Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 5, 2016 10:00am-12:01pm EDT

10:00 am
there. the senate foreign relations committee is gathering for a hearing on the iran nuclear agreement. we have coverage here on c-span. the committee is called to order. ambassador shannon, we appreciate your continued service to our country. we look forward to working with you. today, we are looking forward to hear your thoughts of the jcpoa.entation of the many of us remain skeptical of iran and the nuclear deal. and there is bipartisan restoration that previous commitments made by the initiation are not with reality. secretary kerry said the program wouldile
10:01 am
stay in place. he testified that the exact same language for their previous embargo was in this. we challenged him -- you probably tuned into those, when the called upon language was put in place, saying we felt that we can be agreement -- that weekend they agreement. if i could, our european friends wrote a letter, saying it was inconsistent instead of saying it was in violation, supporting position. the ambassador confirmed that launches would be a violation of the you -- of the new u.n. security -- the un security council does not view it that way, different from what we have been told.
10:02 am
there is speculation iran will onse access to transacti involving the u.s. dollar. we were sure that that would not be the case. this morning, secretary kerry is on a television program, acting as if that will be the case. that we will find accommodations. i felt reassured yesterday that turning u.s. dollars and would not be involved in helping them outside the agreement. yet this morning, it seems secretary kerry indicated that we were. i would love to have your response. there are also questions about whether or not the administration would consider jcpoa.ctions for
10:03 am
previous assurances clearly decided we deserve the right to take new steps. should we need to push back harder against iran's nonnuclear behavior. the repeated ballistic missile launches and the desire for weapons from russia improve -- pushrove that increased back is necessary. i hope you can answer these questions so we may know what the administration's thinking regarding these important matters. i want to thank you for your service. i am glad you were confirmed in the timeframe you were. i will turn to our sting were shrinking number, ben cardin. thank you, mr. chairman. this is our first hearing on the jcpoa since its implementation on january 16 as we look at how we are going to look at the post-jcpoa era.
10:04 am
thank you for your continued commit to our country. you hold a critically important position as we look at the enforcement of the jcpoa and other activities iran is participating in. it is clear to me that we need to work together in regards to making sure iran full complies with the jcpoa. that we need to look at iran's other nefarious activities. the chairman mentioned the ballistic missile tests. did ballistic missile tests that were clearly in violation ban, clearly out of compliance with the united nations security council resolution. whether it was a formal
10:05 am
violation that requires action is something debated internationally, but it is clear those types of missile violations were supposed to end. preparedwe should be to take strong action and the administration has taken action. throughout the middle east, iran is an instigator of conflict, fostering violence through its financial support of terrorist groups and violent militia, committed to the path of sectarian violence. we need to be able to take action in regards to those types of activities. where theperiod inate was not in session, went to israel and senator lengthand we spoke at
10:06 am
with the leaders over there. i witnessed this cooperation firsthand, visiting the iron u.s.-israelg project that saves lysed. theirmpressed with missile defense systems. the u.s. and israel are working together to complete other systems, including aero3. qatar and saudi arabia, i heard similar concerns. see thencouraging to consistency off concerns expressed by the israelis and by qatarites.and they are concerned about iran's
10:07 am
influence in the region and about what russia is doing in syria. we saw that iran has sent .dvisers into syria the cease-fire does not appear to be holding. and iran's activities are clearly de-stabilizing area. in yemen, we have a delicate cease-fire we hope will yield isults, yet we know iran still actively engaged in yemen. the continued defense cooperation has bolstered saudi partners, including how u.s. missiles have shot down scud missiles. in qatar, i visited the combined air operations center. and womenicated men isil andampaign against
10:08 am
saw firsthand the impact we are having in that region. ambassador, it was encouraging to see the unity, but i must tell you i am concerned about the challenges we have in the middle east and iran's role in making those challenges more difficult. think we have to talk how we can most effectively deal with those challenges. to me, it is not undermining the jcpoa. but i wanthe jcpoa, to see it now carried out. i want aggressive oversight by the administration and congress to make sure there is strict compliance by iran. then we need to work in unity on other nefarious
10:09 am
activities, including the support of terrorism and human rights violations and its ballistic missile tests. and how congress, working with the administration, can give you a stronger hand to prevent these types of activities from continuing. i look forward to this exchange to see how we can work together to prevent iran from becoming a nuclear weapon state and also to activities in regards to the support of terrorism. sen. corker: are when us is the honorable thomas shannon, undersecretary of state for political affairs. if you can summarize your comments and about five minutes. most of us have probably read your written testimony, but it will be entered into the record without objection in fullness. thank you again for being here. mr. shannon: thank you, mr.
10:10 am
chairman and ranking member cardin and distinguished members of the committee. it is my great pleasure to be here following my confirmation. i thank you for your support. a pleasure to be here to talk about our policy towards iran. i will summarize the remarks i have submitted officially. i want to focus on three policy objectives. the first is our intent to ensure iran adheres to the jcpoa and that it does not develop a nuclear weapon. the second is to counter its support to terrorism and its ballistic missile program will medically --the diplomatically with them. and to promote human rights. has taken steps that change
10:11 am
the trajectory of its nuclear program. before the jcpoa took effect, it was less of then 90 minutes away from gettingay material to finish a nuclear weapon. now it is a year away to get that material. any attempt to do so would the eight protected by the international community. in exchange for iran committing u.s. lifted, the sanctions on iran. the u.s. still in chains authority to put sanctions back on iran if it walks from the jcpoa. encouraged thus far, i want to emphasize the jcpoa did not resolve our profound differences with iran. we remain focused and determined to adjust those differences and take all necessary actions to
10:12 am
protect ourselves and our allies. assad assistance to the poste and to houthi rebels fundamental threats to the region and beyond. that is why we have pertained our sanctions related to iran's activities in the region about terrorism. worklieve we should cooperatively with our allies. this is why we increased our security cooperation with the gulf cooperation council following the camp david summit and have provided additional service -- assistance to israel. and we continue to interdict illicit iranian weapons shipments. we also share your deep concern to create's attempts
10:13 am
ballistic missile systems. while full importation of the is unable ensure iran to develop a nuclear warhead to place on a missile, we will use all available tools to impede the development of its ballistic missile program. our human rights policy has not changed as a result of the jcpoa . iran violates fundamental human rights of its citizens died rights of itse citizens. human rights related sanctions are not subject to relief under the jcpoa. while our concerns about iran are substantial's, it is in our interest to continue dialogue with iran to a dress issues where we can, making sure it they are hearing what we will and will not stand for. towill continue to hold iran
10:14 am
its commitment about the whereabouts of robert levinson and will continue to raise its unjust actions towards american citizens. executiveative and branches should continue to work together as we did to build international pressure against remaining willing to engage when it is in our interest to do so. to ourforward conversation as we look to -- ke a balance thank you for this opportunity to testify. sen. corker: we appreciated. thank you for your service. tell us what is going on with the dollar transactions. there have been rumors out of the administration -- i have
10:15 am
talked to administration officials who are not sure where from.rumors are coming i talked to items in men last night who said we are doing nothing to accommodate dollar transactions. yet secretary kerry was on television this morning, acting as if we were doing something. what is going on relative to us accommodating their ability to use dollars in transactions? mr. shannon: thank you for the question. it is important and gathered media buzz. this is ultimately a treasury concern. general the ones who do licensing. let me tell you what i know. the rumors and news that has appeared in the press that the u.s. is preparing to reinstate
10:16 am
iran access to the u.s. financial system is not true. while secretary kerry has said we need to accommodate their ability to have economic growth that they thought they would have under sanctions relief? mr. shannon: the point the secretariat was making is that attempts to access money being made available to it through the lifting of sanctions, there will be instances in which we have had access that money by clarifying regulations under which money can be transferred to them. seekse found that as iran those funds, there are banks unclear of the nature of the revelatory structures. the secretary believes it is in our national interest to ensure
10:17 am
the commitments we made our being followed through on. this is part of a larger engagement we have had with the from the commitment they have made and the commitment we made. sen. corker: so the dollar issue is bogus. mr. shannon: as far as i know, yes. so there was some concern there was a little bit of a wink and nod going on where we were saying to institutions that we are not coming after you for this despite what do the agreement said. you know of no instance of of anyone turning their head to the black and white agreement? mr. shannon: i do not. secretary was
10:18 am
making is that we have commitments under the jcpoa. we need to live up to those commitments and ensure the iranians are receiving, for what they have done, what they believe we have committed to. been clearu has also about the importance of ensuring iran has access to the assets now open to them. i do not think the administration is on the same page. i think there are some people invested in this and have developed relationships and are trying to bend of this in a way that will benefit iran. i hope the secretary and items you been and the president will theon the -- i hope secretary and the president will get on the same page. -- you mean by not
10:19 am
authorizing u-turns or access to the u.s. financial system, that is already present. sen. corker: so if we could codify it, it would not be a problem? good. we will attempt to do that. on the ballistic missiles, i pointed out testimony from secretary kerry and our ambassadors. we knew that the situation would likely occur and it has -- disappointing. i was disappointed that a letter from our european partners that it was inconsistent and was not a violation. takingas wordsmithing place. would you have any problem with us putting in place sanctions against them for violating the agreement as the administration explained it said?
10:20 am
for thenon: thank you question. a very important one. we remain resolutely opposed to iran's ballistic missile program. bothlieve we have multilaterally and unilaterally the tools necessary to attack that missile program and do whatever we can to interdict the is seeking toran advance its ballistic missile program. we believe we have the necessary -- the necessary authority now. we will continue to designate entities we believe are supporting that program, as we have done in response to iran's ballistic missile launches. our only concern about potential legislation is that it not interfere with jcpoa or give iran an excuse to walk away from
10:21 am
the table. we believe we can address the punitive side of iran's ballistic missile program with the authorities we have. noted, we are intent on helping our partners in the region defend themselves from missileallistic program. that is where we will focus our effort. to ensure we not only delay and it sure -- and deter iran's ballistic missile program. sen. corker: i am sure many of us here where concerned about the language and sought assurances. wasnew "called upon" different from agreements in the past. my sense is that most people here want to take action against that, whether they support it or not. one last question.
10:22 am
i am disappointed what the administration said it not come to fruition. i am disappointed for our country and for all of those who are counting on this agreement to deter that type of action. russia plans to send -- sell t hem su-30's. do you consider this a violation? i know it is not a violation on until they actually do it. come into likely will fruition. do you consider this a violation of the agreement we have with them? su-30's. 0r. shannon: the sale of su-3 fighter aircraft is prohibited without approval of the un security council. approval ofck the
10:23 am
any sale of fighter aircraft under the restrictions. sen. corker: if we decided to take action just to insured, because the assurances we have had to not work particularly well and we are getting mixed signals now -- if we take action to make sure that would not have been at dirt additional sanctions, you would not have a --blem with it the sale of this type of aircraft is prohibited without the approval of the un security council and we would not approve it. sen. corker: thank you. with that, senator cardin. thank you.: we appreciate your explanations. i will follow-up on some of the questions from chairman corker on how the u.s. senate and congress can help achieve our objectives.
10:24 am
the oversight of congress will be helpful in making sure iran does not become a nuclear weapons state. as we discussed during the debate of the jcpoa, congress and the administration has full abilities to deal with those issues not covered under the jcpoa. when chairman corker asked you about certain congressional action, i would eat very clear -- i will not support any congressional action that is out of compliance with the jcpoa. because i think that will not be helpful by the u.s. congress. where i disagree with one of your statements is that i will not allow iran to determine what is in compliance with the jcpoa. your statement that we do not want to give iran a reason has used interpretations far beyond any reasonable
10:25 am
coverage of what is in the jcpoa . i would urge as to be careful as to how we interpret the jcpoa. we will use the international standards, but not an iranian standard. i want to bring you back to how congress can help. independent branch of government. i remember clearly the testimony before this committee when your predecessors gave a similar answer to you. that is that we have the authority to take action and we do not need congressional action. the congress did act and we did sanctions act. it was partially responsible for negotiatingn to the tables and was helpful to get a stronger agreement. because congress to take action. even though the administration had the ability to take action
10:26 am
on its own. graham areas i want your view. one is the extension of the iran sanctions act, which expires at the end of this seer. the administration has taken action under the waiver to but havinghe jcpoa, that as a backstop beyond 2016 would seem to me to be important for u.s. leverage. viewt to make sure of your , if congress takes action to sanctions act, whether the administration would look at that as consistent with and the appropriate actions for an independent branch of government. whatecond point is chairman corker talked about. that is the ballistic missiles posedons that have been
10:27 am
under excited of order, not under congressional mandate. it seems to me ballistic missiles, not covered under the jcpoa, that the u.s. would be in under law.area i have never met an administration who thought they could do everything without congress. but having congressional authority to impose sanctions i think gives us a chandra position. so will the administration work with us to extend the iran sanctions act and provide congressional basis for the ballistic missiles sanctions being posed? thank you, senator. in regards to the first question, my understanding is isa expires at the end of
10:28 am
this year. our view is that we should not be in a rush and we should begin to understand how iran is meeting its commitments under the jcpoa. this will give us a stronger idea for what a renewed isa might look like. but we would be happy to engage with this committee and congress act,renewed iran sanctions assuming it does not complicate or prevent us from meeting jcpoa commitments. sen. cardin: in regards to a forutory authorization fortions against iran ballistic missile's violations? we will do:
10:29 am
everything in our power to protect our allies. as noted, we believe we have the authority to do that and believe we have acted responsibly and rapidly in response to it iran posted missile activities. we would be happy to talk to this committee about what that legislation would look like. sen. cardin: i urge you to go back and look at the congressional record from when we passed the sanctions regime in 2010 and look at what has happened since and how essential it was to lead to where we are today. the administration is pleased about the jcpoa. major step towards a congress and that's. the administration has nine
10:30 am
months left. the jcpoa goes well beyond that. i urge you to be aggressively working with us to set off the appropriate statutory framework to make it clear to iran we will not tolerate boasted missiles violations. it is the u.s. and congress working with the president that will not tolerate that type of activity. let me move to one other issue. that deals with the issue the chairman raised about russian actions. how does it come bucket the enforcement of the jcpoa, the fact that russia is preparing to sell missile support to iran? you know, russia
10:31 am
has been in the process of since 2008.0's for any number of reasons has not done so. the purchase has not been finalized and the delivery not made. there was a pressure port indicating russia is preparing to iran.n f-300 system that system is not prohibited under un security council provisions because it is considered a defensive system. nevertheless, we have made it clear to the russians we consider this to be a bad move and we consider it to be destabilizing and not in keeping with what we have been trying to accomplish, not only through the jcpoa but broadly in terms of our engagement with iran.
10:32 am
thatcardin: it seems to me a missile-defense system modernization from russia to iran makes it much more challenging for us to deal with the security concerns of our partners in that region. for the u.s. and takes us to a new level of what we will need to do. sen. corker: no doubt that the sell of that will come bucket. senator perdue. sen. perdue: i just got back from the region. the common consensus is that things have gotten worse since the jcpoa in terms of domestic security of the countries we
10:33 am
visited. i am confuse, particularly with comments out this week. i would like you on the record about the u.n. violations are not violations. but in december, ambassador mull in this committee stated boasted missile launches would likely be of the un security council resolution. we have seen missile firings before and after implementation day. said thecan diplomats launches are "inconsistent" but are not a violation. do you think the ballistic missile launches were indeed a violation of the u.n. resolution? thank you, senator. from our point of view, the un security council resolution prohibits iran from launching ballistic missiles.
10:34 am
the language is different from a 1929. 1929 says iran shall not undertake any activity capable of delivering nuclear weapons. to 31 calls upon iran not to ofertake activity capable delivering nuclear weapons. in international parlance there is a distinguished -- there is a distinction. to me, it is a distinction without a france. difference. a we responded to the ballistic missile launches with designations and will continue to respond. as. perdue: so we responded if it were a violation. so you think it is a violation. mr. shannon: let me put it this way. i believe it violated the intent of 2231. whether international lawyers
10:35 am
it -- from violated our point of view, these launches are prohibited. sen. perdue: on the sanctions we -- and i agree with our administration and with our ranking member -- but in terms of the sanctions, 11 entities were named. it is interesting that transportation companies involved in the delivery of this technology were not included. financial partners were not included are you members of been down the supply chain were not included. if we really want to stop ballistic missile activity, we would put sanctions on the full supply chain. can you speak about the omissions of those major players? 2010, when: since resolutionty council 19 29 was approved by the un security council, i believe we
10:36 am
designated over 27 entities and people that look not only on those providing equipment but that.hose facilitating i would be happy to talk about specific individuals or entities that interest you. have been focusing on not just providers of technologies or those who facilitate that technology or the provision thereof. i am also concerned about the liquid assets now available through the jcpoa for iran. the administration, when they were supporting jcpoa before its enactment, were adamant about ensuring iran would not continue to subsidize hezbollah and bashar al-assad. can you give us an update on what the administration is doing to ensure people in the region that that is being implemented? thishannon: let me answer
10:37 am
-- first, in regard to moneys made available to iran through assess iran has access to $50 billion scattered throughout ranks. sen. perdue: that is cash, liquid today? mr. shannon: if they can get it. sen. perdue: and there are other assets that are liquidated-able? thereannon: i was told are $100 billion being held in aboutas accounts but that $50 billion of that was already called for, either through hasncial commitments iran made through contracts or because of other aspects of the financial insurance being used -- financial instruments being
10:38 am
used. but it is scattered throughout international financial systems and held a different banks. and therefore has to be accessed piecemeal and over time. this is something we have been watching closely. this is what secretary kerry was referring to when he said there are times we have to clarify our guidelines in regard to sanctions so that iran does have access to moneys we have made available to it. in regard to whether or not iran continues to fund destabilizing activities in the region, there is no doubt that is true. we are seeing it, whether it is in syria, lebanon, in hezbollah, in yemen, what they are doing with the houthi rebels. continue to do what we can through the authorities we have, both sanctions authorities given to us through legislation and
10:39 am
through executive actions to sanction when possible and counteract the activities of iran in the region. sen. perdue: given the increased activity iran is showing in the region since the jcpoa, can you give us an update about the understanding with israel in regards to the military systems there? continues tot iran make anti-israel statements, "death toiling israel" on the missiles they are testing -- i think it is important we reassert the support for israel in light of this activity. can you give us an update on that? mr. shannon: we are in the process of negotiating the mou with the government of israel,
10:40 am
looking at how best we can continue to meet the defense needs of israel as it faces the threats posed in the region. some of the most significant being from iran. beginning of this administration, over 20 billion dollars have been provided in defense spending to israel, including nearly $3 billion to help finance the iron dome mi ssile system. sen. perdue: over what period of time? thishannon: administration. eight years. i can get you the latest data play of our negotiation of the theme.t it is a constant sen. perdue: so the qualitative military aides. thank you. sen. corker: thank you. senator menendez. thank you.ez:
10:41 am
i have supported you in your role as ambassador and as this role. it is with that respect i have the following statement. i am seriously concerned as i insert -- as i listened to your answers to the chairman and the ranking member about statements that suggest we have to watch what we do because we do not want to have iran walk away from the table. led by thestration, secretary of state, before this committee said very clearly that we were free to pursue all other againstof the iranians the national interest of the u.s. outside the portfolio. i see all of these cautionary remarks all of the time, all of i do noteats -- understand them.
10:42 am
i do not understand when the president himself, in remarks this week, said that while iran may have followed the letter of the agreements, they have not followed the spirit, sending signals to the world community through a series of evocative actions. followhat, failure to the spirit that the president himself has. its statusould add as a state sponsor of terrorism. it acts of aggression designed to destabilize our allies in the region. its illegal detention and despicable accumulation of american sailors. its trafficking in weapons. attacks. many of those you recited in your opening statement. what bothers me is we seem to
10:43 am
create a permissive environment, as the example fired in what inpen in the missile issues, which we are treading on and ls.lls about -- on eggshel are we, knowing resources, these part, going to fund activities we acknowledges against our national interest? when the president says we will not use dollars to do business on toran but then goes say it is possible for them to work through european financial systems which transact with the united states, or that the administration is reportedly seeking ways to ensure u.s. regulations do not deter insurance companies to provide
10:44 am
insurance for iranian shipping for bunnies, why are we facilitating the possibility for them to use their resources in such a way that is against our interests? senator,on: thank you, and for your support. clear, if i was not, in my earlier comments. when i talked about wanting to make sure actions taken in re-upping sanctions agreements, my purpose was not to say that we are walking on thatells with iranian or we are pulling punches or stepping away from firm pursuit broader commitments or understandings of concerns about iran.
10:45 am
make sure that as they meet their commitments, we meet our commitments. we understand what those commitments are. in theook at iran's region, i would agree with everything you have noted. we are concerned by it and appalled, in some instances, by it, but are working actively to stop it where we can. ofther it is support regional terrorism, support of groups like hezbollah, or whether it is pursuit of a ballistic missiles program. as the secretary and the president noted, we are not caveat that or soft-pedal that. me interrupt: let you. specifically, for example, if we wanted to pull no punches and make it clear that instead of sanctioning individuals, which is like playing waccamaw -- p
10:46 am
whack-a-mole, we would sanction financial institutions and other entities. recognized from congress about when we sanction financial institutions, the broad regional effect is consequential to the iranian. if we understand their obligations, let's turn to the missile issue. when secretary kerry before the him "is iranasked banned from ballistic missile work under un security council resolution 2231?" answer was rather unequivocal. he said it is exactly what it is today. it is the same language.
