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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  December 14, 2013 10:00am-12:01pm EST

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archduke ferdinand and his wife were in terri able -- were on a tour. it was a national holiday that they celebrate every year. thatoviets were furious they had taken over bosnia. they have been plotting to do the archduke of the other slavic peoples within their. they try to kill him. they did. it was sloppy police work. blank.ot him point >> the assassination of archduke ferdinand and his wife and the events leading up to world war i. wararet macmillan on "the that ended peace. "
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john kerry testified to say about his recent deal with enron the country's nuclear program. he appeared before the house affairs committee and address sanctions against the country. this is two hours and 40 minutes. >> this hearing will come to order. today the committee will discuss the interim nuclear agreement which the u.s. and five other nations have reached with the ran last month. we welcome our secretary of state, the honorable john kerry, to address the committee's questions and concerns regarding the administration's plan. mr. secretary, we appreciate you coming before the committee. while we will debate how best to
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derail iran's nuclear program, i know that you appreciate that opposes a threat to our national security. congress has played a key role in u.s. policy towards iran, mainly by driving sanctions against the regime. i rolled mine the committee that the legislation which we past year unanimously, legislation that the roy single bill -- royce-engel bill, so we look forward to a constructive discussion today. these are high-stakes issues, but i am confident that the spirit of bipartisanship will prevail, as it typically does on this committee. we welcome our secretary of state. the key issue is whether a final agreement would allow iran to manufacture nuclear fuel. unfortunately, the interim agreement raises some questions.
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my concern is that we have bargained away our fundamental position, which is enshrined in six un security council resolutions. that fundamental agreement is that iran should not be enriching and reprocessing. we may bargain that away for a false confidence that we can effectively block your ran's misuse of these key nuclear bomb making technologies. just within the last few days, iran has announced plans to press on and improve its centrifuge technology in order to enrich uranium. meanwhile, on wednesday, we had of these key nuclear bomb-making technologies. just within the last few days, iran has announced plans to press on and improve its centrifuge technology in order to enrich uranium.
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meanwhile, on wednesday, we had a comment from the former senator of iran stating that iran was going to continue construction at the plutonium reactor at iraq which would be capable of producing weapons grade plutonium once it's operational. and we had another comment from those in the regime that they may produce, that they will set up more of these plutonium reactors. that tells us something about iran's intentions. and that is why we are concerned about how this agreement will be enforced. yet we agree, you know, on the concept of verification, that we have to have good verification. one of the things we remember as we deal with this in iran is that it is one that aggressively supports terrorism, supports the most radical groups. in 2006, i was in hifa when it was being shelled and it was
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being shelled specifically with iranian missiles and missiles provided, rockets provided by syria. this is a regime which, as we were reminded not too long ago, mr. ted deutsch reminded me that when we heard the rally and the slogan "death to america" it was not just a besiege that we were marching. it was members of the government as well that were shouting "death to america." it was a regime that brutally, brutally opresses its own people. it tells you how it might treat others. and it makes a distinction which says that israel is a country that could be destroyed with just one bomb. it is that kind of commentary out of the regime that gives us
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pause. and this is the important point to many of us. it has a history of deceiving the international community about its nuclear program. the director of the iaea raised that concern with me. it has that history, and it's pursuing a ballistic missile program in violation of u.n. security council resolutions as well. so iran is not just another country. it simply can't be trusted with enrichment technology because verification efforts can never be foolproof with respect to their ability to get undetectible nuclear breakout. that's one of the concerns we have. an agreement in which iran purchases and returns spent nuclear fuel for energy regeneration is one thing. that was something we were willing to get an agreement on. but allowing enrichment, i feel, is too high. going beyond the lines of realistic international control. there has been a lot of talk
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about whether iran has the right to enrich technology. this committee has held several hearings on the nonproliferation treaty over the years. it is clear iran has no such right under that treaty. and while i heard the administration say that iran has no right, it's a moot point if an agreement permits enrichment, giving iran a defacto right. the sanctions relief is another concern. the sanctions that drove iran to the negotiating table took years to build. while the interim agreement relief is limited, governments throughout the world will not be easily convinced to reverse course and ratchet up sanctions pressure if iran is only buying time with this agreement. moreover, companies have stayed away from iran as much due to the atmosphere of international isolation as to the letter of u.s. sanctions law. i am concerned that that may now
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be lost. because foreign-based oil companies have jumped to start discussions with iran. this is the headline from the wall street journal. "iran deal opens door for businesses." we've got to counter that impression. lastly, a point i want to make is that sanctions have worked elsewhere. international sanctions pressure brought down the immoral apartheid regime in south africa. that led to south africa not only releasing nelson mandela from prison but also abandoning its nuclear arsenal, giving up its atomic bomb. a bipartisan coalition from newt gingrich to john kerry supported those tough sanctions, even overwriting a presidential veto.
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at the end of the day, there was the intent that if we did not achieve the result that the overbearing, overwhelming sanctions would be opposed, and indeed they were, and indeed they worked. we are facing an immoral and national at the very time that its economy is on the ropes without getting an agreement which stops its centrifuges from spending. i think all of us expected that the sanctions would be used to get an agreement that stopped the centrifuge program, to stop those from spending, and that is my basic concern here. i now turn to ranking member engle for h-- engel for his opening statement. >> thank you, secretary kerry,
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thank you all for appearing today. thank you for an issue that's obviously important to national security. after taking this up five years ago, president obama inherited an almost nonexistent strategy of getting iran to limit nuclear probability. it became apparent when iran walked away from the p5-s1 negotiations in october of 2009. after that the administration shifted to a two-track strategy which coupled engagement with increasing economic pressure through sanctions, while making it clear that all options remain on the table. this is the policy i favored, and the president, succeeded without expectations.
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the u.n. security council and the european union acting in parallel with our efforts imposed tough new sanctions on iran. this committee took the lead on a bipartisan basis to pass fighting sanctions legislation, the royce-engel bill designed to kr cripple the iranian economy. that was a bill that passed unanimously out of this committee. i was very, very proud of it, to work on such a bipartisan basis with chairman royce, and then past the floor by a vote of 400. over the last three years, president obama has signed four major iran sanctions bills into law. taken together with international sanctions, this has made it exceeding.
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for iran to sell off oil, cut off iran's financial system and severely limit iran's currency. the iranians finally admitted that the sanctions are hurting them badly, and they came to a settlement to curtail the nuclear program. as all of us know, the p5-s1 reached an interim agreement with iran end of november. and i want to commend you for your incredible personal efforts to conceal this. having said that, i want to make it clear that i have some serious reservations about the agreement. first and foremost, it seems to me at a minimum it should have required iran to suspend uranium
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enrichment as demanded by six separate u.n. security council resolutions. i don't think it's asking too much of iran to say that at least while we're talking, you stop enriching. for the six-month period while we're talking, iran, in my estimation, should not be enriching. and if they refuse to do that, again, going counter to six separate u.n. security council resolutions, it makes me wonder how serious they are and how sincere they are in terms of really wanting to negotiate in good faith. mr. secretary, you and other administration official have determined that the interim agreement will place. a long-term capability once and for all. you also said the sanctions relief we're providing is very
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limited and reversible. i hope kwur right. and i'm sure you'll agree with me that. i can assure you that congress will be looking out for the first sign of retreating or backing out by iran. mr. kerry, i hope you can convince me today that we will continue to enforce all sanctions in place during the time of the interim agreement and that you will not hesitate putting on more sanctions in the next six months as more circumstances warrant. in addition, i hope you will send a clear message to businesses all over the world that now is not the time to make plans to reenter iran, and again, the chairman showed that headline in the wall street journal. in order for me to support a comprehensive agreement, restraints must be put in place to enforce that iran cannot
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continue down the path of a nuclear weapon. in that context. i have the following questions for our discussion today. first, if iran returns in any enrichment capacity. second, why do many of our closest allies feel the interim deal caught them by surprise? what are you doing to make sure they are included as negotiations continue on a final deal? three allies of the united states that look at iran as an existential threat to them, saudi arabia, they all oppose the deal. they're the ones closest to it. why is that the case? why does the administration strongly oppose congressional action on iran's legislation that makes clear new sanctions will not be imposed unless iran violated the terms of the
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interim deal. so now that we have an interim deal, we must focus with laser-like intensity on ensuring that any long-term agreement dismantles all uranium infrastructure that could lead to a break in capacity. any deal which has not achieved that goal will be a devastating failure. mr. secretary, it's critical that you and the president consult very closely with congress as you implement the interim agreement and negotiate a final deal. waivers in existing sanctions legislation will only get you so far, and it's likely congress would have to pass legislation to implement any comprehensive deal. but it will be impossible to take that step unless members of this committee and the full house are fully informed and absolutely convinced that iran has agreed to verifiably abandon its efforts to develop a nuclear weapons capability. and finally, mr. secretary, as you continue to engage with the iranians, and i know you know this, but i really need to
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mention it, i would urge you to remain cognizant of the fact that iran remains the top state sponsor of terrorism in the world, continues to support his actions in syria, continues to support his violations of human rights, continues his attempt to destabilize a number of gulf states, and continues to imprison americans, all of this under the so-called rouhani government. so again, mr. secretary, thank you for a today and i look forward to hearing your testimony. >> members of the house, this afternoon we're pleased to be joined by john kerry, our country's 68th secretary of state. prior to his appointment, secretary kerry served as the united states senator for massachusetts for 28 years, chairing the senate foreign relations committee during the last four years of his tenure. the secretary was in the middle
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east just last week. he'll be returning there tomorrow before heading to southeast asia to, among other things, assess relief efforts in the philippines. it's a demanding schedule. without objection, mr. secretary, your prepared statement will be made part of the record. the committee members here goif da days. we welcome you before this committee today. thank you. >> thank you very much, ranking member engel, members of the committee, thanks very much for welcoming me back, and i'm happy to be back here. there is no more important issue in american foreign policy than the question of the one we're focused on here today.
