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Mitch McConnell
  U.S. Senate Sen. Mc Connell on Iran  CSPAN  June 18, 2019 1:15pm-1:22pm EDT

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and across the capitol, the senate is working on executive and judicial nominations. earlier today majority leader mitch mcconnell spoke on the floor about the current situation with iran. and later democratic leader chuck schumer responded. jority . mcconnell for years, american administrations of both parties have properly labeled iran as the mr. connolly: for years iran has been labeled as the world most active state sponsor of terrorism. this assertionment is based on the cold, hard facts -- saysment is based on the cold, hard facts of tehran's behavior. for terrorism knows few bounds -- sectarian or geographic. iran has supported -- provided support to sunni, shia, and secular terrorists, all kinds of terror. it has conducted or sponsored attacks around the world, including a plot right here in washington during the obama administration to blow up a local restaurant and kill the saudi ambassador to the united
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states. and we know tehran is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of american service members in iraq and afghanistan, americans murdered by iran's proxies. so while it should be shocking that iran is now conducting more attacks against civilian shipping vessels in international waters, unfortunately it really isn't all that shocking. this is the kind of behavior we've witnessed over the years. until recently the u.s. spent years failing to hold iran's sufficiently accountable for its terrorism proxies and gray zone tactics. tehran was emboldened to tread all over international law. now things are different. iran's corrupt, moribund economy is feeling the pressure of sanctions so it is not surprising that they now retort their favorite tool -- violence. the president has said he does not seek conflict with iran.
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neither does the senate. nevertheless, the risk of a conflict are real. but make no mistake, they're being driven by tehran's decisions to resort to violence. and that includes what the secretary of state has described as a blatant assault on international shipping, threatening the freedom of navigation in international waters. tehran must not be rewarded for terror and intimidation. the u.s. and our partners need to stand firm and apply concerted, coordinated, diplomatic and economic pressure until tehran changes its behavior.
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acting secretary shanahan at the ask of his military commanders, has ordered additional forces to the middle east for purposes of defense and deterrence. clear when announcing this deployment, the u.s. does not seek conflict with iran. i support these prudent efforts to respond to iranian intimidation, defensive military deployments will help us protect american interests in the region and deter iranian aggression. so i encourage the administration to continue working closely with our partners across the globe to encourage iran's leaders to cease their aggression. and i hope iran's leaders will listen to the demands of their people who continue to protest
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against the stifling authoritarianism of the islamic republic for a better, more prosperous, more peaceful life. i alsoappreciate the administration's efforts to keep congress apprised of the latest diplomatic efforts. i understand committee staff received a classified briefing just yesterday. i look forward to hearing from the state department's top career diplomat at the republican lunch today. i hope my colleagues across the aisle rethink their decision to turn down their offer to brief them. i understand the administration will be sending up interagency teams to brief the committees in a classified setting as well. so for our part, the senate will consider several measures in the coming days that will directly impact our presence and influence in this troubled region, including arms sales to
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key regional partners as well as the ndaa. so i would urge every one of my colleagues to keep these deadly serious developments at the top of our mr. schumer: these things have a habit of escalating almost on their own. should be discussed with the american people. not number three in the state department going to a closed door meeting. the president, instead of tonight talking about all this immigration stuff which he's going to, he ought to tell the people at his rally what he wantsed into iran. we, the policy in iran has been erratic and opaque