10:47 am
i disputed that, because there is a difference between "shall" and "calls upon." if it is the same language, if interpretation was correct, one exquisitely inhibits iran from testing ballistic missiles, why would the u.s. and european allies not moves, whye toughest not call it a violation? which is it? it a violation or did we soften the language in such a way that permits exactly what iran is doing now? language usedhe in the letter was that iran's launch was inconsistent with un security council resolution 2231 and not a was in violation of
10:48 am
2231. this is a distinction without a difference. prohibitsvinced 2231 these kind of launches. that there is a strong international commitment -- sen. menendez: why did we not use the word violation? believe it is prohibited, why do we not use that word? mr. shannon: i am not an international lawyer. sen. menendez: so we are not international lawyers, though i was a lawyer before i came to this institution. i understand the difference between "call upon" and "shall." as the chairman and ranking member have discussed, the iran needs to bet reauthorized. otherwise, we do not send a clear message to iran that if they violate terms, we have something to snap that too.
10:49 am
the administration said we can snapback -- but you cannot back to something that does not exist at the end of the day. so this tentativeness about what iran will do seems to have frozen us. and it seems to have frozen the center as well. i hope the senate will not be , on this question of reauthorizing the iran sanctions act and others, i would urge the chairman and ranking member to do some of this. i think we are headed in the wrong direction. could not agree more. i think there is an issue. that is most of us do not want to let a national security interim to a national agreement. if we can get past that issue, we could end up with strong
10:50 am
bipartisan legislation. on venezuela and other issues, which we appreciated your efforts there. but this "called upon" language was a message to us that we were nod on thisk and issue. that is why many of us were concerned. we are also concerned we were giving away leverage. that on the front end, iran would get this relief and we would be on the eggshells senator menendez just mentioned. then the administration would be concerned that if we push back, they might walk away, because they got everything they wanted on the front end. a to whyike exhibit there was so much concern about this agreement in this things you are saying today. senator barrasso. barrasso: you said you
10:51 am
wanted to do everything in your power to deter and delay its. think the administration is not doing all it can. i look at the recent sanctions. there are sanctions on individuals, some entities -- can you tell us those sanctions are actually going to change calculus and have an impact on their ballistic missile program, giving they have done testing? mr. shannon: thank you for the question. in pursuing ae ballistic missile program. it sees it as not only part of larger strategic weapons program, but it also plays an important political role in iran , especially in the aftermath of the jcpoa.
10:52 am
lost on then iran nuclear issue. so we can expect more launches because they are intent on the ballistic missile issue. intent ingard, we are doing everything we can to delay and deter that program and work with our partners in the region to make sure they protect themselves. if it becomes clear that the strategic weapons program iran continues to call into question how it behaves internationally and becomes increasingly less relevant as our partners and allies increase their ability to , but sincemselves 2010, if i have my number is right, we designated over 27 entities and individuals related ballistic missile
10:53 am
program. and we will continue to designate individuals and entities as we determine their only in response to ballistic missiles but also as we determine which entities and individuals are playing a role in the provision and civilization -- in the provision and facilitation of technologies. sen. barrasso: you are hearing congress once a stronger backbone to accomplish your goal to delay and the terror. in regards to the russian sale to iran, un security council resolution 2231 requires the security council approval in the sale of any major combat systems to iran. so iran and russia have been sale of thehe systems. with the u.s. veto the approval of such a sale at the un security council? mr. shannon: yes.
10:54 am
sen. barrasso: can you talk about how the sales of the systems contemplated could affect the balance of power in the region? that.id at this point >> the su-30's or the f-300's. >> the fighter jets. mr. shannon: we have no interest fighterhaving enhanced weapons in iraq can use offensively we would iran thatpose -- in they can use offensively, we would seek to oppose. we are heard that they continue to threaten the region with continued ballistic missiles testing.
10:55 am
that foreign businesses might risk ties to the united states -- there was a wall street journal editorial calling more dollars to the ayatollah. it says the latest demonstration cave in could be predicted from every previous capitulation expect to consider other concessions. what other actions you know the administration is considering that could provide additional beyondns relief to iran what is committed to by the jcpoa. mr. shannon: we have met our commitments under the jcpoa, so at this point, none. it is important to note the way the jcpoa was structured, it was iran that gave everything up front. that tore down its
10:56 am
centrifuges, it was iran that poured concrete into every water reactor. because of this, we have been able to push back iran's breakout period in pursuit of a a few monthsn from to over eight year. as we continue the implementation of jcpoa, we believe we are in a strong cannotn to ensure iran develop a nuclear weapon. that is a huge a congressman. that is an accomplishment that the senate can take pride in, as can the executive branch. we have had to work together both through the sanctions authority that this legislative bothering -- body authorized and through the diplomacy we built around that authority. as we look into the future, we are intent on meeting our
10:57 am
commitments, period. we are not intent on providing .dditional sanctions relief just torasso: so clarify, what i heard from the chairman and others is that many of us believe it is the administration that gave away everything up front. you are testifying that it was iran that gave everything up front. mr. shannon: indeed. sen. corker: senator kaine. i want to repeat an element of your testimony. iran has taken a reversible steps that mentally change the trajectory of its nuclear program. it has effectively cut off all of iran's pathways to building a nuclear weapon. this has may the world safer and more secure.
10:58 am
your testimony. i do not need to ask you about it. now public comment by israeli officials that might be somewhat different but essentially make the same point. of staff,i idf chief equivalent to our joint chiefs of staff -- the nuclear deal with iran has many risks but also opportunity. speaking at the ninth annual security challenges conference, he said " the nuclear deal with iran constitutes a should teach it turning point compared to pastidf faced over the decade." willssessment is that iran continue to see itself as a regional power and after 15 years, when the terms of the
10:59 am
deal expire, may turn again to expanding nuclear capabilities. in the meantime, he said the deal reduces the immediate iranian to israel because it rolls back iran's nuclear capability. --y of us had heard iranian israeli officials say those words privately. many of us have seen anonymous reports from israeli officials or seen reports from former israeli officials. chief predecessors said a better deal may have been possible, but also acknowledged the final agreement's success and putting off a nuclear-armed for 10 to 15 years. diplomacy had prevented war from breaking out. it is the israelis who have been the most focused as to whether this deal would work out or not.
11:00 am
of now have the equivalent our joint chiefs of staff and his predecessor saying this deal has prevented war and will will forestall an iranian nuclear program for at least 10 to 15 years. i think that testimony from rti it -- from our key ally is validation on the point you make an page two of your testimony. the current idf's head position on the deal, three from --ersons running one saidor president, they should rip it up and one said we should withdraw. based in your testimony in the stated public position of the israeli military, talk a little bit about what it would mean for the united states, alone among the nations, that negotiated the
11:01 am
steel, to rip up the deal or back away from it. thank you for the question, and thank you for highlighting the comments of the idf chief of staff. we agree with them completely. andhare that assessment believe that through jcpoa, iran has given up its ambition of a nuclear weapon. and has submitted to a international structure of intervention and compliance that allows us great insight into the nuclear program, and will, if complied with, create a program that is exclusively peaceful. that is our purpose and the intention of the international community. in an environment as conflicted and combustible as the middle east, making sure that a country
11:02 am
like iran does not have a nuclear weapon has to be a strategic goal of utmost importance. we believe we have accomplished that. we would argue that any effort to step away from jcpoa would reopen a pandora's box in that region that we do not think we could close again. anause it would highlight inability of united states to maintain continuity and stability and approach. when we accomplished with the u.s. government and the u.s. congress has been seeking for is nohan a decade, which nuclear weapons in iran, hypothetically, if we were to contemplate sitting away from the jcpoa, we would not be followed by our p5 plus one colleagues.
