Representative Ed Royce (R-CA) argued that with the Iran deal “President Obama is betting that Iran will change over a few short years into a country that can be trusted with nuclear bomb-making technology” during Saturday’s GOP Weekly Address.
Transcript as Follows:
I’m Ed Royce. I represent California’s 39th district and chair the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives.
For many weeks, the House and Senate have been reviewing President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran.
In September, we will vote on this consequential initiative.
This is only fitting. Figuring out how to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon is one of the biggest national security challenges we face.
Unfortunately, this agreement comes up short.
Under its terms, the U.S. and other world powers permanently give up the financial pressure we have built against Iran. But Iran must only temporarily stall its nuclear program.
After just 10 or so years, the restrictions on Iran’s program begin to expire. Iran is then allowed to expand its nuclear program to an industrial-scale.
And since Iran is allowed to keep – and advance – key bomb-making technology, Tehran will then be just steps from a nuclear weapon – and that is if Iran doesn’t cheat.
This will push Iran’s neighbors to begin their own programs.
Of course, Iran is the number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Its leaders live by the motto ‘Death to America.’
Iran doesn’t behave like the peaceful countries that have nuclear programs. Why does this agreement treat it like one?
Well, President Obama is betting that Iran will change over a few short years into a country that can be trusted with nuclear bomb-making technology. He is betting against history.
So many in the Senate and the House – from both parties – have decided that we can’t make this bet. And I will be opposing President Obama’s nuclear agreement.
While most Americans are just now beginning to think about the consequences of this flawed agreement, we have been focused on Iran for many years.
Indeed, before President Obama launched these negotiations, the House of Representatives passed bipartisan and hard-hitting sanctions I authored by a vote of 400-20.
These sanctions would have given Iran’s Supreme Leader a choice between its nuclear program or economic collapse.
But the Administration was successful in blocking that legislation from becoming law.
So instead of us today considering a verifiable, enforceable and accountable agreement – what the Obama Administration sought out to achieve – the Administration settled for an agreement that gives Iran too much, too fast, and at the expense of the security of the United States and our allies.
While President Obama’s goal was to negotiate the most intrusive inspections in history – the deal falls way short in stopping Iranian cheating.
Instead of allowing international inspectors into suspicious sites within 24 hours, it will take 24 days.
That’s a far cry from ‘anywhere, anytime’ inspections that members of Congress came to expect, and Americans should demand.
Worse, there have been revelations in recent days about an agreement between Iran and the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog. This agreement sets the conditions in which a key Iranian military site – suspected of nuclear bomb work – will be explored.
While the details have been kept from Congress, it’s reported that instead of international inspectors doing the inspecting, Iranians themselves will take the inspection lead.
Iran has cheated on every agreement they’ve signed. Why are we trusting them on this?
And when they do cheat, we won’t have any economic pressure left to bear, as the deal guts the sanctions and revives Iran’s economy.
And where does all the new money go? To the largest terror network on earth, wreaking havoc across the region, arming the likes of Hezbollah and arming Hamas.
And with the Administration too eager for a deal, Iran won late concessions. Against the advice of the Pentagon, international restrictions on its intercontinental ballistic missile program are lifted. These missiles – designed to carry nuclear weapons – threaten our homeland.
If this agreement goes through, Iran gets a cash bonanza, it gets a boost to its international standing, and a path toward nuclear weapons.
As Iran grows stronger, we will have fewer ways to respond.
We all wanted this negotiation to succeed.
But as America’s representatives, we must ask: is this agreement in the long-term national security interest of the United States?
Does it make the world and region more safe, more stable, more secure?
Is there any other reason why Iran – an energy rich country – is advancing its nuclear technology other than to make a nuclear weapon?
And why do its leaders chant ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel?’
I have come to my conclusions. This deal is deeply flawed. It makes the world less safe.
We can – and must – do better.
And in a few weeks, I look forward to a debate and vote on this critical national security issue.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett