tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 3, 2015 2:00am-4:01am EDT
there have to be modifications and/or dismantlement of the plutonium reactor? >> yes, senator. they will have daily access and the use of advanced technologies to make sure that all of the idle ones are locked up. they had confirmed that they are broke in. -- that they have broken. it is as general clapper said we had tremendously enhanced insight into the program. on plutonium, they will be required to take out the core part of the reactor and fill it with concrete. and with international collaboration -- we will make sure that the replacement reactor is the one that reduces
plutonium production by a factor of 10. it is below the amount needed for a weapon. secondly, they have also agreed that to spent fuel for life is where the plutonium resides will be sent out of the country. we have very good containment there. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> i think all of you -- i thank all of you. it has been a unified view that the world's develop nations that iran not have a nuclear weapon. it is a grave threat to peace in the world. secretary kissinger -- if iran gets the nuclear weapon, saudi
arabia, egypt gets nuclear weapons, dangers are real. even the u.n. has been firm on this. i believe the error was the commencement of negotiations in 2009 after president bush had pulled back from that because of the behavior of iran. experts in that region warned him that the iranians are exceedingly patient and talking could be a trap. the deeper you get into these talks, the less able you are to take corrective actions and alter the situation as we see it.
iranian revolution? >> i only read what he says and it suggests he does. >> i do not think he has a intention to abandon that. event andently at an said rally in which it was death to america," so do you believe these issues? is especially important that they do not get a nuclear weapon. >> i think that is the only conclusion we can reach. we can think it is strange and .ot serious, but it is serious
this is a danger to the entire world. negotiating an agreement that allows them to obtain missiles isalso dangerous, even if it 5-8 years out. iranians are very patient. -- and you asked earlier about this and the reason that you said he went to stop iran from having a program is that fori stands intercontinental. i think that was a very clear policy decision on the u.s., but doesn't this agreement allow after at least eight years, they have been known to cheat, to purchase on the open market items that would help assist
them in building a system capable of reaching the u.s.? >> i am and all of us need to be concerned about their ballistic missile activities, with or without this agreement, that is why ballistic missile defense is so important. we were close with israel -- you say they should not have this capability and we should stop it and doesn't this agreement allow them to purchase anything that they need on the world market after the date in the agreement? senator, the 18 years 8 yearsts -- the represents that agreement with the other countries that signed.
e withe comfortabl accepting the eight years because we have a number of other tools already available to apply and that we can prosecute their efforts with respective missiles, specifically we have the missile technology control regime. we have executive order of the president of the u.s., which allows him to sanction anybody for missileterials construction. we have the pearl of relations -- we have the proliferation's counsel with many countries which allows us to block missile construction. we have the iran and north korea nonproliferation act. we have additional executive orders, huge tools available to us come away into the future. >> it seems to me that this agreement would trump that. >> there is no trumping of
anything. these are all existing. >> what languages in the agreement, has no meaning -- additional these are agreements that we have outside of this agreement which allows to continue to protect us with regard to missile development, we also have additional human sections that prohibit the flow of weapons to hezbollah. it prohibits the flow of weapons huti ---- to >> but are they effective now? >> no, because they have not been enforced. we are laying out the specifics of this proposal and how we will push back against iran. i will leave you with one thought, if you adequately and point to the
rhetoric of the leader, and the things that are done, question, isn't that what you want to do -- it and that is what they want thesesomething about nuclear weapons come are the one to go back to when they had these materials for bombs, they have already mastered the fuel bomb. right now they have this ability and we are stopping that, taking it away from them and providing a lifetime -- >> senator, time has expired. dealid that north korean worked out for you? -- work out for you? >> senator mccaskill. >> i didn't cut the deal. >> is there anything that we can strain in taking military action against iran? >> no senator. >> secretary lou, i am concerned
about the alternative to the deal and one of the things that i do not think has been covered enough in the testimony that has occurred, all of us are following this, i got the point nelson was trying to make -- the money is not in our control. ,t appears that other countries if they walk away, if we reject the deal, they will get money one way or another. they will get it because they are entitled to it if we do the deal, or they will get because we cannot control it. i do not know if that is accurate and i think it is important, because this is not about if it is a good deal, this is also about what happens if we do not do this deal. it is important to talk about whether the power that we would have if this deal was rejected to in fact enforce our will on these countries that hold this money. we have tools at our disposal,
but the major economic problem economic power that we are, we have allies like japan. we should just say that if we walk away from this deal, they will do all the money. i think it is fair to try to down and you give us a picture. is's assume that this a deal rejected, at that moment what power do we have as a country to keep this money from flowing to iran and its activities? >> nobody can give you an entirely precise answer, because there is legal ways for them to use this money now. they buy chinese goods and they things they need to acquire with reserves. they can chip away at reserves.
the question of what our unilateral sanctions can do issus multilateral sanctions a competent one. we have powerful tools, the u.s. is the banking center of the world, transactions that go through u.s. financial institutions are within our grasp. i does not give us the ability to reach out to all foreign banks and all foreign transactions. i think that it is at our own peril if we have a sanctions regime where we are enforcing unilateral sanctions that the rest of the world is rejecting, which is different than what has been going on over these last few years. we have been working bilaterally with countries around the world to do things against their own interests my because they -- interest, because they agreed with us in keeping iran from getting a nuclear weapon. i think that the degree of cooperation we get goes down considerably. it is not black and white.
it is not going from doing anything to doing nothing. what makes this regime so effective is the fact that we have had international cooperation, india and china have bought less oil from iran that would have been good for the economy. had you enforce bilaterally with countries to do things against their interest just because we say, we insist. there are things we can do. >> i appreciate that answer, but i really think it would be help of -- helpful, for those of us who are trying to analyze both in areas, if you all would try to put in writing what you envision, what would be our best effort of keeping iran isolated if this deal is rejected, because i do not think it is fair for us to assume that we have no power if this deal is rejected. clearly we will have power. i am almost out of time. this is an important question.
i know that this is a hard question to give an exact answer to, but do you believe if we walk away from this deal iran will have a nuclear weapon by christmas? >> i can't answer that question. >> do your best. it is important for us to know how close they are. >> they are a nuclear threshold state, they could certainly generate nuclear materials within months, which is before christmas. and what is then the unknown is the degree to which they have completed right now other weaponization requirements. that is what the iaea is building up over many years, which now needs to complete. they have identified and labeled iran as having had a structured program of activities relevant to nuclear weapons in the past.
so, it is a threshold state and that is the risk that we face. the deal will walk them back from that and give us permanently more insight into their weapons program that they might choose to pursue. >> thank you. >> they are a nuclear threshold state and they have denied that they have had intentions of doing so, of in till the present time. up until the present time. i think that we are onto something here with the options before us. senator reid asked a question if we are better off with a negotiated settlement or a military strike, as if those are the only two alternatives. of course we know that those are not the only two alternatives. friendshat our european and allies had not been so eager
to leave the sanctions regime, but they were. the u.s. could go alone, but as the secretary pointed out, we do have these unilateral tools that would be effective. continuing to try to get a good unilateralnued tools, making people choose between thinking with america and banking with iran, those tools are there. let me say to you general dempsey, i appreciate your service, and i appreciate the many times you have come before this committee. we have agreed and disagree from time to time. it would seem to me that you are brief nine seconds opening statement to this committee today amounts to damning this agreement with faint praise. i have to say. you mentioned areas in which iran is a bad actor, and you see that five of them, these
activities give us concern. then you end and give us a these words of assurance, ultimately behavior willan show if this is effective and sustainable. that does not give me a confidence level and i have to tell you that. this is based upon your very endorsement ofd this agreement. with regard to the conventional arms embargo, as late as the spring, we were not hearing about this. general dempsey, when did you become aware that there would be relief from the conventional arms embargo and is not a fact that i cut you by surprise? general them safe --
>> i would ask that you not characterize my endorsement as tepid. is -- i will sustain the military options in case that becomes necessary. as to timing, i was consulted were asked for my advice episodically within military implications became part of the conversation. twoprobably about a week or before the agreement was finalized, and gave my final recommendation regarding the sanctions. >> that is very late in the agreement and i would say that it seems to me that the advice we have been giving -- getting on the other side of the agreement, down two months and retreate, this massive
embargoesntional arms is something new and very troubling. thate say, mr. chairman, the assessment of the facts and the assessment of this agreement what it will have on neighbors in this agreement. blame folks on either side of the aisle of having concerns. also, it is striking that from right to left, every ideology within the country is opposed to this agreement. it is striking that israel -- arabs -- area of
neighbors are alarmed at this deal. and i was summoned to the record in closing minutes, that the senior correspondent for left of center israeli newspaper, heretz, he says that they have completely destroyed the sanctions mechanism. he points out that the united states european union, britain, france and russia recognized again and again iran's right to develop advanced centrifuges. what could be five-sometimes eager than the capacity -- bigger band the old ones. concludes that -- he -- that the international committee is establishing a new iranian nuclear program which will be immeasurably more iterful and dangerous than process or. -- it's predecessor.
estimate this. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you very much. thank you for being here. secretary carter, you were in the middle east last week. can you tell us what you heard from our allies in the middle east about how they felt about this agreement, specifically saudi arabia and israel -- obviously we have heard what netanyahu has said. israel, primeith minister netanyahu was very clear as he has been publicly in his opposition to the deal. we discussed that and we discussed many other things as well. has the laws activity -- 's activities, i visited there, the cyber security corporation, other
regional issues, we discussed many topics. but he was very clear. >> excuse me, but would you agree with senator wicker's characterization that israelis are united in opposition to the agreement? >> i only spoke about this to the prime minister. he is the leader of the country and he was very clear. >> what did you hear from some allies?rab >> i spoke to the king of saudi arabia who repeated to me case he meant that he had issued -- repeated to me, a statement that he had issued. he referenced, i do not think the was in confidence, that verification and as he put it snapped back provisions were
important to him. he referenced those things and we went on to talk about other things, things that are more related to the defense agenda, there,ng the air force the cyber concerns that saudi arabia has and is something we started to discuss at the gcc, in in saudi arabia's role countering isil. >> did you hear from other allies in the middle east that they support the agreement? >> ifo to the jordanians about it -- i spoke to the jordanians recall exactly what they said, but they did not show opposition. those are the three places that i met with. dempsey isu, general
there a military option short of invasion that would roll back iran's nuclear program or substantially over the next 10 years and the agreement does, in your opinion? >> i would have to make assumptions about how often we would be compelled to make airstrikes or stand up initiatives. the military options that exist would disrupt the program by several years, there's nothing to say that we cannot repeated. -- repeat it. >> is there information to suggest what iran's response would be, should we engage in an airstrike against them? >> i do not think it rises to the level of intelligence, but the analysis suggests they would counter are presence in the
region at every opportunity and use these activities that they have available to them. >> thank you. there has been a lot of ofcussion about the 24th day delay. it in the foreign relations committee to the extent to which we would be able to detect nuclear activity, uranium. in an extended. beyond the 24 day delay. activity does not include nuclear material? do what extent the believe we could detect other activities other than uranium related or radium related? >> permit me to reinforce the fact that having a 24 day timeframe is in new, there has never been a time limit in terms of access to undeclared sites. , we haveear materials
very specific capabilities and those that have -- and we can add those classified. it would be difficult. weapons has nuclear specialized activities such as, exquisitely driven neutron initiators, we would not be without tools to detect activities in that time. . as one gets further away to conventional explosives testing, which is something that military's do, it is a question of intelligence, putting together the context for suspicious activities. but in the end, you need to do nuclear materials to get to the weapons and that is why we have this technique. if i may add a comment, if you permit, just to go back to senator wicker's comment on advanced centrifuges. i do not know the article that
you quoted, but it forgot to mention that their most advanced machines, their current machines, they are already level.ng at full cascade two different machines. they will be dismantled for this is -- before this is implemented. >> i am informed that senator preside onquired to the floor of the senate, which is critical to her presence, so i will ask the indulgence of my colleagues to allow her to proceed. >> thank you, gentlemen thank you for being here. this will be one of the most significant votes that we take as members of congress, moving forward. it is imperative that we get this right. statesg ago, the united discovered that we had had a data breach at opm. simple.
data, personal records, they had apped into. t , i have veryter concerned regarding the government's ability to detect cyber attacks on our government, but by china, russia, and iran. with respect to iran, according to director of national , iranigence james clapper the cyberattacks involved in proliferation, hacking which compromised the marine corps internet, a las vegas casino, and attacks against u.s. banks. in addition, these attacks with recent successful attacks leads me to have a less than full confidence. let alone the cyber capabilities of the iaea.
the is vital that iaea protect its equipment, vital to ensuring effective monitoring of iranian facilities under this agreement attacks.yber simple yes or no, secretary carter, are you concerned regarding iran's ability to contact the effectiveness of iaea monitoring equipment through cyber? >> i am sorry, i cannot give you a yes or a no. i am very concerned about youian cyber activity and named three countries i could go on with. this is a big problem. sadly, i share the lack of confidence that you have in the adequacy of defenses. you would think with all we have paid attention to in protecting our own networks, that we would
be secure and we are not and we know that. it is not just iran, it is others as well. that is why we are trying to make investments in that area of pull of our socks -- full socks in cyber. >> do you share a concern? has -- but the iaea >> they are much more advanced? >> i didn't say that. cyber is a something that keeps us up all the time. we have to develop our capabilities. >> fantastic. i have no confidence that we would not be able to know if they were tampering as we try to monitor activities or as the iaea tries to monitor activities. >> the iaea is aware of this and
they do have measures. >> i hope that they improve those measures. i believe that we are vulnerable, as we have seen with our own infrastructure. general dempsey, we have heard discussion today about the choices that the president has with this agreement. outletss ago many news had quoted president obama as the choice is the iran nuclear deal for war. this seems to be a military decision and i understand that you advise the president on these issues. isn't that what you have told the president, is that we either take this deal or we go to war? >> no, and no time did that come up or did i make that comment. >> who advise the president that we would go to war if this was
not signed? >> i do not know. >> i think it is imperative that everybody on this panel understand that there are other options available out there. and a multitude of options. we are taught in the military about diplomatic options, operations, military operations, and economic types of sanctions and opportunities that we might have. the presidency outright reject everything but war is outrageous to me. and i do hope that you are able to better advise him that he needs to be careful with his language, because that seems to be the rhetoric we hear out there that we either go to war or we accept this deal. i reject that premise. >> as long as we agreed a military strikes on a sovereign nation is an act of war. >> absolutely. thank you.
soon we would be in a weekend position. >> they would build the conventional forces. the very least, they will have more revenue from various sources as the sanctions are lifted substantially. >> yes, but they are starting from an extraordinarily we can position. in the asymmetric arena, their starting from a position of relative influence. >> what changes in the military structure you think the u.s. needs to take to make sure i were national security is assured and that our -- what specific changes should the armed services committee be supporting in the near and longer-term? >> that is almost a separate hearing. i would suggest we need the budget certainty that they have
articulated. we should not consider reducing our force presence in the middle east area. >> secretary lew, let me turn to the economic sanctions that could be available. my colleague from iowa has mentioned. could those be put back in place in the u.s. alone even without our allies using its banks to implement a severe sanction system? >> we certainly have significant tools that we have used unilaterally and could use again unilaterally. went we have seen is the impact of multilateral sanctions that has had a question impact on iran's economy.
they have reached agreement that we are here discussing the notion that we could unilaterally equal or surpass that. it is something that is consistent with what we have learned. >> cleanup be able to equal or surpass it. we could certainly make a significant and also severely damaging effort if we choose to do so. >> we can. the snapback provisions that are in this agreement if iran violates it makes it so that both the u.s. and international sanctions would be back in place. >> the challenge will be to mobilize our partners. >> i don't think it is a challenge. international sanctions act in a way that we can work our will by exercising a veto if there is a disagreement. >> do you have a comment?
>> there is a surreal reality here. the president of the united states is not mandating a war. it is not his choice. he is not advocating war. he is saying if you analyze the alternatives here and this is what i mean i surreality, could they continue some sanctions, to what end? to negotiate? with who? iran has made it clear that if this is rejected, they consider themselves free to go back in and in rich and go back to where they work with the 12,000 kilograms and 12 alms, etc.
the inevitable consequence of that would be, what are you going to do about it? we will have lost the international support unit in international community is ready to enforce this deal. if we are not unilaterally, they walk away. it is not a choice the president wants to make. they believe it is their right in their program. >> senator ayotte. >> i want to thank the chairman of all of the witnesses for being here. this'll probably be the last time general dempsey testifies before the committee. i want to thank you for your dedicated service. i know when you appear before the committee on july 7, i was the person who asked you. there have been floated views
that iran was pushing for the lifting of the resolution on ballistic missiles and the resolution of arms. we know it is in the agreement of five years and eight years. just to be clear, when you came before the committee then come he said under no circumstances should we believe pressure on iran. was it your military recommendations that we not agree to a lifting of those sanctions? >> yes. i use the phrase as long as possible. that was a point at which negotiations continue. yes. that was military advice. >> thank you. i want to ask about an issue that was talked about on the iranian cyber activity. a number of years ago we saw that there was an interruption of iran's nuclear program through some other cyber activity.
that was reported in the press i believe. and this agreement according to paragraph 10.2 of the deal, the united states is actually obligated under this agreement to help strengthen iran's ability to protect against sabotage of its nuclear program. it might be hard for americans to believe that we would agree to help iran protect against sabotage of its nuclear program in light of its prior intentions. i wanted to ask your opinion on that. do you think it is a good idea for the u.s. to help iran protect its nuclear program against sabotage? >> i hadn't thought about that. i've been like that opportunity to do so. i think this committee in the senate will consider some cyber
legislature that we have been eager to see past some time so we could get ourselves better protected. >> iran continues activity on the cyber front, we agree to protect its nuclear program against sabotage. i seem as i read this language that would also obligate us to inform the israelis, inform iran if the israelis were taking any activity to -- if we are complying with this agreement. we have heard a lot about sanctions. sanctions as i understand iran has written about the sanctions regime. one of the issues that has concerned me about this agreement is that once the sanctions, a long list of mainly
congressionally mandated sanctions will be lifted under this agreement are undertaken if iran engages in terrorist activities, which it is known to do separate from the nuclear program. iran seems to have taken a position in its letter to the u.n. and i have read the agreement. i have concerns that the agreement provides the same. that in fact iran says it is understood that reintroduction or an extension of the sanctions will constitute significant nonperformance. my question is as i read this, i'm deeply concerned that if we want to reimpose the sanctions on issues related to their terrorist activities and support
for terrorism, which is another tool in the toolbox aside from our military options that iran could walk away from this agreement and if the answer is you disagree with this characterization, please tell me where where in this agreement i am wrong. >> if iran complies with the nuclear agreement, we have never given away any of our ability to use other sanctions regimes. >> at secretary, with all due respect, the nuclear sanctions are the toughest sanctions that we would impose in other contexts, including on crude oil, oil and gas. >> senator, we reserve the right if there is a financial institution that is engaging in financing terrorism, it is not a nuclear sanction. >> iran seems to take in a different position.
>> they believe we could put a different label on the. what we would have to do is make the case as we have on many occasions that it should be sanctioned for their behavior on terrorism, action writes, and regional stabilization. we will continue to do that and do it regional -- they gently. >> thank you. every time we say goodbye to you, you come back. i know it is not by choice. are thrilled to have you here again. thank you for your service. mr. secretary, secretary of energy, in a year from now we have suspicions that something is going on, does the iaea have access to go inside that building and see it or not? >> we certainly have to the
initial protocol and this agreement access anywhere that there is suspicion of nuclear activity. the protocols i would have to see with the iaea. it is different forward looking and from resolving the possible military dimensions. we need to know what we are looking at on this. does the iaea have access? >> they must have access granted to resolve the issues that they need to resolve. they must have integrity. >> this is different moving forward than in the past. >> yes, it is different. even under the additional protocols with north korea, the
lessons -- there is the additional protocol and the modified code. >> what are their proposals that have been put forward to say no to this deal and to tell the other countries who are involved in regards to sanctions that a viable alternative -- france, germany, britain, and others -- jews us are them as you move forward economically? if you're going to continue to do business with iran, you cannot do business with us? do see that is viable moving forward? >> we do have powerful tools that make it very dangerous for a foreign business to violate u.s. laws. if they do business environment are sanctions -- whether we could do that again the whole
world effectively without doing damage to our own economy is something we have to have series considerations about. the ability of the technical sanction to work is not the same as it being effective or necessary to attica to what we would like to accomplish. >> i know you have been in the region there. he seems to me one of the challenges here is confidence. confidence that it will be safe. making sure that your child can sleep safe that night. that is what mr. netanyahu was trying to ensure. is there any putting together of a plan is says to iran, not one more inch? as we move forward, you will see
there will be massive retaliation if there is action and we will make sure that they have success and will be viable and strong against whatever efforts iran has in iraq? to lay out the plan of let people know, let iran know in advance i think would help create a better sense of confidence that there is a reason to stand with us. >> i think that is extremely important. that is what countries are looking for. that continued commitment of the united states to help them are tech themselves so they could sleep well at night and maintain the regional role and counter iran's malign influence and
activities. the recognize what has been set up here. it would be an enormous problem. they are supportive of an agreement. at the same time, they want to make sure that we are there. that is what the countries were told. it is to solidify all of the things -- >> and just about out of time. >> i think it is important i'm not comfortable with our people who are still in iran. they have to come home. i wish they had come home as part of this agreement. but this cannot rest. we don't leave anybody behind. we don't intend to leave them behind either.
thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. i would like to follow up a little bit of what senator blumenthal was asking you about with regards to the breakout time. >> what are some of the main factors to consider when you populate that time? >> the key factors are the enrichment capacity in the stockpile of enriched uranium. there are many other factors as well recommend, such as the rate of which additional capacity could be built in during a breakout time. >> that would include the number of centrifuges as well? is that correct? >> that is correct. >> what limits do you think will be in place on those things that you just mentioned? >> for 15 years and will probably expand their capacity after those restraints.
that is why such a key element is on the verification measures that we have put in place for all time basically. >> were talking about tracking the nuclear material to make sure it is not the burden from the civilian program. >> has 25 years. >> correct. >> we are checking iran's math, correct? >> checking the math? we are checking our math. for 20 years we have followed all of the manufacturing. it is a supply chain that we follow. our intelligence people will tell you to reproduce the entire supply chain covertly and probably multiple places. it would be difficult to conceal. >> we are looking at the declared facilities. is that correct? >> no. we have strong measures.
the key is the undeclared facilities. it ultimately rests on the actions of our allies and friends of the intelligence capacity. >> you have confidence in that capacity that we will be able to locate any undeclared facilities and pressure iran to allow us to make sure that we have the verification in those as well? >> i would go back to the statements of general clapper. clapper said specifically that this would give us much greater insight into what they are doing. that leads other intelligence agencies that we were with two point -- to point iaea in the right place. we have a finite tool to get access to that place. >> are you concerned at all on what i view as the discrepancies between statements made by our
administration and compare those to what is -- statements being made by the advisor to the supreme leader when it comes to access and allowing the iaea to look at the military centers in iran where i think i believe i have heard our administration say that we do have access to those and are declared facilities. the advisor to the supreme leader says the access from the iaea for any other body through iran's military centers are permitted. who is correct? >> we are correct. there are many statements made. >> this one was made july 21. >> you could check the
statements against the agreement. they don't score of all the time. >> how do you reconcile that? >> those statements were very clear. the aim is not to go to military sites. the aim is to go to where whether there is suspicion on nuclear relevant activities? there is still the iaea access to those sites. >> i am and have a few seconds left. i would hope that you would reconcile those statements for the public. you have stated that the waiting period for inspectors won't allow the regime to have any illegal activity. many people have when it out that it could be delayed much
longer than 24 days. i know you're not concerned about the 24 day period that you believe the iaea would be able to handle that. if you look at different parts of the agreement, i think we have the potential of we are looking at and 89 day delay. the think that would be possible? >> we certainly cannot allow for that. i focused specifically or especially on connectivity with nuclear material as my real focus. number two, the iaea with any site of a lack of cooperation, that the launch the process with the request for access.
as a mentioned, there is an example in iran of a six-month delay and an attempt to conceal, which did not work. there were caught red-handed. >> you said you couldn't allow that. how many days after would you allow? >> is that the process to lunch the formal request for iaea has got to be prompt. that launches the 24 day clock. >> do would allow anything past that? >> i would not. >> thank you all for joining us. thank you for your work on this. you obviously care about the national security of the u.s. and our allies. we had a long conversation about nuclear details. is the nuclear capabilities that iran has today considerable.
most experts have given it a two-month timeframe. i would like to talk a little bit about the nuclear expertise and if left unchecked, how quickly could they ramp up to more highly enriched uranium if excluding this arrangement? i would like you to describe what the ramp up time would look like post 8-10-15 years. you spend a lot of time identifying what could be changed or modified in the existing facilities so they don't run a military risk. i would like that described. my constituents are concerned about contest nine operations. i would like you to our -- address this. >> quite a few questions,
senator. in terms of the current capacity , they have demonstrated the capacity to enriched uranium. that is clear. they have also demonstrated they have enriched to 20%. that is a cutoff that the iaea uses for enriched uranium. the amount of work needed to get to 20% is nearly all the work in need to get to 90%. they have the capability. they have full gas gauge running the next generation five times more powerful. this agreement will have those dismantled at the time of implementation. >> what is critical is we are
rolling them back in every dimension of their program for at least a considerable period. again the president was very clear and our partners were very clear that a quantitative criterion for the negotiation was there have to be at least a one-year break out time in terms of material for at least 10 years. we have a compass that with this agreement. our lab scientists are fully behind this, as are those of other countries. then that will roll off. after 15 years, at some point depending upon what they do, then we could revert to the current kinds of breakout times for the material. we still need to keep a lid on weaponization activities. make sure those aren't taken. that was a notable improvement. >> the agreement says they can't
ever make the steps to weaponization. >> that is the point where we will be much better off at that time then today. we'll still have enhanced verification procedures that could point intelligence agencies to any violations. >> after modifications in iraq, is her anyway you could reverse those modifications and make it a -- >> the iraq reactor in its redesign would provide us a breakout time of years. once it is online, they would need years of operations to get enough plutonium to be relevant. the iaea would detect their change of the operations in one or two months. >> what is the assessment there?
did they want to breached the agreement and try to get it up and running again? >> first of all most of infrastructure will not only be strict out completely, but they won't even be -- they must be taken up. secondly, we will have a major international daily presence and international presence. there are new science opportunities. if they kick everyone out, alarm bells will go off. >> do the military options become better or worse before or after the agreement? >> if the agreement is implemented, it becomes marginally better for the reason -- we learned more about them. many of them were dismantled.
in that sense, the purely technical military sense. >> thank you. i want to discuss the two secret side deals between the iaea and iran. i traveled to vienna to discover it. the administration has confirmed their existence. there is still a lack of clarity about the content. have you read either of these two side deals between iaea and iran? >> i haven't. >> have you read any previous drafts? >> i have it. that's have not. i have been -- i have not. i have been briefed. >> did anyone read the text of these agreements? >> i believe one person may have read it at the facility. >> is that person's name?
-- what is that person's name? >> i don't know that for sure? >> have you read the text of these agreements? have you read any prior version? on any medium? >> i'm not sure. i don't know. i could ask. maybe somebody saw something. >> to your knowledge, has anyone else reviewed the text of these agreements? >> not that i'm aware of. i don't think so. >> and he has read the text of these agreements, does that not undercut the claims of confidentiality between the iaea and iran? >> i have no idea.
i'm not sure. i know she's leaving the senate. >> i perceive several briefings in the deal. i look forward to another one. the text of the agreement is required by u.s. law. the content of this ideal that discusses the military base where nuclear devices have been tested will allow them to collect their own samples and cement those samples to the iaea . much like a player taking his own urine sample and sending it to roger goodell. >> what i can confirm is that secretary ponies -- in his discussions, he made recommendations to them and i believe they are satisfied that
the process will be to provide the answers that we need. >> i would like to stick with secretary kerry. what can we not confirm or deny the content? why is it classified? the ayatollahs know what they agreed to. >> we respect the process of the iaea. we don't have authorization to reveal what is an agreement between them in another country. >> so the ayatollahs know but not the american people? >> not exactly. we will share the classified roofing but we understand that contents to be. the iaea is an independent entity under the u.n. i don't even know this point what the law says about the united states requiring
something of which another entity's laws prohibit. we'll have to see. >> they have to cement to congress. to the extent that the iaea says it is unprecedented. i would like to move on to a second topic, specifically iran's support for terrorism. can i have chart one, please? this is a roadside bomb. are you familiar with what -- >> i am. >> could you explain what the bottom diagram shows? >> the cone is super high
temperatures and burns its way through armored plate. >> the distro's at about 6000 -- it travels at about 6000 feet per second. let's see what happens to a humvee when it travels at 6000 feet per second. is that familiar to you? >> yes, it is. >> do you know how many american troops were killed by such devices? >> several hundred. >> was iran the supplier of these explosives? >> yes. >> secretary kerry, those entities will ultimately received sanctions relief from this deal from the united nations and the european union. what should we say to the gold star moms and dads of the american troops who were killed
by these bombs that were traveling 6000 feet per second question -- per second? >> we are grateful for the service of their loved ones. we should make it clear under the u.s. initiative -- what we intend to do is to push back against iran's behavior. we have a number of laws in place and requirements which we will be able to present. we have already engaged in very forward leaning initiatives to do that. we have specifically turned around a convoy that was bringing weapons to yemen. we have made crystal-clear and i will be more clear about our
united efforts to hold them accountable. >> >> we will have coverage on the consequences of the deal and what did means for global security. that is from the heritage foundation on 11:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. on the next "washington journal" stone discusses the race and his experience working for the gop candidate. then, because on the european migrant crisis and the role the u.s. is playing with relief. then we look at the senate's agenda and the iranian nuclear deal. then, we recall facebook comments and tweets.