11:03 am
quite the contrary, this would become an issue of extraordinary concern and division between ourselves and our p5 plus one colleagues. more importantly, it would be grasped by supporters of a nuclear program in iran, and by hard-liners in iran to assert that we were an unreliable arerlocutor, and that stepping away from the jcpoa would be a clear signal that they need to return to their nuclear weapons program with even greater urgency. we would see that is very dangerous. sen kaine: is it in the security interest of the world that we keep everyone on iran's activities rather than u.s. negotiating tactics? mr. shannon: as i noted, and as you noted, we are very focused on what iran is doing. it's very important in our diplomacy in our engagement with
11:04 am
our partners that we highlight where ron stepped out of bounds. this is what the president was referring to when he said that iran was not complying with the spirit of the jcpoa. because the spirit was one of engagements, the spirit was one of highlighting the peaceful nature of a nuclear program. or the ambition of creating a peaceful program. what it is doing elsewhere indicates otherwise. and therefore, our ability, while we implement the jcpoa, and while we consolidate this important strategic compliment, that we continue to highlight and focus iran's bad behavior, in terms of its regional activities, in terms of its support for hezbollah, in terms of its support for the assad regime, it's supported terrorism, and its ballistic missile program, from our point of view was a centerpiece of how we are going to deal with iran. sen kaine: thank you. sen. corker: if i could, i know
11:05 am
we have worked together, i think the types of efforts that legislatively people are looking at are not inconsistent with the jcpoa. i want to restate that comment. it's to push back on those areas. the only way an agreement can bear the fruit that people laid out hope that it would bring on the front end is to make sure that it's not violated. there are those issues. in addition to that, the activities in the region. that's when the focus, legislatively is, not to counter the jcpoa, but to make sure that it is enforced, and to push back on other activities that are destabilizing the region. rubio: alone go back to this issue of access to the dollar. example, thet
11:06 am
example that was used was a swiss company who sells a iran, iof any kind to think the president and anyone has been very clear with their not allowed to do. they are not allowed to go through as. bank, -- swiss bank. here's what want to get at, that's an alternative mechanism. as outlines and alternative mechanism and i want to understand whether this alternative mechanism is allowed or not under this agreement. under this scenario that was played out is that the u.s. would allow a general license bank tonk -- a u.s. provide dollars to a non-us clearinghouse somewhere overseas. what would happen is iran would pay a european bank in rails. the european bank with an exchange those for euros, he would then go to that clearinghouse and swap the euro out for a dollar. bring the dollar back and exchange the dollars for swiss francs. and then pay that to this was company.
11:07 am
is that sort of arrangement something that would be allowed under the agreement? i'm not sure. i would have to check. bank,doesn't touch a u.s. if it doesn't touch the u.s. -- areal system sanctions legislation and what we have been able to accomplish in terms of limiting iran's access to our larger financial system is we have not permitted user authorization, no exchange of dollars inside the u.s. financial system, and we have not allowed it access to our larger financial system. do not know, again, not a financial expert. i would have to check with treasury. i do not know if what you just described is authorized. do know that kind of
11:08 am
mechanism was discussed as part of this negotiation? the chairman alluded to this earlier, but in an interview today, secretary kerry implied iran deserves the benefit of the agreement they struck. in that agreement, is there an understanding with iran that we would be helpful to them in gaining access to the dollar? mr. shannon: the agreement is clear in terms what arguments are. we believe we met those governments. my understanding of the secretaries in remarks is that we have worked with u.s. treasury and with banks to clarify what sanctions relief is, and what banks are allowed to do in order to avoid any kind of punitive actions for taking steps that are not permitted under the jcpoa. my understanding is that our efforts to ensure that iran has access to assets that we have committed to release to them is
11:09 am
really about ensuring that banks understand how that money can be accessed. it's not my understanding there is anything beyond that. sen. rubio: has the department of state received instructions from the white house or has the department of state in any way signaled to treasury that to search for ways to allow iran to get access to dollars through a mechanism that does not directly impact transactions of any u.s. bank? mr. shannon: i'm not receive that -- i have not received that. by allowing a u.s. bank a general license to move this money offshore, it is in essence allowing them access to the u.s. dollar. it's not happening within the united states per se, but we know with the money is going to be used for. the general license would be used to provide liability protection to the u.s. bank, but the only reason why that movie
11:10 am
-- that money would be moving to an offshore clearinghouse is so that iran could get access to dollars. i think that is an important point that we need to get clarity on. i guess it would be from treasury. neverort of mechanism has been discussed with the congress for my understanding. it's part of this agreement that we have never been notified of that as well. i'm trying to get the core of this. your testimony here today is that is not the case. was there ever a moment or is it part of this agreement that we would somehow help iran get access to dollars in some way that did not violate the need to deal directly with the u.s. bank? you said you are not aware of that ever been part of this agreement or conversation in any way. mr. shannon: i did not take part in the negotiations of the agreement. but my reading of the agreement indicates otherwise. one more point on access to the u.s. banking sector. this is not just about punitive action. it's also the fact that irrespective of the nuclear program, the iranian banking center has pose a hazard because of its laundering activities and so forth.
11:11 am
as iran taking any actions to halt the use of its financial institutions for money laundering or for other illicit behavior? mr. shannon: my understanding is it is much more careful about which institutions it uses, but it still is engaged in money laundering activities that we attempt to block and stop. thank you. i think it was the money laundering and illicit financing that that these restrict in some place in the beginning, and that is still occurring. is that secretary kerry and/or others within the state department have spent a lot of time on this agreement are trying to figure out a way to accommodate iran. my sense is the treasury at this point still has held firm, and hopefully they will. but i do think not congruent
11:12 am
right now in the administration level, i'm glad that pressure is being applied to ensure we don't try to accommodate them. that iran gets only what they negotiated. which to me, was too much. they were not out there trying to make this agreement work better for them after the fact, especially when they are violating the ballistic missile testing. it's an incredible thing that we would want to a commented on one end, while we know they are in essence, in our face on another issue that we see is a clear violation. martin: thank you, mr. chairman. shannon, in response to recent questions about the administration's plan to provide iran with additional relief from u.s. financial sections, president obama stated that existing restrictions would remain in place. the also noted that iran's
11:13 am
difficulties in doing business abroad has more to do with his own aggressive actions, including blizzard missile tests than it does with u.s. financial research and. kerryorning, secretary said iran deserves the benefit of the agreements they have struck, but if they want to capture the broad benefits of global commerce, the need to a change their behavior. currenthan changing rules that restrict iran's access to the dollar-based financial system, the president suggested the treasury department to clarify to foreign financial institutions the kind of activities that are permissible under current restrictions. what kind of changes would we have to see in iran's behavior, with respect to missile development, support for terrorism, and human rights violations, before we would consider changing existing restrictions on iran's access to our financial system?
