tv Special Envoy for Iran Testifies on Nuclear Negotiations CSPAN May 27, 2022 7:16am-9:24am EDT
[inaudible conversations] >> president biden speaks at the naval academy's 2022 commencement ceremony, live coverage from annapolis at 10:00 eastern on c-span, c-span now, free and mobile video apps or online, c-span.org. >> the envoy for nuclear talks told lawmakers the prospects for returning to a dealer tenuous at best, testified before the senate foreign
relations committee about the impact of the 2015 nuclear agreement made during the obama administration and donald trump's decision to withdraw from the deal in 2018. this is just over 2 hours. >> this hearing will come to order. before i deliver my opening remarks let me acknowledge the senseless massacre at rob elementary school, and overwhelmingly latino community, faced with heartache and despair of witnessing a mass shooting that takes the lives of children who, like any other child in america, went to school to learn, not to be executed. let's be clear, every mass shooting is the result of a
policy failure. guns, especially assault weapons equipped with high-capacity magazines don't belong in our communities, to do harm with such weapons, have greater rights than the nation's children to whom we have a precious obligation to protect and while our thoughts and prayers are with each of the families that are grieving this unimaginable loss, we must go beyond thoughts and prayers and take action. every day that goes by without commonsense gun reform is a setback in our ability to promote american virtue and values to the rest of the world. i have three granddaughters. one is in elementary school in kindergarten, she goes through active shooter drills. what are we waiting for? there must be some common ground under which we can
ultimately come together to prevent these senseless acts of violence. turning to today's hearing i appreciate robert malley's appearance and service to our country and the administration's efforts in attempting to negotiate a longer and stronger jc poa but facts are facts. as we meet here on may 25, 2020, who iran is closer to developing a nuclear weapon. it was on the brink of enriching enough, 60% uranium, a much more dangerous threat and far less interesting party than iran of 2015. a deal under which iran has far less than 6 months breakout time with sanctions relief and return that will unlock millions of dollars and no
sunset extensions is definitely not longer and stronger, it is shorter and weaker. clearly this reality is due to donald trump's decision to walk away from the jc poa without a plan, strategy or allies alongside, the us having left the agreement, to rush by with accelerating enrichment capabilities to the doorstep of nuclear grade uranium. iran made this decision even though our european allies stated the deal. as the administration worked to negotiate a return to 2015 nuclear jail iran worked to stockpile nuclear material. as the administration negotiated, irani and drones loaded with ball bearings and shrapnel hit american facilities. as the ministries negotiated iran developed what general
frank mckenzie says is overmatched in its ballistic missile program so it can launch more missiles than the united states and partners can shoot down, missiles that iran points at our ally, the state of israel which irani leaders said should be, quote, wiped off the face of the earth. meanwhile iran unlawfully detained american citizens and citizens of our european allies on trumped up charges for political chips. lest we forget, they oppress the human rights of its own citizens. in short iran has drowned out this process driving up its demands, inserting its leverage convincing the world the united states wants the jc poa more than the irani regime does. after months of negotiation this is the iran we must contend with, not the iran you
hoped would be driven by practical considerations at the bargaining table. who it is reported justin april imported 650,000 barrels a day of oil from iran. oil which should be subject to us sanctions even at discounted prices this resulted in a flood of cash for the regime, tens of millions of dollars a day. day iran is protected by russia. iran thinks it has options. if iran wants to extract a better deal or less than us national security demands it can turn to its autocratic allies. the administration said months ago without a return to the original 2015 agreement by the end of last february the nonproliferation benefits of the deal would be greatly diminished.
on january 21, 2022, he said, quote, detox with iran about mutual return to compliance with the jc poa have reached a decisive moment. of a deal is not reached in the next few weeks, iran's ongoing nuclear advances will make it impossible to return to the jc poa. it is three months later than that determination. how is it iran is still advancing its nuclear program by leaps and bounds? the knowledge iran is gaining from these advancements can never be erased. we continue to wait and hope but hope is not a national security strategy. i believe in a diplomatic path but we must ask using every tool we have, how do we serve the us strategic interest.
if iran were to breakout tomorrow what is the united states prepared to do? if iran begins to enrich uranium to 90%, what is the united states prepared to do? using every bit of leverage and deterrence how do we stop iran from mastering the weaponization for nuclear test. i want to hear the administration's plans to better enforce the sanctions regime we put in place that look like a sieve. i want to hear your plans for working in lockstep with our european and other allies around the globe to sharpen iran's twists. i would like to hear the administration's plans for with the administration is prepared to do to stop the growing oil trade between iran and china and the oil trade with venezuela and syria. i want your plans to how to end hostagetaking of our citizens and i want to hear your plans for how the administration is
going to bring home americans wrongfully detained in iraqi and iran. with or without the jc poa, we can never forget bob levinson. i want to hear your plans to bolster the security of our partners in the region so they can defend themselves with or without return to the jc poa. the united states must demonstrate we have the will and military capabilities to defend our people and interests between mass backup president biden's statement that iran will, quote, never get a nuclear weapon. we must prepare for the obvious reality we face in 2022, a return to the nuclear deal is not around the corner and i believe it is not, we need to tackle what comes next and to
hear your plan. i hope your testimony can begin to lay the groundwork of such a strategy. if the plan includes the possibility of the deal with iran. it must be subject to congressional review under the iran nuclear agreement of 2015. with respect to iran policy, i would expect the administration to follow the law. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for taking the time to meet with me and i appreciate it. you don't have a difficult job, you have an impossible job. the administration his given your rubber hammer to do a job a steel mallet couldn't do. i appreciate it. as we discussed the time is long since passed, time to turn
our attention in other directions. the administration argued that iran is galloping towards a nuclear device and we are left with no choice, the choice of the jc poa or an unconstrained irani and regime. this is a false choice. it remains that the jc poa was fatally flawed in 2,015 and it is fatally flawed today. the jc poa fails to contain the iran regime and safeguard american national security interests. we are familiar with the deal sunsets, conventional weapons embargo has expired, the deal's than on ballistic missiles expires next year. the entire deal remains bound by a termination date in 2,025 when the un security council ends consideration of irani nuclear matters and resolution snapback mechanisms. iran's nuclear program is only
one aspect of its malign behavior as the chairman adequate be pointed out. over the past four decades the irani regime has murdered its own citizens, murdered americans, hostagetaking in foreign policy, exported terrorism on a global scale and represent the principal threat to stability in the middle east. despite promises of, quote, longer and stronger which were all made in this room and individually for each of us at the beginning of this administration it is clear that was a bumper sticker only which i believed and said at the time. the current approach does not address iran's ballistic missile activity, ongoing uranian threats to us officials or returning american hostages to their loved ones. sanctions relief fueled iran's terror proxies just as the 2015
jc poa did. we saw pallets of cash delivered at the conclusion of negotiations in 2,015. where do you think that money went, it didn't go to help uranian people for thomistic programs or anything else. we converted at least partially into missiles that today have been transported to lebanon, to syria, israel and that is where that cash went. worse, the jc poa provides a potential sanctions lifeline to russia that will enrich putin in the midst of his assault against ukraine. talks remain stalled, negotiating in bad faith as it always does and continues to levy unreasonable commands on the nuclear deal.
instead of prolonging this period of uncertainty it is past time the administration's legal negotiations and implement a more holistic iran policy. we would like to hear about that policy. we like to end this never-ending reference to percentage and richmond, volume of nuclear material, this is not the measurement of iran's evil but a mere small part of it. and the israelis vowed to handle that end of the problem and they will and iran knows it and we know it. on the economic front sanctions enforcement is lacking, sadly lacking. we must close sanctions loopholes including purchases of uranian oil. iran confident in its economy must feel significantly more economic pressure.
on the diplomatic front the united states must press for censure of the irani in regime at the board of governors meeting. for too long iran has harassed and obstructed legitimate monitoring efforts. tolerating this the administration damaged the legitimacy of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. we must hold iran to its commitment and make sure of support and in addition to action we must bring international pressure to bear. iran must become a renewed topic of discussion at the un security council. too long iran policy has been an issue that divided us from european partners. they've come to realize the malignancy they are dealing with and move forward with a new sense of reality.
the regional determines against troops and diplomats has been again sagging. we must reduce deterrent to the region, increase joint. area exercises with israel and ensure our partners have the right to defend themselves, put naps unprovoked attack and murder of thousands for no reason whatsoever other than the fact that good people living in nearby free democratic countries found themselves to respond to such an attack once again reminded us that real evil exists in this world and we must always be vigilant and ready to respond when and if it erupts. only through comprehensive multilateral approach can we confront the uranian challenge. >> welcome and we ask you to
summarize your statement so we can have a conversation and many members will have questions, your statement will be included in the record without objection. >> mister chairman, ranking member, members of this committee. thank you for the opportunity to talk about the ad administration's policy towards iran. this is both an urgent and important conference but like so many of us i am a parent. for all of us the horrific mass murder of element tree school children makes it hard to focus on anything else. let me begin with basic facts upon which i am sure we can all agree. the uranian government's actions threaten the united states and our allies including israel. iran continues to support terrorist groups, appalling human rights record, brutal response to ongoing protests, the latest reminder. foreign and dual nationals for
use of political promise. to detour and counter the dangerous array of uranian activities we've not had the luxury of focusing exclusively on that. are administration spent much of the past year seeking to restore strict limits on iran's nuclear program including unprecedented international monitoring agency and we've been reviving ties with european allies necessary to hold iran accountable and change its behavior. because when president biden came to office he inherited an immediate crisis. and unbridled irani nuclear program that makes every problem we had with iran more dangerous. as well as badly frayed relations with european allies horse arguing against policy as they were countering iran.