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obviously, from the chairman's introduction, you know i come here with the greatest amount of respect in the committee and the senate. it's entirely appropriate we're here to satisfy your questions, hopefully allay your concerns and fears, because i believe the agreement that we have ought to do that. and i think the path that we're on should do that. and as i described it to you, i hope you'll leave here today with a sense of confidence that we know what we're doing, our eyes are open, we have no illusions. it's a tough road. i don't come here with any guarantees whatsoever, and i think none of what we've done in this agreement begs that notion. in other words, everything is either verifiable or clear, and there are several ahead of us that will even grow more so in terms of a comprehensive
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agreement. i'm sure we'll talk about that in the course of the day. let me begin by saying president obama and i have both been very clear, as every member of this committee has been, that iran must not acquire a nuclear weapon, and it is the president's centerpiece of his foreign policy around will not acquire a nuclear weapon. this imperative is at the top of our national security agenda, and i know it's at the top of yours as well. so i really do welcome the opportunity to have a discussion not only about what the first step agreement does, but also to clarify, i hope significantly, what it doesn't do. because there is a certain -- as there is in any of these types of things, a certain mythology that sometimes goes up around it. the title of today's hearing is "the iran nuclear deal deal.
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does it further national security?" i would state to you unequivocally the answer is yes. the u.s. is more stable under this agreement than it was before. israel's national security is stronger than it was the day before we entered into this agreement. and the gulf and middle east interests are more secure than they were the day before we entered this agreement. now, here's how. put simply, this agreement halts the progress of iran's nuclear program, halts the progress and rolls it back to certain places for the first time. nearly ten years. it provides unprecedented monitoring and inspections.
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while we negotiate to see if we can conclude a comprehensive agreement. if we can conclude. and i came away from our preliminary negotiations with serious questions about whether or not they're ready and willing to make some of the choices that have to be made, but that's what we put to test over the next months. while we negotiate to see if we can conclude a comprehensive agreement that addresses all of our concerns, there is an important fact. iran's nuclear program will not move forward. under this agreement, iran will have to neutralize, end, its stockpile of enriched uranium, which as you all know, is a step
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away from weapons grade uranium. so when he held up that picture with the bomb in it in 2012, he outlined the type of uranium he was concerned about, and he was talking about that 20% stockpile. under this agreement iran will forfeit all -- not part -- all of that 20%, that 200-kilogram stockpile, gone. under this agreement, iran will also halt the enrichment above 5%, and it will not be permitted to grow a stockpile of 3.5% in enriched uranium. iran cannot increase the number of centrifuges in operation, and it will not install or use any
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next generation centrifuges to enrich uranium. under this agreement, we will have increased transparency of iran's nuclear program, giving us a window into their activities that we don't have today. we will have access to a secret facility in a mountaintop that we've never been in. we will now get into it, not once or twice, every single day. we will get into natais and know every single day what's happening in natais. and we will have access each month to the iraq facility where we will have an extraordinary availability to be able to know through inspections whether or not they are complying with their requirements. now, this monitoring is going to increase our visibility into iran's nuclear program as well
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as our ability to react should iran reanything on this agreement. and taken together, these first steps will help prevent iran using the cover of negotiations, to continue advancing its nuclear program in set. a. now, in addition, this is very important. one of our greatest concerns has been the irak, ir-r-a-ki-r-a-k, facility. this is a heavy plutonium reactor. that's unacceptable to us. in the first step, we have now succeeded in preventing them from doing any nuclear building
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and from installing any of the other components which is critical for their ability to advance that particular reactor. so it's stone cold wherever it is in terms of its nuclear threat and capacity. iran will not be able to commission the iraq reactor during the course of this interim first step agreement. that's very important. now, we have strong feelings about what will happen in a final comprehensive agreement. from our point of view, iraq is unacceptable. you can't have a heavy water reactor. but we've taken the step in the context of a first step. they' they'll. it cannot conduct any. and ivan.
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we're actually going to have the. we've long sought this information. skplt has been provided but not through intel or any other sources. those are the highlights of what we get in these agreement, and some articles talking about 30, 45, $5 billion. it's -- we have red teams. all the possible numbers through the intel. the people in charge of sanctions, and our evidence is,
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they would have somewhere. and this is something i think you ought to take great pride in. i was here as chairman with they put this in. i think we were 100-0, as a matter of fact. we put them in place for a purpose. the purpose was to get to this negotiation. the purpose was to see whether or not diplomacy and avoidance of war could actually deliver the same thing or better than you might be able to get through confrontation. now, sanctions relief is limited to the very few targeted areas that are specified in this agreement for a total of about the $7 billion that i've described. and we will continue to
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vigorously, ranking member engel, we will absolutely, not only will we -- this is actually going to result in a greater intensity and focus on the sanctions because i've sent a message to every single facility of the united states anywhere in the world that every agency is to be on alert to see any least movement by anybody towards an effort to try to circumvent or undo the sanctions. we don't believe that will happen. and one of the reasons it won't happen is because we have a united p5s1. russia, china, the united states, germany and great britain are all united in this assurance we will not undo the sanctions and that we will stay focused on their enforcement. now, all the sanctions on iran, further, on its abysmal human
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rights record, on its place over terror and position in syria, those sanctions will all remain in effect. they have nothing to do with the nuclear. they're there for the reasons they're there, and we're not taking them off. this agreement does provide iran with a very limited, temporary and reversible relief. and it's reversible any time in the process that there is non-compliance. if iran fails to meet its commitments, we can and will revoke this relief. and we will be the first ones to come to you if this fails to ask you for additional sanctions. the total amount of relief is somewhere in the 6 to 7 billion that i described. that's less than 1% of iran's
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trillion-dollar economy. and it is a small fraction of the $100 billion plus of oil revenue alone that we have deprived iran of since 2012. i want you to keep in mind, this really pales in comparison to the amount of pressure we are leaving in place. iran will lose $30 billion over the course of this continued sanctions regime over the next six months. so compare that. they may get $7 billion of relief, but they're going to lose $30 billion. it's going to go into the frozen accounts. it will be added to the already 45 billion or so that's in those accounts now that they can't access. during the six-month negotiating period, iran's crude oil sales cannot increase. oil sanctions continue as they are today.