"washington journal" life every day on c-span. >> this sunday night on q and a, the law school professor talks about her book "the trouble with lawyers." it takes a look at the high cost of law schools and the lack of diversity in the profession. >> we need a different model of legal education. when you one that includes one-year programs for people doing routine work. to your programs as an option for those who want to do something specialized in a third here. and then three full gears for the -- three full years for people who want to practice the education we now have. it is crazy to train in the same way, someone doing routine divorces and a small town, in the midwest and somebody he was doing mergers and acquisitions on wall street. they have a one-size-fits-all model for legal education that
is extensive. the average debt for a law student is $100,000. it assumes that you can train everybody to do everything in the same way. unless it is to practice and to states. i would not practice myself to do a routine divorce. >> senna night at 8:00 eastern and pacific. >> the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell took to the senate floor shortly after the ironic nuclear agreement was announced. he called it a flawed compromise that will challenge the next president of the united states. his speeches about 10 minutes. negotiations, press pause, and reexamine the point of having the talks in the first place. that would have been the most rational and reasonable approach
for the white house to take, especially considering that its own allies in the senate were using phrases like "deeply worrying" to describe the direction of the talks. but instead of taking the time to reexamine basic objectives with its partners and agree on the nonnegotiable elements of any deal, things like any time, anywhere inspections, complete disclosure of previous military-related nuclear research, and phased relief of sanctions tied to iranian compliance, the white house acquiesced instead to artificial deadline after artificial deadline and opportunity after opportunity for iran to press for additional concessions along the way. the result is the comprehensive nuclear agreement announced today. given what we do know so far, it appears that republicans and
democrats are right to be deeply worried about the direction of these talks. it seems americans in both parties were right to fear that a deal inked by the white house would further the flawed elements of april's interim agreement. that it would aim at the best deal acceptable to iran rather than one that might actually end iran's nuclear program. remember, ending iran's nuclear program was supposed to be the point of these talks in the first place. what's already clear about this agreement is that it will not achieve or even come close to achieving that original purpose. instead, the iranians appear to have prevailed in this negotiation, maintaining thousands of centrifuges, enriching their threshold nuclear capability instead of ending it, reaping a
multibillion-dollar windfall to spend freely on terrorism, dividing our western allies and negotiating partners, some of whom will now undoubtedly sell arms to iran. and gaining legitimacy before the world. this was an entirely predictable result. in fact, the most predictable result given the administration's stance. as noted back ne 2012, here's what i said, the only way the iranian regime can be expected to negotiate to preserve its own survival rather than to simply delay as a means of pursuing nuclear weapons is if the administration imposes the strictest sanctions while at the same time enforcing a firm declaratory policy that reflects a commitment to the use of force. but, no, the administration never did that. instead it relied upon train and
equip programs instead of forward presence, emphasize special operations forces in economy of force efforts, pursue to draw down from iraq and afghanistan based on time lines, not battlefield conditions, and executed the draw-down of our conventional and nuclear forces and withdrawal of those forces by both attrition and redeployment. through actions like these and by eschewing any declaratory policy toward iran, the president made clear to the world, contrary to his rhetoric, that all options were not on the table. all options were simply not on the table. knowing this, the iranians never feared for their survival. of course the survival of the regime being their number-one goal. and so we have the deal we have today. it appears we've lost the chance to dismantle iran's nuclear program and that that will now become a challenge for the next
president to confront regardless of political party. but the senate has yet to receive the final text of the agreement. we will not come to a final judgment until we do. the country deserves a thorough and fair review right here in the united states senate. and that's just what we intend to pursue. committees will be holding hearings. witnesses will be coming to testify. and then congress will approve or disapprove -- approve or disapprove -- the deal in in accordance with the iran nuclear review act. now the test of the agreement should be this: will it leave our countries -- our country and our allies -- safer? will this agreement leave our country and our allies safer? there are several things we'll be looking at in particular as
we weigh whether it will. here are a few of them. will the agreement allow for any time, anywhere inspections in military installations and research and development facilities? question two, will the agreement compel the iranians to disclose the possible military dimensions of their nuclear program? will the agreement make any real impact on iran's ability to continue researching and developing advanced centrifuges? will the agreement sanctions relief be tied to iran's strict adherence to the terms of the deal? and will we have any real way to verify its compliance? these parameters will also help us determine just how successful the iranians have been in extracting concessions from the white house. so we'll be examining them very, very closely. i would remind colleagues of the
deadly seriousness of the issue at hand. this should not be about some political legacy project. this is not some game either. it's certainly not the time for more tired, obviously untrue talking points about the choice here between a bad deal and war. no serious person would believe that's true. even the people saying these things have to know they're not true. and they probably know that the very opposite is in fact more likely. so the country doesn't have time to waste on more white house messaging exercises. when the seriousness of the moment calls for intellectually honest debate. the choices made today are sure to affect our country for years, probably decades to come. the future we leave to our children is at issue as well.
the senate should engage in serious consideration of what faces us in the years ahead. i invite every democrat and every republican to join us in that critical conversation. our country deserves no less. what we must decide now is whether this is really the right time to be reducing pressure on the world's leading state sponsor of terror. and for what in return? we already know that the quds for is capable of under the sanctions regime. what will iran's support of terrorism look like with the additional funding obtained from sanctions relief? and let's not forget iran is pursuing a full-spectrum campaign to expand its sphere of
influence and undermine american security and standing in the region. iran's continued support of terrorism and its determination to expand ballistic missile and conventional military capability should be gravely concerning to each of us. they certainly are to me. they pose significant challenges to our country and president obama's successor. now this comes on top of the many other threats that challenge our country today and into the future. from groups like the taliban, al qaeda, and isil, to increasingly aggressive regimes in moscow and beijing. a bad deal won't make any of those threats go away. pretending otherwise isn't going to make us safer. a bad deal will only ensure iran has more funding to threaten us with renewed vigor.
it will only ensure that iran expands its stockpile of missiles and that it strengthens terrorist proxies like hezbollah here's a reuters headline from this morning. syria's assad sees more iranian support after nuclear deal. that's the reaction from the syrian regime. syria's assad sees more iranian support after the nuclear deal. look, the white house needs to know that the congress elected by the people is prepared to do anything it can to make america safer. we want to work collaborative to advance that goal. but if we have to work against a bad agreement to do so, a flawed deal that threatens our country and our allies, i assure you, we n
cornyn delivered remarks and n opposition to the iran nuclear agreement on july 22. he accused secretary of state john kerry every nesting on promises and the nature of inspection on reneging on promises and the nature of inspection inside iran. tes to ar the administration has moved its open goalposts in terms of this purported deal. over the last few years, the administration has made extensive public statements about what would and would not be acceptable in a final deal with iran. and today it's clear that the
final deal falls short not necessarily of other people's expectations, but of their own standards and their own stated expectations. so as senators consider this proposed deal and whether it should be approved or disapproved, i think it's important to have a good understanding of where the president and his team did not meet their own expectations. from the early stages of the negotiation, the obama administration made clear that a key part of any, -- quote -- ," good deal, would be dismantling iran's nuclear infrastructure. before the house foreign affairs committee, secretary kerry noted back in december of 2013, he said the whole point of the sanctions regime was to help iran dismantle its nuclear program.