this is the unfortunate result of the last administration's decision to unilaterally end us participation in the jc poa when iran was complying with it. to the extent of disagreement in this room it falls to this. are we better off reviving the nuclear deal, using all other tools at the disposal, diplomatic, economic and otherwise, to address iran's destabilizing policies are we better off rid of the deal and banking on a policy of pressure all and to get iran to accept nuclear constraint and curb its aggressive policies. we don't need to rely on thought experiments to answer this anymore. we've gone through several years of a real-life experiment in the policy approach, critics of the jc poa advocated. many of us strongly disagreed with the policy at the time but we could not prove that it would fail.
then we predicted. now we know. the simple fact is as a means of constraining iran's nuclear program, the jc poa was working. leaving it has not. under the jc poa iran operated a tightly constrained program, it would have taken iran a year to make enough fissile material for a bomb which would have given us and our allies to know what iran is doing in the time to act. without those constraints, enriched uranium, to leave the breakout, it is a matter of weeks which means iran could potentially produce enough fuel for a bomb before we could know what let alone stop it. rather than compelling iran, the prior administration's maximum pressure campaign resulted in maximum nonnuclear
provocation including brazen attacks by iran and the groups it supports against our golf partners and our own forces leading to a 400% increase in attacks by iran backed militia between 2019-20. in this context it is hardly surprising a preponderance it was the security officials including two more stated unequivocally the us decision to leave the deal was among the most damaging to his relapse safety. as hardened security professionals across the political spectrum all of whom do what is necessary to defend their country, that is why we seek a return to the jc poa as long as we assess whether it is worth sanctions lifting. and we will submit this deal for congressional review pursuant to that. as i speak we do not have a deal and prospects for reaching
one are tenuous at best. if iran maintains demand beyond the scope of the jc poa we will reject them and there will be no deal. we are fully prepared to live with and confront that reality, we have no allusion, the nuclear deal the nuclear deal this uranian government will remain a threat. we have throughout negotiations continue to push back. the treasury department is announcing new sanctions targeting international money-laundering network, with sales of hundreds of millions of dollars of oil so here's the strategy. fully reviving the jc poa if iran is willing to do so, building on that without a specter looming of nuclear threats for a broader follow on and throughout regardless, detouring, countering and responding to a full array of uranian threats in coordination with europe and crucially with israel and regional partners
could scott keeter straight and we will never permit iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. thank you. >> we start a series of 5-minute question rounds. i'm glad to hear your statement that if there is to be deal with the subject to the commitment of that. also glad the hearing has unveiled the treasury department is in significant sanctions mode on what you just described. had not heard that before. glad to see there has been public confirmation the president made a determination to revoke the irg see foreign
terrorist organization designation, i salute the president, the administration for keeping on that designation, those are positive things. as i listen to your testimony i heard a lot of focus on the trump administration's decision which i join with you was a mistake. i support the jc poa, it dealt with issues it needed to deal with, didn't support the trump administration's decision to leave it unilaterally without allies, without a strategy and we have seen the results of that. having said that, you had a long time since then in these negotiations, iran has not found itself at this point, what we do have is iran evading sanctions through china and
others. the administration has not pursued sanctions, what we do have is violations separately from the jc poa, with iran's commitment to the iaea which still go unanswered and what we do have is iran's breakout time is short enough, if iran chooses to do that it would be missed by those monitoring. amending the past while i recognize that is not a strategy to move towards the future and the future is now so question one, will we move to censure iran at the june 7th iaea meeting, violating obligations to the iaea about sites that have not had the access and information the
irani inns have not provided pursuant to an independent organization? >> thank you. we are consulting with european allies and israel and others to decide about the gourd of - the board of governors meeting to make sure iran is held to account. >> i appreciate consultations, those are always good but what is our position in those consultations? that we believe iran should be censured for not meeting its obligations? >> we believe iran needs to be pushed to meet its obligations. with our european -- to take action that is necessary. >> i assume we are leading in these discussions, having consultations but i've never known the administration to make consultations not have a
point of view in these consultations. if we cannot have your and meet its obligations, independently, which is the watchdog agency, then how are we to have faith or confidence in anything else. why is it we are still keeping the door open even vote for secretary of state says if it ended in february, wasn't much benefit anymore and even though the threshold is so close, what is your plan b? i get no sense what the plan is? is it to get our european allies we worked hard, i give the admin us trading credit for that to ultimately join in multilateral sanctions regime against iran for violations? is it to sanction countries like china that are permitting millions of dollars to flow to
iran in violation of sanctions and others as well, is it to show our military capabilities so that iran has to think twice about making any such thing on enrichment or the defamation which is still a question. 's it to try to constrain iran's ballistic missiles which overmatched in the region not because i say so but our former centcom commander says it? what is the plan? >> we are not waiting to see what happens with negotiations to tack action, sanctions enforcement which had not begun, it began the first a president biden took office, imposed one hundred 50 sanctions since the time, dressing ballistic missiles, human rights violation support for terrorism and the like. we work day in and day out with
israel and european allies on a strategy to counter and respond to any uranian action whether it has to do with attacks against our partners, and to come back to your question, working with them to make sure iran is held to account but all these problems would be worse and more difficult and intractable if iran were a threshold state on the verge of acquiring a nuclear bomb and that is why with our european allies who want this to continue call we are doing what we can to resolve this diplomatically even as we are not leaving any stone unturned. >> the it ministration will share with this committee in open session if it must in classified session what is the plan, to say we are consulting is working with our allies but to do what? to achieve what goals? to have what sanctions
enforcement, to deal with what element of the irani and nuclear program, don't have a sense what that is, i don't have any sense what that is and if i don't have a sense what it is i don't know how we are supposed to decide if this is a path forward. >> i share the chairman's a goal of not knowing where the administration is on this. he made the statement you imposed 150 sanctions, and things get better even though you keep putting these sanctions on. thinking about sanctioning the irg see, to what end, they were sanctioned i don't know how
many times, i want to hear about sanctions for the oil sales to china. that's a huge problem and it is ongoing and resulting is the chairman described, watch they smilingly take. sanctions on the irg see, are underwhelmed, they probably shrug and laugh and continue -- what can you tell us what the administration is going to do about sanctions? they are toothless. >> this is a bipartisan issue.
sanctions are not the silver bullet, it was during maximum pressure, donald trump imposed 1600 new sanctioned designations and janette period of maximum pressure we saw maximum activity, unprecedented attacks against oil takers and oilfields. we were supposed to crush iran's economy, and to say more in the setting in this episode, the reality is this is the challenge we faced for decades, we need to do better and the path forward into the nuclear program. we are working on them, have
not stopped working on them, the leadership would beg to differ with a description of the economy doing well. they lost 80% since 2018 and 25% under president biden's watch, inflation at 40%. i don't think the regime is basking in circumventing sanctions. >> it is a fair point to say the economy is not good enough but it is adequate. they seem to be getting by, the weaknesses you described, putting 1 foot in front of the other. putting the point of donald trump got out of the jc poa and terrible things happened, what do you guys think about it?
if that wasn't the answer, what are you doing? it is longer and stronger. that train left the station along time ago and doesn't exist. it is shorter and weaker, into an agreement which i one hope you don't. what is your plan? i don't know what the policy is. keep sitting at the table and negotiating, how long is this going to go on? >> how long we will go, our goal, we are prepared to get back into the jc poa as long as our assessment that it is worth the sanctions relief. it doesn't mean we sit by and only negotiate.
we cannot enlisted a single sanction, we have added to those sanctions, we added steps with our partners to go after the uav program, to strengthen golf allies and partners that iran represents. whether the jc poa talks or not, it is our assessment, tangled assessment with the nonproliferation benefits that are worth the sanctions relief. >> the line of questions, the secretary of state told us three months, it is no good anymore. why should we believe you in any way, shape or form when you don't keep commitment to that were made before, longer and stronger deal that was promised and cutting it off, why should
we believe anything at this point? >> on the issue of longer and stronger, president biden and secretary blinken and all members of the administration said skipped into the dealer used as a platform to get a longer stronger deal. in large part because it is safer to negotiate a longer stronger deal when we know that rather than negotiate with the looming threat of states before us, that's not a negotiation that will be easy to lead, it is a long-term to for medicare effort and any day iran could break out without having the ability to note or act against it, putting us in a weaker position. we hope to get into it. if we don't we will see continued sanctions enforcement, you will see intensified action with allies
and partners but that is continuing again regardless of whether we get back into the jc poa. if they feel free to go after us we will feel free to take action against them. >> when are you going to walk? when is this going to happen? >> we said things in the past. what has always been our guiding star, what are the nonproliferation in the intelligence community of tell us? being at the table doesn't mean we are waiting. we are not waiting, we are acting to promote our interests to make sure iran cannot export its instability across the region. >> thank you very much for your service, thank you for keeping us informed. appreciate that very much.
