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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  September 3, 2015 6:00am-7:01am EDT

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the yilingts in 2004 and -- united states in 2004 and combarely lost. came back and continued that service as chairman of the foreign relations if not introduced to you, my friend, secretary kerry. [applause] secretary kerry: thank you for the introduction. good morning to all of you here.
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bes great for me to build here in philadelphia. i'm delighted to see so many young people with us. i know school has started. know the choice between coming here and sitting in class was a tough one. i'm gradually the choice you did. i'm grateful that the senator chose to come here this morning in order to introduce me, and to reaffirm his support for this agreement. is a former colleague of his in the foreign relations committee, isan bear witness that he one of the true legislative pathfinders of recent times, with a long record of foreign policy compliments. what they did was a lasting legacy of making this world safer. he is also one who has
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consistently placed our country's interest above any other consideration. he has a very deep understanding of how best to prevent nuclear weapons from falling into the wrong hands. he is one of our experts when it comes to that judgment. it is appropriate that the senator is here with us this morning, and i think everyone of us joins and saying thank you for your tremendous service. [applause] secretary kerry: it's fitting to be here in philadelphia, the home ground of the center for the constitution, the liberty bell, and one of our nation's most revered founders, benjamin franklin. say, i never quite anticipated, but this is one of the great vistas in america to look down and see independence hall. it's inspiring for all of us.
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i was a quick word about ben franklin. in addition to his many , and a special status as america's first diplomat, franklin was actually credited with being the first person known to have made a list of pros and cons, literally, two,ing a page into -- in writing the reasons to support a proposal on one side of the reasons to oppose it on the other. this morning, i would like to invite all of you here and those listening through the media to participate in just such an exercise. because two months ago, in vienna, the united states and five other nations, including permanent members of the un security council, reached agreement with iran on ensuring the peaceful nature of that country's nuclear program.
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week, congresst will begin voting on whether to support that. the outcome will matter as much as any foreign-policy decision in recent history. like senator lugar, president has been commenced down in a reasonable doubt that the framework that we put forward will get the job done. , we havessessment excellent company. last month, 29 of our nation's top nuclear physicist and nobel prize winners, scientists from one end of the country to the other congratulated the president for what they called quote a technically sound, stringent, and innovative deal that will provide the necessary assurance that iran is not developing nuclear weapons.
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scientists praised the agreement for its creative approach to verification, and to the rigorous safeguards that will prevent iran from obtaining additional material for a bomb. today, i will lay out the facts that cause those scientists and many other experts to reach the favorable conclusions that they have. planl show why the agreed will make the united states, israel, the gulf states, and the world safer. i will explain how it gives us the access that we need to ensure that iran's nuclear program remains peaceful, while preserving every option to respond if iran fails to meet its commitments. i will make clear that the key elements of the agreement will years, asor 10 or 15 summers trying to assert -- as
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some are trying to assert. they will last for the lifetime of iran's nuclear program. will dispel some of the false information that has been circulating about the proposal on which congress is soon going to vote. now, for this discussion, there is an inescapable starting point. a place where every argument made against the agreement must confront a stark reality. the reality of how advanced iran's nuclear program had headed and where it was when presidents obama and ronnie wash the diplomatic process that concluded this past july. 2013ears ago, in september , we were facing and iran that had already mastered the nuclear
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fuel cycle. already stockpiled enough enriched uranium that if further enriched, could create 10 to 12 bombs. and iran that was already enriching uranium to the level of 20%. which is just below weapons.. and iran that had already installed 10,000 plus centrifuges, and an iran that was moving rapidly to commission a heavy water reactor, able to produce enough weapons. plutonium for an additional bomb or two a year. friends, is where we already were when we began our negotiations. at a well remembered moments during the u.n. general assembly the previous fall, the israeli prime minister held up a cartoon
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of a bomb to show just how dangerous iran's nuclear program had become. in 2013, he returned to the podium to warn that iran was -- tooning itself quote rush forward to build nuclear bombs before the international community can detect it, and much less prevent it. the prime minister argued, rightly, that the so-called breakout time, the interval required for ron to produce -- enough nuclear material for obama had dwindled to two months. even though it would take significantly longer to actually build the bomb itself, using that material. the prime minister's message was clear. iran had successfully
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transformed itself into a nuclear threshold state. in the obama administration, we were well aware of that troubling fact. more importantly, we were already responding to it. a refutable, that over the course of two american administrations, it was the united states that led the world in the assembly against tehran one of the toughest international sanctions regimes ever developed. but we also have to say cannot -- we also have to face an obvious fact. sanctions alone were not getting the job done. not even close. slow,ere failing to malone halt iran's relentless march towards a nuclear weapons capability. so president obama acted. he reaffirmed his vow that iran would absolutely not be permitted to have a nuclear weapon. for thisled support
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principle from every corner of the international community. he made clear his determination to go beyond what sanctions could accomplish and find a way to not only stop, but to throw iran's rapid expansion of its nuclear program. strategy, weed our cast a very wide net, to enlist the broadest expertise available. we sat down with the iaea and with our own intelligence community to ensure that the verification standards that we sought on paper would be effective in reality. congress, andith our international allies and friends. we examined carefully every step that we might take to close off each of iran's potential pathways to a palm. and of course, we were well aware than ever proposal, every
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detail would have to withstand the most painstaking scrutiny. we knew that. outset clear from the that we would not settle for anything less than an agreement that was comprehensive, verifiable, effective, and of lasting duration. we began with an interim agreement, reached in geneva. a joint plan of action. it accomplished diplomatically what sanctions alone could never have done or did. if false of the advance of iran's nuclear activities. yous critical to note -- don't hear much about it, but it's critical to note that for more than 19 months now, iran has complied with every requirement of that plan. this was just the first step.
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from that moment, we pushed ahead. seeking a broad enduring agreements. sticking to the core positions. among aing unity diverse negotiating group of partners. we arrived at the good and effective deal we have sought. i ask you, today in the days ahead, as we have asked members of congress over the course of these last months, consider the facts of what we achieved. judge for yourself the difference between where we were two years ago, and where we are now. and where we can be in the future. agreement, iran's so-called breakout time was about two months. with this agreement, it will increase by a factor of six, to at least one year. and it will remain available for a decade or more.
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agreement, iran could double the number of its operating centrifuges almost overnight. and continue expanding with ever more efficient designs. with this agreement, iran's centrifuges will be reduced by two thirds for 10 years. agreement, iran could continue expanding its stockpile of enriched uranium, which is now more than 12,000 kilograms. enough, if further enriched, for multiple bombs. with this agreement, that stockpile will shrink, and shrink some more. a reduction of some 98%. kilogramsre than 300 for 15 years. without this agreement, iran's soon beer reactor would able to produce enough weapons. plutonium each year to fuel one
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or two nuclear weapons. agreement, the core of that reactor will be removed. and filled with concrete. iran will never be permitted to produce any weapons were plutonium. iaeaut this agreement, the would not have secured access to undeclared locations in iran, where suspicious activities might be taking place. access,cy could seek but if iran objected, there would be no sure method for resolving a dispute in a finite riod, which is exactly what is led us to where we are today. with this agreement, the iaea can go wherever the evidence leads. no facility, declared or undeclared, will be off-limits. certain for a time
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ensuring access. tore is no other country which such a standard applies. the arrangement is both unprecedented, and unique. in addition, the iaea will have more inspectors working in iran, using modern technology such as real-time enrichment monitoring, high-tech electronic seals, and cameras that are always watching, 20 47, 365. has agreed never to pursue key technologies that developed a nuclear explosive device. so the agreement deals not only of material,uction but also the critical issue of weaponization. because of all the limitations and guarantees, we can sum up i saying that without this agreement, the iranians would
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have several potential pathways to a bomb. with it, they won't have any. pathway will be blocked because it won't have a reactor, producing plutonium for a weapon. it won't build any new heavywater reactors or engage in reprocessing for at least 15 years. the abilitywe have to watch and know precisely what they're doing. will beian pathway blocked because of the key productions and iran's uranium -- andr richmond enrichment capacity. and for 15 years the country all not enrich uranium to little higher than 3.67%. let me be clear. no one can build a bomb from a stockpile of 300 kilograms of uranium enriched only 3.67%. it is just not possible.