11:14 am
they have to stop. i mean, in terms of sanctions that limit iran's access to the u.s. financial system, this is related to a whole series of iranian behaviors that we find reprehensible. but what you said at the beginning of your question is important very both the president and the secretary made clear that while we will meet our commitments under the jcpoa, iran's ability to benefit, economically and financially, from a greater openness to the world in lifting of sanctions depends not just on the lifting of the sanctions, depends on the environment to create inside iran, first to attract businesses and investment, but also to establish a degree of confidence as iran engages
11:15 am
the largern international community. as long as iran behaves as it is ofaving in the area terrorism and regional destabilization, in the area of ballistic missile development, there will be a natural prejudice against some aspects of economic and financial engagement with it. you are saying that iran does have it within its own power to engage in behavior that would help to give the united states the ability to relax access to the financial system. mr. shannon: yes. sen. markey: in addition to imposing frustrations on iran's nuclear weapons program, one of the great opportunities that the jcpoa provides is to raise the standards for the overall nonproliferation regime. i recently joined a senator cantwell and other senators in writing a letter to president obama, detailing the number of steps in administration could do
11:16 am
to do that. one of these would to be expand the worldwide application of the additional protocol which provides the iaea with enhanced inspection rights, including the right to inspect the country's entire fuel cycle, and to conduct environment disabling beyond declared facilities. iran signed its additional protocol agreement with the iaea in 2003, and under the jcpoa, it has agreed to implement it fully. what steps is the in administration taking to encourage all parties to sign and implement additional protocol agreements with the iaea? mr. shannon: thank you for the point on the additional protocol and the iaea. by iran toent provisionally apply the additional protocols and ultimately to accept fully the additional protocol is in the world of nonproliferation, a huge deal. and indicates that the iaea will have enhanced capabilities to
11:17 am
measure and track iranian compliance, not only with the jcpoa, but broadly within mbt. this is a huge concession on iran's part. and one that was viewed with concern around the world by those who do not adhere to the additional protocol. committing to the additional protocol is the centerpiece of what we try to do in our novel reflation -- non-deliberation work. it's an area we address on a regular basis. we will continue to do so. it is our hope that, in this regard, iran's willingness to accept an additional protocol should be seen as a point of reflection for our partners around the world who have not done so. another step in administration could take to strengthen nonproliferation would be to achieve a ban on the production of fissile material
11:18 am
in the middle east. has promised not to produce this was at least the next 15 years, it's expressed a willingness to extend this restriction of his neighbors, to do the same. what steps is the administration doing to discourage any additional countries from the middle east from engaging in that kind of activity? mr. shannon: i think the jcpoa itself is a powerful reason for countries in the region not to develop their own nuclear enrichment capability. because they are not facing a threat from iran through nuclear weapon at this point in time. but we continue in our regular engagement throughout the region, in our regular security discussions, to begin to identify and understand the security threats and vulnerabilities that are partners face.
11:19 am
and to help them find ways to address them without approaching in nuclear threshold. we do this with the gold correlating counsel, secretary kerry will be meeting with the gulf correlating counsel administrators in bahrain at the end of the week. and the president will be meeting in riyadh with the leaders in the near future. sen. markey: the administration is specifically encouraging all states in the middle east to not pursue uranium enrichment or plutonium reprocessing facilities? mr. shannon: anywhere we can. sen. markey: thank you. gardner: i: sen. want to clarify remarks that you made earlier. it came in response or after saidexchange where you iran was lovely gave up everything up everything up front, and i think later on, and perhaps another question and
11:20 am
answer, you mentioned that iran has given up its ambitions of a nuclear program. i want to misquote you. what did you say -- i don't want to misquote you. what did you say? mr. shannon: my intent was to say it has given up its ambition of a nuclear weapon. sen. gardner: that is accurate for trail of your statement? -- portrayal of your statement? mr. shannon: the jcpoa prevents iran from achieving a nuclear weapon. sen. gardner: at this point. do you believe that iran is testing ballistic missiles with the hope of one day putting a nuclear warhead on it? mr. shannon: this is one of the reasons we are concerned about the ballistic missile program. especially about listing missiles that have the capability were designed to have the capability to launch nuclear weapons. but the jcpoa, as it is of limited, today in overtime will not allow iran to develop a
11:21 am
nuclear weapon. reason --r whatever newly on -- sen. gardner: comedy gulf council countries agree with you? how many of our allies in the region agree with you that iran has completely given up its nuclear weapons program? mr. shannon: i do it this point, they would agree. given what iran has done in terms of -- sen. gardner: leadership in saudi arabia, leadership in arer would agree that they testing a ballistic missile to book emotional warhead on top -- to put a conventional warhead on top? have been ini saudi arabia, and the saudi's view the iranians as a real danger in the region. they view them as a danger in the region for any number of
11:22 am
ways. do yourdner: if i may, believe that they are testing a ballista missile with sunday the hopes of putting a nuclear warhead on it? mr. shannon: that was the purpose when they began the ballistic missile program. sen. gardner: is it no longer the perverse today? -- the purpose today? mr. shannon: is not their purpose if they cannot achieve a nuclear missile. weapon system.ic sen. gardner: this is important. if the menstruation is so concerned about ballistic missile, and have you have said, they've given up their ambitions for a nuclear weapon, do they believe that they would like to -- they continue to test a ballistic missile in hopes of putting a nuclear warhead on it. mr. shannon: i understand the point. i would just reiterate that we are opposed to this ballistic missile program. i understand you
11:23 am
worse talking about how a palm are and how concerned we are. no, do you believe that iran hopes to put a nuclear weapon on top of a ballistic missile? mr. shannon: at this point, no, because they can't. sen. gardner: in the conversations i've had with allies in the region, no one there believes they have given up their nuclear weapons ambition. important to address, yes this outrage over blistered missiles. but we haven't put in the full measure of responses that we said we would in order to prevent them from continuing to test a ballistic missile. i don't believe they are testing a ballistic missile just to show that they can do it. i believe they are doing it with the purpose of continuing to develop a nuclear weapons program. have heard from leaders in the region, where they talk about at the end of this 12 year span, they believe it will have a short amount of time to indeed possess and develop a nuclear weapon. that is with the leaders in the region will tell you.
11:24 am
kerry said in the letter in september, september 2 to the senate, saying the full measure of u.s. response would if iran continues to push its bad behaviors like testing ballistic missiles. i don't believe that we have done that. do you think we have done every thing possible to stop iran's testing of both missiles? mr. shannon: within the authorities that we've been given, we have. but this is an evolving situation. ron --we determine where where ron -- where iran -- sen. gardner: what authorities are given to us to stop us? mr. shannon: the authorities we have are being used effectively. sen. gardner: by effective unit stopped the ballistic missile program? mr. shannon: it has delayed it by limiting the ability of
11:25 am
external assistance to the program. and proliferation assistance to that program. iran has an indigenous capability that we cannot affect in the short term. but we can limit and delay iran's ability to build out its posted missile program, in the process, as we gain time through that, we can work with our partners in the region to ensure they have a given village to defend themselves, and that we have the capability to help them defend themselves. sen. gardner: by their continual testing of holistic missiles, we believe that is a delay of their ballistic missile program. considering where would be absent the sanctions authority, yes. it's not we want to be, obviously. sees this ballistic missile program as an important part of its strategic weapons systems. and it will continue along this route trade we just need to make sure that it doesn't get there in any fast times. sen. gardner: do you believe
11:26 am
that sanctions efforts against iran for its political missile program has been a success or failure? -- it's a ballistic missile program. mr. shannon: it is not been a complete success, because they are launching. sen. gardner: in the "wall street journal," they stated it now clear that one year since the framework for the deal was agreed on, iran sees it as an opportunity to increase hostilities in the region. antead of accepting this as unfortunate reality, the international committee must intensify actions to check iran's strategic ambitions. i do. agree? mr. shannon: sen. gardner: we reacted appropriately? working verywe are closely with our partners to ensure they have the ability to defend themselves. sees bedner: iran agreement, the framework as an opportunity to increase hostilities in the region. could you outline those increases in hostilities?