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there's no diminishment of the oil and banking sanctions that you put in place. we have not lifted them. we haven't eased them. that means that as we negotiate, oil sanctions will continue to cost iran about the 30 billion i just described, and iran will actually lose more money each month that we negotiate than it will gain in relief as a result of this agreement. and while we provide 4.2 billion in relief over the six months, which is direct money we will release from the frozen account, we are structuring this relief in a way that it is tied to concrete iaea verified steps that they've agreed to take on the nuclear program. that means that the funds will be transferred not all at once, but in installments in order to ensure that iran full fills its commitments. and it means that iran will not
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get the full measure of relief until the end of the negotiating period when and if we verify, certify that they have complied. so we have committed our p5s1 partners not to impose any new sanctions for the next six months. i know there are questions about this. i know i've seen, and there are some in congress suggested they ought to do it. i'm happy to answer them. i will tell you in my 29 years, just shy of the full 29 i've served in the senate, i was always a leading proponent in the sanctions against iran, and i'm proud of what we did here. but it's undeniable that the pressure we put on iran through these sanctions is exactly what has brought iran to the table today. and i think congress deserves an enormous amount of credit for that. but i don't think that any of us
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thought we were just imposing these sanctions for the sake of imposing them. we did it because we knew that it would hopefully help iran dismantle its nuclear program. that was the whole point of the regime. now, has iran changed its nuclear ideas? i'm not sure we can say that yet. we don't just take words at face value. believe me, this is not about trust. and given the history, and mr. chairman, you mentioned the question of deception. we are already skeptical about whether or not people are ready to make the hard choices necessary to live up to this. but we now have the best chance we've ever had to rigorously test this proposition. without losing anything, at least twice in this agreement,
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it is mentioned that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. and that is specific as to the final agreement. in addition, where it does talk about the potential of enrichment in the future, it says mutually agreed upon at least four times, three or four times in that paragraph. it has to be agreed. we don't agree, it doesn't happen. every one of us remembers ronald reagan's maxim when he was negotiating with the soviet union. trust but verify. we have a new one. test but verify. test but verify. and that is exactly what we intend to do in the course of this process. now, we've all been through tough decisions. those you in the top have been around here for a long time, and you've seen we all know the kinds of tough decisions we have to make.
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but we're asking you to give our negotiators and our experts the time and the space to do their jo jobs. and that includes asking you while we negotiate that you hold off imposing new sanctions. i'm not saying never. i just told you a few minutes ago, if this doesn't work, we're coming back and asking you for more. i'm just saying not right now. let me be very clear. this is a very diplomatic moment. we have a chance to help things the world is facing now with gigantic implications of conflict. we're at a crossroads, we're at one of those hinge points in history. one path could lead to an end e
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enduring resolution and end concerns about iran's nuclear program. the other path could lead to hostility and potential conflict. i don't have to tell you these are high stakes. we have an obligation to give these negotiations an opportunity to succeed. and we can't ask the rest of the p5 plus 1 and our partners around the world to hold up its end of the bargain if the united states doesn't hold up its end of the bargain. if we appear to go off on a tangent, do anything we want, we will lose their support of the sanctions themselves. because we don't just enforce them by ourselves, we need their help. i don't want to threaten the unity we currently have with this approach, particularly when it doesn't cost us a thing knowing we could put sanctions
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in place additionally in a week, and we would be there with you seeking to do it. i don't want to give the iranians a public excuse to flout the agreement. it could lead our international partners to think that we're not an honest broker. that we didn't mean it when we said sanctions are not an end. well, we're in that. and six months will fly by so fast, my friend, that before you know it, we're either going to know which end of this we're at or not. it's possible also that it could even end up decreasing the pressure on iran by leading to the fraying of the sanctions regime. i will tell you that there were several p5 plus 1 partners at the table ready to reach an agreement for significantly less than what we fought for and got in the end. mr. chairman, do you want me to
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wrap -- >> if you could, mr. secretary. >> okay. let me just say to you that the iranians know that this threat is on the table. i do want to say one quick word about israel and prime minister netanyahu. i speak to the prime minister usually a couple times a week, or several times. i've talked to him yesterday morning. i'm leaving tomorrow and i'll be seeing him thursday night. we are totally agreed that we need to focus on this final comprehensive agreement. and the national security adviser of the prime ministers here in washington this week working with our exports, and we will work hand in hand closely not just with israel but with our friends in the gulf and others around the world to understand everybody's assessment of what constitutes the best comprehensive agreement that absolutely guarantees that
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the program, whatever it is to be, is peaceful. and that we have expanded by an enormous amount the breakout time. this first step agreement, mr. chairman, actually does expand the breakout time. because of the destruction of the 20%, because of the lack of capacity to move forward on all those other facilities, we are expanding the amount of time it would take them to break out. and clearly in a final agreement, we intend to make this fail-safe that we can guarantee that they will not have access to nuclear weapons. so i just simply put the rest of my testimony on the record, mr. chairman, and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, mr. secretary. i think we all agree with you. the purpose of the sanctions imposed on iran was to get iran to the negotiating table, but i think it's also important to remember the perspective that we had about what we would get in those agreements at the negotiating table. if you recall, the early
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suggestion was that iran, who would bakely keep the right -- basically keep the right to import nuclear fuel, but that would allow the dismantling of its nuclear weapons capability. here's the problem, mr. secretary, as i said in my statement. we've heard the administration say iran has no right to enrich, but the iranians this week say they do. and the joint action plan indicates that the u.s. would accept an iranian enrichment program. iran, from our standpoint, does not need this technology to generate electricity. clearly we're prepared to allow them to import nuclear fuel. but if they have this technology, it is exactly what they do need to make a nuclear weapon. so am i reading this right? is the administration's position
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that while it may not recognize iran's right to enrich, iran will, in practice, retain an enrichment program as part of the final agreement? that is the question. >> it depends, mr. chairman, on the final agreement. it is not locked in, no. if you go to the agreement, i'll read you from the agreement, the last paragraph says that it would involve a mutually defined enrichment program with mutually agreed parameters consistent with practical needs. that's a very important concept. it has to relate to whatever it is practically that they might have a reason for arguing they need it for, like medical research or whatever it is, but that would be very limited. it then says, with the degreed limits on scope and level of enrichment activities and capacity and where it's carried out and stocks of enriched
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uranium for a period to be agreed upon. so i've got one, two, three, four mutually agreed or agreed upons. now, those are going to have to be agreed upon, and if they can't be, no, they won't have one. if it's so limited and so verifiable and so trans parent and so accountable and you have all of the attributes of cradle to grave documentation -- one of the things i didn't mention to you we got in the first step is access to their mining facilities so we can trace how much they're mining. we have access to their mill eting so we can trace the transition. we have access to the centrifuge workshops, we have access to the centrifuge storage facilities. we're earning the capacity here to know exactly what's happening in a precedented fashion. as i said to foreign minister
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zarife in our negotiations, there is no right to enrich in the npt, but neither is it denied. the npt is silent on the issue. >> it is, of course, the most important concession that they wanted. and from our standpoint, as you know, the goal was, since as i explained, you're right. if they can enrich to 20%, they're 80% there in terms of a bomb. but if they can enrich to 5% because of the way technology works once you master it, if you enrich to 5%, you're still 70% of the way there towards getting a bomb. so the question going forward that we have is focused on precisely how we dismantle their nuclear weapons program, and that's why we really appreciate this dialogue with you today. there was an additional discussion that i wanted to have on this, quote, unquote, managed access. i talked to the director of the
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iaea, and the inspectors on the international atomic energy agency will have certain abilities, managed access, as we say, with respect to the locations in which the centrifuges, as you said, are assembled where they're produced. but does this include access to the military base? the military base where the iaea alleged to me that testing for weapons designs takes place, and i would just ask you also about another point which they have made, which is that iran is out of compliance with respect to their icbm program, their free stage icbms they're making. so what type of access at the end of the day is the iaea actually going to possess here? >> let me answer a couple things if i can because it's very
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important to this process. in any negotiation, you can have a wish list and you approach it from a u.n. security council point of view and say, this is where we'd like to be, but then there is the question of where you can really be. without what we've achieved here, iran would be progressing toward its nuclear weapon now. the window would be narrowing in terms of its breakout time. israel would be more agressive if we weren't where we are today. that's where we were heading. from iran's point of view, as they look at it, they say, wait a minute now. there are about 17 countries in the world that have nuclear programs that are peaceful. and about four or five of them enrich.
