Royce to Stephanopoulos: Bombing Iran Might Be Only Option

Rex Features via AP Images
Rex Features via AP Images

With news of a “provisional” nuclear agreement reached in Switzerland between Iran and the P5+1 powers this weekend, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) appeared on ABC News’ This Week on Sunday where he said the failure of the Obama Administration to negotiate a reasonable deal with the Iranian regime has been a direct factor in raising the likelihood that the United States will need to use military force against Iran.

“We are limiting the options to use alternatives to military force,” Royce said. “We’d be in a much better position today if the bipartisan legislation that I and Eliot Engel (D-NY) passed, to give the Ayatollah a choice between economic collapse or to compromise on the nuclear program had been brought up in the Senate, instead of the [Obama] Administration sitting on that bill last year.”

Royce went on t0 explain to host George Stephanopoulos that while President Obama says the U.S. would use military force if Iran physically gets the bomb, that scenario ought not to be a possibility. “Our point was, if you used the type of sanctions on the regime [that] we wanted to put in place, they would have had no choice but to capitulate. And that’s the argument right now between Congress and the White House,” he said.

Currently, there are four major points of concern that Royce said will determine whether or not he would support President Obama’s final deal with Iran and that they would depend on whether or not Iran backs down on the following:

  1. Iran wants to see the caps lifted on the number of centrifuges it could produce annually after 10 years
  2. Iran does not want inspections into some of itsmilitary facilities where nuclear research has been conducted.
  3. The IAEA has a list of 12 questions on a document that raises inquiries into Iran’s nuclear modeling, nuclear warheads and explosive tests, which Iran has yet to answer. “Iran has only agreed to answer 1/2 of the first question,” Royce said.
  4. The Ayatollah Khamenei chanting “Death to America” before a sea of Iranians just four days ago raises concerns about its intentions.

These key points, Royce argued, raise “very real questions about why Iran won’t come clean with this evidence.” He then said it should have been America’s objective to aid the Iranian people in overthrowing the clerical Iranian regime in 2009, “since 2/3 of the people do not support that government.”

That view is shared by former UN Ambassador John Bolton, who recently penned an editorial calling for military action against Iran and vigorous American support for the Iranian opposition, aimed at regime change.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz