Iran Nuclear Dealby Representative Andy Barr
Posted on 2015-09-10
BARR. Mr. Speaker, last month, I traveled to Israel with more
than 35 of my colleagues to meet with key leaders in that country,
including Prime Minister Netanyahu, and learned firsthand what our
closest ally in the Middle East thinks about the proposed Iran nuclear
agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between
the P5+1 countries and Iran.
The consensus view from the Israelis across the political spectrum, from the Prime Minister to the opposition leader in the Knesset, Isaac Herzog, from the President of the State of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, to the military leaders in the Israeli Defense Forces, they all agree that the deal negotiated by Secretary Kerry and championed by President Obama is a dangerous and historic mistake.
This confirms what we have learned in briefings and hearings in Congress. This deal will not deliver the safety and security the American people deserve. Instead, it will transform Iran from the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism with an illicit nuclear program into the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism awash in billions of dollars in sanctions relief with an internationally sanctioned nuclear program on an industrial scale.
This is not just a bad deal for Israel. This is not just a bad deal for America. A nuclear Iran is a global threat to everyone everywhere. Consider the counterparty to this deal. Since the seizure of the U.S. Embassy and the taking of 52 American hostages during the 1979 revolution, the Islamic Republic of Iran has taken the long view on its global ambitions of exporting its revolution, supporting terrorist proxies like Hamas, Hezbollah, Houthis, and Boko Haram.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and the leader of its elite Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, is responsible for the killing of over 500 U.S. soldiers in Iraq.
The Iranian regime has covered up and lied about its nuclear program for decades, deceiving international inspectors, agreeing to intrusive inspections, and then allowing those inspections to be implemented only provisionally and selectively. Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, regularly chants ``death to America'' and openly calls for the annihilation of the Jewish people and the destruction of Israel.
In Jerusalem, we visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum. There, we saw exhibits recounting the horrifying images of the Holocaust. During our visit with Prime Minister [[Page H5877]] Netanyahu, he made a profound observation. He said they compare this to the 1930s.
This is not like the 1930s. In the 1930s, the Nazis concealed their intentions for the Jewish people in the Holocaust. Here, they are actually telling us. They are telling us what they want to do to the Jewish people and death to the Great Satan. Let's not give them the tools to actually carry it out.
The President's promise of anytime, anywhere inspections has been replaced with managed access to suspect nuclear sites in which international inspectors must appeal to Iran, Russia, and China. This bureaucratic process could take up to 24 days at least, during which Iran would remove anything covert or in violation of the agreement.
The Associated Press now reports that at least one of two secret deals between the IAEA and Iran--secret deals neither Congress nor even the Secretary of State has been allowed to see--allows Iran to use its own inspectors at the military complex long suspected as the headquarters of Iran's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program.
Given the Iranian regime's past behavior and contempt for U.S. negotiators it knows are weak, there is little doubt Iran will cheat and dare the Obama administration to find violations which prove the very deficiencies of the deal it negotiated.
Even if Iran does not cheat, even if Iran actually complies with the deal, three bad outcomes are guaranteed. First, Iran will be allowed an arsenal--not a bomb--an arsenal of nuclear weapons in as little as 10 years.
Under the agreement, Iran is not required to dismantle key bomb- making technology, is permitted to retain vast enrichment capacity, may continue research and development on advanced centrifuges, and will be allowed to acquire intercontinental ballistic missiles in as little as 8 years. Intercontinental ballistic missiles--those are not for Tel Aviv; those are for Washington, D.C., and New York.
Second, Iran gets sanctions relief, at least $56 billion almost immediately, and that is according to the Obama administration itself. Independent analysis projects the relief could be as much as $150 billion. As a member of the Task Force to Investigate Terrorist Financing, I have heard extensive testimony that, when these funds are released, a significant percentage will go to Iran's terrorist proxies in Gaza, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Nigeria, and elsewhere. Experts warn it will be impossible to snap back effective sanctions.
Third, because Iran's neighbors know this deal reverses a decades- long bipartisan U.S. policy blocking Iran's nuclear program, this agreement will spark a nuclear arms race in the broader Middle East. Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt have already signaled their intent to acquire nuclear retaliatory capability if this deal is finalized. The people who know Iran the best trust them the least.
This President says it is this deal or war, but that is a false choice. Rejecting this deal will keep most sanctions in place and allow Congress and our allies to turn up the pressure on Iran to get a better deal. In fact, I signed a letter with 366 colleagues outlining the conditions we would consider to be part of a better deal, none of which were included in the one before us.
On the last night we were in Israel, one of the last nights, as we finished dinner at a restaurant on the Sea of Galilee, the owner of the restaurant took the microphone and announced that Members of the American Congress were here to stop this bad Iran deal. The whole restaurant stood up and sang ``God Bless America.'' To conclude, Mr. Speaker, on the Iran deal, I proudly stand with our allies in Israel, not with the mullahs in Tehran.