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and why can't we? obviously the answer from all of us is because you're out of sync with the iaea standards, with the npt, et cetera. but if they came into compliance, what is it that says they then couldn't be able to do it? that's their question to us. they say to us, okay, you guys say we ought to completely end enrichment and yet you're not willing to give us sanctions relief. to them the balance of negotiation is if we give up the very thing we're fighting to be able to do, then you ought to give up the thing you're using to get us to do it. so their equivalency was we stop enrichment, you stop sanctions altogether. there isn't anybody here who wouldn't stop sanctions altogether at that point because we have to build a process. so what we did was we got, i thought, a remarkable amount. we stopped their program and we have eliminated the 20% and rolled back their breakout time,
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enlarged it, while we moved towards the final negotiation. the final negotiation is going to be in conjunction with all of our partners. and whatever we do, it's got to make israel safer, it's got to make the world safer, it can't threaten the emirates, it can't threaten the region. we all understand this. it has to be a peaceful program. we have to know this to a certainty. and it isn't hard to prove a program is peaceful if it really is. so we're now in the main game. and what we're saying to you is, respectfully, that you should give us an opportunity working with you. we'll brief you, keep everybody informed working with our friends to make sure we're all on the same page as we go through this process of proof. now, mr. chairman, you're absolutely correct. there are parts of the ballistic missiles that are of great concern. and we're well a ware of that. there is the parchment facility
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that's of great concern. we also believe this agreement opens the door to be able to deal with some of that. the language specifically is the plan says iran will work with the iaea to facilitate resolution of past and present issues of concern. past and present issues of concern is formula language with the iaea and iran in addressing possible military aggressions including parchment. it also says they have to have a resolution of concerns which includes military dimensions of the program which are on the table. in addition, the plan says there will be some interim steps, additional steps in between the initial measure and the final step, including addressing the u.n. security council resolutions with a view toward bringing to a satisfactory conclusion the u.n. security
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council's consideration in this matter. the u.n. security council, you'll remember, mr. chairman, sought suspension, not prohibition. and, in effect, we now believe that in this plan that we've laid out, iran is required to address the u.n. security council resolutions regarding its nuclear program before a comprehensive agreement can be reached. and the u.n. security council resolution 1929, which is contained in that, specifically addresses ballistic missiles. so the answer is, it's on the table, it's part of the discussion. >> well, my time is expired. i want to thank you. as you know, i'm very concerned about this iranian regime being allowed enrichment capability at the end of the day. i don't think since neighboring countries don't have it, i think it's a problem that might set off something of an arms race
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among its neighbors, but i want to go now to mr. elliott engel of new york for his questions. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you, mr. secretary. i want to just follow up on the enriching. i said this in my opening remarks, mr. secretary. i understand that you said if we force them to stop enriching, they would want us to remove the sanctions right away. i want to talk about both of those. first the enriching. i would think if there were six nations who say stop enriching, i don't think that's too much to ask. secondly, you mentioned israel. we have all heard from the government of israel, united emirates saudi arabia, they all
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regard iran as an existential threat to them, all three governments, and they don't like the deal. so why are the countries that seem to be most affected by it that are closest in geography to iran that feel an existential threat, why don't they like the deal? >> actually, the emirates put out a statement of support for it. i've been to the emirates recently, and they believe, cautiously, they're concerned, but i think they are completely understanding where we're heading with this and in support of that. i stood up to the officer of the emirates in abadabe and he said they support what they're trying to do. i went to saudi arabia and met with the king and they issued a statement in support of the direction we're going in. president netanyahu of israel had a different tactic.
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the prime minister thought we should ratchet up the sanctions and keep the pressure on and somehow they would collapse. we didn't read it the same way. we also felt that if i just tried to go into the negotiation for the final status comprehensive agreement, you would be allowing them to continue to grow their program while you were negotiating. and that's more like the north korean model. you sort of get into this prolonged negotiation, but they're progressing while you're doing it. we wanted to make sure we could stop the program where it is and have an assurance while we negotiate that it can't progress. we also thought it was important to show the world whether or not in a first step they were willing to show good faith in moving forward. they have done so. they haven't done it yet, we have to implement. our negotiators are right now in the hague working on this, and we hope in the next days that will happen. we have plans to resume the negotiations in short order
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thereafter. >> you agree with us it was sanctions that brought the negotiations to the table, and i believe the pressure track will actually strengthen your hand. we've been told by the administration and your testimony here today that if congress passes sanctions now, even if those sanctions don't go into effect for six months it would only go into effect if there was a strong breach by iran that we would cause irreversible damage to our diplomatic process with iran. if that's true, then, how can the united states send a message to iran that there will be dire consequences if the interim deal does not come to fruition? and secondly, why hasn't the administration issued any sanctions designations which involve sanctions that are
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already in place since the election of rouhani?
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kissinger sat wiand tried to bud a different relationship. same with gorbachev and reagan. it was based on a process that was put in place. so we're approaching this i think realistically with an understanding that these sanctions make a difference. now, they know, they know that if this fails, sanctions will be increased. we've set itaid it 100 times. and you've said it 100 times. and they know you're yearning to go do it. but you don't need do it. it is actually gratuitous in the context of this situation. because you can do it in a week. if you need to. when we say this ain't working, we need your help, and believe me, we'll be prepared to do that. and you'll be partners in this as we go along because we'll be
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sharing, you know, a sense of where we are and what's going on. so i would simply say to you you we have -- we also have partners in this, congress map. you know that. i mean, if our partners in europe and china and russia see us go off and we're hammering in a way that, you know, runs contra to the agreements we've made, it really is very difficult for us to hold the thing whole. and i i just think it's not the wisest approach. >> well, i think it could potentially strengthen your happened with a good cop/bad cop scenario. >> i appreciate you thinking that. i'm respectfully suggesting to that you we think our hand is very, very strong and nothing is undone in the sanctions regime. they're going to lose $30 billion over the course of the next -- they normally have -- they normally sell 2.5 million barrels per day of oil. they're down to a million. their economy is careening.
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and they know what they need to do. and their people's hopes and aspirations have been raised. they came back and people were excited and anticipating the possibility they might have different lives. those aspirations can't suddenly be put back in a can. so i think that there is a lot moving in the right direction here and think we just ought to try to respect the process. if you couldn't put them in place if a week, if it was impossible to design them, we'll work with you. you can design them, we can sit here and be ready to go. we're just saying to you please give us the opportunity to negotiate along the contours of what we have agreed upon. >> what about the sanctions designations that are already in place? >> they stay in place. >> but there haven't been any satisfactions designations issued since rouhani's election. >> with respect to what? >> with respect to the sanctions
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that are in place if there had been any violations. >> i'm not sure there have been. i'm not aware of one that begged us to put an additional sanction in place. >> and i know my time sun, but let me ask one final question. you mentioned, mr. secretary, that six to seven or seven to eight billion dollars in sanctions relief is being provided to iran as a result, that it's minimal. the real is eal is up about 30% the signing. has that been taken into account when we look at the amount of pressure that we are taking -- removing from iran? >> kryes. and we also take into account obviously the variations in the price of oil, sometimes production. sometimes they have had 800,000 barrels on a month, sometimes they have more. it's about a million. there are variations.
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we've taken the entire curve of variation there is to effect. by the way, the day after this agreement was made, the stock market in israel was the highest it's been. >> we'll go now to i willian in a of florida. >> you state order 60 minutes oig that on a nuclear deal, a bad deal is worse than no deal. this deal is a bad deal. i believe that the concessions offered to iran will be the death knell on the sanctions program as we know it. this threatens our allies. it threatens our closest ally, the democratic jewish state of israel. isn't it true that the fissile material is one aspect, but this iran deal does not address ballistic missiles and iran has announced significant advancement on its ballistic missile program. why was it decided to leave these aspects unaddressed in the
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agreement? i oppose the administration's acceptance of iran's i will legitimate claim to a right to enrich you're rain yul. iran says this deal does give it that enrich you're rai. iran says this deal does give it that right. i expect the iranian regime to welcome in the entire international community to show that it has not violated terms of the deal and both the administration and media will be he have fuse sif in their praise of iran's full fillmefillment o deal. but we set the bar so low that iran loebl will comply and we must not be fooled by that approach because iran can start you were the centrifuge, it will be too late to stop them. how long will it take iran to enrich from 3.5% to 90% with its current punuclear intra
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infrastructure? i was the author of several iran sanctions bills that have become law including the toughest set of sanctions currently on the books. it's discouraging that many countries are eager to get iranian gas and well not be able to stop the cash infusion and get sanctions back to their current levels. jay carney suggested that if pursuing a diplomatic resolution in iran is disallowed or ruled out, then we'd be faced with no other option than war to prevent iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. this is a false binary choice. it's not one or the other. we've been increasing sanctions on the iranian regime for a decade. do you agree with this characterization, do you believe that those of us in congress who oppose this deal and seek an increase in sanctions to force
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iran to give up its enrichment program, it's not to force iran to negotiate, it's to force iran to give up its enrichment program, that we are warmongers? and lastly, two issues. regarding camp ashraf, the ash raf 7-b held in iran or are they in iraq? and mr. secretary, sometimes a handshake is just a handshake. but when the lieader of the fre world shakes the bloody hand of a ruthless deck at a time tore like raul castro, it becomes a propaganda coup for the tyrant. castro uses that happened to sign the orders to repress and jail democracy advocates. in fact right now as we speak, cuban opposition leaders are being detained and beaten while trying to commemorate today which is international human rights day. they will feel disheartened when they see these photos. could you please tell the cuban
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people living under that repressive regime that a handshake notwithstanding the u.s. policy toward the cruel and sadistic cuban dictatorship has not weakened? thank you. >> well, thank you very much, madame chairman. let me begin, first of all, by making it clear my staff gave me a piece of paper that informs me that on september 6th, the treasury department -- i see congressman engel is not here, but the treasury department identified a network of six individuals and four businesses subject to the iran sanctions act and they did sanction them. so treasury has done at least one instance of sanctioning since then. with respect to your opening comment regarding the death
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knell of the sanctions, we just have to respectfully disagree and in six months the world will know where you're right or i'm right or whether you're wrong or i'm wrong. i don't agree with you. i do not believe it is the death knell of the sanctions because all of our partners are united. and we have enormous tools at our disposal. we are the ones who control access to the financial system in the united states which is, you know, for almost any financial transaction in the world. we have huge ability to leverage and have an impact on people and as i said earlier, we'll be all over this. so i have great confidence in our ability to go forward. moreover, most companies know that sanctions are still in place and that we'll be doing this. the visibility that it's been given creates great uncertainty for them. very few companies will try to actually cut a contract with
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iran if they think in five months or four months that contract is going to be null and void because the sanctions will be ratcheted up or you might be at war. just not going to happen. common accepts tells you that. they want more certainty before they sign any long term contracts and those are long term contract, oil contracts and such. >> if you could answer the ash raf and cuba question. >> sure. the question is ashraf was where are they? >> iran or iraq. >> well, they're in iraq. >> they're in iraq? >> the people. >> the seven hostages taken camp ashraf. we have not known where they are. >> i can talk to you about that in classified session. >> and on the issue of cuba and the u.s. policy? >> on the issue of cuba, ladies
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and gentlemen, today is about honoring nelson mandela. and the president is at an international funeral with leerds from all over the world. he didn't choose who is there. they're there to honor mandela. and we appreciate that people from all over the world and from all different beliefs and walks of life who appreciated nelson mandela and/or were friends of his came to honor him. and i think as the president said, i urge you to go read his speech or if you didn't see it or haven't read it, because the president said in his speech today, honoring nelson mandela, he said we urge leaders to honor mandela's struggle for freedom by upholding the basic human rights of their -- >> and would you say raul castro is upholding basic human rights? >> no, absolutely not. >> thank you, sir. >> and you know my position on that. >> we go now to mr. sherman of california.
