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tv   U.S. Senate Sen. Rubio on Iran  CSPAN  May 16, 2019 8:26pm-8:39pm EDT

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the media and the former negotiator for president obama making the statement that somehow poor iran. all bad america. i'm not a big blame america first number i think we need to be careful when we talk about china demonizing our generals, admirals, national security advisers make the iranians like there are some innocence when they are not. i wish more my colleagues talk about the number of dead military members killed by the force in iran. and wounded. they never do. no one ever here talks about it. amnesia. the news has been terminated -- >> i expect there will be more coverage on a matter that i think is of great urgency to the country and global security and peace and that is the tensions
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rising in the middle east. i've seen a few my colleagues speak on the floor about it today and press reporting on it and some of it on point and i understand some of it there has been there should be more information provided to the members and i'm pleased to see more will be available next week when we return and it's an item i talked about for a couple weeks now. that is the urgent threat a potentially that exist now froml iran against the united states. particularly in iraq with the persian gulf region. let's talk about the threat to understand the threat to understand how iran operates. i ran is an islamic republic meaning they have a political branch of the government and a president and foreign minister and parliamentary body and then who ultimately governs the country and in essence, his command over the little branches and that's why they call him a supreme
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leader. he's a religious figure. then as part of that they have f armed services and army and navy and air force that kept the country theoretically but then they have an armed force that is independent of the army, navy and air force and that is the islamic revolutionary guard corps. i our gc. first of all, they don't respond or answer to the president or foreign minister and don't answer to regularly army but answer directly to the supreme leader and people don't understand this they describe to other countries the activities of her own and the president is not the commander-in-chief and reality of the i rgc and the operate completely separate and by the way, that means the i rgc the islamic revolutionary guard corps can operate oftentimes doing things that foreign minister or spokesperson for the armenian government might not even know about. the point being that we have to understand that dynamic because
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they are not us in our attribute should not be assigned to them and the i rgc has an organization within it that has a unit called the [inaudible] force and that force led by the general are experts and have developed expertise and unconventional warfare and intelligence activities primarily abroad. this is the organization that helped build ied's the killed and maimed american servicemen in iraq and the organization behind shiite militia in iraq today i and the organization behind a lot of the efforts to support hezbollah and in syria and other parts of the world. the i rgc force is designed to do things that have some level of deniability. what the i rgc has developed and we know this now for the better part of the decade is the ability in case of conflict with the united states to attack us using proxies meaning other
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groups and escape and have some level of deniability to get some group that stood up and have equipped and trained to attack us in retaliation for something market does that they can deny it and say that was not our army or air force and it was another group that did it on their own. this is the capability they have built are just in the middle east but all over the world and we been aware of it for a long time. it is not a secret to anyone. it is a capability they've increasingly perfected. as what happened here recently ais a persistent and clear strm of information has arrived to american policymakers that i rgc and this [inaudible] force in the planning or there are indications that they and their proxies in the region pose a serious and potential imminent threat to u.s. forces and u.s. civilians in iraq and in the
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broader middle east. the president of the united states and in ministration is confronted with this information and what is the appropriate thing to do? the appropriate thing for them to do is reposition military assets to the region number one to protect the americans that are there in case they come under attack and to be, in a position to retaliate and the reason i that is important is you hope to deter this sort of attack butar you're hoping to sy them that we have military capabilities in the region and if we are attacked by yourc proxies at the direction of the force we will respond to that forcefully and what you hope that will do along with public messaging is get into their head and make them decide we will not do this. that is whatre has happened. that is what has happened and wholly appropriate. i want you to imagine for a moment if that attack occurred in government hundreds of americans were killed the first question everybody would have is
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why do we not have military axis in the region to protect them and why could we not get them out to connect that is the first question everyone around here will ask. but the ministration has done to preproduction military assets in the region for this potential contingency is entirely appropriate. as is also appropriate the notion that we are not going to start a war but if we are attacked by iran's proxies we will respond against both proxies and hold iran responsible and able pay a price for this as well. we have a right to defend themselves in response. that is the only thing that is happening here. i'm pleased that in the last day more members of the senate have been made privy to the stream of information so that people can begin to see the actions of the ministration has taken up to this point but are not just wholly justified but appropriate. i'm concerned about the reactions i have seen and it
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bodes ill for this case and for the future. restrictions are seen as this is not true in the art making it up literally. it is not true. they are making it up it was such intelligence and it's beene exaggerated and i don't know who the leaguers are who are lying to media outlets about the contents of this intelligence because they have an ax to grind against someone else in the imagination so they want to great embarrassment. i get this bureaucratic infighting but i don't understand it when it comes to issues of national security. even if the information is 50% accurate we have an obligation to air on the side of caution, especially when america lies are on the line. anchored every member to go and read this information for access it to your offices and we have a briefing with appropriate officials will send that as well and you will not agree with me, i believe. seconding hearing is that this is a path to war and the iraq war over a decade ago. this is nothing like that.
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nothing like that but that was an invasion of another country and this is not posturing a military attack. this is military posturing for purposes of defensive operation as i have said repeatedly veryy straightforward and if iran attack there will be a war and if iran does not protect there will not be a war. i think the most disappointing in some insinuation including by members of the body public and privately that somehow we will provoke an attack and that elements of the american government will do something to get iran to hitmt us so that we had an excuse to go to work. i don't know how you prove a negative but i find that to be wholly unsubstantiated and dangerous. let me tell you why this is problematic. what encourages iran to believe they can get away thatites they believe one of the groups if
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they attack us they believe they will be able to say that's not us and that some rogue group that did it but don't hold us responsible for it. the more they think they can get away with it likely they are to do it. it is important that this be exposed for what it is and the second reason why they think they can get away with it is i think they believe they can exploit our political division. i think they read these newspapers and realize that is some percentage of americans and certainly a significant uprc percentage of american and politics are going to, in some ways, take iran side and say we provoked it. this is our fault and we did something that made them at graded the tensions that led to this. for the intelligence is fought or one of these other groups in the more of that they read the likely they are to do this, by the way. that does not mean i don't believe we can have a legitimate debate and i support that designating the i rgc but weti could have a legitimate debate veabout whether that should be done or not. n but not right now. because right now american stand
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potentially in's way and the need united states of america to be supporting efforts to defend and protect. here's what i know none of us can disagree with, i hope. number one, if there's any serious indication that americans anywhere are threatened we must position ourselves to protect them, defend them, extract them in retaliate.ic the second thing we should be able to agree on is of americans come under attack even if it's from a proxy force directed by a foreign agent like the i rgc not only with me defend against that attack but punish it with swift retaliation. that should unite us in a matter of incredible importance. i hope all that misinformation will stop. t this matter is too important to play political games. mr. president, i yield the floor and suggest an absence of a quorum. >> house will be in order.
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