tv U.S. Senate CSPAN September 9, 2015 6:00pm-8:01pm EDT
nuclear facility in iran today, oli hynenen, a former iaea deputy director has said it would be the first time in 20 years. so one of the important issues that i believe for any of us in reviewing this agreement is what is the inspection regime that will be put in place to asure not only that we're doing a full inspection at the declared facilities of iran but also the undeclared facilities. and the reality is that under this agreement, the process for seeking inspection by the iaea for undeclared facilities is a process that only a lawyer could love. and i happen to be one. because if you look at the language of the actual agreement, you will see that if the iaea, in paragraph 75, has concerns regarding undeclared nuclear materials or activities or activities inconsistent with the jcpoa or locations that have
not been declared under the comprehensive safeguards agreement, the iaea first has to provide iran with the basis for such concerns and request clarification. so that's the first step. then if iran's explanations do not resolve the iaea's concerns, the agency may request access to such locations for the sole reason to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and tifs -- and activities. and the iaea also has to provide iran the reasons for access in writing and make available all relevant information. and then iran may come back and propose alternatives, alternative means for resolving the iaea's concerns that enable the iaea to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear materials or activities. and so if those alternatives aren't accepted from iran, then
if the two sides are unable to reach satisfactory agreement to verify the absence of an undeclared nuclear facility, then at that point, in fact, there's a process that goes into place and that process has been described on this senate floor can take up to 24 days. but we need to understand there's a whole litigation process that occurs even before those days. and this can be a much longer process. and then how does this get resolved? this gets resolved essentially by a committee process. so then we have a committee resolve all of this. and that's why i say this is a lawyer's dream in terms of an inspection regime here. and this committee, if you look at paragraph 78 of the agreement , the members of the joint commission by consensus, or by vote of five or more of its eight members, would advise on the necessary means to resolve the iaea's concerns.
this process, if you add up all the days, is a lengthy process. and again, it's certainly so far away from the "any time, anywhere inspection regime." and we have to understand that iran has a history of using every means possible to delay inspection, especially to areas that have been undeclared or that they are trying to hide their nuclear facilities. that's why i describe it as an inspection regime that only a lawyer could love. because this will allow iran to litigate access to their undeclared sites and we already know that they have a history of doing that. one of the issues that i have taken a keen interest in since i've been in the senate is iran's missile program. and we heard all along from the administration that they were not going to address iran's support of terrorism, that they
were going to keep that issue separate, that they were going to keep issues of iran's support for terrorism around the world. we've heard about that in this debate today. their support for groups like hezbollah, hamas, their support for the taliban, their support for terrorism around the world, yet at the last minute in this agreement, the administration conceded two incredibly important points. number one, allowing iran to have the resolutions lifted on having arms -- arms sales and transactions within five years and then within eight years allowing the u.n. resolutions on missiles or icbm's. and as our own secretary of defense has described, the significance, of course, in icbm
is the "i," which means intercontinental, meaning missiles that can hit the united states of america. and yet that was lifted at the last minute. and that was lifted over the objections, over the recommendations of our highest military officer, which is the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, chairman martin dempsey. and, in fact, this has been a focus of mine in the senate because i have been concerned that we have heard from, in the armed services committee, from many of our top defense and intelligence officials that the preferred method for iran to deliver a nuclear weapon to the united states of america would be, in fact, an icbm. and that this certainly represents a threat to america and to our allies. in fact, i was so concerned about this that last summer i
wrote the president of the united states and 26 senators joined me in the letter that i wrote to the president, and in that letter i expressed to the president the belief that the iranian deal should, in fact, address iran's i.c.e. -- iran's icbm missile program. and the reason that i wrote and led this effort is because we had been hearing for years before the senate armed services committee, from people like the director of national intelligence, james clapper, wh testified before the committee in february of 2014, that we judge that iran would choose a ballistic missile as its preferred method of delivery of nuclear weapons. we also heard repeatedly that, in fact, in 2013, we also heard from director clapper that the iranians are developing two systems that could have
intercontinental capability as early as 2015. and here we are in 2015. some have estimated that it may take a few more years. regardless, according to public sevment from -- public testimony from our intelligence committee, iran could have icbm capability in the next few years. and here we have, in conjunction with this agreement, our blessing because we agreed that the u.n. resolution against their missile program that said, no, iran, you cannot have i.c.e. capability -- you cannot have icbm capability, now it's okay, it will be legitimate for them to have icbm capability. why do you need icbm capability if you don't have any interest in delivering the most destructive weapons to the world to countries on the other side of the world, including our own?
so this issue, of course, as i said, was against the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff advice. in fact, when i heard public reports about the fact that there were reports bubbling up about the agreement before it was signed that iran was pressuring, with support from other countries like russia, to lift the arms embargo, to lift the missile embargo. and so i was so worried about it that a week before the agreement, i asked chairman dempsey in the armed services committee on july 7, i asked him about the reports that these resolutions may be lifted on arms and missiles. and he told me, under no circumstances should we relieve pressure on iran relative to ballistic missile capability and arms trafficking. and that's exactly what happened in this agreement. and, in fact, the chairman came back to our committee after the agreement was signed to testify about the agreement and i asked him again about including this in the agreement, and he told me
it was against his military advice to lift the arms resolution and to lift the missile resolution. so as i look about -- look at the grave concerns we should have for our national security, this is one of the top concerns. an insufficient inspection regime, legitimizing their ability to have icbm capability, allowing them in five years to legitimately have more arms when we already know they're supplying arms and cash around the world to their terrorist proxies. this agreement, of course, gives them, within a nine-month period , we know billions of dollars more cash to support terrorism. one of the things i've heard on the floor today is -- from my colleagues on the other side of the aisle that are supporting this agreement, is that somehow
this leaves on the table all of the tools that we need to deal with iran's support for terrorism, which, of course, destabilizes the region. except the problem is that nobody's told the iranians this point because they have a very different viewpoint on this agreement. in fact, iran has taken the position that if any of the sanctions are reimposed, that they can walk away from the agreement. if you look at paragraph 26 of this agreement, i would argue that the language in the agreement actually allows them to make that argument, unfortunately. tehran has specifically stated that it will treat the imposition of any sanctions that are similar to those that are in place before this deal, as a reason to walk away. so why is this important? it's important because we know they support terrorism around the world.
my colleagues have said, this is is -- we have to deal with their support for terrorism and we still have the tools in our toolbox to issue tough sanctions to deal with our terrorism, even while being part of this agreement. the problem is, is that the language doesn't necessarily bear that out in the agreement. and in a july 20 letter, iran told the u.n. security council that it would reconsider its commitments under the jcpoa if the effects of the termination of the security council, european union, united nations sanctions or restrictive measures that carried out with the imposition of new sanctions with a nature and scope identical or similar to those that were in place prior to the implementation date, irrespective of whether such new sanctions are introduced on nuclear related or other
grounds, unless the issues are remedied within a short time. so in other words, iran is taking the viewpoint under the language of this agreement that if we reimpose any of the sanctions that are lifted as part of this agreement, which, by the way, these are the toughest sanctions, right? these are the tools in our toolbox. even if they commit acts of terrorism, that they can walk away from this agreement. so let's put this all together. iran within nine months gets more cash for this agreement. they get to keep their infrastructure for their nuclear program because they get to keep their centrifuges. they're now in a position where people are all doing business with them because we know that many countries around the world, they want to be able to do business with iran. so infusion of cash and relationships there. and they're continuing to support terrorism they commit
through their proxies, another -- a major terrorist event that triggers something that we want to do here, we want to take tough sanctions against them because they've supported a terrorist attack against us or our allies, and yet they're going to take the position that we can't reimpose any of their sanctions no matter what they do because the language of the agreement in paragraph 26, they're interpreting it that way. and so if you're iran right now, this is a pretty good deal for you. you can get the cash. you can get the legitimization, people are doing business with you again, you can continue to support terrorism and our hands apparently, in their view, are tied on sanctions. and so this is, in my view, when i hear from those that are supporting the agreement that somehow we still have all the tools in our toolbox to deal
with terrorism, it seems to me that if you look at the language of this agreement and how the iranians are supporting it, we have tied our hands and we will be in a weaker position to deal with their support for terrorism around the world no matter how egregious their behavior is. and this is a real issue when i think about our national security, when you have the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world and they will now have legitimate access to developing their icbm program with the lifting of sanctions in the u.n., the legitimate purchasing of arms. and we know that there are people like -- countries like russia that are lining up to sell these arms to them. and then we're going to weaken our ability to impose terrorism-related sanctions in the future. mr. president, this agreement, if i see where we stand today, i heard many of my colleagues also
talking earlier about the 6 60-vote threshold in the united states senate. when we voted on the iran nuclear review act, we voted on it i believe 98-1. so you would think that at that point, we wouldn't be worried at all about actually getting to the debate on the -- on the actual bill. so i would hope that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle when they voted for the nuclear review act that we that would have a substantive vote when there was a 98-1 vote and the american people deserve nothing less than a substantive vote on the merits of this agreement as provided for by the iran nuclear review act. i know many of my colleagues are here to speak, but i want to raise one final issue that we've heard about on this floor, and that is actually being able to
see the full text of this agreement. now, we all know that when you have an agreement especially when you have a country that has a history of cheating that language matters. we know that because the iranians are already taking all kinds of different positions on what the language means in this agreement to their benefit. and yet we have not been given access to the two-sided agreements between the iaea and iran, yet what we know -- and, by the way, that's in direct violation of the express language of the iran nuclear review act which says congress should have access to side agreements. but what we do know about the side agreements that have been reported in the press is truly disturbing. and that is that one that the side agreements themselves, information has been leaked that indicates that tehran could declare some areas as suspected
nuclear sites including the military complex off limits for the inspectors and could self- inspect there. could you imagine allowing a country with a history of cheating the ability to self-inspect or collect their own samples in terms of how inspections would be done, and yet we're saying that this is -- those that are supporting the agreement say this is a robust inspection method. i would ask -- i would ask my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who are supporting this agreement, does it not trouble you that you've not been given access to the side agreements given what has been leaked about them, is that pertain to the actual inspection process at important sites like parchin. i would hope that my colleagues
would review every word of the process with something so important to our national security, and that in and of itself i would say is a reason to be highly skeptical of this agreement, along with the other issues that i have raised. finally, we have a long history in this body of debating important international agreements, including agreements that deal with they fundamental -- very fundamental foreign policy, including nuclear nonproliferation, nontreaty issues, and we have a long history of actually debating these in a nonpartisan manner and working in a non partisan manner to approve
agreements. yet in this agreement we are left in a position where a majority of the united states senate on a bipartisan basis has said that we have serious reservations about this agreement and have declared that they're going to vote against this agreement. and yet the administration is continuing to push forward to get this done to make sure that this agreement is fully implemented without reaching out in a bipartisan fashion to ensure that the strength of the congress in a guardians is behind something so important on our national security. that should say something about the merits of this agreement. this agreement is deeply flawed. this is an agreement i think does not protect our national security and, in fact, in the
long run will undermine our national security in this country by giving iran more cash , legitimization, in terms of infrastructure forker infrastructure, and their acbm program and taken further sanctions if they conduct more terrorism which they do through their proxies. and as we do this debate i would hope we disapprove of this agreement which does not work in our national security. thank you. the presiding officer: the senator from indiana. mr. coats: i plan to speak about this tomorrow but i have the opportunity to speak in this colloquy and i'll be brief. i know my colleagues are waiting to speak also. first i want to commend senator
corker, the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee. his work along with senator cardin have a bipartisan agreement supported by some of the most knowledgeable foreign policy experts on the democrat side and on the republican side before us. had we not had senator corker been able to make that arrangement, we would -- it would have been a done deal before the congress even saw what was agreed to in this negotiation with iran. now having -- i think my colleagues here have been amazed at the difference between what we were told the agreement did and didn't do as to what we actually learned it does and doesn't do as we pored over word through word looking over every piece of information here that's relevant to our decision. so i'm thankful for the work of
senator corker, who has taken some heat for not doing more. he's saved us and saved the american people from not having having the ability for us to examine this in detail. and that's what this debate here is all about. the american people deserve to know what's in this agreement, the consequences of this for the future of america,if for the future of the world are significant, and almost mind-boggling. so we have to get it right. and to get rit right we have to read every word. so here i am shortly after the delivery of the 657 pages with the annexes poring through every statement to understand what is here and i'm amazed at what we've come up with. instead of coming with the various items, it's been
documented by my colleagues and the majority leader, something i don't think has been raised yet and that is the ambiguity outside this agreement and particularly in the annexes to the agreement. we know there are two secret agreements we don't have access to and how anyone could go forward and support an arrangement when you have side, secret agreements we're not able to know what they are, should be enough to support an agreement, but then send a little bit -- spend a little bit of time on these ambiguities and the implications. the annexes use familiar forms of mushy language, and i'm going to quote here. as determined, where
appropriate, among others, as mutually determined, when beneficial. what are the actual obligations that we are undertaking if we vote for this agreement as full of words like that? this is not clear to me, nor i would think it's clear to anyone in the administration. we've questioned the administration on this issue, and they've essentially said, well, this is to be determined at a later date or if this issue comes up we will try to get some consensus on how to go forward. my own conclusion is that this language is not a mistake. these people who negotiated on our benefit have had a lifetime of negotiating engagement, i assume many of them were attorneys and lawyers that know and understand that a word -- definition of a word or a phrase
is everything. you have to understand exactly what it is or you're going to end up with confusion. these ambiguous obligations were purposely to placate the iranians. a provision of other robust military nuclear infrastructure not only with the acquiescense of the west but on our military assistance. and the agreement text let alone the annex text, this same pattern of ambiguity holds. some of the same detailed agreements in this are provided in the agreement, the same ambiguous terms dominate. i couldn't help but notice that this wasn't an occasional occurrence. i asked staff to go through and look at some of these
definitions and count the number of them. the phrase "as appropriate" or" where appropriate" achieving this as appropriate or where obligated to this as appropriated or where appropriated, was sprinkled throughout the text 34 times. as mutually determined or by consensus, to be concluded, occurred 28 times. implying that future agreements were on agreements object agreements. at the same time the phrase "iran intends to" occurred more frequently than it should in place of obligations. now, any lawyer representing a client whether buying a house or leasing a car or an apartment or going into a business contract, you can say i want an out. or if you're on the other end of
negotiating process, you can say put some ambiguous, vague language in there to be determined as appropriate, by consensus, so that if something goes on wrong here, i have something to opt out. i think that's exactly what iran was trying to do. so if we come up with a breach of what we think is a breach of the amendment, it's easy for iran to say, well, that needs to be by consensus and without consensus, we see that saying such and such. and you see it wrong. if we press the case with iran, that, of course, gives iran the option of withdrawing from the agreement. and at an important time, now having over $100 billion in their hands, now having signed up contracts with many nations around the world, long-term contracts for delivery of oil or whatever, now having put
themselves in a different position with the sanctions lifted, they may use that exact language as a means of escaping. or your turn it on its head and turn it the other way. iran says wait a minute, our intentions are such and such. you didn't understand what we were trying to say to you and how are we going to respond? this puts us in a very tenuous position. i can't -- i can recall times i told my wife i thought you were going to pick up milk on your way home. i intended to, i got a phone call. wait a minute. i thought you were going to clean the garage on saturday. i intended to do that, but, you know, joe called and said let's go play golf. i intended. it was a good intention. well, that's fine in a good relationship or any other kind of relationship, many of those are just meaningless things.
but when you're talking about an agreement that binds the united states on the basis of how it's negotiating and interprets these words, it puts you in real trouble. i don't think anyone has talked about that. i wanted to bring that up, as i said, i'm going to be talking about my position and how i came to the decision not to support this, i'll be doing that tomorrow. but this is a sloppily written agreement that combined the united states to obligations that we are yet to aware of and gives iran an out if it comes to a point in time where the three-month or so breakout time to make a nuclear weapon, we've got our money, we've done the research, even some of the assistance of the scientists and
members of the negotiating team, we're in a great position to go forward and we're just going to going to do it. and use this 0 opt out of the agreement. and just one more, one more reason why each of us should carefully try to understand what it is and what it is in this agreement, weigh this against against -- as we try to make a judgment in terms of whether we move forward or about we have signed on to a very, very bad deal and should vote against it. with in a, mr. president, i want to -- with that, mr. president, i want to yield to the senator who has been patiently waiting to speak. a senator: mr. president, i would like to recap today some of the things that have been mentioned today on the floor. mr. lankford: here's what i've heard. we'll see if some of my cheetion agree with this and the
direction. i've heard a lot of direction on the details of the agreement and trying to walk through the actual process, what does the text say. but there seems to be two very different opinions about this, so let me just car share what im hearing back. there are key things that iran needs in order to complete a nuclear agreement. it doesn't seem this agreement stops them in the process. thand seems to have been the goal, was to stop them from acquiring a nuclear weapon. they need time. this agreement gives them time, lays how the a schedule, backs up, cellulose down the process of inspection -- slows down the process of inspections, allows them time to finish their research, allows them time, a key aspect they need, not forel funding their terrorism but to be able to complete the technological research in the facility. billions of dollars are released to iran almost immediately in this agreement for them to be able to complete their research. it allows them ballistic missile
capability which is shocking to a lot of people i've talked to. they assume this slows down their ballistic missile capability. it actually doesn't. it paves the path to them and gives them permission to continue their ballistic missile research. it allows them to continue towards highly enriched uranium. a lot of people have been surprised at that because the assumption was -- and so many times you hear from the president they shouldn't be allowed to have uranium. that was the conversation five years ago but now it's how much uranium can they enrich and what does that look like. there has been some conversation today by individuals that have said, well, this will decrease the number of centrifuges they have. that is entirely correct. it does decrease the number of centrifuges. but let me give you an illustration. if your company had 20 computers that were built in 1995 and you were told you could replace
those 20 computers from i compu5 with three computers from this year, would you take that deal? i bet you would. that's the agreement we're giving to iran. we're telling them their oldest sphiewnls, their oldest, ornlly built, they're going to have to get rid of about two-thirds of those. they can still keep 5,000 of even their oldest centrifuges. bur they can install 1,000 of their newest technology centrifuges and keep in mind those going. i would certainly think it is a deal they would take and by the way they are taking and asking us to take it as well. they have time. they have money. they have ballistic missile research. they have high will he will higd uranium and the permission to work on their centrifuges and they have ballistic missile capabilities. they are allowed to stockpile conventional weapons under this agreement and to be able to even add things like surface-to-air
defense capabilities to be able to defend their military sites. so you tell me ... does iran have what if needs to be able to complete a nuclear weapon under this deal? time, money, ballistic missiles, ability to be able to complete their research, advance centrifuges, and defensive weaponry to be able to put it on their facilities? yes. here are some things that we don't know that we would be appreciate being able to discuss today, the side deals. we have the documents that have come n i have posted those on my web site. many others have done the same. we want americans to be able to read those things because most americans are stunned with what this agreement says. but what we can't get is the side deal. i've heard over and over from the president, we're not going to trust iran. we're going to verify. we don't trust, we're going to verify. literally with the side agreements, people keep hearing, what is the side agreement?
what is the side agreement? here's what it is. the main agreement gives broad parameters. for instance, it will say we will have inspections. that's glait. how are the inspections to be done? that's in the side agreement. so we're agreeing that, yes, there will be inspections. when we ask the question how are inspections to be done, we're told we can't read that document. that's a separate document between the u.n. and iran. literally, i cannot verify how we're going to verify. i'm being told, trust and verify. i can't verify how we're verifying. that seems absurd to me, and it's hard for me to imagine anyone in this body would say, yes, i'd sign off on something i've never read, i've never seen. in fact, the people of the administration have said they have never read, they have never seen. yet we're being askin asked to n off on it and say, yes, we would support that. i have a problem with that.
it is one of many reasons why i cannot support this deal. what i have heard over and over again by individual whose do support this deal today, i've heard this is the deal, it's in front of us. the president has agreed to it and it will look bad if we don't agree to it. my problem is not looking bad. my problem is a nuclear-armed iran. that's the problem. at the end of the day, this is about protecting united states interests, united states citizens, and those of our friends in the gulf. this is not about saving face for the president. i've heard over and over again, it would be too hard to get the coalition back together to be able to renegotiate this. may i remind you, the reason we have this coalition together is because the crippling sanctions are one thing. you cannot do business with america and iran. that's the deal. if we continue the sanctions in place, i.t. not about getting the band back together. it about leaving those sanctions in place. if you want to do business with the united states, you also have to agree to not do business with
iran. it is not about getting everyone back together. leave them in place. let's finish renegotiating it. i have heard over and oarvetion it's either war or it's this. i think this deal in its place takes us closer to a queeningal war. why? -- to a conventional war. why? because it allows iran to almost immediately begin stockpiling conventional weapons. those in the gulf region are so concerned about that, we're promising them they can get more weapons and buy more advanced weapons from us. how does a conventional arms race in the middle east take us farther from war? under this agreement, it destabilizes. i've heard over and over again today, what's our message to the world when the rest of the world has signed off on this and yet we say "no"? here's our message to the world: iran is screaming "ge "death to america." israel is also standing up and saying this is a terrible deal for our nation and for the stability of the world. it's not about our message to the world. it's about standing up and being
the world's superpower. that's who we are. let's take responsibility for our position in the world and to be able to finish what we're doing. i've also heard multiple times today, we'll sign off on this deal and we'll have tougher diplomacy in the future. every time i've heard that, i've smiled and thought, are you kidding me? what do you mean? with what leverage? this is our leverages. the sanctions are the leverage. we're not going to get tougher in the future. this is the toughest moment. it et goes softer from here. iran is still the single-largest sponsor of terrorism in the world. they made no change in their actions against yemen. they've made no sanction change in their actions in syria. we're giving this away if we sign on to this agreement. this deal is built on hope, not on facts and trust. and i note everyone in this body
hopes to gat get a diplomatic solution. you cannot base an agreement with iran on hope if we cannot verify it, if we cannot see the documents, if there's been no change in behavior. i think we should assume we still have status quo iran. let's push back. let's get the better deal. let's not allow advanced centrifuges to stay in place. leat not allow them to continue their ballistic missile testing. these are not hard issues to be able to finish. the deal is half-cooked. let's get it fully baked and then let's finish a diplomatic solution but not just hope that this works out in the days ahead. with that, i yield back. a senator: mr. president, i spee rise tonight to speak about
a very troubled time in my life and in this body. mr. perdue: i didn't think this moment would arise here in my tenure here in the united states senate. i am troubled about being a member of this body. just a few short months ago w told the american people in our foreign relations committee that we could work together. we unanimously passed a bill that gave this body, the u.s. congress, a right that the president and his administration had denied us by not allowing this to be treated as a treaty. and yet here we stand today, even after a unanimous bill came out of that committee, and 98 senators voted for us to get a look at this deal and to vote on this deal. we sit here tonight without the ability to tell people back home that we will in fact have a vote on this deal. i find that terribly, terribly troubling. smackas a matter of fact, i'm
embarrassed. the people back home deserve better than this body is providing. there is bipartisan opposition to this deal. there are good democrats who in their deep conscience are going to oppose the president. i respect that. but there is not bipartisan support for this deal. there is a huge difference. only one group in this body is supporting this president's deal with iran. uri'm troubled by that. i applaud senator cardin, rank member of the foreign relations committee. i applaud senator corker as the leader of that committee. without a vote, we wouldn't be sitting here tonight. we would already be implementing this deal and we would have told the american people, yes, we don't have the constitutional balance between the united states senate and the house of representatives and legislativee
legislative branch that the constitution calls for. we gave up. well, here we are and i'd like to for every member of this body who's going to vote for this deal to answer the people back home. how does this make the world safer for their children and their children's children? mr. president, in your business career, in my business career we've seen a lot of deals. we've negotiate add lot of deals. the way i look at deals is you try to evaluate what both sides get in a deal. so let's look at this from that perspective. first of all, iran gets a windfall for bad behavior. they've got 30 years of noncompliance with n.p.t. requirements and here werk the first thipg we're going t to dos give them a windfall, somewhere between $billion and $^150 billion. we know by the administration's own admission that we can depend on some of that money. last year $6 billion went to
terrorist support around the middle east and other parts of the world from iran. iran last year spent $^17 billion supporting their own military. that puts this windfall into perspective. one of the first things iran did when they anapsed this deal, when the administration announced this deal is they sent representatives to moscow. does it take much imagination to see that their behavior is not going to change in this deal just because we've given them a windfall? we're encouraging bad behavior. second, i'd like to know where our four american hostages are. they get to keep them. the third thing: iran gets to enrism this is my biggest problem. my biggest problem with this deal is that we gave up the ability right off the bat to stop iran from enriching. to me, this is the fundamental problem in this deal. break out without enriching capabilities is two to three years, not two to three months,
like this deal provides. as a matter of fact, the president himself said, this deal after 13 years allows iran to have a breakout period that's basically zero. who are we kidding here? and after 15 years, all bets are off. so what we've done is provided a pathway to enriched uranium and i find that very troubling. unlike many other countries who have civil nuclear programs that are peaceful and are not allowed to enrich, we allow this bad actor to step up and be treated like countries like germany, japan, pol poll land, holland, . it's important becauser that support of terrorism but also more importantly it gives them access to a nuclear weapons capability through technology available only through the arms market.
number four, after eight short years they get being a is he is to the intercontinental ballistic missile technology. why in the world does a rogue nation like iran who says that they only want a civil nuclear program for power generation, why in the world in the 11th hour does this administration and our negotiators give up and give them the right to have access after eight short years to ballistic missile technology? they currently have a missile that has a 1,200 mile range. that brings israel and eastern europe into range. if they have access in eight years to ballistic missile technology, their only intent can be to have a missile that can deliver a missile armed with a nuclear warhead to washington, d.c., and points beyond. i find that very troubling. number five, iran gets access to technology for centrifuges. this is the most unbelievable thing. not only do they get to keep every centrifuge. they're not destroying one
centrifuge. 19,000. they goat keep 5,000 or so active. i agree with what senator lankford just said. that is this: they have antiques right now. what we are allowing them to do is trade up to modern technology, an ir-6 you ir-8 centrifuges. it is shortens the time for them to develop enough fissile material to have a nuclear weapon. six, iran gets to limit and delay inspectors. this is only important because we allow them to enrich. don't miss that. but what we've done is allowed them to dictate the inspection protocol. i have never seen a deal where that was allowed, honest-to-goodness. this, to me, is unconscionable. the fact that we have secret deals, yes, that's important. but the fact that we are allowing them, with no u.s. participation, by the way, on the ground in iran with the iaea, we're allowing iran to actually take samples under the protocol of inspection. the side deals are
unconscionable. i would never in business sign a deal where every legal document was not exposed. how in the world -- i understand these side agreements are normal operating procedure between the iaea and their countries that they're inspecting. this is different. this is a public, global deal dealing with a rogue country like iran and we need to see that. i can't imagine how we would approve a deal, anybody would approve a deal and go home and explain to their constituents how this makes sense for the safety their children and grandchildren when we don't know what's in every legal document. now, what did we get? i would argue that basically what i hear, the number-one goal from this administration is a legacy for this failed president. i'm sorry but that's the only real benefit i can see. we get iran, the world's largest sponsor of terrorism, and proven violator of past nuclear
agreements to promise to be a good actor. really? that's what we get? and yet the ayatollah just today -- just today -- said that israel will not exist in 25 years. this does not sound like a good actor to me. who's going to change their behavior because we have brought them into the community of nations. why do we believe the word of a nation that has been a revolutionary pariah since 1979? have we forgotten that 52 united states american citizens for 444 days were held hostage in tehran , members of our embassy just 35 short years ago. this is the same regime. these are the same claire ricks, the -- clerics, the same mentality that created that situation. we have now just entered into the most devastating foreign
policy agreement in my lifetime, maybe in the history of the united states. no deal that i can read in history puts the united states in more jeopardy going forward than this nuclear deal with iran. under this deal, we get an iran that will continue its bad behavior. i think that's easy to predict. their sponsorship of terror continues, their human rights violations have worsened, even during the negotiations, mr. president, they continued to back assad's murderous regime in syria, which is a source of one of the most devastating humanitarian crises of the 21st century that's just now coming to light. you and i, mr. president, made a trip, along with the leader, just a few months ago. we sat in jordan and we listened to the plea of those people over there who are receiving refugees they were telling us how serious this plight is. and now the media has picked up on it and you see the devastating impact of what's going on in the middle east. this deal is a manifestation of a much bigger problem. this president has failed in this foreign policy requirement
that the executive branch is given in our constitution. this is just a manifestation of a bigger failure. but it is devastating to the future security of our kids. today iran has a national holiday called "death to america day." as a matter of fact, one of the hostages, one of the four hostages just this year, earlier this year, was moved from the second worst prison in iran to the worst prison in iran, and guess what day he was moved on? "death to america day." i find that insulting. mr. president, as we just heard, there are -- i have a little different look at what a country needs to have a nuclear weapon. first of all, i'm an engineer so this will be very panagan and i'll be very careful with this. quickly, a county needs three things. first of all, they have to have fissile material. we allow this in this deal. there's a pathway for them to get there legally. they don't have to violate this agreement. they will eventually get there
in a very, very short period of time. the second thing is they have to have a device for a warhead. in five short years, they have access to the military arms community where that's totally accessible today. third, they have to have a delivery mechanism. and in eight short years, as we just said, they have access to intercontinental ballistic missile technology so that in basically eight years, if they want to break out, they will have missile technology that can bring a missile warhead right down on our heads here in this chamber. without domestic enrichment, iran's breakout period is really two to three years. again, not two to three months. president obama has claimed that we could not get a deal without giving iran the right to enrich. i just don't understand that. these sanctions brought them to the table in the first place. we gave up on that too early. the president gave us a false choice and i'm insulted by that. people back home are insulted by this. that it's either this deal, which everybody agrees is a bad deal, even the democrats today
are telling us how flawed this deal -- i didn't hear one person today stand up and tell us how great this deal was. basically i heard, this is the best deal we can get, let's give it a try. we can't be any worse off in 10 years. i would argue, yes, we can, and, yes, we will be worse off in 10 years. it's absolutely possible to have a better deal. we don't need p-5 plus 1 if, in fact, we have the determination to make our own sanctions stick. this $18 trillion economy is big enough to bring them back to the table and absolutely get the kind of deal that would protect our kids and grandkids. in previous deals with south africa and libya, just as two examples, they gave up their enriching capabilities in order to be accepted into the n.p.t. fraternity of countries that are good actors regarding proliferation of nuclear technology. this deal not only allows iran to enrich but it gives their illicit nuclear enrichment program the blessing of the
international community. the president's negotiators even threw in technical assistance for iran's enrichment program. i just don't understand that. as a dumb business guy, mr. president, i swear, i just don't understand how they in good conscience and without smirking can stand in front of the american people and say this is a good deal. in fact, i don't hear many people saying that. even secretary kerry, secretary of state, said basically this is as good a deal as we'll get. we won't get a better deal and the only alternative is war. i'm insulted by that. the second thing they need is design for a warhead. we talked about how getting into the the arms communities allows them to do that. we don't know whether they have it or not today. iran would need many things but one thing they need is access to capital and access to global markets to drive their economy. but let's remember one thing, why do they need all this in the first place? why did this get negotiated? because they want a nuclear weapon. the goal in this agreement, according to the administration,
was to not -- to never allow iran to become a nuclear weapon state. and yet we see nothing but pathways that allow them to do that, even legally. i just don't understand how the administration and a few democrats are standing up today and saying, this is a good deal, we need to vote for it because it will preclude iran from ever becoming a nuclear weapon state. it just doesn't do that. as a matter of fact, in 1994, are we signed a similar deal with north korea. the president at that time, president clinton, told the american people that if we voted on that deal, that deal would guarantee we'd never have a nuclear weapon on the peninsula of korea. well, how'd that work out for us? i would argue that today we're facing a similar situation that's just as predictable. looking at the facts, we can see this deal all but guarantees a nuclear iran. i can't support this in good conscience. mr. president, this is one of the worst deals i've seen in my lifetime. i'm embarrassed that we sit here in front of the american people
and actually have to discuss this. this is so bad, it is so threatening to our children and our children's children that we have got to stand up and we've got to fight this all the way through, to get a vote on it, first of all, and to defeat this. i urge my colleagues to join me tonight and this week in opposing this deal. thank you,mr. president. and i yield my time. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i send a cloture motion to the desk for a substitute amendment number 2640. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: cloture motion. we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rulings of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on senate amendment number 2640, signed by 17 senators as follows. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the reading of the names be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: and i send a cloture motion to the desk for the underlying resolution, h.j. res. 61. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: cloture motion. we, the undersigned senators, in
accordance of the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on h.j. res. 61, a joint resolution amending the internal revenue code of 1986, and so forth. signed by 17 senators as follows. mr. mcconnell: i ask the reading of the names be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: for the information of all colleagues, this cloture would ripen on friday but i'm optimistic that we'll be able to get consent to have the vote tomorrow afternoon. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. mr. boozman: thank you, mr. president. i appreciate the senator from georgia's remarks and certainly associate myself with them. this debate is vital. despite president obama's initial objections to congressional oversight, the american people deserve a say in this critical national security matter. , which i'd note has been negotiated behind closed doors. the bill that we passed in may
accomplished that. now the senate democrats are talking about taking that away by filibustering this debate. how we went from passing senator corker's bill by a vote of 98-1 just a few months ago to a potential filibuster is baf ling to the american -- is baffling to the american people. our constituents want this debate. they have a number of concerns about this deal. we are their voice. we are here to represent them, not to protect the president from a difficult veto. when these discussions began, president obama claimed we would be able to diplomatically dismantle iran's nuclear program the final agreement suggests this is far from the case. it is apparent that the president and his negotiating partners were willing, eager even, to give in to every demand made by the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism. the goal posts were moved from
dismantling iran's clandestine nuclear weapons programs to blindly hoping we can contain it. the deal president obama and secretary of state kerry have orchestrated has several key faults. for starters, under the deal, iran is not required to destroy a single centrifuge, not one. that means well over a thousand centrifuges will remain in place at fordaw,one of iran's most infamous nuclear sites. many will continue to operate. this is no ordinary facility. it is a fortified underground military bunker built into the side of a mountain. it was constructed in secret and has served only one purpose -- to covertly produce weapons-grade high enriched uranium. when the talks began, the president was adamant that fordaw must be closed as part of the final agreement.
however, over the course of the negotiations, the president caved. the iranians will be able to maintain the capacity to continue enrichment activities the affordaw. the president claims that verification will ensure iran's compliance. the verifications to be -- verification appears to be exactly where this deal is lacking any punch. there is nothing in this deal that lets us confidently say we know what is truly going on at any of the nuclear sites in iran there are no any time, anywhere inspections, including the affordaw. even worse, international inspectors won't even be the ones handling the inspections at the county's military complex. the eye -- iranians themselves will be. how this is acceptable to anyone is absolutely astonishing. there's no reason, given iran's history, that they will be honest about what is going on
there. a lack of verification is far from the only troubling aspect of this agreement. the iranian regime believes that the agreement gives them full permanent relief from sanctions. lifting sanctions will provide iran with approximately $100 billion in previously frozen assets which the administration has openly admitted will go at least, in part, to the iranian military and its terrorist offshoots. it was hard enough to get the administration to, with this nature we will never be able to reestablish them. should iran not live up to its agreement which is a strong possibility, given the iranian regime's actions in the past. along with the sanctions relief the international arms embargo and the ban on ballistic missile research will also be lifted. within six years iran will have
access to modern weaponry. this does not bode well for pace in the region. remember, we are talking about the world's leading state sponsor of terror. what we are giving up as a result of this deal is the sanctions relief, the arms embargo, the ongoing enrichment, makes the world a more dangerous place. we have a responsibility to ensure that iran never achieves this goal of becoming a nuclear power. if iran goes nuclear, other nations in the region surely will follow. this gives us little confidence we will be successful in this regard. a nuclear iran coon devastating for america and our allies. this is about saving our children and our grandchildren from the prospects of nuclear war. i cannot confidently say this agreement will accomplish this goal. in fact, i fear it moves us in
the wrong direction. for that reason, i oppose the deal and intend to support the resolution of disapproval. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mrs. ernst: as we come together on the agreement with iran, i believe it is one of the most cons sequential decisions we will ever face. i have heard my peers talk many times about the things that trouble them, this things that they fear, the, quote, things that keep us up at night. and i'll tell you this nuclear agreement is one of those things that keeps me up at night as a mother, as a grandmother, and as a soldier.
having proudly worn our nation's uniform for 20 years, i can tell you that protecting and defending this country is something that i take very seriously and very personally. i'd hoped our president would approach the american people with a deal that reflected the high ground our nation has stood on against iran for decades. unfortunately, now that i've seen the available details, i believe the president has not negotiated a good deal with iran. the agreement before us fails to dismantle iran's nuclear program and does not end iran's support of terrorism. the president has squandered his opportunity to enhance our national security and the
security of our israeli and arab allies by failing to live up to his own goal of ending iran's capability to build a nuclear weapon. the administration is asking the american people to accept a deal which will, at best, freeze iran's nuclear program for eight years. and that's if the iranians actually live up to their end of the bargain. one of the major failures of this deal is the lack of any time, anywhere inspections that they do. the secretary of energy, dr. money niece -- moniz said
we will have anywhere, any time inspections. end quote. to ensure iran was abiding by a nuclear agreement. how can we ever be certain of compliance if iran decides to cheat and we have a weak inspection regime as part of this deal? i would argue that we can't. another part of this debate that has been very troubling to me is that the president continues to tell the american people there are only two options, his agreement or war. during one of his major speeches on this deal he actually mentioned the word "war" 50 times in an attempt to hammer this false choice home.
despite this misinformation campaign designed to pressure the american people into agreeing on a bad deal, our military leaders and distinguished former administration officials clearly denied that our choice is either support the deal or go to war with iran. in testimony before the senate armed services committee, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general martin democratsy disagreed -- dempsey disagreed with the president saying it gave us a choice of supporting the agreement or going to war with iran. later that same week, the president's pick to lead the united states navy said war was not the only alternative and that we need to use the full set of capabilities that the joint force and the navy can deliver
to deter that. and the military contribution is also just a subset of a whole of government approach to our allies in the region. and it is not just our military saying this. michael hayden, former director of c.i.a. and n.s.a. said -- quote -- "there is no necessity to go to war if we don't sign this agreement. there are actions in between those two extremes" -- end quote. dr. richard haas, the chairman of the council said i echo that during the same hearing. and the former secretary of defense for policy and ambassador to turkey said i agree with you. i don't think those are the only alternatives. ambassador nicholas burns, a former top u.s. negotiator with
iran on its nuclear program and former under secretary of state for political affairs said i don't believe that war would be inevitable. rather than misrepresenting the facts and our country's options, i challenge supporters of this agreement to explain to the american people why they are supporting a flawed and bad deal today when we should be letting our citizens' interests and their security first. i'd also note that this administration was willing to leave the negotiating table without securing an end to iran's support of terrorism. iran is the world's leading sponsor of terror and we are giving them a free pass in this deal to continue those efforts.
in addition to the billions of dollars of relief which leaves iran poised to double down on its support of terrorism, the president also agreed to lift the u.n. arms embargo for advanced conventional arms and ballistic missiles. as a veteran of kuwait and iraq, in support of operation iraqi freedom, i am beside myself. as are many other americans who served in iraq regarding the president's support for sanctions relief for one terrorist in particular. the leader of iran's elite covert force, the quds force, general cass emsole meny --
you'll meny, lead to the death of thousands in the iraq war. throughout the iraq war we saw many killed in action and many more wounded by the iraq militia that was supported or controlled by general soleimani. and general james jeffrey, ambassador to iraq said up to a quarter of american casualties and some of the horrific incidents in which americans were kidnapped can be traced without a doubt to these iranian groups. one of the signature tools to attack american service members was an improvised device, an i.e.d., an improvised
projectile or. these are used by groups to kill americans. if you ask american service members who served in iraq during the war they will tell you these types of i.e.d.'s by iranian supported militias were among the most deadly and devastating types placed by any of the iraqi and insurgency groups including al qaeda in iraq. while many of my colleagues shared the concern regarding general solemany -- you'll soleimani, you'll see many have the same experience fighting the iraqi supported militias. my staff recently spoke to a currently serving u.s. army officer originally from
waterloo, iowa, on a 15-month deployment to iraq during the surge. this iowan described to us the effects had on him in iran and in baghdad, the threat of e.f.p.'s were -- and i'm quoting him. understanding the pipeline from iran into iraq, the abundance of the munitions and the lethal ity of u.s. forces, the sense of peril never left our psyche. while i was never fearful of losing a limb, i knew if i was struck, i would fall to certain death, one that i would welcome ten months into a 15-month deployment," -- end quote.
and soleimani is an embarrassment to this administration and in the words of some of our iraq veterans, a slap in the face. and then there's luke, a retired army service member with a storied 121st division. during his second tour in iraq, luke lost his leg in combat after his vehicle was hit with an iranian-made e.f.p. he told us that -- quote -- "we come home blown up and try to put our lives back together, only to hear that our country is going to be lifting sanctions that will free billions for iran to kill more innocents. we may not be at war with them,
but they are at war with us. i'm a wounded veteran and i spend a great deal of time helping other guys like me. i can assure you that this deal directly affects us. it's a slap in the face for all veterans, all those who served" -- end quote. we owe it to veterans and our current service members who sacrificed to stop iran's support of terror. i urge the president and my colleagues to consider iran's true intent and not to underestimate iran's will to enhance its capability to de stabilize the middle east, threaten american security, and the security of allies in the region and around the globe. mr. president, in closing, the decision we make on this agreement will have lasting
results for our nation. the world and future generations of americans. i urge all of my colleagues to reject the president's bad deal and put the security of the american people, our allies, and the global community first. thank you, mr. president. i yield back the floor. mr. burr: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. mr. burr: mr. president, i'm here today to engage in an honest and open debate about the nuclear agreement the administration has brokered with iran. and let me at this point commend chairman corker for the way he and his committee has handled the very difficult process that has not been coordinated with
the administration, where their consideration was for congress to be cut out. and i think chairman corker has done a wonderful job of inserting the senate of the united states where it should be, part of this agreement. i'm here to tell you that this deal is based not on absolute value, absolute knowledge of iran's intentions including its nuclear ambitions, but it's naively and dangerously based on faith and hope. our national security should not be based on faith and hope. our nation's security is too precious to be based on faith and hope alone. faith that we will detect any iranian efforts to cheat and hope that the iranians will not cheat. secretary of state john kerry told the american people in june -- and i quote -- "that we know what they did; we have no doubt
and that we have an absolute knowledge of the possible military dimensions of iran's nuclear program." let me say that again. "we have an absolute knowledge of the possible military dimensions of iran's nuclear program." as chairman of the intelligence committee, i can tell you, we don't have absolute knowledge of anything. our intelligence is good, but it's not perfect, and it's dis- ingenuous for secretary kerry to suggest otherwise. we must accept the self-evident fact that iran has a bad record of complying with nonproliferation commitments. when our best tools are faith and hope, we're puttin putting n national security as well as our allies' at risk. i ask my colleagues, would when you consider wu'e your vote to t
these questions: do you know where every facility is loked? do you know the location or activity of every nuclear-related laboratory whether it is in a military facility or a university campus? do we know whether iran intends to purchase essentialive nuclear materials from a rogue nation or whether we will detect the sale or transfer of that nuclear material? do we know the intentions of the supreme leader or what he or his successor may be thinking in ten gleers do we know everything about iran's past capabilities, future intent or ability to conceal illicit nuclear activities? do we assume too much about i were's willingness to abide by the agreement? unlike secretary kerry, i do not believe that we know everything about iran's past nuclear
efforts. i do not have faith that we know with any degree ofcepto of certy this regime's -- >> our intelligence community does amazing things ans i'm impressed with the dedication, drive, and capability of its people. mr. burr: our gel benz intellige community provides our military leadership inside assessments on the toughest national security problems but they never -- they never claim -- and i wouldn't believe them if they did -- to have absolute knowledge of any issue. again, intelligence is imperfect. secretary kerry told the american people and the members of this body -- and i quote -- "no part of this agreement relies on trust. it will all be based on a thorough and extensive transparency and verification
measures." with all due respect, the secretary is oversimplifying the complex and difficult world of treaty compliance and verification. the secretary should come clean and truthfully state that this agreement does not rely on trust. it relies on hope and faith, faith that we will detect any iranian efforts to cheat and hope that iran will not cheat. my colleagues should be mindful before casting their votes. your eyes should be wide open to the uncertainty we as a nation are accepting with this agreement. if the iaea and our intelligence community are not 100% certain and our clackive assumptions are -- collective assumptions are wrong and we get caught unaway, the consequences will be significant. they could be disastrous, and we will without a doubt regret
entering into this agreement. the agreement the administration has negotiated with iran is based on faith that we know everything about the nuclear program today and hope that the iranian regime will abide by the terms of this agreement. the administration is displaying misguided faith that iran will not use the billions of dollars soon to be available to continue its efforts to fund terrorist proxies worldwide. i call my colleagues' atepg to the recent comments by the national security advisor susan rice who said this: , why "we should expect that some of the money iran gets under vangs relief as a result of the - shall could be used for the kinds much bad behavior that we have seen in the end. again, this deal ignores the facts and instead hopes that it will work out. iran is the world's central bank
of terrorism. this additional income is not likely to be solely dedicated to streamlining their postal delivery routes in iran. secretary kerry testified in july that they, the iranians, are committed to certain things that we interpret as terrorism. the administration is relying on faith that the iaea and our intelligence community will be able to detect any trace of nuclear material and any prohibited activity and has hope that the iaea will continue to have access to iranian nuclear sites, access that in some cases -- in some cases being defined as the ability to deliver things to the iranians at the gate of the facility so they can conduct their own surveillance. anytime, anywhere to deliver the equipment to the iranians and ask them to do self-inspections inside the gate.
if the iaea is prevented from gaining the necessary access to declared or succes suspected fas in a timely manner, we will be in a significant disadvantage and the sanctions pressures we have attained over years of efforts cannot be remade overnight. our reliance on the iaea is now also tied to two side groups with iran that members of this body have not yet been provided. i'll remind my colleagues that when the president signed the iran nuclear agreement review act, the law required to provide to congress the agreement and all related materials and annexes and that has not happened. and yet the administration asks that we have faith that these will not have a material effect on the agreement nor ability to ensure iran's compliance with its terms. it raises additional questions.
do we have absolute certainty that we know what those agreements include? do we understand how they may affect iran's activities, assumptions, or willingness to abide by the terms of its agreement with the united states? do we know without a doubt where every potential nuclear facility is located? the president argued that although it may take 24 t hourso get access to a site, high school physics will remind us that nuclear material leaves a trace and so we'll know that in fact there was a violation of the agreement. i don't have absolute certainty that this is true and question the administration's willingness to give up a requirement for anywhere, anytime access in iran isn't hiding anything. why wouldn't they offer that access? do we trust iran's claim that they don't have a covert
facility? do we have faith that they do not? are we hoping that they do not build one? do we or can we have absolutely certainty on this issue? a former iaea deputy director stated in 2013 that if there's no undeclared nuclear installation today, it will be the first time in 20 years that iran doesn't have one. ultimately, i believe this deal is built on a foundation that is far more unstable than the administration would us have believe. -- would have you believe while i realize that all the parties in this deal have been trying to spin the narrative to their benefit, i cannot believe that a deal as tough as the administration would have you believe would be referred to by the iranian president as a legal, political, and technical victory for iran. the administration has chosen to
trade all of our economic leverage -- leverage that was working -- for a near-term possible delay in iran's breakout time line. no doubt, we will still have leverage. but it will be limited. perversely, given the president's statements about opponents of this deal to military action, something we've tried to avoid for many years as it relates to iran, the administration hopes that it will not have to use military action. can you tell me with absolute certainty what the supreme leader's intentions are? can you tell me what he's thinking or what he's thinking in ten years? when iran will have rebuilt its struggling economy and will be nearing the end of what limited restraints may remain on its nuclear research and development activities? did we just enable a regime
based on a false choice that we didn't fully understand? one of the president's chief criticisms is typical of his straw man approach to the debate has been to suggest that opponents of the deal only want military action. oddly enough, it's the president's own agreement with the iranians that has stripped us of all leverage except military action, if the agreement is not ad adhered to. the strategic decision to engage iran in the resulting deal cannot, based on absolute certainty of iran's nuclear program or its intentions. the agreement is based on questionable assumptions, allows far too much maneuvering by iran and naively trusts the regime that has a history of evasive activities and false
declarations to the very body, the iaea, entrusted with enforcing the agreement. do we know without a doubt what is going on in every laboratory in iran? whether it is on a military facility or a university campus? i applaud the efforts of our negotiators and our intelligence community and our diplomats, but i'm sorry to say that they were sent on a fool's errand by the president. they were provided a false choice between this agreement or thor. the narrative just doesn't add up. i have spent the better prt of 15 years as a member of the house and senate intelligence committees. i understand the nature and the nuance of intelligence work. and i know that there are no absolute certainties in this business.
this deal is based not on the absolute knowledge of iran's activities and it's intentions, as the administration would have us believe. but as you can see, it is knee evely based -- naively based on faith and hope. i, for one, will not vote to enable a regime that supports terrorism. it aids international inspections, disregards u.n. security council resolutions, and is opposed to the very existence of another nation in the region. the united states has effectively led the international community and enacted sanctions that have restrained the hostile regime, and it now looks as though this administration will undo those years of efforts and enable the same regime by filling its coffers with badly needed resources. i don't know with absolute
certainty where this agreement will lead, but i do understand that there are too many unanswered questions to move forward. mr. president, i urge my colleagues to join me in opposing this agreement, and i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: mr. president, it's been a long day. we've heard about everything that can be heard from a lot of different people and i'vedom to some conclusions that there are some things that are incontrovertible here, after all the debate all day long, and there are six things that we should be looking at, and i'll just real quickly summarize these quickly. i think it's kind of a good wrap-up. there are six things. first, this deal rewards and
legitimizes iran for flouting treaties and international laws and constitutional resolutions. it rewards and legitimizes. the second thing does, it rewards iran with $100 billion, you've heard it today, that could be a floating figure, we're not sure exactly how much it is but we do know what they do with their money is expand their influence with terrorist organizations. the third thing, it places middle east in the ni arms race. the second in in some time, we have some countries coming forward with what their intentions are. the fourth thing, it fails to dismantle iran's enrichment which has been described by a lot of people. and fifth, it places a lot of people in the ballistic missile program. we have been talking about bombs all day but you've got to deliver the bombs, and that's
where the missile programs come into play. and sixth and i think it's most important, that is there is in my opinion no verification at all. i'd like to summarize that real quickly. the fact that it rewards and legitimizes iran's violations. keep in mind, they have violated every international law or treaty or united states -- united nations security council. the treaty on nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, for developing nuclear weapons, they have violated that. the international covenant on civil and the political rights, that has to do with freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of -- from discrimination and freedom from torture. they have violated that. the international convention on taking of hostages. several people have mentioned today, like the junior senator from georgia, you know, what about the four hostages that are
over there? i would carry it one step further, one of them was an f.b.i. agent named robert levinson. robert levinson now holds the record of having been held hostage longer than anyone else in history and he's still there. he's still there at a time that we are -- that we are -- are in this process. and the resolutions on the access to nuclear facilities, they have violated that. i think everyone knows that. iran's shown from time to time they can't be trusted and the director general of the iaea has said that iran has consistently failed to provide information or access needed to allay the iaea's concerns about weapons potential. so that's -- that's the first thing. the second thing, the rewards the world's leading sponsor of terrorists and we're talking about united nations -- the united states does not normally negotiate with terrorists.
this is something i've heard for many, many years, as long as i've been here, until now. and iran remains the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. we've heard it all day today. and according to the state department's 2009 country reports on terrorism, they have proceeded training and weapons to the taliban fighting our forces in afghanistan, the iranian i.e.d.'s have killed u.s. troops in iran, they've paid the taliban in afghanistan to kill u.s. troops. iran supports hamas in palestine, hezbollah in lebanon, assad in syria. and even in the midst of -- i had occasion to be in the persian gulf on the u.s.s. carl vincent just a few weeks ago. and it was during the negotiations. and there i was in the persian gulf at the same time the iranian ship was taking weapons down to yemen to kill americans. and that was while we're negotiating.
iran -- they're bankrolling the slaughter of tens of thousands of syrians and publicly committed the annihilation of the state of -- for the annihilation of the state of israel and called death for america. death for america while we're in the middle of negotiations? general austin made the statement -- now, he was the u.s. central command, and i was there when he made this statement, and this is a quote, he said, iran represents the most significant threat to the central region. iran continues to pursue policies that threaten u.s. strategic interests and goals throughout the middle east. and, you know, as was stated by my good friend just before me, even susan ice, who would do -- susan rice, who would do almost anything the president could suggest p, said we could spend all this money is going to be used to fortify their terrorist friends. so, you know, we -- we can only conclude that the financial windfall estimated by -- too --
to be over a hundred billion dollars, would be used to fortified more terrorism. and the third thing i think that was made today, these are the six that i think have become incontrovertible and that is that the -- the places in the middle east on the bripg of a new -- brink of a new arms race. we've heard it quite often. dr. kissinger was -- testified before our committee, the armed services committee, just the other day. he said, regarding the ongoing nuclear negotiations with iran, he said -- quote -- "the impact of this approach will be to move from preventing proliferation to managing it." and the -- westerly last month when prime minister netanyahu warned, he said -- quote -- "the deal that was supposed to end nuclear proliferation will actually trigger nuclear proliferation. it will trigger a nuclear arms race in the middle east." saudi arabia has always been
talking recently about possibly being the first to jump in there on the -- on this new program. so we could expect it to happen. we know it's going to happen. the fourth thing is, it fails to dismantle iran's enrichment infrastructure. i think that's been driven home by many people here. it permits iran to retain its enrichment infrastructure, including advanced centrifuges and continuing developing its enrichment technology. and that's something that has now i think pretty much is pretty much agreed to. the fifth and next to the last, it places no restrictions on iran's ballistic missile development. you've got to keep in mind, people that don't -- have not talked much on this floor about the fact that -- they talk about the bomb but we have to -- there has to be a delivery system before the bomb can be effective. i can remember in 2007 -- 2007 our unclassified intelligence
report said that by 2015, iran would have the bomb and a delivery system. well, here it is 2015 and they weren't that far off. and so we know what the capability is out there, what they're planning on doing. and the u.s. intelligence assesses -- and this is the quote, and this is very significant -- "iran's ballistic missile are inherently capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction and iran's program on space-launch vehicles improves tehran's ability to develop long-range missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles, icbm's." and one thing no one has mentioned on this thing is that we made an arrangement in the previous administration, knowing that iran was going to have this capability, we have some 30 ground-based interceptors but they're all on the west coast because we thought that was where it was going to have to come from. but guess what, all of a sudden iran is going to be coming from the other direction. well, the first thing this
president did when he took office, obama did away with our commitment. we had an arrangement with the czech republic to have an -- to have a ground-based interceptor there. and i can remember so well one of our -- one of the best friends that we have over there made the statement, he said, are you sure now that if we enrage russia by having this system, that you're not going to pull the rug out from under us? and i said absolutely -- that was vac laf -- vaclav klauss. and of course that's the first thing he did. so that's why we don't have that delivery system. the last one is the most important and i think i might be the only member of the senate who believes this, but i look at this and i go back home and a lot of times you don't find the wisdom here in washington, you have to go back home. and certainly over this past month being around my state of oklahoma, people asked the question, they said, well, wait a minute, if they have all this time, once accused of something
or if the iaea should say, we believe they are making a bomb in a certain location, once they do that, if they have the ability under this deal to delay that not just 24 hours, not just 24 days but they can go on and delay it for two additional periods by applying to the joint commission for 15 days and then the minister of foreign affairs 15 days. that's 54 days. you know, it's suggested that we stop and think about that. if we know that somebody has something but they have 54 days to either destroy it or hide it, put it someplace else, they're going to do it. and so my people in oklahoma say, you know, there just isn't any -- any kind of -- any kind of verification. we all remember what ronald reagan said, you know, trust but verify. you kids are too young to remember what happened during the soviet union and all that problem, but clearly that was the major concern at that time.
so this is -- the situation that was pointed outweigh back during during -- pointed out way back in the joint presentation by netanyahu. if he'd just change his registration, i would love it if he would run for president of the united states. that's the kind of guy we need. he made the statement at that time that this is -- no deal is going to be better than the bad deal that is on the table. i believe that's true. i had occasion to publish an op-ed last week in the "wall street journal" urging states to hold fast to their sanctions on iran. you know, even if they consider strengthening and expanding those sanctions. here's the thing that people don't understand. this is something where the states have -- the reason he gets by, the president gets by with not calling this a treaty that would have to be confirmed and verified by -- by this body is that it's dealing with the states and not the federal government. so my hope was that many other
states are going to be doing what we're doing in the state of oklahoma, you know, holding on to our sanctions and not releasing any of them. and i think that could -- that would -- certainly if this thing becomes a reality, one of the few things we can do. i'll end with a quote from then-president bill clinton in 1994. i remember i was there and i heard him make this statement. he said, after the deal with north korea, this is a quote, he said, "this is a good deal for the united states. north korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program. south korea and our allies will be better protected. the entire world all right safer as we slow the spread of nuclear weapons. the united states and international inspectors will carefully monitor north korea to make sure it keeps its commitments." and two decades later, the defense intelligence agency announced that it had moderate confidence that north korea has a nuclear weapon small enough to be placed on a ballistic
missile. so that's what's going on. that's in just today's new york times. i don't know how -- that's in just today's "new york times." i don't know how anyone would be able to take them seriously, when the guy who's the real boss over there, the ayatollah khamenei, he said in talking about the -- about israel, he said -- quote -- "i'm telling you first, you will not be around in 25 years. we'll annihilate you in that period of time." then he talked about the united states, he said "iranians must not forget that the united states is the great satan." ayatollah warned criticizing, those calling for better relations, to call this satan an angel but the iranian nation has pushed this satan out. we should not allow it to sneak back in through the window. those are the guys we're negotiates oning with. with that -- negotiating with. with that, i would say this is not a really to, it's not a deal, it's surrender. and i would yield the floor.
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