the biden administration has been engaging us in foreign policy issues, something that was missing of the trump administration. very much appreciate that and pleased to hear about designation of the irg see remaining and the administration supposing additional sanctions. i'm also pleased with the acknowledgment of the review by congress. i want to go back when this agreement was entered into in 2015, that arguments was made being in an agreement with iran on a nuclear agreement, with additional progress to normalize relations with iran and deal with nonnuclear issues. we didn't see any progress after we joined the jc poa.
when donald trump was deciding whether to withdraw from the jc poa, i agree with chairman menand as, that was a terrible decision to withdraw but the european allies met with us on capitol hill. we had their attention. they did very visible action with the united states to move iran along. we didn't see any progress from iran or willingness to deal with these other issues. we are talking about rejoining the jc poa. i've not seen very visible action by our european allies in regards to iran's nonnuclear activities from the supportive terrorism and human rights violations. it is frustrating live in this
platform, with non-nuclear issues, we know president biden, the damage done under the trump administration with our coalition and european allies, very clearly, it seems to me we negotiated, the biden administration negotiated in good faith, the irradiance are a moving target. why aren't we seeing greater cooperation with europe in regards to isolating iran on the nonnuclear front. the penalties for violations of the commitments on the nuclear front. >> thank you, this goes to the heart of what president biden sought to do since coming into office which is as you say to make sure we act as one with
european allies to confront iran radovan be in the position we've been in in 2018 of european countries trying to counter us policy, to counter irani and actions. we are working in lockstep with the europeans and they wanted -- they want to see us make a good-faith effort, they tell us the last thing they want when dealing with the crisis in ukraine is have a nuclear crisis, they are still pressing to see if we can reach the deal and we are making every effort on national security interests. regardless of the outcome the europeans, with sanctions enforcement and the board of governors, strengthening to
counter iran but this has been critical as you see in ukraine and is just as critical here. we see it in our conversations. >> one point. if we were to rejoin the jc poa and don't have specific commitments from european allies regarding other issues i am dubious whether we will see follow through by european allies, they were restricted by being in the jc poa rather than being aggressive and dealing with these other issues. unless there's an understanding before the united states were to rejoin the jc poa i don't hold out much hope we will have the unity you are referring to. i hope i'm wrong about that, but i hope you would understand that we need to see definitive commitments from the europeans to join us in iran's nonnuclear
violations as well as containing nuclear proliferation. >> we have those commitments, we've spoken to the europeans extensively in the direction you just indicated. >> let's just state the obvious. if iran gave up its nuclear program, opens up to inspections. you would have billions of dollars in the economy, far better off, correct? >> if you move back -- >> answer the question. there economy would do quite well. they are putting up with all these sanctions, harming the economy, they are dedicated to getting a nuclear weapon, the jc poa or any agreement you enter into, do not prevent them
getting to that point that we can to do anything, it may take a few more years but they are dedicated to nuclear power, correct? >> president biden has made clear they would never allow iran to acquire nuclear weapons and will do what it takes. .. >> happy to discuss the details and classified setting, but i can say -- >> how much money flowed into iran as a result of the original jcpoa? how many billions of dollars? >> i would have to go back for the exact number but they did
benefit from sanctions. >> to be an estimate. you want to know this. >> we are negotiating for our today. >> how much cash was transferred in the first jcpoa? >> there's been a lot of misinformation. cash was not transferred. >> what's the truth then? again you negotiate a deal you want to know what happened in the past. what happened in the past? >> i can tell you what we know will happen now. what will happen now is if they can sell the oil at current rates we know they could get about $5 billion. >> have you read testimony from the second panel from the foundation for defense of democracies? >> no, i have not seen it. >> in his testimony one of his associates an expert iranian economy said your deal would provide financial package with up to $75 billion in the first year and over the next five years iran could receive as much
as $800 billion in sanctions relief. and by the way, he spells it out based on what assets they have. this is coming from the central bank of iran, also from the international monetary fund. they are showing the sources. they laughed and quick detail. he what he ought to look at his testimony. do you dispute those numbers? >> senator, those numbers are so widely exaggerated compared to what our intelligence community and our administration believe. the order of magnitude is just -- >> so again my point being is iran's actually dedicated to becoming a nuclear power. you said nuclear deal or no nuclear deal this iranian government will remain a threat. why in the world would you want to enter an agreement that will not literally prevent them from becoming a nuclear power? at might delay but it will not prevent it. why would you enter an agreement that will pump hundreds of billions of dollars into the
economy, in the military of the largest state sponsor of terror? again people on this committee are talking about jcpoa didn't change their behavior other than maybe for the worst. it didn't, you know, result in agreement and these other areas. iran's behavior has become worse. with my final minute let me ask you a question. you said you will present this for congressional review. it was my amendment on the first jcpoa that would have deemed that the treaty of required senate confirmation. and i would argue or that the case had we done that the jcpoa might have been a far better deal, maybe worthy of remaining in, certainly more difficult to get out of. will you commit to now i congressional review but submitting any deal that you make with iran that would have, will have grave consequences on world security as well as your
security? what you submit that for confirmation as a treaty to make sure that this body agrees with you that it is a treaty worth entering into? >> senator, as i said it was submitted for review under the requirement and that's what we're committed to. >> so that's it. not a treaty, not that hurdle of getting 67 united states senators agree with you. this was an agreement with getting into an event because that not what happened with the jcpoa, and that was a major flaw in that agreement as well. >> senator shaheen. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. malley, thank you for being here today and for your efforts with iran. in december of 2021 secretary of defense lloyd austin said of iran, and i quote, that if diplomacy fails we are prepared to turn to other options. now, i recognize that that statement was made before the
war in ukraine and that significant international attention has been diverted. but can you speak to what other options are on the table? >> senator, thank you. of course there's only so much i can say in the setting but of what to make this as clear as a cook at a think it will respond to some of the of the questions we we've had. president biden is unequivocal. iran will not be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon. that's been a long-standing bipartisan position i prior administrations and we're confident that future presidents will make this statement. we believe diplomacy is the best way to achieve this goal and by the way so do our israeli allies so the defense minister of visual just reiterate that when we met with him only a week or two ago. that said, will do whatever is necessary to prevent iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, taking no option off the table. again the options we can discuss
and the classified setting. >> well, try to help will have the opportunity to discuss those issues in a classified setting. can you speak to hezbollah fortune in lebanon? they didn't do as well in the election as were expected. the leadership in iraq continues to hold on and make progress in iraq. how are those actions and events and other parts of the middle east affecting the ability to negotiate any kind of an agreement with iran? >> thank you, senator. an important question which goes to the comprehensive approach we need to have towards iran. because fighting iran's destabilizing activities does require sanctions. it does require an international coalition to press iran into international fora pick up requires working hand-in-hand with israel come with a gold
partners, with the europeans to counter the ballistic missile program, to counter the uag program, to respond to the attacks. also called for strengthening the center and back and weakening hezbollah. and we can iran's ability to take advantage of the chaos and region which is why the truce that is been achieved in yemen and so forth. so even as a go after hezbollah, even after go after the transfer of weapons to the houthis, sustaining and consolidating that truce is a very powerful message to send to iran that de-escalation, ending conflict, ending the chaos from which a prophets penn center interest in and interest of our allies in the region. >> -- profits in the center. >> do we see anything happening in syria that may have an impact on iran? do we have, are we discussing what's happening in syria with any of our allies? >> my job is to do with iran.
i'm sure there are other my colleagues i would rather not step in a something where i am a error, so i'm sure my colleagues at the state department would be happy to address that. >> this i also recognize is not part of your portfolio, but i was pleased to see the announcement in march regarding the release of two british iranian hostages to the united kingdom, but as was mentioned earlier by the chairman we also still of a number of u.s. and european hostages who are being detained. is the plight of those hostages being considered at all as part of our negotiations with iran? >> thank you for raising that. i think there's no issue that is keeping us awake more than this one, the unjust detain citizens. chairman menendez mention their names. some of them i know know yr
constituents and i spoke to a number of members of this to me about them we have negotiated, first of all i just have to say it is the most outrageous that iran would use in a sense, innocent citizens and dual national american citizens, others just recently a pair frank citizens as pawns to advance other interests. it is inexcusable and we need to again find an international effort which secretary blinken is coordinating to try to make sure that those who do this are held to account and it not be repeated. but to answer your question, in parallel and separate from negotiations to return to the jcpoa we have been involved in indirect negotiations with iran to secure the release of our four citizens. it is not easy. as you can imagine iran is making requests that are very difficult to meet and sometimes are impossible to meet what we are continuing and we will not stop until all four of them are home and reunited with her loved ones. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman.