11:27 am
as i noted in my testimony, in the previous comments, what iran is doing in syria and lebanon with hezbollah, what it's doing in yemen with the houthis, is the stabilizing actions. pose significant danger to our allies and partners in the region. we are responding to them. by working with our allies and partners, by enhancing their capability to defend themselves, and by looking for ways to build broader diplomatic connectivity in the region that will allow them to push back on iran in a significant way. sen. gardner: think you, mr. chairman. i know my time is expired. sen. corker: i think this is important, an important part of the testimony. i know you are new and you are in this particular position and
11:28 am
you are getting some leeway today because of that. that youou to state know they're going to continue to do the ballistic missile testing they are doing, in clear violation, does speech and the fact that certainly we don't need to be a common eating them relative to dollars, but we should be punishing them for violating the intent of this law , we think it violates specifically, and you mentioned the need for us within the authorities you have. i assure you that on a bipartisan basis, if you guys feel you need additional authorities, i think you could pass them out of here fairly quickly. i think it is unsatisfying to listen to that line of questioning, and for you to stay in earlier going to continue to violate, and then we got the secretary of state acting as if we need to accommodate them because they didn't negotiate the deal good enough. thank you, mr. chairman.
11:29 am
undersecretary shannon, it's nice to have you here, finally. to continue some of the questioning around the blessed missiles program. i was interested in the u.s. response to the program last week. we blacklisted to iranian companies for supporting the ballistic missile program, we sanctions to british businessmen for helping an airline that was used by the iran revolutionary guards, and then france is also suggested there could be unilateral european union sanctions against iran over the launches. as we know, one of the reasons the sanctions regime was so effective in pushing iran to the negotiating table to get us the jcpoa is because of the international sanctions that really worked together to put pressure on iran. can you talk about how realistic it might be for the europeans to
11:30 am
put additional sanctions on mr. shannon: we know that our european colleagues agree with us on ballistic missile testing. they view ballistic missile testing as a danger to the region and to themselves. reason, we worked in concert with them in response to ballistic missile tests. that's why they joined us in writing a letter to the un security council highlighting the recent ballistic missile tests. they are partners that are effective and important in
11:31 am
implementing the sanctions regime. i think they will believe -- i believe they will work with us. we would have to have a larger discussion with them about what an enhanced sanctions regime might look like in relation to ballistic missiles. they would be prepared to have that discussion. the secretary general of nato is here this week. givenre a role for nato the ballistics posing a threat to nato countries? a role in that? i am sure there is. at this point i cannot delineate that. missileds on how we do systems within europe and protection of nato allies. i know that:
11:32 am
whenever iran has launched a missile, there is activity at the u.n. to condemn that. russia has been the obstructionist in many of those cases to our taking stronger action to u.n.. do you want to talk about other actions we might be able to take the counter what russia is doing? mr. shannon: we have been engaging on the russians regularly on this. insurerto extend and coherence and cohesion within the p5 plus one. as we address any other activities of iran that are dealt with in the un security
11:33 am
council. , inmost recent resolution this regard, we have a difference with the russians. themd been engaging with at many different levels to try and find a way to address that disagreement. we are working to prohibit the transfer of technologies to iran's missile program. thate trying to ensure they stand firm within the p5 plus one and so far they are. sen. shaheen: the russians are helping on that front? mr. shannon: they are in the sense that they are complying with their commitment not to transfer these kinds of technologies or to facilitate the transfer. sen. shaheen: thank you.
11:34 am
switch topics a little bit to the iranian elections. ask what our analysis in the state department was of those parliamentary elections in february. is there any room to believe that performers may be gaining support with iran? whether those reformers are actually doing anything that is going to moderate iran's stance with respect to its actions in the international community. mr. shannon: that's an important question. the elections are still in play. there are a variety of runoff elections. it's hard for us to give a global understanding or estimate of the impact of those elections. when we look at what happened in terror on and the extent to
11:35 am
which reformers swept the board in terms of the seats there, it highlights the fact that the president and his intent on opening iran to the world at addressing the stumbling blocks has resonated in a positive way. it's not easy for us to itermine the impact that will have on the way they behave strategically. it's a mix of conflicted entities in groups. aligningliners themselves with religious leadership and with the security leadership. it prevents reform us from moving too far too fast. the work of the supreme leader is to balance forces inside iran. it is our hope in our intent that as we pursue the jcp away
11:36 am
colleagues inect the european union that the positive impact of that connectivity is going to have a political effect in iran. it's important to understand that iran faces a huge demographic population. 60% is 30 years old or younger. born after the revolution. they have lived in a sanctioned society. their ability to connect with the larger world is going to be a big factor inside their politics. it's our hope that believed to some chat -- changes in behavior. sen. shaheen: i know i am out of time. if i can follow-up with one question. do we see a reduction in the human rights abuses that occur
11:37 am
inside around? at this point, we don't see a lot. there is a political struggle going on. in moments like that, the tendency is for the abuses to go up. sen. shaheen: thank you. senator kunz. : we appreciate you having this today. that i readi'm glad is maintaining and restraining its program. i applaud the administration for sanctioning both individuals and entities.
11:38 am
i am pleased to have worked with our international partners over three recent incidents to shipments headed to yemeni rebels. i remain deeply concerned. --n is expanding its middle presence in the middle east. there tests that have been discussed at length today. theretradicts its commitments. i think it demonstrates that the nuclear do will not change their behavior. they remain unready to meet the obligations required of a responsible member of the international committee. i am disturbed that they violate the human rights of the people.
11:39 am
it is increase the rights of political prisoners. we fail tohat if hold them accountable for these actions and failed to respond to violations of the treaty, the viability of the agreement will be in jeopardy. i commend the in ministration for its actions, i encourage that they continue and to enhance the of limitation of the nuclear report. we are working together to press back on their ballistic missile tests. let me start about funding. that officials have expressed concerns about the reliability of the sustained theetary contributions for enforcement activities.
11:40 am
it reinforced those concerns. agreehe state department that these are significant concerns. it matters deeply. you believe the u.s. should make a proactive and long-term investment to meet the requirements to demonstrate we are committed to enforcing the agreement over the long term? mr. shannon: the short answer is yes. the longer answer, we are grateful for the report. we have in draft and are commenting on it. we believe that they have the resources they need in the short term. we are continuing to look for ways with our partners to enhance the resources,
11:41 am
especially the funding that they have at its disposal. what we are asking the a iea to do is remarkable. it's an important organization to begin with. on ae asking it to take role in iran that is so intrusive and so interventionist. it will be groundbreaking in many ways. much of it can be done technologically. much of it is going to require inspectors on the ground. this is going to require special funding and training. we are working with our partners to ensure that the resources are available. conversation to discuss in broader detail where we think additional help would be helpful.