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covert pathway to a bomb will also be blocked. under our plan, there will be 20 47 monitoring of iran's key nuclear facilities. as soon as we start the implementation, inspectors will be able to track iran's uranium as its mind, milled, then turned into gas and eventually into waste. this means that for a quarter of a century, at least, every activity throughout the nuclear fuel chain will receive added scrutiny. for 20 years, the iaea will be monitoring the production of key components in iran in order to ensure that none are diverted to a covert program. cheat,iran to decide to it's technicians would have to
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do more than bury a processing facility deep beneath the ground. they would have to come up with a complete, and completely secret nuclear supply chain. a secret source of uranium. a secret milling facility, a secret conversion facility. a secret enrichment facility. and our intelligence community and energy department, which manages our nuclear program in our nuclear weapons both agree, iran could never get away with such a deception. and if we have even a shadow of illegal billy -- that activities are going on, the iaea will be given access to uncover the truth, or run will be in violation, and nuclear related sections -- sanctions can snap back into place. we will also have other options to ensure compliance, if necessary.
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requirements,hese it is no wonder that this plan has been endorsed by so many leading american scientists, experts on nuclear nonproliferation, and others. than 60 former top national security officials, more than 100 retired ambassadors, people who served under democratic and republican presidents alike are backing the proposal, as are retired generals and admirals from all five are uniform services. one of the great names in american security endeavors of the last century, and now served as a national security advisor to two republican presidents, use also among the many respected figures who others supporting it. internationally, the agreement is being backed, with one exception, by each of the more than 100 countries have taken a formal position.
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the agreement was also endorsed by the united nations security council, on a vote of 15 to nothing. only says something very significant about the quality of the plan. particularly when you consider that five of those countries are permanent members, and they are all nuclear powers. reflectionlso invite from those who believe the united states can walk away from this without causing grave harm to our international reputation, to relationships, and interests. claim probably heard the that because of our strength, because of the power of our banks, all we americans have to do if congress rejects this plan is returned to the bargaining , puff out our chests, and demand a better deal. i heard one critic say he would use sanctions to give iran a choice between having an economy or having a nuclear program.
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folks, that's a very punchy sound bite, but it has no basis in any reality. i was chair of the senate foreign relations committee when our nation came together across party lines to enact round after round of economic sanctions against iran. but remember, even the toughest restrictions didn't stop iran's nuclear program from speeding ahead. from a couple of hundred centrifuges to 5000, to 19,000. we've already been there. if this agreement is voted down, those who vote no will not be able to tell you how many centrifuges iran will have next year. with the year after. if it's approved, we will be able to tell you exactly what the limits of iran's program will be. is, it wasn't either sanctions or threats that actually stopped, finally stop
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the expansion of iran's nuclear activities. the sanctions brought people to the table, but it was the start andhe negotiating process the negotiations themselves, recently concluded indiana, that actually stopped it. negotiationsse that iran be able to get rid of its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium. only with those negotiations that it stop installing more centrifuges and cease advancing the iraq reactor. commit to be it more forthcoming about iaea access. and negotiate a special arrangement to break the deadline. so just apply your common sense. happen?you think will if we say to a ron hague, forget it. the deal is off, let's go back to square one.
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you think are negotiating partners, all of whom have embraced this deal, react? what do you think will happen to the multilateral sanctions regime the broad iran to the bargaining table in the first place? the answer is pretty simple and straightforward. not only will we lose the momentum we have built up impressing iran to limit its nuclear activities, we will almost surely start moving in the opposite direction. remember -- sanctions don't just staying in one direction, my friends. they also impose costs on those who forgo the commercial opportunities in order to abide by them. it's a tribute to president obama's diplomacy, and before that, the president george w. bush, that we were able to convince countries to accept economic difficulties and
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sacrifices, and put together the comprehensive sanctions regime that we did. many nations that would like to do business with iran agreed to hold back because of the sanctions. vital, and because they wanted to prevent iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. they have as much interest in it as we do. that's why they hope the negotiations will succeed. and that's why they will join us in insisting that iran live up to its obligations. us if we not join unilaterally walk away from the very deal that the sanctions were designed to bring about. if weey will not join us are demanding even greater sacrifices, and threatening their businesses, and banks, because of a choice we made, they opposed. happenle it may not
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overnight, it's clear that if we reject this plan, the multilateral sanctions regime will start to unravel. the pressure on iran will lessen , and are negotiating leverage will diminish, if not disappear. ,bviously, that is not the path as some critics would have us believe, to a so-called better deal. it is a path towards a much weaker position for the united states of america, and to a much more dangerous middle east. this is by no means a partisan point of view that i just expressed. henry paulson, the secretary of treasury under president george w. bush, help design the early stages of the iran sanctions regime area just the other day, he said quote, it would be totally unrealistic to believe that if we backed out of this deal, the multilateral sanctions would remain in place. , who chaired the
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federal reserve under president reagan, said quote, this agreement is as good as you are going to get. to think that we can unilaterally maintain sanctions doesn't make any sense. we should pause for a minute to contemplate what voting down this agreement might mean for ron's conger -- iran's cadre of hardliners. the people who leave the chance of death to america, death to israel, and even death to rouhani. who prosecute journalists simply for doing their jobs. the evidence documents that among those who most fervently want this agreement to fall apart are the most extreme factions in iran. and their opposition should tell you all you need to know. from the very beginning, these extremist have warned that
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negotiating with united states to be a waste of time. why on earth would we know take a step that proves the right? let me be clear. rejecting this agreement would not be sending a signal of resolve to iran. it would be broadcasting a message so puzzling, most people across the globe would find it impossible to comprehend. after all, they have listened as we warned over and over again about the dangers of iran's nuclear program. they have watched as we spent two years forging a broadly accepted agreement terrain that program in. they have nodded their heads and support as we explain how the plan we developed will make the world safer. who could fairly blame them for not understanding if we suddenly switch course and reject the very outcome we have worked so hard to obtain? some new andfering
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viable alternative, but by offering no alternative at all. it is hard to conceive of a quicker or more self-destructive blow to our nation's credibility in leadership. not only with respect to this ,ne issue, but i'm telling you across the board. economically, politically, militarily, and even morally. we would pay an immeasurable price for this unilateral reversal. friends, as he mentioned in his introduction, i have been in public service for many years. i have been called on to make some difficult choices in that time. that are those who believe deciding whether or not to support the iran agreement is just such a choice. i respect that. and i respect them. but i also believe that because of the stringent limitations on iran's program that are included
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in this agreement that i just described, because of where that ourram was headed before negotiations began, and will head again if we walk away, because of the utter absence of a viable alternative to this plan that we have devised, the benefits of this agreement far outweigh any potential drawbacks. certainly, the goal of preventing iran from having a nuclear weapon is supported across our political spectrum. it has the backing of countries on every continent. explains the controversy that has persisted in this debate? a big part of the answer, i think, is that even before the ink on the agreement was dry, we started being bombarded by myths about what the agreement will among do, and that bombardment continues today.
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the first of these myths is that the deal is somehow based on expectationnaïve that iran is going to reverse course on many of the policies it has been pursuing internationally. critics tell us over and over again, you can't trust iran. guess what? there is not a single sentence, not a single paragraph in this whole agreement that depends on promises or trust. not one. the arrangement that we worked out with tehran is based exclusively on verification and proof. that's why the agreement is structured the way it is. that's why sanctions relief is tied strictly to performance. formulatedhy we are the most far-reaching monitoring and transparency regime ever negotiated. the same critics point to the fact that two decades ago, the
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united states reached a nuclear framework with north korea. that didn't cobblers what it set out to do. we are told we should have learned a lesson from that. well, the truth is, we did learn a lesson. the agreement with north korea was four pages. and only dealt with plutonium. iran runs 159with detailed pages, applies to all of tehran's particular capacities to a bomb, and is specifically grounded in the transparency rules of the iaea's additional protocol, which didn't even exist two decades ago when the north korea deal was made because it was developed specifically with the north korea experience in mind. lesson learned. the reality is that if we trusted iran or thought that it
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was about to become more moderate, this agreement would be less necessary than it is. but we don't. we would like nothing more than to see iran act differently. but not for a minute are we counting on it. iran's support for terrorist groups and its contributions to sectarian violence are not recent policies. they reflect the perceptions of its leaders about iran's long-term national interests, and there are no grounds for expecting the speculation is to change in the near future. that is why we believe so strongly that every problem in the middle east, every threat to israel, and to our friends in the region, would be more dangerous if iran were permitted to have a nuclear weapon. that is the inescapable bottom line. that's also why we are working so hard and so proactively to protect our interests and those of our allies.
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in part because of the challenge posed by iran, we have engaged in an unprecedented level of military, intelligence, and security cooperation with our friends and allies, israel. we are determined to help our complexddress new and security threats, and to ensure its qualitative military edge. we work with israel every day to enforce sanctions and prevent terrorist organizations such as hamas and hezbollah from obtaining the financing and weapons they seek. whether from iran, or from any other source. and we will stand with israel to stop its adversaries from once again launching deadly and unprovoked attacks against the israeli people. provided $20e have million in hard military financing to israel. more than half of what we have given to nations worldwide. over and above that, we have
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invested some $3 billion in the production and deployment of iron dome batteries and other missile-defense programs and systems. the last gaza in war, lives were saved israel because of it. we have given privileged access to advanced military equipment such as the f 35 joint strike fighter. israel is the only nation in the middle east to which the united states has sold this fifth-generation aircraft. the president recently authorized a massive arms resupply package, featuring penetrating munitions and aired missiles. we hope soon to conclude a new memorandum of understanding, a military assistance plan that will guide our intensive security cooperation through the next decade. diplomatically, our support for israel also remains rocksolid. everycontinue to oppose effort to delegitimize the
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jewish state, or to pass biased resolutions against it international bodies now, i understand. , therestand personally is no way to overstate the concern in israel about iran. and about the potential consequences of this agreement, rejecting this agreement, might have on israel's security. the fragility of israel's position has been brought home to me on every one of the many trips i have made to that country. in fact come as secretary of state, i have already traveled a dozen times,n spinning the equivalent of a full month there. landordering my plane to at an airport when commercial air traffic have been halted during the last gaza war, doing so specifically as a sign of support.
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walkede years, i've through the living memorial to the you 6 million lost, i have felt in my bones the unfathomable evil of the holocaust. and the undying reminder, never to forget. ,'ve climbed inside a shelter where children were forced to leave their homes in classrooms to seek refuge from rockets. witnessed the shredded remains of homemade missiles from gaza. missiles fired with no other purpose than to so for your the hearts of israeli families. jetve piloted an israeli and observed firsthand the timeliness of israel airspace, in which it is possible to see all of the country's neighbors at the same time. i have bowed my head at the western wall, and offered my prayers and peace. peace for israel, for the
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region, and for the world. one ina back seat to no my commitment to the security of israel. the commitment i demonstrated through my 28 plus years in the senate. and the secretary of state, i'm fully conscious of the existential nature of the choice israel must make. the conviction that israel, even more than any other country, simply cannot afford a mistake in defending its security. i respect we disagree with prime minister then yahoo! the benefits of the iran agreement, i do not question for an instant the basis of his concern, or that of any israeli. convinced, as is president obama, our senior defense and military leaders, and even many of former israeli military and intelligence officials, that this agreement puts us on the right path to
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present -- prevent iran from ever getting a nuclear weapon. the people of israel will be safer with this deal, and the same is true for the people throughout the region. that, we areensure also taking specific and far-reaching steps to coordinate with our friends from the gulf states. president obama hosted their leaders at camp david earlier this year. i visited with him last month. later this week we will invention -- we won't welcome tim sullivan from saudi arabia. share our they are also alarmed by iran's nuclear program. we must come and we will respond on both fronts. we will make certain that iran lives up to its commitments under the nuclear agreement. and we will continue strengthening our security partnerships. are determined that her
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girlfriends will have the political and military support that they need. to that end, we're working with them to develop illicit missile-defense for the arabian peninsula, provide special operations training, authorize urgently required arms transfers, strengthen cyber security, engage in large-scale military exercises, and enhance maritime interdictions of iranian arms shipments. we are deepening our cooperation and support in the fight against the threat posed to them, to us, and to all civilizations by the forces of international terror, including their surrogates and their proxies. through these steps and others, we will maintain international pressure on iran. united states sanctions imposed because of tehran support to terrorism and its human rights record, those will reign in place. as will our sanctions aimed at preventing the proliferation of
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ballistic missiles and the transfer of conventional arms. the un security council prohibitions on shipping weapons to hezbollah, the shiite militias in iraq, the houthi rebels in yemen, all of those remain as well. we will also continue to urge tehran to provide information regarding an american who disappeared in iran several years ago. citizenslease the u.s. its governments has unjustly imprisoned. we will do everything we can to see that our citizens are able to safely return to where they belong, at home, with their families. .ave no doubt the united states will oppose iran's destabilizing policies with every national security tool available. and disregard the myth. the iran agreement is based on proof, not trust. in a letter that i'm sending to all members of congress today, i
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made clear the administration's willingness to work with them on legislation to address shared concerns about regional security consistent with the agreement we've worked out with our international partners. this brings us to the second piece of fiction. but this deal would somehow pursuit of the's nuclear weapon. i keep hearing this. years, iran has had a civilian nuclear program. under the nonproliferation treaty, it can do that. it was never realistic option to change that. but recognizing this reality is not the same as legitimizing the pursuit of a nuclear weapon. in fact, this agreement does the exact opposite. , iran isa safeguards prohibited from ever pursuing a nuclear weapon. this is an important point.
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i want to be sure that everyone understands. the international community is not telling iran that it can't have a nuclear weapon for 15 years. we are telling iran that it ,an't have a nuclear weapon period. there is no magic moment 15, 20, 45 years ago where iran will suddenly get a pass. in fact, iran is required by this agreement to sign up to and abide by the iaea additional protocol that i mentioned earlier that came out of north korea experience. inspections ofes all nuclear facilities. what does this mean? it means that iran's nuclear program remains subjects to regular inspections, forever. accessll have to provide
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to all of its nuclear facilities , forever. iran will have to respond promptly to requests for access to any suspicious site, forever. , at anyran, at any time time embarks on nuclear activities that are incompatible with a wholly peaceful program, it will be in violation of the agreement, forever. we will know that violation right away, and we will retain every option we now have to diplomatically, or through a return to sanctions, or by other means. in short, this agreement gives us unprecedented tools, and all the time we need to hold iran accountable for its choices and actions. now, it's true. some of the special additional restrictions that we successfully negotiated, those begin to ease.
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in some cases, 10 or 15, in other cases, 20, 25. but it would defy logic to vote to kill the whole agreement, with all of the permanent restrictions by which iran has to live, for that reason. after all, if your house is on flames,'s going up in would you refuse to extinguish it because of the chance that it might be another fire in 15 years? very do put out the fire need to manage of the extra time to prepare for the future. my friends, it just doesn't make sense to conclude that we should vote no now because of what might happen in 15 years. thereby guaranteeing that what might happen in 15 years will actually begin to happen now. because of this agreement is rejected, every possible reason for worry in the future would have to be confronted now,
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immediately, in the months ahead. once again, and soon, iran would begin advancing its nuclear program. we would lose the benefit of the agreement that contains all of these restrictions, it would give a green light to everything that we are trying to prevent. needless to say, that is not the outcome that we want. it is not an outcome that would be good for our country, nor for our allies, with the world. there is a third myth. -- thatechnical one iran could in fact get away with building a covert nuclear facility because the deal allows a maximum of 24 days to obtain access to a suspicious site. there is no way in 24 days or 24 months, 24 , for that matter, to destroy all of the evidence of illegal activity that has been , regarding nuclear material. because of the nature of the materials, and their relevant
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precursors. you can't eliminate the evidence by shoving under a mattress, flushing it down a toilet, carting off in the middle of the night. go, but thes may telltale traces remain year after year after year. outside perio the d of time during which they must allow access. under the agreement, there's a dispute over access to any location, the united states and our european allies have the votes to decide the issue. once we have identified a site that raises questions, we will be watching it continuously until the inspectors are allowed in. let me underscore that. the united states and the international community will be monitoring iran nonstop. you can bet that if we see something, we will do something. widegreement gives us a
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range of enforcement tools. and we will use them. the standard we will apply can be summed up in two words. zero tolerance. there is no way to guarantee that iran will keep its word. that's why this is an based on a promise or trust. -- cancan't guarantee guarantee that if iran decides to break the agreement, it will regret breaking any promise it has made. there are many other myths circulating about the agreement. the last one going to highlight it just economic, that's important. ,he myth that sanctions relief that iran will receive an somehow both too generous, and too dangerous. the discussions the concluded in vienna, like any serious negotiation, involved a quid pro quo. iran wanted sanctions relief. the world wanted to ensure the wholly peaceful nature of iran's