>> thank you. nor young -- senator young. >> ante. welcome to the committee. read your opening statement. iran was complying with its commitments under the jcpoa. under the jcpoa, and encoding from your testimony, iran operator a tightly constrained and carefully monitored, carefully monitored nuclear program. iran was neither complying with the compliance terms of the jcpoa nor with the operating a carefully monitored nuclear program. there were side deals in that program that members of congress weren't made aware of that wrote off, that excluded certain military sites from inspection whatsoever. moreover, the very terms of the
deal including the secret side agreements were not being followed by rank in which is why this is such an incredibly great situation. so just to reframe this, we are not talking about a deal that iran was completely complying with. in a nuclear deal that is not been complied with is not really a deal that we can live with. we need a stronger, a longer and stronger deal. as the secretary of state emphasized before this committee. committee. that was the objective of the administration. the "wall street journal" today wrote, released a piece about, title, iran use secret u.n. records to evade nuclear probe. so we are learning more about the extent of noncompliance by the leaders in iran. the journal says that iran's
been stonewalling, i.e., iaea investigation. iran wants iaea the nuclear inspector, the continuing investigations in the past nuclear weapons work closed before a deal is restored. yet the agency has blessedly pushed back indicating that they can't close these inspection because they don't have enough clarity on iran's past nuclear work. all of this is incredibly troubling as director general rafael grossi told the european parliament just earlier this month, he said, quote, iran, qualcomm has not been forthcoming in the kind of information we need from them. so mr. mali, were you aware of these efforts by iran to hide its prior nuclear work from the iaea? >> senator, did iran by? of course. did it iran have a covert
nuclear program. >> was absolutely protect the reason why prior administrations of both such pressing sanctions on iran. >> was iran and compliance as you say in your testimony. >> with yes iran was in compliance with the jcpoa and please don't take my word for it. you can ask the iaea which is certified on numerous occasions and tell the trump administration -- >> let me interject respectfully, sarah. does the jcpoa require iran to allow iaea inspectors in to look at certain nuclear sites, did iran comply with those expressed terms of the jcpoa? >> yes, and yes. and again don't take my word for it. even the former administration had to certify that iran was in compliance and it did so repeatedly until it decided to leave the deal. >> and evidently that wasn't enough then. so the administration's position is there were certain terms of the agreement that were not robust enough and that's why the goal was longer and stronger.
yet we still, we continue have noncompliance by the iranians, and they are not allowing more information to be defined about their previous nuclear weapons work. are we trying to reenter the older deal, or are we pursuing a longer and stronger deal? >> what is the current state? >> current state is were trying to come if we can come reenter the deal and then build on that to get a longer stronger deal. the problem we face is that today as result of the withdrawal from the deal we have weaker and shorter, so short in fact, that all of the steps of people feared that iran might take expiration some of the sunset ten years, 15, 20 years from now iran islington today. so weak in fact, that we don't have any binding constraint on iran and again listen to some of what went to listen to what a
preponderance of israeli armor security officials are saying, including two just coincidentally today, and one of them the former idf head of intelligence until six months ago said today the situation that would've happened in 2030 under the nuclear deal wouldn't have been as bad as the current situation because iran is unconstrained. that's what we need to address. >> i am, i'm praying that we're successful in persuading the iranians to adopt a longer and stronger approach in which they are actually compliant with the terms of that and allow very robust inspections, safeguards. i don't think we have those inspection mechanisms in place with the jcpoa, which is why we need to still focus on longer and stronger. i think we're going to go in circles with respect to that come and see my time has
expired, so i will thank you again for being here. >> senator murphy. >> thank you very mu ch, mr. chairman. i always like to begin where we agree. we agree that iran should not have a nuclear weapon, we should have a policy that makes that prospect least likely so you have three ways to do that. your economic pressure, you have a military option and then you have diplomacy. all of them are in perfect. we are just in the business of trying to choose of those imperfect options which is the least imperfect. so let's take the first to to understand how they have worked -- the first two to understand how they work, or how they would work. first is economic pressure. so the top administration tried this. they pulled out of the deal. as you have articulated the applied hundreds of new unilateral sanctions come and i
just want to ask you a series of simple questions to understand what the reality was after those sanctions were applied, and hopefully these are one word answers. so after president trump withdrew from the iranians and imposed maximum sanctions, to the pace of iranian attacks on u.s. personnel in iraq get better or worse? >> much worse. >> did iran's support for regional proxies like the houthis, dedicate better or worse? >> a continued to come in some cases it get worse. >> did the frequency of those proxies attacks on our goals allies get better or worse? >> worst. >> did the pace of iranians nuclear research program get better or worse, from our perspective? >> much worse. >> so we tried the approach of just continuing sanctions and ratcheting them up, and by every measure iran's behavior relative
u.s. national security interest got worse. okay, so let's talk a little bit more about the third option, the other alternative to diplomacy, and that's military action. i've heard what you said today. you said that the president leads all options on the table, but what i understand is that there are severe limitations to a military option, in part because it is difficult to bomb knowledge out of existence, and the risk to spillover into a regional war is significant. and so i understand there are things you can say in an unclassified setting versus a classified setting, but just, i want to make sure you don't leave the impression with the committee that there is a clean military option on the table to remove iran from a nuclear weapons future.
can you just talk about your assessment of the military option, if that is all that is left? >> thank you, senator for live mean to clarify that. i did to all options on the table. i also said, and this is president biden's from "politico" i think it is a belief shared by everyone who is look at this, that by far the best option is a diplomatic one and military option could not resolve this issue. they can set it back and we're happy to talk about more in classified setting but there is the military response we've heard this repeatedly, including from israel's defense minister. so absolutely correct. i don't even want to get into the other aspects of our experience with war in the middle east so we know what it cost. we know what it is meant to us to men and women in uniform. let's leave it at this, the only real solution is a diplomatic one. >> there are certain things we could talk about certain things we can't but with our signit limitations for the military option and there is significant risk to an enormous spillover that could get the united states
drawn into another conflict in the middle east that would last a generation. finally, mr. malley, if there is no diplomatic agreement and iran remains weeks away from having enough is a material for a nuclear weapon, what happens with respect to decision that our allies make in the region? at some point the gulf, turkey, starts to recognize that iran is so close for a nuclear weapon that have to start making their own plans as well. the true nightmare here is a nuclear armed middle east and that becomes a much more realistic proposition if diplomacy does that work, is that correct? >> correct. >> thank you. senator paul. >> i think a lot of the debate begins from a fundamental misconception of what sanctions can do and can't do. the seems to be an acknowledgment now that the maximum pressure campaign
sanctions didn't change iran's behavior. i would probably go one step further and say it's difficult to delineate what of iran's behavior are changed with any sanctions over a long period of time. now you can argue they came to the table when there were universal sanctions with europe and others, that that brought him to the table but really what also brought them to the table was they cared, the sanctions are a stick but the carrots are releasing the sanctions. so some still have this misconception that we could forbid them to sanctions on selling the oil to china or russia. you could have military embargo. you could have ships all up and down the coast and they would still sell their oil and gas across pipelines and across land of both russia and china. even a military embargo would not prevent them from this, and sanctions aren't going to prevent them from this. we need to quit looking at sanctions as a way to change behavior because sanctions frankly don't change behavior. sanctions are useful as a threat
if you're going to threaten somebody and say if you do this we will do this. they might be a threat to deter behavior or if there are redoing something you don't want you would ask them to quit doing that in exchange for removing the sanctions. but that needs negotiations. there are some numbers of the senate who say they absolutely no in their mind that iran will get a nuclear weapon so their center, sanka onto negotiations and sanctions are just for punishment. sanctions as punishment do have some effect. they punished but they don't change the behavior. the punishment has been extraordinary. the maximum pressure sanctions and no behavior has changed. so i guess my question to you is do you think sanctions to change behavior? to use evidence they changed behavior, not maximum pressure but sanctions and shall? >> thank you for that. we have seen the effective use of sanctions that led to the nuclear deal. there were sanctions nuclear related sanctions were imposed in order to change iran's
nuclear behavior. were lifted the sanctions in exchange for the constraints and inspection regimes that iran agree to. >> but the change of behavior is when we came to an agreement and to release some of the sanctions and to -- >> absolutely. the problem that we've seen is the sanctions during the maximum pressure campaign, the sanctions were unmoored from any realistic objection. >> it seems to be the main sticking block is the irgc being designated as a foreign terrorist organization. would you characterize that as the main sticking point right now? >> i think that sticking point is in some ways been resolved in the sense that we have made clear to that if they wanted any concession on something that was unrelated to the jcpoa, we need something reciprocal from them that would address our concerns. >> it is you would say it is one of the main if not the main sticking point? >> i think iran has made the