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>> secretary, i'd like to thank you and others for your hard work and for actually enforcing the sanctions laws that we in congress pass. we have a number of iran sanctions statutes on the book. some have waivers. some don't. with regard on those that don't have waivers, can you pledge now that this administration will enforce the laws on the books to the best of your ability? >> absolutely. i think we do. >> i am concerned because hfr- >> are you talking about the waiver on the oil? >> i was just talking about all of the sanction laws. some have waivers, some don't. i'm concerned as the ranking member points out, prior to the first six months of this year, we had dozens and dozens of individual companies sanctioned because we discovered the information that indicated that they had violated u.s. sanctions laws. since rouhani was elected in the middle of this year, one. and you have identified it.
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so we've gone from dozens for dozens to one. so i'm hoping we're in the slow walking things because we're so happy with rouhani. i want to thank the administration for recognizing the importance of the sanctions bills that congress has passed. the sanctions that the administration lauds now, you opposed or the administration opposed every single one of them, most significantly the banking sanctions. >> that's by virtue of having voted for them. >> yes, but it is the administration, not just any one cabinet officer, that makes 3 eb policy. and secretary geithner speaking for the administration said he strongly opposed those banking sanctions and that they might actually benefit the regime. in factual the administration has opposed all the sanctions. they're the reason we didn't pass any sanctions 2001 to 2008. the administration is the reason we didn't pass any 2009 or 2013. and now you're here saying don't
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do anything now because we'll be with you and urging sanctions if this deal doesn't go forward. my fear is we weren't be able to act in a week because the only way we can act in a week is if the administration is with us. and every administration has been opposed to every sanction since before i got here. now, as to the importance of the sanctions relief that we've granted, when international companies no no sanctions in 2013, no sanctions in 2014, that's enough of a window for them to exploit the loopholes in the existing laws. since the geneva deal, instead of the iranian economy are a ka reasoning, it's rebounding. a 30% increase in the value of the real. chinese oil companies, turkish government, japanese banks saying now is the time do business with iran. and the ypo group announces an
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international business conference in tehran. i was briefed by the administration on this deal and i was impressed a little bit less after i read it. because, mr. secretary, you say it halts and rolls back the program. the fact is they have 9,000 centrifuges turning now and thel turn throughout -- they will spin throughout the term of this agreement. so the centrifuges are literally rolling forward. you've told us they can't increase their stockpile of enriched uranium. yes, they can. they just have to convert to uranium oxide. well, that doesn't neutralize the new -- it creates a new stockpile of uranium which can be turned in to uranium hex owe fluorine in just a couple week. and the wisconsin project on nuclear arms control calculates thatowe fluorine in just a couple week. and the wisconsin project on nuclear arms control calculates that they will during the term
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of the agreement which is really seven months create enough enriched uranium for four nuclear bombs. now, the one issue before congress is whether we should adopt sanctions that go into effect in this summer or instead that it's safe to wait. as you point out, we can pass sanctions in a week if you're lobbying for them. but if you're as every administration has trying to prevent them, you're asking us to be asleep and do nothing while 9,000 secentrifuges turn d a new uranium stockpile is created. and as a practical matter, this agreement doesn't go -- doesn't start, the six months doesn't start, for many weeks. six months after that is late july. and anyone who has looked at the congressional calendar knows well not be able to pass a controversial bill opposed by the administration if we don't
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start -- unless we take action well before july. are we in session in august? september or october? yeah, a couple of weeks. it appears my time is about to expire. but i -- the one thing i'd like you to focus on is why are you convinced that the 16,000 kilos of uranium oxide that iran will create during this agreement is not a threat. do you disagree it can be converted to gas veeasily. >> it can be if you have a conversion k35s, and iran doesn't and they're not allowed to build one. >> so it takes a couple more weeks. >> you're really setting up a straw man. and it's really not a hard one to knock down because there is just no reality to the scenario you're drawing.
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first of all, i was chair of the hearings on the iran sanctions and i was working with the administration. the administration did not oppose them, they opposed the timing of it. they had a timing issue. because they thought they had the prerogative to be able to negotiate as i am you now arguing we should have. but the senate in its infinite wisdom decided no and went ahead and passed them and the timing was decided for the administration. you now, i don't know any administration that isn't lisdc to conduct its foreign policy on its terms. and i don't know any congress that doesn't like to, you know, weigh this. here is the deal. there is a way for us to get the best of both worlds. i have come here representing the president telling you that the president is committed if this fails, he is going to want to ratchet up because we'll have
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to do what we have to do to mae sure they don't get a nuclear capacity. now, this is important. you have to have a chance to answer some of the questions here. >> well, we're giving you that chance, mr. secretary. >> this is important to how we can proceed. we are committed to asking you for additional sanctions if we fail. we will need them. and i'm asking you, work with us. we will work with you yyou now n support of those. let's frame what they might be, how they might be. and we can certainly be ready. i'm asking you not to do it now because of the relationship with our p5 plus 1 and the message that it sends, but you're wrong when you say the administration is not going to come and ask for them. you're just dead wrong. we're telling you we will. moreover, with respect to the facilities that exist or anything else, if they started
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to spin more centrifuges, it's clear to us they're not serious. that would be such a flagrant violation of this, it would not only invite more sanction, it -- >> they're spinning 9,000 now. >> but they're not allowed to hook up the ones that have been restricted. they're not allowed to put additional centrifuges in place. they have 19,000. they could be hooking them all up. they're not going to do that. but let's say they did. let's say that they say the hell with you, we're going for -- and our inspectors see what they're doing. we have the absolute capacity deployed now to deal with that if we have to from the military point of view which they know we have and will not invite. and we could not only terminate those facilities, but we could obviously set back their program for some time. it comes with a whole different
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set of costs and different calculation, but that has not been taken off the table. >> we'll go to mr. smith of new jersey and i'm going to suggest members we'll hold to five minutes so ask your question. we'll get the response and move along. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome, mr. secretary. last spring congressman wolf chaired a hearing on a man up justly jailed in iran. his wife testified that the state department had told her that there was nothing that could be done. she was shocked and dismayed but we were all grateful that in response to her testimony and her appeal, you issued a much welcomed statement on behalf of her impolice oned husband. on thursday, he will testify before joint committees and she will say he has been beaten up the pain has been so great, he conditions tap.
