Any Deal that Does Not Demand Full and Verifiable Dismantling of Iran’s Nuclear Program Should be a Non-Starter; We Must Continue to Increase the Pressure with Additional Sanctions and by Fully Implementing and Enforcing Existing Sanctions, Says Ros-Lehti

Nov 13, 2013

Any Deal that Does Not Demand Full and Verifiable Dismantling of Iran’s Nuclear Program Should be a Non-Starter; We Must Continue to Increase the Pressure with Additional Sanctions and by Fully Implementing and Enforcing Existing Sanctions, Says Ros-Lehtinen

“We must not accept Iran’s false claim to the right of enrichment, nor should we offer to ease any sanctions on the regime”

(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement at a full House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the nuclear negotiations with Iran during Rouhani’s first 100 days. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

“In September, Secretary Kerry said ‘a bad deal is worse than no deal’ on the Iran nuclear negotiations. Yet now reports indicate that the Administration was willing to offer Iran limited sanctions relief in return for a six month pause to only some of its nuclear program.

The Administration has seemingly acquiesced to the idea of a nuclear armed Iran, and has failed to learn from past negotiations with that rogue regime.

We must not accept Iran’s false claim to the right of enrichment, nor should we offer to ease any sanctions on this murderous regime.

Iran would be able to quickly start up its enrichment program due to its advanced centrifuges without irreparably harming its objectives, but if we step back on our sanctions, it will be extremely hard to reinstate them.

There must be no deal that does not include a full and verifiable dismantling of all of Iran’s nuclear facilities, and until Iran is ready to accept those terms, we must continue to increase the pressure by fully implementing sanctions on the books and enacting even stricter sanctions.”

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“History has shown us that our high hopes on Iran are misplaced and are always met with empty promises. The U.S. should only deal with Iran from a position of strength, and Iran senses weakness in our current approach. Iran is using the North Korean play book until it realizes its ultimate objective.

It took years for us to get sanctions in place that were strong and effective enough to bring Iran to the negotiating table, and now that this moment is upon us, we cannot falter and we must stay strong on sanctions.

Yet, at the first sign of the fairy tale progress we balk and offered Iran sanctions relief just for the opportunity for them to give them more time to complete its nuclear ambitions without any true enforcement mechanisms.

Dr. Kahl, you state that escalating sanctions now could weaken international pressure on Iran, and that doing so would tie the hands of our diplomats.

·         If Iran came to the negotiation table, because the impact the sanctions are having on its economy, wouldn’t continuing to pressure Iran bring it to the point where it would be forced to decide between the total collapse of its economy or completion of its nuclear program?

The impact sanctions have had on Iran are obvious, but imagine how much more effective they could have been if the United States fully and forcefully implemented and enforced them one hundred percent with no waivers.

That is not happening now.

 

Ms. Pletka, you testified that you believe that Congress has not done its due diligence – that we have not forced the Administration to enforce the existing laws.

I could not agree more, and for over 10 years – administration after administration – I have been trying to remove waiver authority, have introduced several sanctions bills and am constantly pushing for stronger, more comprehensive sanctions so that the true intent and impact of these laws can be felt.

·         Do you believe that the lack of enforcement has weakened our hand at the negotiations and undermined sanctions already on the books?

And finally, Mr. Dubowitz, you argue that core sanctions should remain in place, but favor unfreezing certain Iranian assets.

·         Wouldn’t injecting funds into Iran’s economy embolden the regime and alleviate the pressure, thus eliminating the only reason why it came to the negotiating table?”

NOTE: This is an edited version that combines Chairman Ros-Lehtinen’s Opening Statement and Questions.