decision is not prepared to take the reciprocal steps. they have to decide on the proper to reach a deal without extraneous defense? >> my next question, there have been offers on our side to say if you do this we might be able to do this. are those publicly, are we publicly aware of what we've asked iran to do that would be sufficient for removing that? >> would not negotiate public. we can have this discussion in a classified setting but again iran has rejected any reasonable proposal at this point as you have heard. >> i think it's about if we do want negotiations and only way we're going to get any behavioral change is through negotiations like lessening sanctions is the only way you get it. and leisure adamant they will not change behavior if you want to change behavior with a lesson. even things such as labor give as a foreign terrorist organization have to be negotiated. if we refuse to negotiate that will i think ultimate get a nuclear weapon. if you want that to happen i think we have to be open to it. as far as advice on that front i
think it should be very specific come something they can actually demonstrate and do with that mean something to do with funding of hezbollah or activities of hezbollah or activities of the proxies and other nations but i don't know if that has to necessarily be a secret. i think be a public debate over this and i think they're so much fear of removing the label of what you will have political fallout of that from both sides that a don't know, i think that's probably more difficult to overcome, the political outbreak here at home than anything else. but i think people should realize even if we get rid of the foreign terrorist organization label the irgc has been under someone mentioned previously they had been under sanctions at least since 2007 for funding hezbollah in lebanon. so there still would be sanctions but we have to at least think this through pittsfield and when you get anywhere is you have to give something they want and they get
something we want. that's what negotiations or diplomacy is. sanctions otherwise are of absolutely no value and so really a gets back to the general question, most of his mischaracterizing what sanctions can do. sanctions can't punish and they are punishing but they aren't necessarily bring them to the table. getting rid of the sanctions might. we are using sanctions as a threat by think the way we've approached it is if we want to stop them from selling oil with more severe sanctions i think that misses the boat of what sanctions could be used for in a negotiation and from at least one senator i would say that there has to be some behavioral change that they could do and it can't be an asset that is impossible. the has to be some ask but i see no reason why that can be a public ask. that's my advice. thank you. >> senator kaine. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you mr. malley. i want to encourage you to just keep the dialogue going and the
administration come up with a very best deal but you can. there are some on this committee are basically telling to stop dialogue right now. don't accept that advice. do your best and if you find a product that you think is better than what's going on right now, bring it to congress and let congress vote it. let congress on whether the u.s. is a diplomatic mission or whether we reject diplomacy. let us own it. you do your job and let us know whether the u.s. is pro-diplomacy or not. the problem with the u.s. and iran is a complete lack of trust on both sides. iran is a danger to the united states and everything that is been said by folks prior to me about iranian dangerous activity is real. but in the iranian perspective the u.s. is dangerous and untrustworthy. the u.s. helped depose and iranian prime minister in 1954. the u.s. helped install the shah
of iran ruled in a dictatorial fashion over iranians for 25 years. when the shah was overthrown, the u.s. against the state department suffice, take him sanctuary which led to the takeover of the u.s. embassy. because that horrible treatment of americans with the embassy takeover of the u.s. decided to support iraq in the iraq-iran war, giving military assets to iraq that were used against the iranian people. the u.s. gave intel to the iraqis that allow them to use chemical weapons against the iranian people. in the middle of the iraq-iran war the u.s. as vincennes shot down an iranian airliner kelly 290 civilians when that commercial airliner was in iranian airspace. so all of the atrocities that iran is committing in the region, the danger of post to
the united states those are all very, very real but often would like to just talk about half the story and edited that we'ret like completely with clean hands in the situation, and why would iran having missed trust with the united states? the deal that you guys get, the jcpoa and 2015, was dramatically better than the status quo, dramatically better. i remember going to israel in the months before the deal was struck and having off the record discussions with the leader of the mossad, and he said you should do this. it's dramatically better than the status quo, even if it's not perfect. it was better because it constrained their nuclear program. it was better because he got the u.s. cannot all be in partnership with traditional allies but we were even in negotiation and partnership with china and russia to try to constrain the nuclear program. and it opened up an opportunity
after 65 years of hostility between the u.s. and read to at least be at the table and see if we could work something out, and do the only thing that ever brings trust back as when it by little and by little and my by little but only two years into the deal, the u.s. blew it up. when the iaea said iran is complying and we shifted the focus away from iranian activity to u.s. good faith. we destroyed the trust building opportunity that if pentagon forward, it would've would've taken a long time to build the trust back, but now that the u.s. has walked out of a deal that iran was complying with, why would they do a deal? as soon as the u.s. walked out of that deal, essentially all the real negotiations with north korea over a deal stopped the cows why would north korea do a nuclear deal with the united states if the u.s. blew up a deal that was working with iran?
and so yes, there is a siren song appear that says stop talking. oh, and if iran gets a nuclear weapons we will let israel worry about it. i i would urge you do not listen to that siren. do not listen to that siren. keep talking. if there's a deal that you think is better than what's happening right now, i think jeopardy clear eyed assessment of the pluses and minuses, i urge the administration in her into it, submitted to congress, let congress own the decision of whether or not the u.s. wants to be a pro-diplomacy nation or not. i yield back. >> thank you, senator kaine. are the any republicans present in waiting be recognized to question? and absence of that i will proceed to questions. mr. malley, thank you for appearing before the committee
today. while the conflict in ukraine has probably held a lot of our attention in recent weeks, we have to also remain focused on the ways in which iran nuclear program, integration in the region is undermining of global norms, is a support proxies continues to challenge and destabilize the region and our interests. i remain concerned about the prospects of returning to the jcpoa given iran's nuclear program advancement, their defiance of international norms. but eager to hear hear from you about what you might think the strategy in the region and to confront iran's other behaviors as well. virtually every conversation i had this past weekend in europe was about russia. russia's aggression in ukraine. russia's continued violation of global norms that the atrocities being committed by its troops. russia played a central role in the jcpoa, as the steward of enriched material that was
exported from iran to russia, the low enriched uranium stockpile. what concerns might have about russia's involvement in negotiating and uplifting a return to the jcpoa? what safeguards are there in place to ensure that our sanctions against russia and strong and united sanctions by the west against russia for their aggression in ukraine don't interfere with the implementation of a renewed jcpoa? how does that play out? >> and first i want to make a point in response to a senator kaine said. we are seeking return to the jcpoa i do want to make it clear as i sit today's the odds of its successful negotiation or lower than the odds of failure and that is because of the excessive iranian demands to which we will not succumb. to your question, senator, i think there's been a lot written about russia's role which is been pure fantasy that russia
has not played a central role in this aggressions. our european allies would take offense at hearing that. they have been in the driver's seat. they are the ones have been negotiated. they are the ones who care about iran's nuclear program as we do, so russia has played a role because it's part of the five members of the security council and as you mentioned back in 2016, they played the role in taking in the access, access enriched uranium from iran. we will have to see what happens this time around but that was the role they played. they supported the deal then, and we would expect, if we reach a a deal that all of the p5+1 would respect and -- >> are any provisions being explored for an alternative partner in the negotiations serving as a steward for enriched material from iran? >> yes. >> if i could just move on to what else is the administration
planning to do to undermine iran's destabilizing efforts in the region, its butyl human rights records, it's support for proxies. talk through if you could with the some of the details about what the administration is doing to constrain or push back on those activities at the same time as you are negotiating with our european partners on the nuclear program. >> thank you. as was mentioned earlier we are still enforcing our sanctions will continue to enforce sanctions that are targeting iran's destabilizing behavior more than that we are working with israel, , with our gulf partners and with the europeans to harden our defenses, to conduct dynamic force diplomacy in the region including long-range bomber overflights come a time to get effort to interdict, take with iran stability to ship its uavs and ballistic missiles, it's equipment to militia and nonstate actors, disrupting financial close as we did today with the sanction we announced and if necessary contact strikes
to keep iran and its proxy from attacking us. we're doing that in consultation, cooperation has ever been better with israel on all aspects of our policy and again things we can talk but not classified setting so that regardless of the disagreement we may have about the jcpoa, that pales in comparison to our joint efforts to push back against iran's destabilizing activities, whether it's support for proxies, whether it is ballistic missile programs or uavs. >> so the four iranian-american to either detained or barred from the iran, is there any prospect in these negotiations of the prisoner exchange and what with the administration's approach be to securing their return if there is no nuclear deal? >> thank you. as i said earlier this issue is more important than anything else in many respects because it
concerns as you say four innocent americans. i know the personal interest you taken and another thumbs are very grateful for that. we negotiated in parallel several from nuclear deal possible deal with iran that result in release of our unjustly detained citizens. it's an outrageous outrages form of behavior and wish we didn't do anything. they should just release them tomorrow but we know who we are dealing with and so we negotiating we hope to be successful, we hope they can be soon reunited with the loveland what we are not there yet. >> there's number of regimes that do this around the world and think it's important we continue to work diligently tirelessly to secure their return and to not reward the iranian regime in any way for the ways in which they are oppressing their own people and breaking all sorts of norms. thank you for your test of the device ten is there's no other republican seeking recognition, so we moved to senator markey. >> thank you, mr. chairman very much.