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nuclear program. without the trade-off, the could have been no deal. .nd no agreement by iran there are some of one to sanctions relief as grounds to oppose the agreement. the logic is faulty for several reasons. first, and most important is that absent new violations by ron -- iran, the sanctions will erode regardless of what we do. it is an allusion for members of congress to think that they can vote this plan down, and then turn around and still persuade countries like china, japan, south korea, turkey, india, --n's major oil customers they ought to continue supporting sanctions that are costing them billions of dollars every year. that's not going to happen. money that's the been locked up as a result of sanctions is not sitting in some american bank. under u.s. control.
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the money is frozen, and being held in escrow by countries with which iran has had commercial dealings. we don't have that money, we can't control it. it will be begin to be released anyway if we walk away from this agreement. book of thewell the funds iran will receive under the sanctions relief are already spoken for. and they are dwarfed by the countries unmet economic needs. iran has a crippled infrastructure, energy and for structure. has to rebuild it to be a will pump oil. it has agriculture sector that has been starved for investment. ,assive pension obligations significant foreign reserves that are already allocated to foreign led projects, and the civilian population that is sitting there, expecting that the lifting of sanctions is going to result in a tangible improvement in the quality of their lives. relief is not
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going to make a significant difference in what iran can do internationally. it's never been based on money. make no mistake, the important thing about this agreement is not what it will enable iran to stop iranat it will from doing. and that is the building of a nuclear weapon. before closing, i want to comment on the nature of the debates which we are currently engaged in. some have accused advocates of the iran agreement, including the, of conjuring up frightening scenarios to scare listeners into supporting it. curiously, this allegation comes most often from the very folks who have been raising alarms about one thing or another for years. the truth is that if this plan , we cannot predict with certainty what iran will do. know what iran says it
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will do. and that is, begin again to expand its nuclear activities. and we know that the strict limitations that iran has accepted will no longer apply. because there will no longer be any agreement. iran will then be free to begin operating thousands of other advanced and other centrifuges that would otherwise have been mothballed. they will be free to expand enrichedckpile of low uranium, rebuild their stockpile of 20% enriched uranium. free to move ahead with productions of weapons great plutonium, free to go forward with weaponization research. and just to do you think is going to be held responsible for all this? not iran. iran was prepared to implement the agreement and will have no reason whatsoever to return to the bargaining table. the world will hold accountable the people who broke with the consensus, turned their backs on
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our negotiating partners and ignored the council of top scientists and military leaders. the world will blame the united states. when those voices that accuse us of scaremongering begin to warn, iran's nuclear activities are once again out of control and must at all costs be stopped, what do you think is going to happen? the pressure will build, my friends. the pressure will build for military action. the pressure will build for the u.s. to use its unique capabilities to disrupt iran's nuclear program. negotiating is not going to work as we just tried it. president obama has been crystal clear that we will do whatever is necessary to prevent iran from getting a new your weapon. -- getting a nuclear weapon. the big difference is at that point, we will not have the world behind us the way we do today. because we rejected the fruits
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of diplomacy, we will be held accountable for a crisis that could have been avoided but instead we will be deemed to have created. so my question is why in the world would we want to put ourselves in that decision on having to make that choice especially when there is a better choice, a much more broadly supported choice, a choice that sets us on the road to greater stability and security but that does not require us to give up any option at all today. so here is the decision that we are called on to make. to vote down this agreement, is to solve nothing because none of the problems we are concerned about will be made easier if it is rejected. none of them. not iran's nuclear program, not iran's support for terrorism or sectarian activities, not the human rights record and not the opposition to israel. to oppose this agreement is
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whether intended to -- or not to recommend a policy of national paralysis. it is to take us back directly to the very dangerous spot we were in two years ago only to go back there devoid of any realistic plan or option. by contrast, the adoption and implementation of this agreement will cement the support of the community behind a plan to ensure that iran does not ever acquire or possess a nuclear weapon. in doing so it removes a looming threat from a uniquely fragile region. discourage others from trying to develop nuclear arms, make our citizens and our allies safer and reassure the world that the hardest problems can be addressed successfully by diplomatic means.