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i fear for the worst. even worse, i fear my children may never see his daddy again. she says my husband is suffering because she's a christian, because she's an american, yet his own government has an bbandd him. don't we owe to him to stand up for his human rights and his freedom. while i'm grateful for president obama's willingness to express concern about my husband and the other imprisoned americans, i was devastated to learn that the administration didn't even ask for my husband's release when directly seated across the table from the leaders of the government that holds him captive. so my first question would be is that true? did we raise his case directly with the iranians in the negotiations on the nuclear
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issue? >> the answer is that is not true. i personally raised the issue with foreign minister zarif when i first met him the very first time. and we have not linked it directly to the nuclear issue because we believe that prejudices them and it also prejudices the negotiation. we didn't want them to become the hostages or pawns of a process that then gets played against something they want with respect to the nuclear program. nor do you, i think. we want them returned because they're american citizens, because they have to be accountable to us for them and because they deserve to be returned. fundamental humanitarian basis. and we are believe me, i'm not at liberty to go into what is happening on it, and that is the difficulty in some of these situations many times, because there are back channels and other kinds of efforts that are engaged in, but we have never
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stopped trying to secure their release or raising that issue with our representative nations that represent us in tehran, with the swiss, with the swedish, with others. it is a constant process. and we are especialare engaged effort. >> it seems there was window of opportunity when they wanted something desperately to raise the issue at that negotiating table. >> conditioning mgressman smith >> before you answer -- >> this subjeopportunity is hugt we won't link them to the nuclear because it prejudices them. >> but he's at risk right now of death. he's been transferred to an even more ominous prison. he's in a cell with known murderers. he woke up with a knife next to his face. >> i'm happy to sit with you in a classified venue providing it is cleared appropriately and i can tell you what we're doing. but it is and ongoing and constant effort. >> do you have expectations that he and the others will be freed?
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>> i have hope. i can't speak for what held do they will do or not do. >> chairman talked about if the respect for their open people, it raises our sense of trust.wi. >> chairman talked about if the respect for their open people, it raises our sense of >> chairman talked about if the respect for their open people, it raises our sense of trust. you say trust and test, but we have -- >> i didn't say trust. i said test and verify. nothing based on trust yet certainly. >> but again, it raises even more serious questions about their credibility when an american is being tortured and we're conducting a negotiation and he's not even -- i know he's part of it on the side, but not central. >> obviously we have to make some very tough decisions about what affects what. >> i understand. >> we believe it would disadvantage them, they would -- >> who? >> they would become pawns to the process. and it could proceed long it, could make it more risky or dangerous. >> i'm almost out of time and i have one other question. i apologize. it disadvantages them according to whom?
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they are the ones hfr-they are in charge. they didn't care about public opinion. but there was a times of israel report that four iranians were released. was that in any way linked in terms of the nuclear negotiations before or after? >> none whatsoever. and one last thing on this. we have a lot of problems with iran. i mean, you know, they're supporting hezbollah, they're supporting syria, assad. they are purveyors of terrorism as people have described here. the iranians, you know, there was a plot taking place to blow up an ambassador here in a restaurant in washington. there are a number of different serious issues that exist and they're not tied either to this because the nuclear file is the most critical, the most
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pressing, most urgent with respect to israel. the region. and us. and the world in terms of proliferation. and it is critical tod disciplined and focused and targeted on this program and get that under control. meanwhile, we are continuing to put to test all these other issues. >> we go now to new jersey. >> thank you for holding the hearing and welcome, mr. secretary. mr. secretary, in your statement you made, you stated there were no guarantees and that you have serious questions regarding the negotiations. and obviously we're all sceptical for the very reasons you stated to mr. smith. my concern, we have this window of negotiations. who determines whether the fwoesh kragss are going well? will we have a scenario where
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you come back to us and say we're moving forward, i need another six months or three months? who determines whether we're making progress or the not or we're going to cut off the negotiations and we'll come back to the congress and say, listen, we tried, you committed to the sanctions, let's do this in a week? >> congressman, we will obviously. the president of the united states, my team, will make the initial judgment. but we're accountable to you and to the american people through you. so we will obviously have to confer, we'll come up here, i'm sure you'll want to hear from us somewhere in the middle of this or somewhere in the process. and we will needless to say brief you in the appropriate places and in the appropriate manner. and you'll join us i hope in making that judgment. with you this is in all of our interests to get this right. >> do you see a scenario where
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you come back to us and say, look, we need more time? >> i'm not going to say that it won't happen. but it's not our preference. and my hope is that this can be resolved sooner rather than later. my ophope is we can move faster than the six month. i think there is an outside chance that that might be possible. so i can't tell you today. we left a provision that you could stepped the six months, but it has to be by mutual consent. so if we think they're not doing it, they want to extend, we obviously will be reluctant to. if on the other hand we're really making progress and we think we're on track, we may come to you and describe that to you and you may concur in the judgment that it's worth a few more months or something. my hope is and my gekt tags is that will not have to happen. >> mr. secretary -- >> but it could. >> that would send a terrible message if we keep extending these negotiations. >> he said my expectation is that it will not happen.
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it could, but i don't expect it. and my hope is that wi ge get i done sooner rather than the later. >> you know, i keep reading about the resolve of the iranians to get this nuclear program done. and quite frankly, i just don't know if this diplomatic effort on their behalf is really serious. do you sense that their sincerity in this? any sincerity in this? >> whose sincerity? >> iranians. >> well, it's not my job to measure sincerity. it's my job to lay down a process by which we can measure it. and thus far, they have indicated they're ready do things that make a difference. they haven't done them yet.
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so we have to get the in implementation moving and we have to start moving down the six months. i just said we won't go by virtue of words. this is based on actions. so it's test and verify. and we need to verify it and put to the test. that's what we're saying to you. >> because i really don't think that they care what their people think in iran. i think this is a regime that the leader makes the decisions and whether the iranian people are happy that we are negotiating doesn't mean anything to them. >> well, you know, i think your comment speaks for itself. they obviously the supreme leader is the supreme leader. >> all right. thank you. >> thank you. we go now to mr. error backer of california. >> thank you for being with us. i know it's a grueling situation.
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rarely do we get a chance to ask you some questions, so i have a few housekeeping questions before i go into the issue of the day. i'm introducing a bill today that will allow 3,000 refugees from camp ashraf and camp liberty status, refugee status, and thus will permit them enable to come to the united states. hundreds have been slaughtered, they live under constant threat of being murdered. and will this administration be supporting my legislation to prevent these people from being slaughtered by this regime we have in iraq now? >> well, congressman, i've gone to the lengths of appointing a special representative to work exclusively to get the -- >> i'm just asking about -- >> i didn't see the legislation.