president trump blew up the iran nuclear deal and then left a minefield to make it difficult for any successor to cleanly reenter. but president biden knows that the alternative to diplomacy is far worse. we will see more enrichment, more proxy attacks, and a risk to a direct war. the iran nuclear deal is not a panacea, nor was it ever intended to be. it is however a verifiable agreement that cuts off each of iran's three pathways to a nuclear bomb. trump's policies of maximum pressure actually led to maximum enrichment and maximum tension that nearly led the united states and iran to war in january 2020. of 2020. if we hope to avoid iran from becoming another north korea, a point of no return, we have to get back into the deal without
delay. so i would just like to ask you a few questions, special representative mally about whether or not we are better with a deal or no deal. so if we pick a deal with iran, isn't it true that iran would be required to ship out of iran an estimated 40 kilograms of uranium enriched to 60%, the enrichment level of greatest concern associates entire stock of enriched uranium, enriched above 3.67%? >> that is correct. all of it will have to be shipped out. >> and that means that iran's current breakout time, the time it takes to get enough fissile material to get a bomb, will go from days to around six months to actually have the nuclear weapons material needed for a bomb, is that correct. >> was that's broadly i could. we assess now it is a matter of
very few weeks and we would get to many more months if it were back in the deal. >> if we pick, again, no deal, is it to iran could decide to enrich to a weapons grade level of 90% in between inspections by the international atomic energy agency? >> correct. >> that is correct. and how will no deal or plan b, in other words, a military attack against iran, extend iran's breakout time? >> that's a difficult question to answer in this setting. what i said and i said in senator murphy is question we know a military strike is not an answer to iran's nuclear weapons. >> so no deal policies have not only failed to tighten the lid on iran's nuclear program, and lifted them entirely. but let me follow on.
did president trump's maximum pressure campaign effectively curb other aspects of iran's maligned and destabilizing activities in the region? >> no. >> can you move in just a little bit? >> not in the lease. >> not in the least. is it true that in 2019 and 2020, attacks by iran backed groups increased exponentially in the region and following the assassination of iranian general soleimani in january of 2020 we almost went to war with iran? >> correct. >> thank you. landy, that is a military attack, or no deal at all with iran, could also mean that you are going to be military strikes on iran's nuclear facilities. half past strikes against iran or sabotage permanently derailed the progress of iran's nuclear program. >> was all i can is iran's
nuclear program continues at pace. >> so we know military action will fail to stop an iranian nuclear weapon. it may very well. >> it to cross the threshold. if we were to use force is it fair to expect that iran may take actions such as attacks on our troops, our partners in the region, attacks on saudi arabia's energy facilities and disruptions of sea traffic and the strait of hormuz? >> i don't want to stick it to much but i think that is a fair assessment, yes. >> so for me that i don't want to speculate -- >> it is a cut and dried case of why a deal, what an perfect is far superior to no deal, the iaea inspections and monitoring iran's facilities will be lost completely without the deal. we will be left in the dark about iran's breakout time. there will be calls for military
action by the united states or its allies against iran, which is taken when it best temporarily derail iran's nuclear program, and more likely put american troops into harm's way in the middle east, perhaps sparking an all-out middle eastern war. we can ill afford to stumble into yet another conflict in the middle east. thank you so much, mr. malley, for all of the superior work which you are doing with the biden administration. thank you, mr. chairman. >> will senator barrasso. >> thanks so much mr. chairman. from the first days in office, the biden administration really has failed overwhelmingly failed to prioritize energy security. state department has been working to cut deals with brutal dictators in order to access more energy resources. we thought again last week. that's when the administration
announced a decision to start easing oil sanctions on venezuela now, you have been negotiating a deal to eliminate sanctions on iran's energy sector. our adversaries would love, would love to see is more dependent upon them to meet our energy needs. our experience of buying russian energy taught us or should have taught us that buying energy from tyrants is a dangerous proposition. it makes our nation and our allies less safe. so does the iranian regime use energy revenue to fund its global terror campaign? >> will senator, iran is a state sponsor of terrorism and it uses its revenues to those ends. >> how would you compare the environmental standards and the labor standards for energy production in iran compared to those in the united states? >> not looked at in detail but i would assume that our standards are higher but admit i have not looked in those in detail. >> i would point out last week
in the energy committee discussing the same issue, tends to be that iran and venezuela both have much worse standards then the united united se energy that we produce are much cleaner than the standards in either of those locations. iran has the world's fourth-largest reserves of crude oil. i am concerned about recent news on iran's action in the energy sector. news reports indicate that iran is working to revamp venezuela was largest oil refinery. we know that oman and iran signed a variety of deals in the oil and gas sector i meant is increasing its oil exports. with the current oil prices, increase revenues means iran has more money to pursue its terrorist activities. so which countries do know are currently purchasing energy resources from iran? >> china is the main importer of iranian oil. >> are the reported chinese
imports of iranian oil sanctionable under u.s. law? >> they are. as this morning we took action that affected a chinese come that touch on china's efforts to procure iranian oil. >> so i'm not sure what exactly happened this morning and i was just question because so what has the biden administration failed to enforce sanctions on entities involved in the transaction with iran? >> we are invoicing sanctions and will continue to do so to make sure we can bring down iran's illicit export of oil but i want to talk about sanctioning of iran's leaders. for over four decades the iranian supreme leader khamenei has been personally involved in iran's terrorist activities and human rights abuses. he has systematically oppressed his own people, , committed extreme violence across the globe. a u.s. federal court held in person responsible for the deaths the death of 19 u.s. troops in the bombing in saudi arabia. federal courts also held in
personally responsible for the deaths of u.s. civilians in three terrorist bombings in israel. president trump imposed sanctions on the supreme leader. media reports indicate president biden plans to remove u.s. sanctions on him. do you know it president biden has made a final decision on lifting sanctions on the reigning league? >> no final decision has been made. nothing is agreed to everything is a great and as i said earlier the prospects for a deal are at best tenuous at this point back. >> want to talk about ballistic missiles. the obama administration failed to address and adequately respond to iran's ballistic missile program in the iranian nuclear agreement. on july 7, 2015, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff general martin dempsey declared quote under no circumstances should we relieve pressure on iran relative to ballistic missile capabilities and arms trafficking. seven days later the obama administration did the complete opposite of what the chairman of
the joint chiefs of staff had stated in terms of what our military advisers recommended. under the iran agreement the obama administration agreed to lift the arms embargo after five these comp lift restrictions on ballistic missile technologies after eight years. so fast forward october of 2020, the international arms embargo on iran, the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism, was officially lifted. the restriction on ballistic missile technologies are expected to be lifted next year. what is this administration's strategy and plan to address iran's production of ballistic missiles now? >> senator, we have tools at our disposal to go after iran's ballistic missile program. regrettably, a u.n. sanctionse not had much if any effect on iran and we know that from experience. iran has flouted the. it is our interdiction effort, our efforts to go after the financing other procurement at the exports of ballistic missiles that can make a difference. if we can work hand-in-hand with our allies and partners.
our efforts are diplomatic efforts every stitch a relationship with europe and we believe we're in a much stronger position now working with integral after the very legitimate concerns that you raised. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator schatz. >> thank you, mr. chairman. next, mr. malley, for being here and for your work. i just want to follow-up on ballistic missile capability. can you describe how much worse things would be with iran and its current and future ballistic missile capability, and if they reach the ability to arm those missiles with a nuclear tipped? >> senator, that goes to the heart of the question that we're discussing today, which is all of these problems and the biden administration takes a back seat to no one about iran's ballistic missile program. support for terrorism, proxy activities. but all of them would be far
worse if iran were armed with a nuclear weapon which is why even as we work on the other issues we consider this one urgent priority to see whether we can restore the limitations and put iran's nuclear program back in n the box. as your question suggest we would be facing much more dangerous reality today if iran was nuclear armed. >> let's talk about the reality of this since the trump withdrawal from the jcpoa. iran has increased its research develop and enrichment activities, decreasing the time it needs to produce enough weapons grade heu for nuclear weapon and that possesses 40 kg of the ring and 2% come very close to the threshold where it could break out in between iaea inspections, and the situation will worsen if iran installs advanced centrifuges. so what caused the significant increase in iranian nuclear activities including uranium enrichment in 2019?