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at its best, american foreign-policy in the policy of the u.s. combines immense power with clarity of purpose, relying on reason and persuasion whenever possible. as has been demonstrated many times, our country does not shy from the necessary use of force but our hopes and values push us to explore every avenue for peace. the iran deal reflects our determination to protect the interests of our citizens and to shield the world from greater harm. but it reflects as well our knowledge that the firmest foundation for security is built on mobilizing countries across the globe to defend actively and bravely the rule of law. in september, 228 years ago, benjamin franklin, in the great
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city of philadelphia write down there -- closed a debate on the constitution. he told a rapt audience that when people of opposing views and passions are brought together, compromise is essential. and perfection from the perspective of any single participant is not possible. he said that after weighing carefully the pros and cons of that most historic debate, he "id the following -- consent, sir, to this constitution because i expect no better and because i'm not sure that it is not the best." my fellow citizens, i have had the privilege of serving our country in times of peace and war and peace is better. i have seen our leaders act with incredible foresight and also seen them commit tragic errors like plunging into conflicts
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without sufficient thought about the consequences. like old ben franklin, i can claim and do claim no monopoly on wisdom and certainly nothing can compare to the gravity of the debate of our founding fathers over our nations founding documents. but i believe based on a lifetime's experience that the iran nuclear agreement is a hugely positive step at a time when problem-solving and danger reduction have rarely been so urgent, especially in the middle east. the iran agreement is not a panacea for the sectarian and extremist violence that has been ripping that region apart but history may judge it a turning point, a moment when the builders of stability sees the initiative from the destroyers of hope.
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when we were able to show as have generations before us that when we demand the best room ourselves and insist that others adhere to a similar high standard, when we do that, we have immense power to shape a safer and more humane world. that is what this is about. that is what i hope we will do in the days ahead. thank you very much. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> the federal reserve rate has had low interest rates, what will happen when the fed raises interest rates? we are live at the brookings institution for discussion and 10:30 a.m. eastern on c-span2. and 2:00 p.m., homeland security secretary jeh johnson will speak to reporters about real safety
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and security at union station in washington, d.c.. is joined by tsa administrator. after, and amtrak's police chief. that's also on c-span two. >> "washington journal," is next, live with your phone calls . the u.s. chamber of commerce holds them meeting on the top economic workplace issues facing businesses at 10:00 eastern. talks about what the iran nuclear agreement greens -- means for global security is the house and senate fair to debate the deal. and we have a discussion on iraq's future from the center of international studies at 2:00. >> later, formal donald trump campaign adviser roger stone allegedly 16 presidential race, and his experience working for the gop candidate. fraley to human rights
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watch on the cause of the european migrant crisis and the role the u.s. plays in aid and relief. and neil looks at the senate's agenda and the iranian nuclear deal. host: good morning when congress returns next week it will be the iran that votes on the nuclear deal. it will be a measure agreement.g the this comes after democratic u.s. r became the 34th senator to announce her support for the deal. that is the number required by sustain a ution to presidential veto. it is thursday morning, and in r the three, new york republican presidential trump will hold a news conference. republican party is something