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but in principal, we're trying to find a place for them -- >> in principal you would agree with letting these refugees have status, refugee status, so they can come here? >> we are trying to find a place for them to go now. >> so in principal, do you agree that -- >> in see the legislation. i can't speak for the president unseen. >> i'm trying to get the answer, but i understand. mr. secretary, it's been reported that there was live drone footage two hours into the attack on our consulate in benghazi and there were closed circuit cameras on the outer walls and one state department official has been quoted as saying that the camera revealed large numbers of men, armed men, flowing in to the compound, end of quote, at 9:40 that night. we have not seen those videos. first of all, do the videos exist? if they do exist, will you make
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them available to this committee? >> i haven't seen any drone video footfootage, but i have s video footage of the facility itself. and i've seen those people pouring in. we all saw them. we saw them in the senate. i think they were made available to the house, too. >> so are you aware of any vi o videos that have not been made -- >> no, i'm not. >> thank you. mr. secretary, again, when we're talking about the issue at hand today, we all should recognize that you are trying to deal with a threat that you did not make and that was around while the republicans were in charge of the government and they did not succeed. so that being considered, i'm going to ask you some tough questions. but i do understand that you didn't make the problem and you're hear trying to do what you believe will solve the
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issue. when you talk about we're not going to trust but verify, we'll test but verify, and you you refer to the leader as the supreme leader, quite frankly, that's groveling but verify. the fact is he is not a supreme leader, he is not some democratically elected governor. he is a vicious man with a bloody background and we are treating help like the supreme leader. isn't that groveling before a group of people who do not deserve -- of course they're not going to at that points of course they're into going to think that they have leverage about we treat them with that type of respect.nto going to think that they have leverage about we treat them with that type of going to thik that they have leverage about we treat them with that type of respect.o going to think that they have leverage about we treat them with that type of respect. going to think that they have leverage about we treat them with that type of respect.going to think that they have leverage about we treat them with that type of respect. same way we would a democratic
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government. >> there is no give leps cieque. that's just his title. >> are we necessarily going to treat adolf hitler as the fuchlt chlt ror? this is not a supreme leader, this man holds power through brute force and as i say, instead of trust but verify, instead of test but verify, it looks like grovel but verify to me. >> i don't agree with it being glofling. the point i'm making is there is no issue trust involved. we going to protect our interests by testing what they're doing. i don't consider anything that we have done here with respect to this to be anything except acting in the interests of our nation and of our friends in the region. and i think we are better off today than we were the day before we made this agreement. when they were progressing to do whatever they wanted in this program, now they're not. now they are because of the sanctions negotiating with us with respect to a final
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agreement. >> we'll look at your proposal very closely. thank you. >> we go to mr. ted deutsche of florida. >> mr. secretary, thank you for being here. and first i'd like to thank you for your efforts on behalf of my constituent robert levinson, on behalf of his family, he really appreciates your personal efforts and those of the state department. we hope you'll continue to press for his release so he can come home safely to south florida. i wanted to talk about sanctions a little bit and take some issue with your policemenis that we put sanctions in place too get to negotiation. i don't think that's why we put sanctions in place. we put sanctions in place to get to negotiation on our way to getting iranians to give up their nuclear weapons capability. that's where we were going. and the concern that a lot of us have i think is that if we don't set some marker, you asked us to work with you, we ask the same
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back, if we didn't set some marker that says if you don't -- if there is not a deal and which we thought might come in six months but the interim agreement says 12 months, but if there is not the a deal, then these additional sanctions that we passed when many told us not because rouhani wouldn't negotiate if we did, but we should put those in place so it's clear what will happen if there is not a deal. i do think we can work with you, but no one is suggests that the legislation imposed those additional sanctions this afternoon. but if it's not six months because you need space, then let's figure out what it is. is it seven months, eight months? at some point why wouldn't it be in it our interests and the interests of our allies to make clear what will happen if the
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iranians continue to push and extend and extend and there is no deal? why can't we work together in the interests of a negotiating position to help with diplomacy, to strengthen diplomacy in order to do that? >> congressman, we've made it clear to them what the implications are of not being successful. they know what the stakes are. and we have told them twll the not be new sanctions of any kind imposed while we are negotiating. so if congress votes for new sanctions, congress is going off on its own, and it raises a question most importantly, i'm not as worried about, you know, how they interpret it as i am about how our allies, our friend, our partners interpret it. they're part of this. if the united states sort of just lumbers off on its own and does its own thing when we're working with those partners, they have a right to say, you know, we're in partnership.
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>> they do, mr. secretary. >> let me just finish one thing, though. the other thing is i've never suggested i think at the beginning of my statement here i told you you that the reason -- our whole policy is that iran will note get a nuclear weapon. so we're not in this for the sake of negotiations for negotiations sake. we're here because those negotiations are to prevent them from getting the program obviously. i finished the sentence. but, you know, if we don't negotiate i think in a way -- i don't want to give them an excuse or any other rationale for upping the ante, changing the -- >> mr. secretary, i'm sorry, we're limited in time. >> let me ask you something. why is it -- why if they know, they're listening to us now, they know there will be more sanction, we've told them 100 times. what is wrong with our working together to tee up what we think
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might be appropriate if there is failure and then do it? >> absolutely agree. we should tee it up and we should tee it up with a date certain and if we all agree that at some date -- >> you can't have a date certain until you know how your negotiations are working. >> my concern is we've heard the argument before that sanctions undermine international unity. when the senate skroeted unanimously on the iranian central bank sanctions, it was the same day that the department of treasury sent a letter to every senate telling them not to vote for it. not only did it pass, but it was vital in changing iran's nuclear ka cal could you has and the world's approach to iran.could s approach to iran. so i would like to tee something up as you said. i just have one other quick question. you said that oil sanctions continue as they are in place with no diminishment of oil
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sanctions. and yet the sanctions relief provides that a million barrels per day is now a fixed amount during the six months that the iranians can export. and yet under our existing sanctions, there needs to be a significant reduction in the amount that they can export. so it seems that there is -- >> what we did, congressman, is we put in place a pause for the few nations, china, india, south korea, japan, a number of nations who are working with us very closely in sanctions enforcement who have been reducing their consumption of oil now over this period of time. and they have reached a point where it is very, very difficult for them to further reduce without serious impact on global economy and their economy. so in effect, we worked a way that we were able to release some of the money against giving
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them a pause for these six months because of that difficulty. now, that's not a change in the sanctions regime. it's simply a pause it in in its application, but it still applies and it will apply if we don't have an agreement. >> we'll go to mr. joe swwilsonf south carolina. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you can see this is a bipartisan concern. many of us believe the policies of this administration are putting the american people at risk, our allies at risk, israel, the persian gulf state, saudi arabia. in fact with the missile capability that iran has, our nato allies, turkey, bulgaria, greece. so there are great concerns that we have. and i agree with prime minister netanyahu that this agreement is a mistake. additionally, i agree with
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ambassador john bolton. in the weekly standard, wrote this interim agreement is badly skewed from america's perspective. iran retains full capacity to enrich uranium, thus abandoning a decade of western insistence and security council resolutions that iran stop all uranium enrichment activities allowing iran to continue ren itching and despi despite in-ed a raad despi despite in-ed a raaequate measu stockpiles and infrastructure lays the predicate for iran itself to fully enjoy its right to enrichment of any final agreement. indeed the interim agreement itself acknowledges that a comprehensive solution will involve an enrichment program. in exghank for superficial con
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suggestion, iran received three critical breakthroughs. first it bought time to continue its program. the agreement does not cover centrifuge manufacturing and testing, weaponization research and fabrication. and the entire ballistic his sil program. inde indeed, given the interim agreement contemplates periodic renewals, iran may have gained all the time it needs to achieve weaponization not on simply -- for simply a handful of nuclear weapon, but steps more, end of quote. i also agree with democratic senator robert menendez of new jersey. in the hill last weerk he argue it was hard sapgss that brought iran to the negotiations table in the first place. he added he found many additional flaws within the agreement being sides its approach on sanctions. mr. secretary, again, we see how bipartisan this is and i'm just really pleased -- this is
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nothing personal. the american people are concerned. our allies are concerned. clearly sanctions make a difference. what are the baselines or red lines or markers of success that you will be looking for in six months? >> very simple. iran's inability to have ever without our knowing it with a sufficient amount of time, huge amount of time that we could do something about to stop it, any kind of weaponization or nuclear weapons program. bottom line. look, you just said decades of resolutions that they abandoned enrichment. what did they get you? what did those decks aids of resolutions get you? >> they have gotten the people of iran hopefully to the point --aids of resolutions get you? >> they have gotten the people of iran hopefully to the point -- hopefully for the people of iran an opportunity for them, the green revolution, to finally succeed. >> congressman that's a wishful
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thought, but meanwhile their program continues to grow. meanwhi meanwhile israel is more at risk. this 2003, my friend, they had 164 centrifuges. now they have 19,000. you know what zarif said to me, you know what your sanctions have gotten you in 19,000 -- >> but that is clearly indicating that they're not dealing in good faith. they cannot be trusted. and even with test but verify- >> i never said the word good faith in terms of what they're doing. - >> i never said the word good faith in terms of what they're doing. -- >> i never said the word good faith in terms of what they're doing. everybody knows you don't build a secret hole in a mountain to have centrifuges and enrich if you're operating in good faith. everybody knows you don't deny the iaea access. everybody knows you don't go up to 19,000 centrifuges. so that's sort of a -- we all understand that. the issue here is what are we going to do about it so that we
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don't have a sudden breakout that threatens israel and all the countries in the region and ourselves. now, the truth is you you went further, you said something like they bought time to ten all aspects of weaponization. >> yes. >> no, they haven't. because in order to weaponize, you have to have highly enriched uranium. and under our plan, they are going the they're destroying their -- >> it appears to be a benign -- >> we would know immediately. >> we'll go now to -- >> thank you, chairman, thank you secretary kerry for joining us today. we don't agree on a lot in this town, but i would say certainly on this committee throughout congress and i believe the administration and to quote your word, we all agree on one issue. which is iran must not and will not acquire nuclear weapons. i think there is general acquire nuclear weapons. i think there's general
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consensus on this. on saturday when asked what he envisioned the final agreement might look like, he talked about iran enrich enough nuclear material for energy, enough in the way of restrictions to ensure united states and israel could not produce a nuclear weapon. i think i'm quoting that correctly. when asked the chances of success getting to that agreement, to quote the president, i wouldn't say it's more than 50/50 but we have to try. i think we agree we should try. the failure we don't want to see. many in this body remain skeptical. certainly as you approach the negotiation, i think you've expressed a healthy scepticism as well. again, we have to try. any agreement we enter into has to -- again, i think to quote
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you, it has to halt their progress and roll it back, and it has to lengthen the time to nuclear breakout. with this model, how can we guarantee that, you know, they aren't continuing to enrich, they aren't continuing to enrich above the 3% threshold or 5% threshold. >> that's a good question. >> within the context, do they understand how skeptical members of this body are and how -- if there is any back sliding, we've already in a unanimous voice supported increased sanctions. over in the senate probably very close to -- if there's progress how close we are. >> how close they are? >> how skeptical we are within this body about their intentions.