>> senator, as we're discussing earlier iran was with livino its commitments under the jcpoa until 2019, you're after president trump withdrew from the deal at which point it announced it would gradually violate the constraints and requirements that was under and that what's happened since 2019 and that's the the situation president biden inherited. >> this whole debate is a sort of actually difficult to metabolize because i get the criticisms of the original jcpoa, valid or invalid they have point of view. but i don't get is this idea that someone gives you three-quarters of a cheeseburger and you say, i'm so hungry i want a full cheeseburger, i would rather have nothing. i mean, that is literally the argument that we are having, which is not that, we're not at
the point where we can criticize former secretary of state john kerry for he showed negotiated for more. that is angels dancing on head of a pin. we are in a reality now where things are measurably worse, objectively worse because of the withdrawal. i would like you to comment on this. >> senator, i couldn't say it any better. we are not talked about hypotheticals here. we are not speculating, it's not a thought experiment which may living in 2016. people could've argued one way or the other. now we know what life was like under the deal. we know what it is like today. in both cases we have to do with a dangerous iran and one that we're going to push back against. but in one case we had a nuclear program that was in in a boxt as i said repeatedly, senior israeli military officials say from former prime minister, former defense minister all say in unison the decision to withdraw from the deal is one of the most damaging to israel security and more and more are saying openly getting back into
the deal would be far better for our security and would create compass and a much better position to confront the other activities. this is not a thought experiment we've lived both realities and i think the verdict couldn't be any clearer. >> i remember the argument the sunset should've been longer into the future, fair enough, but it had to do a sunset should've been logged into the future is not less sunset it now. it doesn't make any sense to me. final question about iaea inspections. how quickly, but how techniy feasible is iran's return to compliance, assuming we make a deal? tell you about the logistics of getting the iaea in there for verifiable inspections. >> and so as part of these negotiations if you were to reach a deal and again a huge question mark, not particularly optimistic to put it mildly, they would have to provide all of the -- as a first step allow the iaea to reconstitute the baseline to know what's happened during the years what it is becoming increasingly blind.
we focus a lot on the enrichment side of what iran has done since president trump withdrew from the deal is it is called the iaea's axis of the visibility which is one of the main achievements of the deal and what general grossi which one of the senators referred to earlier, what he would say is we are much better off with the visibility. we are infinitely better off with the visibility that the iaea, that the monitoring and verification regime of the jcpoa provide. now we see less, we know lesko are in a much more dangerous position. >> thank you. >> thank you. mr. malley, several of my colleagues who use jcpoa as a good thing and try to put the best foot forward for your comments i hope you will entertain me with the say yes or no answers did for several of them. when answered -- entered into the jcp '07 years later did make any advances on iran's nuclear,
i mean, missile program? >> compared -- i'm second compared to 2016? >> yes. >> we are in a worse position today. it is et cetera and since -- >> forget about today. because i know what you're hinting at. not hinting. you may to berkeley. we are worse off today because president trump walked away, i did it. but even in the time before president trump, when he was in the deal, did iran do anything to mitigate its missile program, yes or no? did iran not, in fact, take hostages during the period of time in which we were in the jcpoa? >> it did. >> did iran actually in not ultimately proliferate its proxies during the same period of time that we were in the jcpa? >> i continue to support its proxies, yes. >> didn't not continue to destabilize the region during the jcpoa? >> yes.
>> and didn't not have drone strikes against our allies and her own bases during the jcpoa? >> i would have to -- i do not think during the time that we are in the deal, i think that started after president trump -- >> i would urge you to go back and look at the record. they may have increased but we had drone strikes. so, and none of those questions and answers you gave me hypotheticals, correct? they were all realities. >> absolutely. >> so let me ask you, how is it that iran is in compliance with its obligations to the iaea safeguards agreement, given that iran has and provide answers to the iaea? >> so i'm sorry, mr. chairman, i have said clearly iran was in compliance with the commitments. it is not anymore. it has not been in compliance with its safeguards obligations which are separate from the jcpoa. >> so it was never in compliance
with its safeguards obligations. that never came fully forward. >> correct. >> those aren't just a matter of hypothetical concerns. the iaea found trace materials at various sites of the uranium in what could have been a production program, undeclared sites andy slavitt able to get those answers satisfied, is that a fair statement? >> we know that iran has been concealing an line which is why we need to make sure that -- >> basically iran lies by not being willing -- they save have an agreement they will abide by it but it doesn't abide by the iaea. here's the problem. by the way you cited the idf intelligence had who said that, you know, that 2030 which is when the sunset and would've been as bad as it is taken today is a bad moment as a would've been in 2030. that's what you made a reference
wouldn't have been as bad as the current situation. >> right. so that means 2030 would've been a bad situation in the idf intelligence estimate. guess what? as we speak and you're trying to negotiate that's only eight years away. if we take the seven years history of iran under the jcpoa in which it never showed any willingness to deal with its missile proliferation in which it never ultimately showed any willingness to mitigate its destabilization of the region, in which it never showed any willingness to pull back on its proxies, in which it unlawfully detained as hostages american citizens. then this expectation, this is where the disconnect is, the
expectation that bringing us back to a deal that isn't the same deal by the way because everything i've heard publicly is that at best we would get six months, not a year, six much is much different than a year, and my understanding is none of the sunsets would be changed, if that's the case then all the aspirations of what supposedly comes on "after words", and i would just be with you that characterization that the administration through the second of state made, but that was a foundational, stronger and longer would, after an agreement. that was never the statement of the secretary of state. he with you before this committee. he said from the very beginning that the effort was to have a stronger and longer agreement, which i concurred with. but never was it you got to get into the jcpoa as a was i think we will look for a stronger and longer agreement. because then it would have dispute with him as it would with you that if seven years of
expense shows none of those possible during those seven years, and why in god's name would be possible when their brain it's just have to hang in there for another seven to get to where they want to be? so this is the disconnect in trying to understand why the fixation of getting into an agreement that is worse than the one we have, admittedly because you were dealt a different set of cards, , but nonetheless wore than the one you have is much better? ..
>> and the panel coming up. thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman, ranking member. >> as mr. malley leaves, let me welcome a center fellow at the carnegie endowment for peace. he has written extensively on foreign policy to the middle east and advising senior and u.s. officials and testified many times before the u.s. congress. prior to his current role with the international crisis group based in tehran, and we welcome him to the committee and we
welcome an expert on iran's global threat network and policy. and advised administrations and lawmakers, testified more than 20 times before the u.s. congress and foreign legislators. he is a former venture capitalist and founded the iran fdd iran program and the fdd financial and central and military power in china program. thank you poet for joining us. we'd ask you to summarize your statements in about five minutes. your full statements will be included in the record. and we'll start with you. >> thank you, mr. chairman, ranking members and members of the committee for inviting me today. i would like to talk about the nature of the iranian regime and sober u.s. strategy to contend with this.
i would argue over the last four decades no government in the world has had a more clear and consistent grand strategy than the islamic republic of iran and there essentially have been three components to iran's grand strategy. number one, they have sought to topple the u.s.-led world order. number two, they've sought to replace israel with palestine. and number three, iran has sought to remake the middle east in its image. these aspirations of iran will continue regardless of whether or not the nuclear deal with iran is revived. part of the reason for the consistency of iran's grand strategy over the last four decades is the fact that iran has only had two leaders since 1989.
ayatollah khomeini, the father of the revolution and the current supreme leader. he has not left iran since 1989 and for the ayatollah, the islamic republic is premised on hostility to the united states. the former president once told me in a private setting when he was president, when he was president, the supreme leader used to tell him that iran needs enmity with the united states. the revolution needs enmity with the united states so for that reason, i think from the vantage point of the u.s. foreign policy it's going to be very difficult for us to make any type of amends with a regime which needs us as an adversary for their own internal legitimacy. what should be a u.s. strategy
to contend with the u.s. republic of iran. i think there are components to the strategy with iran. number one, we have to contain and counter iran's nuclear ambitions and number two, contain and counter regional ambitions and number three, often overlooked, important for us to champion the democratic aspirations of the iranian people. we often times overlook this, but i would argue this is central to how the cold war with the soviet union ended. now, over the last four decades, there's been few instance ins which the islamic republic of iran has compromised. last when they signed the jcpoa. and i would argue the conditions on which iran has compromised has only one formula and that is iran
compromises when it's faced with significant, multilateral pressure, coupled with direct u.s. engagement and firm u.s. results and number three, in pursuits of a concrete, viable outcome. as much as we would like to have maximalist goals vis-a-vis iran to totally eradicate iran's nuclear program or to totally expunge iranian influence in the middle east, these are not viable goals. i think the good news is that iran is one of the most strategically isolated countries in the world. its only real ally has been the assad regime in syria. i would like to conclude on my final point, which is that the greatest ally that the united states has against the islamic republic of iran are, in fact, the people of iran. the vast majority of whom,
aspire to be like south korea not north korea, and the tools that we've used to prevent iran from becoming like north korea have been political and economic isolation, but i would argue to try to facilitate iranian societities of becoming like south korea, it requires u.s. engagement and integration, and i think the way we thought creatively how to engage with societies in the soviet union and russia in eastern block becausing information and inhibiting those regime's ability to control information and communication tools, i think we need to think much harder about that in the iranian context. the final thin are in fact the hostages and i thank you mr. ranking member for talking about them. one of my close friends of 20 years, he has been held in
hostage in iran almost seven years now and he believe that his fate -- his freedom is not going to be resolved. he's not going to become free absent a u.s.-iran agreement and i think we really need to think hard about how to separate the issue of the jcpoa and the issue much freeing american hostages in iran and we need to think hard with our like-minded allies about how to deter and penalize this odious iranian practice of hostage taking. >> thank you. >> great, well, thank you, chairman menendez and ranking member and the committee, it's an honor to testify and also to present my recommendations, recommendations of iran's program and testify alongside.