however, president obama in previewing the deal in april of this year essentially admitted it would fall short of this standard, saying iran's not simply going to dismantle its program because we demand that it do so. but weren't our negotiators actually demanding that iran dismantle its nuclear program? that this been our stated policy as the united states government. wasn't that in secretary kerry's own words, the whole point? so as prime minister netanyahu of israel pointed out instead of dismantling the nuclear infrastructure of iran, the number-one state sponsor of international terrorism and threat to the safety and stability of the middle east, this deal legitimizes, it paves the way for their nuclear program and its enrichment capability. in fact, by the time this deal expires, the rogue regime in tehran will have an industrial
sized nuclear program. for the duration of the agreement iran will be able to conduct research and development on several types of advanced centrifuges. in the year eight, iran can resume test of its -- testing itsos advanced centrifuges and year nine start manufacturing more of them. that is hardly dismantlement. that is the opposite of dismantlement. so i also want to address another important point that's been made concerning inspections because as we know, iran will cheat and so inspections take on an especially important role in enforcing any agreement that is made and in particular i want to address this issue of any time, anywhere inspections. president obama announced a good deal had been struck between world powers and iran and -- quote -- "it presented iran from
obtaining a nuclear weapon." this is known as the framework deal, a recursor to what was announced last week. a few weeks after this announcement, secretary ernest moniz, who was the secretary at the tape with secretary kerry in negotiating this deal, he said "we expect to have any where -- i should say" anywhere, any time access." he said that on april 20, 2013. this is a particularly clear statement from anyone familiar with the negotiations process and of course% well received because this is at minimum what needs to be done in order to keep iran from cheating. but by the weekend the administration was singing a different tune. this is what secretary kerry said when he began to backtrack
from what what was said by secretary moniz on april 20. he said any time -- any time, anywhere inspections was -- quote -- "a term that honestly i never heard in the four years we were negotiating. it was not on the table." i don't know whether secretary moniz and secretary kerry actually talked to each other or not. they spent an awful lot of time together in vienna and supposedly would be on the same page. but for secretary kerry to say this really incredible statement that he never heard of this idea and this was not on the table is just simply incredible. so, of course, my question is, were anywhere, any time inspections on the table and if not, why did the administration tell us they were, including
the secretary of energy, and if they were not on the table, why is this deal actually a good deal? why can we have any sense of conviction or belief that iran won't cheat especially given this rube goldberg sort of contraption involving notice and this process that will lead up to a 24-day delay between inspections that are requested and before inspections actually can be done. we know from our experience with saddam hussein in iraq that it's easy to move things around and avoid the inspectors at the iaea. so this deal today provides that inspectors will have -- quote -- "managed access" whatever that means to suspect sites but as i said allows up to 24 days for iran to stalin expecters before it actually grants them access, if they ever do. this is another way of saying
that iran will be able to cheat with near impunity. the administration has also led us astray the president on a third item and that is iran's missile capability. this is the ability to launch a weapon to hit an enemy in the region or even further. last year the negotiator wendy sherman testified before the foreign relations committee that iran had -- quote -- "not shut down all of their production of any ballistic missile, the issue was -- and she said -- quote --"indeed going to be part of something that has to be addressed as part of the comprehensive agreement." ballistic missiles as we know can be useed to deliver a nuclear weapon and now under the current deal the arms embargo own iran will be completely lifted in just eight years' time including on ballistic missiles.
i don't think the administration simply changed their minds and decided this wasn't an important issue. i think they simply caved on yet another important item to our national security, and that of our allies. earlier this month, for example, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, martin dempsey testified -- quote -- "under no circumstances should the united states relieve pressure on iran with regard to ballistic missiles capabilities and arms trafficking." so with this purported deal that the administration apparently has caved once again on something that the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff who is the number-one military advisor to the president of the united states, said should be off the table. under this negotiation apparently it is on the table and part of the deal that we will have an opportunity to vote on in september. one more example. the president's repeatedly said
from the beginning no deal is better than a bad deal and i agree with that. yet right now he and the rest of the administration are telling members of congress and the american people that there is no other option on the table, and it's either this deal or war. there is a third choice, mr. president. there are tougher sanctions that will bring iran to the table for a better deal and a good deal. it's simply unacceptable for the president to be misrepresenting what the options are to congress and the american people by saying it's either this deal or war. as bad as this deal is. obviously, no one wants war. but we do know that iran is an exist engines threat to our ally in the middle east, the nation of israel and iran has been engaged in proxy wars with the
united states since the early 1980's, since the early days of the current regime. well, the president is supposed to be commander in chief of the armed forces and the number-one person in the united states government when it comes to national security. he took office with a promise to restore america's relationship with our allies around the world and clearly his promise has not come true. instead, what the president has delivered during his time in office has been that our allies increasingly do not trust us and our adversaries no longer fear us. as evidenced by the coercion and intimidation engaged in by -- by mr. putin in eastern europe. mr. president, i'd ask unanimous consent for two more minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: even president carter, president jimmy carter in a recent interview admitted that the united states' influence and prestige and respect in the world is probably
lower now than it was six or seven years ago. this isn't some republican criticizing a democrat president. this is jimmy carter, former president of the united states and a member of the democratic party who is saying the united states' influence and prestige and respect in the world is probably lower now than it was six or seven years ago. this this is a difficult statement to take in, and president carter has been wrong about an awful lot of national security issues, but i'm afraid he's right on that one. so now congress has an important role to play, and i can't think of a single more important national security issue we will have an opportunity to act on than iran's aspirations for a nuclear weapon. this is a true game changer in terms of the stability and peace in the middle east and our own safety and security.
and i know that i and the rest of our colleagues will take full advantage of this opportunity given to us for 60 days to review this agreement, to put it under a microscope, and we will have no trouble voting it down if we conclude as many of us now are starting to do, that it jeopardizes american security and paves the way for a nuclear e agreement was the best way to e prevent iran from building a nuclear weapon. this is about 20 minutes.
russia, china, north korea, and iran. and the situation in iran was particularly worriysome because there was -- worrisome because there was a belief that iran was developing espn. i've heard critics say what difference what it make. how foolish would it be for iran to launch a nuclear weapon against anyone. every nuclear weapon that's launched has a return address. and that country will pay dearly for a reckless decision such as that. but the fear that the president had and we shared was that if iran developed a nuclear weapon in the middle east, it would trigger an arms race. and many other countries in that volatile region of the world would then seek to develop their own espn and -- nuclear weapons and the con flog ration was incredible.
there was also a concern one of the first targets of iran would be our close ally and friend, the nation of israel. it's easy to reach that conclusion when you read and hear the rhetoric of the right wing in iran, which will not even recognize israel's right to exist. and so president obama set out to do something about it. it was clear from our experience in iraq and afghanistan that sending in american troops was something that had to be thought about long and hard. we have the best military in the world but let's face it, what we faced in iraq with roadside bombs maimed and killed so many american soldiers that we realized that this new world of asymmetric confrontation didn't guarantee that the best might in the world would have an easy time of it so we ended up with almost 5,000 casualties in iraq, nearly 3,000 in afghanistan, and afghanistan turned out to be the longest war
in united states history. so this president and the american people were reluctant to face another military confrontation. and so this president made a decision of. i've talked to him about it. he decided that every leader from every country that came in to see him would be asked to join in an effort to impose sanctions on iran to bring them to the negotiating table over the issue of their nuclear capability. the president put together an incredible coalition because we've learned long ago, unilateral sanctions aren't worth much but if you can bring many nations around the world to common purpose in putting the pressure on a country, it can have a positive impact. the coalition the president put together was amazing. witness the negotiations themselves where china and russia were sit at the same side of the table as the united states and the european union, england and france, and many
other countries joined us in imposing these economic sanctions when they had little to gain and a lot to lose when it came to the oil resources of iran. so the president's determination to put the sanctions on iran was for the purpose of bringing them to the negotiating table. that diplomatic gathering would literally have been the first meeting in 35 years between iran and the united states. representing that period of time when our relationship with iran had reached its lowest possible point. and at this point, the goal of the negotiation was very clear -- stop iran from developing a nuclear weapon. how real was the threat of their developing such a weapon? if you go back in time and read the quotes from the prime minister of israel, benjamin netanyahu, for years, more than ten years, he has been warning that the iranians were
close to developing a nuclear weapon. it was a matter of weeks, months, a year at the most by most of his estimates. and of course israel, more concerned than most about the nuclear threat, warned the world of what would happen if iraq developed a nuclear weapon. last week after lengthy negotiations, the president announced with iran and the others that sat at the table, p-5 plus 1, as they're known in short-hand, that we had reached an agreement with iran. it was interesting to watch the reaction of members of congress. there were some members of congress to condemned that agreement before it was even released to the public. you see, 47 members of the other side in the senate here had sent a letter to the ayatollah in iran during the course of negotiations before any agreement was reached warning him and his nation not
to negotiate with this president of the united states. madam president, that was unprecedented. that had never happened before in american history. when a political party reached out to a sworn enemy of the united states and gave him advice not to speak to our leader. that letter went on to say that even if you think you've reached an agreement between iran and the united states, don't be misled. ultimately congress would have the last word on that agreement. so it was no surprise in that environment that so many senators and congressmen from the other side of the aisle instantaneously condemned this agreement. some of us decided to take a little time and perhaps reflect on it, read it and reach out to people who were involved in it. i took last week to read the hundred-plus pages of this agreement, and to talk further to our nation's top experts
consideration including the secretary of energy, ernest moniz, secretary of state john kerry, about this agreement. hoping i could understand exactly what was being offered by way of stopping iran from developing a nuclear weapon. i'm under no illusions about the iranian regime. its support for terrorist groups like hezbollah and hamas is well documented, its human rights record is well known, and its suppression of its own people during the 2009 election in iran is well documented. iran continues to hold a number of americans on outrageous charges, including emir heck hack maddie, and "the washington post" reporter jason rezaian. i joined a few years ago with republican senator gordon smith
in introducing the iran counterproliferation act, key components became the basis for the sanctions regime that helped to bring iran to the negotiating table. i voted for all the key sanctions bills against iran, and i've tried to be a consistent voice for increasing military assistance to israel when i chaired the defense appropriations subcommittee i was proud to double the iron dome funding request of israel for their own defense of their nation. the agreement before us is a comprehensive solution to the nuclear weapons issue with iran. without a nuclear weapon, it allows the u.s. and its allies to better deter iran's destabilizing actions. now, let's take a reflective moment and look at the history, recent history in the united states. strong leaders of nations such as the united states meet and talk to their enemies and negotiate when it's in their
national interest. it was john kennedy who said we should never negotiate out of fear but we should never fear to negotiate. these kinds of negotiations aren't an example of weakness but in most cases of strength. and sometimes the benefits aren't obvious immediately, they're realized over time. it's simply common sense and it's been the practice of this nation, america, for generations, regardless of who was president, to meet and try to negotiate for a more peaceful world. throughout our history, american leaders have successfully and aggressively used diplomacy. presidents of both political parties. 1962, the cuban missile crisis. we faced the prospect of a nuclear war. a stand-off with a nation where we knew and they knew they had the capacity to detonate a
nuclear weapon in the united states. few realized how close we came. there were many hawks in washington during president john kennedy's administration who said let's take them on. some even suggested a full invasion of cuba. but john kennedy wisely pursued a careful balance of strength and diplomacy using a blockade and negotiations to bring us back from the brink. few people knew that the kennedy administration was secretly negotiating with the soviets while the cuban missile crisis was unfolding and that ultimately president kennedy agreed to remove american nuclear armed jupiter missiles from turkey as part of an agreement with khrushchev to remove soviet missiles from cuba. so are we going to say now in reflection that john kennedy should never have negotiated during this crisis because the soviets were out to destabilize the world and spread communism?
let's not forget when john kennedy entered into this negotiation, the soviet union had not only placeed nuclear missiles in cuba, they were in the process of placing them, but it was occupying eastern europe and trying to spread communism around the world. the bloody korean war where my two brothers served in the u.s. navy was a war in which the soviets held the north koreans -- helped the north koreans against the united states. and yet we sat down and negotiated with the soviet union. fast forward a few years. in 1972, then president nixon traveled to communist red china to begin establishing normalized relations. china wasn't a friend of the united states. it was a key supporter of the north vietnamese who were ruthlessly fightling and killing u.s. forces at the same time. in fact during nixon's visit then the premier of china said
china was sending more weapons to the north vietnamese. this was happening even while nixon was asking china to end its support of the north vietnamese. china's regime was fomenting communist movements in indonesia and thailand all against u.s. interests. domestically in china, now say tongue had brutalized his people as part of the cultural revolution. i realize it's hard to enter into negotiations with a regime as nefarious as china and just as with iran today, many conservatives denounced republican president nixon for doing so. however, as china's sphere of influence grew many in both parties, including president nixon recognized it was time to change. nelson rockefeller, president
nixon's rival in 1968 called for more contact and negotiations and it was vice president hubert humphrey, a democrat who proposed building a bridge to the people of mainland china. then senator ted kennedy then recognized president nixon's efforts as a magnificent gesture. other members of the democrat-controlled congress agreed. you see, there was a time when foreign policy was bipartisan. there was a time when democrats would speak up defending a republican president even when the most conservative members of his own party were condemning him. over time, president nixon's decision paid dividends in america's interests. china moderated its foreign policy and established better relations with our country. these relations aren't perfect but we know that we made progress and we are in negotiation and china sat with us on the same side of the table trying to stop iran from developing a nuclear weapon. more recently in the late 1980's
, president ronald reagan began discussions with soviet leader mikhail gorbachev. it was unconceivable when the talks started in october of 1986 that they could really negotiate. who would imagine that these two countries, the united states and the soviet union, with thousands of nuclear warheads pointed at one another could sit down and reach an agreement limiting the use of nuclear weapons. the cold war was far from over at that time. in 1979 soviet forces invaded afghanistan and continued to attempt to spread communism and led president carter to halt negotiations to the salt 2 arms limitation treaty. the list of aggression of the soviet iewp was -- soviet union was long at that time and yet it was president reagan who said he would sit down and negotiate with the soviet union.
