct? >> that is correct. >> what limits do you think will be in place on those things that you just mentioned? >> for 15 years and will probably expand their capacity after those restraints. that is why such a key element is on the verification measures that we have put in place for all time basically. >> were talking about tracking the nuclear material to make sure it is not the burden from the civilian program.
>> has 25 years. >> correct. >> we are checking iran's math, correct? >> checking the math? we are checking our math. for 20 years we have followed all of the manufacturing. it is a supply chain that we follow. our intelligence people will tell you to reproduce the entire supply chain covertly and probably multiple places. it would be difficult to conceal. >> we are looking at the declared facilities. is that correct? >> no. we have strong measures. the key is the undeclared facilities. it ultimately rests on the actions of our allies and friends of the intelligence capacity. >> you have confidence in that capacity that we will be able to locate any undeclared facilities
and pressure iran to allow us to make sure that we have the verification in those as well? >> i would go back to the statements of general clapper. clapper said specifically that this would give us much greater insight into what they are doing. that leads other intelligence agencies that we were with two point -- to point iaea in the right place. we have a finite tool to get access to that place. >> are you concerned at all on what i view as the discrepancies between statements made by our administration and compare those to what is -- statements being made by the advisor to the supreme leader when it comes to access and allowing the iaea to
look at the military centers in iran where i think i believe i have heard our administration say that we do have access to those and are declared facilities. the advisor to the supreme leader says the access from the iaea for any other body through iran's military centers are permitted. who is correct? >> we are correct. there are many statements made. >> this one was made july 21. >> you could check the statements against the agreement. they don't score of all the time. >> how do you reconcile that? >> those statements were very clear.
the aim is not to go to military sites. the aim is to go to where whether there is suspicion on nuclear relevant activities? there is still the iaea access to those sites. >> i am and have a few seconds left. i would hope that you would reconcile those statements for the public. you have stated that the waiting period for inspectors won't allow the regime to have any illegal activity. many people have when it out that it could be delayed much longer than 24 days. i know you're not concerned about the 24 day period that you believe the iaea would be able to handle that. if you look at different parts
of the agreement, i think we have the potential of we are looking at and 89 day delay. the think that would be possible? >> we certainly cannot allow for that. i focused specifically or especially on connectivity with nuclear material as my real focus. number two, the iaea with any site of a lack of cooperation, that the launch the process with the request for access. as a mentioned, there is an example in iran of a six-month delay and an attempt to conceal, which did not work. there were caught red-handed. >> you said you couldn't allow that.
how many days after would you allow? >> is that the process to lunch the formal request for iaea has got to be prompt. that launches the 24 day clock. >> do would allow anything past that? >> i would not. >> thank you all for joining us. thank you for your work on this. you obviously care about the national security of the u.s. and our allies. we had a long conversation about nuclear details. is the nuclear capabilities that iran has today considerable. most experts have given it a two-month timeframe. i would like to talk a little bit about the nuclear expertise and if left unchecked, how quickly could they ramp up to more highly enriched uranium if
excluding this arrangement? i would like you to describe what the ramp up time would look like post 8-10-15 years. you spend a lot of time identifying what could be changed or modified in the existing facilities so they don't run a military risk. i would like that described. my constituents are concerned about contest nine operations. i would like you to our -- address this. >> quite a few questions, senator. in terms of the current capacity , they have demonstrated the capacity to enriched uranium. that is clear. they have also demonstrated they
have enriched to 20%. that is a cutoff that the iaea uses for enriched uranium. the amount of work needed to get to 20% is nearly all the work in need to get to 90%. they have the capability. they have full gas gauge running the next generation five times more powerful. this agreement will have those dismantled at the time of implementation. >> what is critical is we are rolling them back in every dimension of their program for at least a considerable period. again the president was very clear and our partners were very clear that a quantitative criterion for the negotiation
was there have to be at least a one-year break out time in terms of material for at least 10 years. we have a compass that with this agreement. our lab scientists are fully behind this, as are those of other countries. then that will roll off. after 15 years, at some point depending upon what they do, then we could revert to the current kinds of breakout times for the material. we still need to keep a lid on weaponization activities. make sure those aren't taken. that was a notable improvement. >> the agreement says they can't ever make the steps to weaponization. >> that is the point where we will be much better off at that time then today. we'll still have enhanced verification procedures that could