if thejcpoa, the u.s. will pay high for a deal that will last less than a decade. and there was 800 billion dollars by 2027 and over a trillion dollars by 2031, this is all details in my testimony on pages 14 and 17, and perhaps mr. malley should present his alternative estimates to the committee if he disputes what we've assessed. of course, this is a gold mine for iran's iogc to fuel its oppression, and global terrorism. as the committee has noted the problem with the agreement, it doesn't put iran's program back in a box. if anything, it's going to leap forward like a jack in the box. the deal initially increase breakout time from three weeks to four to six months, israeli
estimate close tower four months, but iran's nuclear program is going to expand over time and break out, and key restrictions are going to sunset after a few years, in fact by 2031, most of the restrictions are gone, including weapons grade uranium, i want to emphasize that to the committee. by 2031, the ban on iran producing weapons grade uranium is gone. the centrifuge installations began disappearing, breakout time drops to less than a month by 2027 and to near zero after that. after 2031 under the agreement, iran's nuclear program can legally expand and harden in multiple sites across the country and at that point neither the united states nor israel may have the bombs to destroy the hardened and disspersed facility. in exchange for a trillion dollar wind fall for the regime provides four to six months of
additional breakout time that expires after seven years and iran is more dangerous and wealthier spchlt and icbm's to hold american cities hostage. as one. senators noted a lot of the u.n. snapback goes away in 2025, the conventional arms embargo is gone. missile embargo is gone next year. now, president biden should be commended for refusing to remove the iogc from. fto list. this committee need to be on guard, iran has a history of making outrageous demands for concessions and the administration might try to sell the line that they held the line on the outrageous so they could have the egregious and we should be aware of that marketing strategy. and question for congress is how the administration can counter plate listing terrorist listings on the central bank of iran and the oil and tanker
companies that finance and contemplated as sanctions relief under a return to the jcpoa and i want to emphasize that the administration and congress really needs to support american victims of iranian terrorism in their recovery of over $50 billion in u.s. court judgments, over 1,000 goldstar family members recently wrote to president biden asking mimm to maintain the fto designation and block sanctions relief until iran settles these judgments. we'll talked about how the fatal flaws are compounded by russia's role expect today get under a nuclear contract with iran. the fact that putin may hold iran's fist on teerm and the weapons in ukraine, and a guarantor of iran's nuclear behavior. now the central problem with the problem is that khomeini does not believe that the
administration will use sanctions and force. and much of iran's enrichment occurred after the election of president biden, and you'll see a detailed timeline to demonstrate that. he also took advantage of the biden's administration's refusal-- and he doesn't fear the biden administration with the use of military force or any other measures and that's why he's going to do for decades what he's done the past decades, escalate as restrictions sunset and intensify and regime against sanction pressures using this trillion dollar windfall and develop nuclear icbm's to hold our city hostage. there's plan b. i have 16 recommendations in my testimony to cover that and
look forward to discussing those and others in the q & a. thank you very much. >> thank you both for your testimony. mr. sajapour, you've made an interesting comment and i've made it, about the iranian people and iranian opposition, it seems to me that we have lost the mark, we certainly lost it during the green revolution and we lost that opportunity. but what do you think we should be doing more divisively has relates to iranian opposition and the iranian people? >> thank you for that question, mr. chairman. i'm reminded of henry kissinger's quote there shall knew nations in the world with whom the united states has more common interests and less reasons to quarrel than iran, but iran has to decide whether it's a nation or a cause and
this nation has chosen to be a revolutionary cause rather than a nation state and really the best ally we have in iran are the people. the resalt when you look at the collapse of authoritarian regimes, there's two key ingredients. you obviously need pressure from below, but you need divisions at the top. and we've seen lots of pressure from below in iran, but the current reality is that we have a regime which is highly armed, highly organized, and ready to kill en masse to preserve their power and we have a society which is at the moment unorganized, unarmed and not willing to die to take power. i think we, the nights, we, as i said in my hearing, in my testimony, we don't have the power to engineer regime change in iran, but we can
significantly try to inhibit the iranian regime's ability to control communications, to control information, a concrete tool we have at our disposal in my view we haven't been using wisely is the voice of america's persian news network, it has the capacity to reach perhaps more than 40 million iranians who have satellite television. and it needs to be totally overhauled. and so, i think i would take, for you senators, the play book that we employed during the reagan administration vis-a-vis the soviet union and eastern block. we didn't shy away, while we were negotiating arms control deals with the soviet union, we didn't avoid expressing solidarity, and we did with that information war, and we made it clear as president biden once said in a hearing in this chamber many years ago
vis-a-vis south africa, america's loyalties aren't to the government of iran, it's to the people of iran, and to simply express-- >> i agree. >> that solidarity. >> let me ask you this, what is your best analysis of iranian decision making today with respect to negotiations in its nuclear program? >> i think the current calculation of iran's leaders are that the united states is committed to reviving the jcpoa and at the moment, i haven't seen from iran's leadership a sense of urgency, if that they don't act the jcpoa will be removed from the table. i think the problems, they can get the jcpoa whenever they want to and they're simply now trying to extract as many concessions as possible. >> let me ask you both this question, what is your view about whether a nuclear deal
such as the one that's been described here by mr. malley, can thwart iran's long-running nuclear ambitions? >> well, chairman menendez, i opposed the jcpoa2015 and like you i opposed the withdrawal by president trump, but you've got to look at iran's strategy, play it out until 2031, next develop an industrialized nuclear program with breakout and advanced centrifuge sneakouts, they can immunize their economy, the potential for icbm's, greater regional aggression, at that point in 2031 where they know that they can then break out the multiple nuclear weapons without any country being able to stop them, which is the definition of what a nuclear threshold state is. so the current jcp0.
a actually provides patient path ways to nuclear weapons as opposed to cutting off those pathways. you're right, secretary blinken committed to a longer and stronger deal which would currently cut off those path ways, something i would support. but to get there you need coercive diplomacy, as one of the senators said, but backed up with leverage and we need to have a credible threat of military force, we need to have economic pressure, we need to support our allies, we need to ensure that there is a-- where there's regional pushback and i think as made clear, the reagan strategist against the soviet union has many interesting lessons now to counter this regime. >> senator risch. >> could you comment briefly on your estimates of the sanctions relief that is contemplated, compared to what mr. malley and that side is, in a summary
fashion describe that generally. >> yeah, so the sanctions relieve, 275 billion is compromised of about 134 billion in frozen iranian assets that they would get access to, and then it's a combination of an increase in oil experts, increase in nonoil exports and decrease in inport costs which add up to about $275 billion. 800 billion in five years and trillion dollars in 2031. i'm interested in mr. malley's estimates. but my colleague has done detailed analysis to arrive in our numbers and i'm interested in the administration's numbers to see why it doesn't agree.
>> thank you for testifying. it's refreshing to talk about the this. and we sit here and we here about the handling of nuclear matters and that sort of thing and breakout time and all that. you've drilled down a lot deep near things that we need to widen our thinking on and we sincerely appreciate that. mr. chairman, we have other commitments, so we are going to move on, but it's certain-- again, i can't understate the refreshing view that they have that is a different view than is expressed by a lot of what we hear in this room. thank you very much, thank you for your testimony. >> thank you both. we, as i said, your full testimony will be included in the record and i look forward to reviewing some of the elements of your recommendations, we have the prime minister of new zealand that is pending. so, we will have to cut it a
bit short, but we appreciate your testimony. and we look forward to speaking to both of you as resources on the issue. >> mr. chairman. >> thank you. >> i'd like to include in the record an article that came from the wall street journal today entitled "iran uses secret u.n. records to evade". >> without objection included. this record will remain open until the close of business tomorrow with the thanks of the committee, this hearing is adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> today former president trump, texas governor greg abbott and senator ted cruz are expected to live remarks, see
that on c-span, c-span video app or online at c-span.org. iran's foreign minister spoke at the forum in davos, switzerland how the sanctions against his country are affecting the progression of nuclear talks. >> foreign minister, welcome. pleasure to have you on. let me ask you, you represent a new government in iran in many ways it seems different from the last one, certainly watching the campaign, you were very critical of the last government. what is this new government's foreign policy and how does it differ from the last one? >> in regard to the most merciful, the doctoring of the foreign policy of the new administration in iran is based on a bal