this is from the 1988 "new york times" about the opposition ronald reagan faced in negotiating an arms agreement with the soviet union. it may sound familiar to what you're hearing today about president obama's efforts in iran. and i quote -- "already, right-wing groups have mounted a strong campaign against the i.n.f. treatyment they have mailed out to close to 300,000 letters opposing it. they've circulateed 5,000 cassette recordings of general bernard rogers, former supreme commander of the north atlantic treaty organization, attacking it. and they're preparing to run newspaper ads this month savaging ronald reagan as a new nevill chamberlain and promoting peace in our time." these were conservative republican critics of president ronald reagan who was negotiating with the soviet union to try to limit the spread of nuclear weapons. being likened to nevill
chamberlain. sound familiar? the conservative national review magazine in may of 1987 had a cover with the title "reagan's suicide pact." president reagan eventually agreed but then secretary of state schultz -- with then- secretary of state schultz that arms control would and improve national security. in december of 1987, reagan and gorbachev signed the intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty of, comightd the two super-- committing the two superpowers to eliminate all our conventional and ground-launched comistles with ranges of -- missiles with ranges of 50 to 500 meters. this was the first on-site negotiations for verification. do you know who coined the phrase "trust but verify"? it was op ronald reagan in his
negotiations with the soviet union. it took five months after this agreement was reached for this chamber to vote 93-5 in favor of that treaty at a time when the democrats had a majority. i could go through the long list of democratic senators who supported president ronald reagan in his efforts to try to create a more peaceful world. ultimately, because of that agreement, more than 2,000 short, medium and intermediate-range missiles were destroyed. our relationship with the soviet union didn't improve overnight and we certainly still have our problems with them today. but going back to what i said earlier, the russians sat on the same side of the table in the united states in this negotiation for this agreement to delay the threat of nuclear power, nuclear weapons in iran. mr. president, imagine if 47 senators during the course of ronald reagan's negotiation with gorbachev, if 47 senators had written in the middle of those negotiations to mr. gorbachev
and said, ignore president build ronald reagan, don't negotiate with him because we're not going to accept it here in congress. there would have been cries of treason for sending that kind of letter. it didn't happen. those were the days when there was a bipartisan approach to foreign policy in the united states. so today we have a chance and an opportunity with iran what hasn't presented itself for more than 30 years. the opportunity to prevent iran from developing nuclear weapons. it's not going to solve all the problems with iran overnight but it does solvable one critical one -- the agreement retains u.s. freedom of action to counter iran any part of the world. after all, ronald reagan didn't stop trying to counter soviet actions after negotiating an arms treaty with gorbachev. president obama will not and should not stop working to if diminish iran's influence after this agreement.
mr. president, i'm under no illusions that for some period, iran did pursue a nuclear bomb. if that had happened, it would have been disastrous. and i'm under no illusions that iran lied in the past about these efforts. i know they did. but the agreement reached last week provides unprecedented safeguards and inspections to prevent iran from building nuclear weapons now or in the future. the united states and its allies are strong enough to enter into this agreement not because iran is suddenly trustworthy or an open democracy but because it serves our national security interests to do it. secretary of state john kerry, secretary of energy ernie meniz, under secretary of state wendy sherman negotiated this agreement with a single focus -- prevent iran from getting any closer to obtaining a nuclear weapon. they achieved that goal. and that's why i'm supporting this effort by the president to bring a more stable and peaceful situation to the middle east.
to appreciate the magnitude of their challenge, let's step back and take stock of iran's nuclear weapons program as it is today, before this agreement goes in place. iran currently has enough nuclear material to make 10 nuclear weapons. it has more than 19,000 centrifuges, many of which are more advanced and powerful. immediately prior to the interim agreement with p-5 plus 1, iran was enriching its you're uraniuo 20%. the breakout time for iran to develop a nuclear weapon was an estimated three months. it was an incredibly large and dangerous nuclear capability growing at a significant rate. virtually unconstrained. that's what this president inherited from the previous administration. but thanks to this effort, this agreement cuts off every single one of iran's potential pathways to a bomb. it shrinks major portions of their nuclear infrastructure. it eliminates many parts of it.
it extends the breakout time to at least one year. should iran renege on this and decide they're going forward with a nuclear weapon, we believe that under this agreement, it will take them at least air -- least a year to achieve it, a year in which we can put pressure and more, if necessary. the agreement reduces iran's uranium stockpile by 98%, cuts its number of centrifuges by more than two years and caps enrichment at 6.7%. it prevents fordhow from being used for uranium enrichment. they have to change the heavy water reactor at iraq so it can no longer produce weapons-grade plutonium. how will we know? we're designing a way to monitor fuel in and out of this facility and verifying it every step of the way. all of us have deep suspicions about iran's nuclear ambitions,
as we should. what if they twrie to build a -- try to build a secret facility? well, our negotiating team designed a verification plan with no exits, led by an extraordinary man, secretary of energy moniz, our team thought long and hard over the last two years about how we might be able to stop cheating. for every potential technique, they embedded a countermeasure in the text of the agreement. this week, secretary moniz explained it would be -- quote -- "virtually impossible" to hide nuclear activities under this agreement. it's the strongest nuclear verification system ever imposed on a peaceful nation. its end result is that iran will not be able to do anything of significance without being caught and, going back to ronald reagan, our inspectors will be on the ground. i ask unanimous consent for five additional minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: this agreement requires the iaea have 24/7
access to all of iran's declared nuclear facility. this means in-person inspectors, remote cameras, tamper-proof seals, all the world's most sophisticated detection technology. as one nuclear expert commented last week, if a rat enters a nuclear facility in iran, we will know it. critically, this intrusive monitoring goes all the way in to the nuclear supply chain from uranium mines to centrifuge production. we cover it all in this agreement. i see the senator from south dakota is here and i'll wrap up by putting the rest of this in the record. but let me conclude, when i sat down to read this agreement, and i don't know how many of my colleagues have, i was struck on the third page with this statement in the agreement with iran. iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapon. that's quite a statement. it was our goal at this negotiation. do i believe it?
some. but i have my doubts. that's why we had to have an inspection regime. from the uranium mines right through the production facilities. that's why we had to dramatically cut back on their capacity to build weapons-grade fuel. and that's why this agreement is now most of the countries believe moving us in the right direction in iran. there are critics. we've heard ate lot of them here in the -- we've heard a lot of them here in the senate. there isn't a single critic whose stepped up with a better idea. they say, oh, let's go back to the sanctions regime. the countries that joined us in sanctions did it to bring iran to the negotiating table and it worked. they now have an agreement that they believe in and we should believe in too. to think that we're going to renew sanctions or unilateral sanctions that to me is something not likely to occur if iran lives up to the terms of this agreement. and let me add the other alternative. we know the cost of war. we know it in human lives.
we know it in the casualties that return. we know it in the cost to the american people. given a choice between the invasion of iran or working in a diplomatic fashion toward a negotiation so that we can lessen this threat and the -- in the world, i think president obama made the right choice. i support this administration's decision to go forward with this agreement. i'll be adding my vote to many in the senate in the hopes that we can see a new day dawning. in the hopes, too, that like president nixon, like president reagan, even like other presidents before us who have sat down to negotiate with our enemies, at the end of the day we'll be a safer and stronger nation because of it. mr. president, i y >> moresident, i y