11:42 am
my impression is this is a cautious organization. they are being responsible in not leaping forward to invest in a new generation of inspectors. that's not what this moment calls for. one of the positive features is the opportunity for searching inspections. nuclear inspectors take a while. i don't think we should be penny wise and pound foolish in this situation. we should provide robust support. month, a report showed the number of people executed by the iranian government skyrocketed to nearly 1000 in 2015. highlightstimony, you this as a tool to potentially draw attention to and punish iranian human rights violations.
11:43 am
should this be expanded in any way in light of the ongoing human rights abuses? all, atnon: first of the beginning of my testimony i said human rights is one of the three areas of concern. now, itn we see right -- when it comes to people,ing, the iranian we believe we have the authority , i realize this is an unsatisfactory answer, we have to involve a conversation with the senate about what more we can and should be doing to address these issues. as we would be in other areas of sanctions as i noted.
11:44 am
let me make two comments. i had the chance to meet yesterday with russia's ambassador to the united nations. he made it clear that russia will lock you in security action. it's incumbent on us to work together and ensure that we take greater action to strengthen our unilateral sanctions against the listing missile program. i am concerned about the debate in this committee and other committees about the possibility of the wider access to the u.s. dollar. i am determined that we make its effortsan and to support terrorism is contained appropriately. thank you for your testimony. cardin: i just want to make a statement about u.s.
11:45 am
leadership. to have thered security council take action for the missile violations. it would be preferred that in addition to the actions that we have our coalition partners including beyond the jcp away. it really starts with u.s. leadership. we've seen it over and over again. get the typet to of attention internationally. we did that in north korea with the passage of the sanctions act. it was a strong message. we got that done. i want to make a couple of comments. you've mentioned human rights violations and under these current circumstances we see an uptick. we should have strategy to respond to that.
11:46 am
we will be stronger if the congress helps you deal with that. holdingrious about iran's nefarious actions accountable. it seems to me this is a matter, working with the administration to have a statutory framework that goes beyond anyone administration to make it clear we are going to act, we can when we generally get our partners in europe to pay more attention to us and our strategic partners around the world. i would just urge you in the strongest possible way to not only show a willingness to work ush congress, but to help come to the appropriate legislative response to the realities of iran today.
11:47 am
we see that they are violating the missile obligations and human rights. they are supporting terrorism. agreement, we will treat that as a separate basket. u.s. not be bashful about -- the need for u.s. leadership. the congress has a critical role in that. you can help us. there's a common agenda in the administration the different attitude in the state department, defense, treasury. you can play a very important role in bringing us together with a strong statement by the united states congress getting us to pass legislation that can help. i know senator menendez wanted to come back.
11:48 am
menendez: you will probably know that this is acceptable for yes or no. i know sometimes that's hard. no, our sanctions against ballistic missile testing a violation of the agreement? mr. shannon: no. center menendez: our sanctions against financing ballistic missile tests or the financing of terrorism activities in violation of the act mr. shannon: russian mark know. re-tor menendez: is authorization a violation? mr. shannon: not that i'm aware of. menendez: -- senator menendez: i have had the
11:49 am
investigation of the assumptions of the administration about the followingthat iran is the letter of the agreement and the spirit and the observations point directly to future monitoring and meeting the requirements that includes and is not limited to investigative capabilities, analytical capabilities, budget from the rigler funding sources. a lack of authority and a dependence on cooperation. it turns its attention exclusively to iran and turns away from other proliferators we are concerned about. these are profound challenges. somehey have found additional problems which i am raising with you for the first time.
11:50 am
iran has a history of safeguard of violations and denying access to its facilities. this communicate violations of the agreement to the joint commission or individual parties and has it flagged any activities as violations? it is the central part of compliance with the agreement. demands are, the going to place a special on it.ibility it will require them to transform aspects of its structure and its behavior. we are to work with them to ensure that it does so.
11:51 am
it has regular reporting requirements related to jcp away compliance. it also engages with us individually in vienna. it is in a position to identify compliance that the further attention. senator menendez: how does it communicate violations of the agreement to the commission? have they flagged any activity? mr. shannon: they have not flagged violations. they have flagged issues in which there is not a complete
11:52 am
understanding between both parties about what needs to be done. we are working with the andission and our partners the iranians have been able to address them. senator menendez: they report to the commission in writing? i'm trying to get the process. what is the process to do this? it's kind of a two-tiered process. the first is a report. secondly, the commission members engage with the iaea. that's why we do the meetings in the end it. senator menendez: you said there were interpretation questions. instances ofen questionable compliance thus far the were resolved outside the dispute resolution mechanism?
11:53 am
these were issues that raise the issue of a dispute these were issues in certain noticed activities that we felt were not in compliance. we engage with the iranians and they were fixed. if there was az: dispute on something, it would be more formal and everyone would know about it. it's rather informal the way you describe it. there is no record of that. mr. shannon: i will have to go back and check on a couple of the specific ones. senator menendez: if an access issue arose, would they still get access within 24 days if
11:54 am
they disagreed on a significance? question -- would they still get access within 24 days if any members of the joint commission disagreed with its significance? some might say it's not significant. with the joint commission still get access? mr. shannon: my understanding is yes. menendez: even if there is disagreement? mr. shannon: yes. senator mendez: how will this work if exporters are going through the procurement channels? are there penalties for exporters failing to go through the right channel? materialon: if the they are seeking to sell is on
11:55 am
an excluded list, the answer is yes. my understanding is anybody who iran on engage with issues that are controlled has to go through the working group. menendez: this is a new onset on the study. you go invite you as back to the state department to review your answers. if any of them need to be modified, i'm disinterested in the facts. chairman: i would -- there is a joint commission that has to occur. they can be denied access. i know you are somewhat new to this. i know you want involved in the negotiation. i don't think you answered that question appropriately.
11:56 am
my senses you're going to need to correct it. mr. shannon: none of those are gotcha questions. senator menendez: i want to get a definitive answer so i understand it. we'd to know what the state department's view is. thathannon: i will take and get back to you. chairman: i think that was one of the concerns. the time leading up to the 24 days and the vote of the commission. you might want to restate your answer. i think we are closing up. shaheenhat senator asked about the election. i think people are still observing while some more moderate people were elected.
11:57 am
the number of people who have been executed, the human rights areations, the things they doing it to destabilize seem to have been on the ascendancy since the elections have taken place. there have been people on this on theee that voted front ways relative to the agreement. that is understandable. i don't think a single person today said they wanted to lighten up and pursue the agreement. i may have misunderstood. i don't think that's the case. no one is advocating put in policies that violated. we want to make sure that it's adhered to. i get the sense that secretary kerry has gotten to know the
11:58 am
foreign minister well. they have developed a relationship. that therethe sense is a desire by the secretary to bend, to makeo this work more than the agreement states it should. my senses there are other parts of the administration that are countering that. i think the president is somewhere in between. i don't think you heard today from this committee any desire to provide flexibility that does not exist. there is a sense that over time the will to adhere to this could erode. we thank you for your testimony. there will be questions asked in writing. the record will remain open
11:59 am
until thursday. i don't this is a hearing on some technical issues. we thank you for coming and we appreciate the role you are playing at the state department. mr. shannon: thank you very much. i appreciate the opportunity.
12:00 pm

13 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on