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>> well, look, the answer is that the purpose of our first step is to know with certainty what they are doing. they have said to us, that is part of their professor to us. if they say it's going to be a peaceful program, they say we will allow you unlimited access. we will allow restraints. we will make these things happen. that's what we have to put to the test now. we will now have access to this secret underground facility. we haven't had that. that's a big deal. we will now have access and know what they are doing there. we will have sufficient access to the heavy water reactor. as we go down the road here, they are going to have to be built in very significant intrusive verification
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mechanisms so that we know to a certainty -- when i say to a certainty, prime minister netanyahu is going to sit there and say to us, and others, king abdullah, saudi arabia, emirates, they are doing to look at us and say are we protected. we have a responsibility as administration, negotiated agreement, where we can come to all of you and withstand appropriate scrutiny of what the framework of this agreement is. does it answer the question you know what they are doing. does it give you adequate insight ongoing. is it possible for them to be cheating on you and you don't know it. is there a way you can fail-safe guarantee there's no hidden enrichment taking place. is there a guarantee you're able to say this program is, to a certainty, a peaceful program. now, as i said, there are other
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countries that engage in peaceful programs. we have inspectors and inspection and level of intrusion. it will take iran a period of time, obviously, where that's going to be greater for them. why? because of the record here, because of the history that has raised these sanctions to the level they are, that has brought the global community together in this effort. it's up to iran, really, to decide how fast they want to prove this and however they are willing to go to make it clear it is certain. if it isn't certain, we have a problem. >> thank you, mr. chairman, mr. secretary, thank you for being here today. as president kennedy won said let us never fear to negotiate but never negotiate out of fear. i want to wish you my heartfelt sincere wish that your
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negotiations are successful. i think every american wants that. the stakes you're dealing with, national security stakes never higher than they are with iran, national security homeland security standpoint as well i have concerns about this deal. we've worked on sanctions for a decade. we've gotten to the point where we can negotiate. i sent a letter to senator reid signed by 70 members of congress to continue and vote on the sanctions bill we passed by 400 votes in the house so we could strengthen your hand, strength be your leverage in these negotiations. my concern is that this deal violates six u.n. security council resolutions to give iran the right to enrich. it sends a message to our partners in the middle east that it's okay for state sponsored terrorism to enrich but not for them. i'm concerned it could spark a nuclear arms race in the middle
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east if not done correctly. i'm concerned it deals nothing with the technology aspects as we know they have the capability to hit israel and europe with missiles currently and the pentagon projects icbm capability of hitting the united states by 2015. i think most disturbingly, president rouhani said iran's centrifuges in his words quote, unquote, will never stop spinning. i've talked to officials in the bush administration who claim one of the biggest mistakes made was north korea. i think koran is playing north korean playbook, if you will, and also trying to play united states. as homeland security chairman i'm concerned about $7 billion of relief without any assurance that money will not be used for further terrorism and will not be used to further nuclear weapons program.
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i think we should negotiate. i believe lifting sanctions should not be done until they dismantle their nuclear program. nerd, mr. secretary, are you willing at the end of six months, the final deal, to say, look, we're willing to lift the sanctions when you stop enriching uranium. >> well, let me speak for a minute to the question of the never stop spinning centrifuges. if they are less than 1,000 or 500 or whatever they are, they may never stop spinning them but they are limit ed in what they are going to do. the outline of this take shape now. we're very clear. this agreement, as i said earlier to you, envisions severe restraints. they have accepted this.
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mutually defined program with mutually agreed parameters consistent with practical needs. what are the practical needs? to have some medical research maybe. to feed enough fuel into a legitimate power program which may be done in consortium with other people with intrusive knowledge of what's going on as a result. there are a lot of things here yet to be filled out. so the answer is at the end of this, i can't tell you they might not have some enrichment but i can tell you, to a certainty, it will not be possible for them to turn it into a weapons program. without our knowing it so far in advance that all the options that are available to us today to stop it. lets say we weren't here talking about this and they are proceeding down the road and we came to you and said we have to stop it the only way we know how, that's still going to be available to us, only it's going to be available to us with much
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greater foresight, much greater knowledge of what's happening, and much more restraint on whatever their program is between now and then. that does make israel and saudi arabia and emirates and egypt and all the other countries concerned much more secure. >> i think you'd have more confidence from israel and members of congress if you came back in six months and said, you know, they can have a peaceful program but not enriching uranium inside iran. that can be done providing that uranium to them outside of iran. i would urge you to pursue that. >> that deal was on the table a number of years ago. but that deal, i'm afraid, has been lost. >> the gentleman's time has expired. we go to jerry conley of virginia. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome, mr. secretary. mr. secretary, when is the last time we had a negotiated agreement of any kind with iran?
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>> i think 10 years ago there was some restraint on some level of their program. >> kind of an infrequent phenomenon. >> that was the first time -- well, we haven't really talked to them face-to-face in 35, 40 years, whatever it is, since 1979. >> some of the critics of this agreement, interim agreement, frame it as -- >> let me reframe that. there have been a couple of meetings where people have talked but no agreement. >> some of the critics would have one believe that an alternative to what you and your team working with our allies have hammered out here really could be improved upon and made into a conference. why hasn't interim conference building agreement when really the only agreement that counts is the complete dismantlement of
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existing stockpiles processing facilities and the like. that's come from some friends or so-called friends, who have criticized the interim agreement. i wonder if you can comment on that. why didn't you get a comprehensive agreement that meets all of our concerns? >> it's not an interim agreement. let me frame this very carefully for everybody. it's not an interim agreement. it's a first step towards a comprehensive agreement. why did we do that? for the simple reason we wanted to make our friends and ourselves safer. if you simply sat there and negotiated towards the comprehensive agreement, then you're getting sucked into the north korea syndrome where you're having six-party negotiating while they develop their program. then they go explode something and it's too late. we definitively did not want to fall into that trap. so we insisted on trying to get
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a step where we could hold things where they are while we put the test their sincerity and willingness to do the whole thing. now, if they are willing to do the whole thing, then we have lost nothing. if they are not willing to do the whole thing, we have not allowed them to progress to a point where we put people at greater risk. that's what, i think, makes this a smarter approach. >> mr. secretary, you talked about inspections. what's our current capability in terms of inspections? can we go in any day in iran and inspect what they are doing? >> no, we can't. we can't at all. the iaea are allowed to get into some facilities, once a week they can get into the two facilities we're now going into daily. they have been able to go into iraq, i think, on a sporadic basis about once a month. >> the agreement that you all have negotiated allows daily
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inspections. >> daily. >> on all of the sites we're concerned about? >> no. daily on two and monthly on iraq. may even wind up being more than monthly but definitely monthly. >> so significant change in our capacity to look at and view what's going on? >> very much so. in addition to that we have access to centrifuge, storage facilities, centrifuge workshops, production facilities, and we have the plans that will be given us with respect to iraq. we have much great manifestation to the kind of willingness to open up and put this to the test. >> you know, an adage in negotiations, mr. secretary, that you want to try to let it be a win-win, not an i win, you lose kind of situation.
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often that requires face saving measures to allow someone to step back from the brink. what's in it for iran? what motivates iran to want to, a, reach this agreement and, b, reach the ultimate part of this agreement. >> i think iran mostly wants to get out from under the sanctions ultimately because their economy is in shambles. their people are hurting and there's enormous pressure on president rouhani to deliver. you recall that rouhani was not the choice of the supreme leader, that rouhani was really a reflection of votes that were cast, and it was a surprise. and then he promised the people of iran in his election campaign that he was going to deliver change. he was going to try and reach out to the west, change the
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relationships, and improve the economy. i think that's really what's been driving them. >> mr. ted poe of texas. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. secretary. make it clear i do not question the motives or the interests that you have, the administration has, in what's doing best for the united states. i really believe that's what you want to do is make the world safer for us and everyone else. on this particular agreement and the proposal, i disagree. it seems to me that we're giving away the$x farm and the mineral rights as well. it seems to me also rather than make them dismantle their nuclear weapons program, we're just freezing the program which could be thawed out at any time down the road. these are my concerns about iran and this situation, then i'm going to have a few


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