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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  September 12, 2015 4:00am-6:01am EDT

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out of court. now, if you read the "politico" article it specifically cites the reasoning behind this new district court finding. but -- lee: were they all waiting for this decision to come down? omri: i think they'd been looking for ways to enforce what they consider to be their prerogatives. one of the weird things about the kind of politics around the corker-cardin debate, and the side deals specifically that we're discussing today, is not meeting the corker-cardin requirements, which is to say, not turning over all of the documents that are relevant to the deal, is disobeying congress' prerogatives on a piece of legislation about congress' prerogatives. right, it's not just not enforcing legislation. it's not enforcing legislation that's specifically about enforcing legislation. and that was passed by enormous majorities.
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vetoproof majorities. and so i think that there were discussions about how to enforce congress' prerogatives that were ongoing, certainly there were discussions on wednesday before "the washington post" piece came out. but "the washington post" piece provided a rationale or at least outlined a rationale that had not existed. without being grandiose about this, in the history of the republic. this is a new thing. lee: very interesting. thanks, that was terrific. mike, if you can round us off. and give us an even larger picture that we already have here. michael: sure. omri just said that it's the first time in the history of the republic, but it reminds me that any issue of significance in american politics eventually finds its way into the courts. that's the kind of prediction that political analysis that i would like to produce. something that remains true forever. lee: i love someone tweeted that.
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michael: i love david albright's analysis. i said to them before we came in. there's two personalities in the world. hedgehogs and foxes, i think. he's a fox. he sees complexity, he likes to talk about complexity. i like to lump things together and make them very simple. so i'm going to simplify what he said and turn it into a crudely political statement and say that the administration caved in -- on serious inspections with regard to the possible military dimensions of the iranian program. the question is, why did they cave and what does it mean? what do these secret side deals mean? how come adults are doing business in this manner? for me, this whole question of the secret side deals epitomizes the entire approach to the
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nuclear question. or you can see, you can see imbedded in this or reflected in this the motives and the approach of the administration to the whole thing. let me -- that's a general statement. let me give you the specifics. one of the fascinating -- a lot of people are saying about the administration, when they see things like this, when they've caved on what we might call the more coercive measures of the agreement, so the inspections and verification and snapback and so on, when you look closely at these mechanisms, they evaporate. our colleagues here at hudson did a very good analysis of the so-called 23 days that the iranians have in order to oppose any effort to inspect a nuclear-suspect site. and under their analysis, which i think is very convincing, the 23 days quickly becomes many, many, many months. possibly even longer.
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because of the inability to bring this process to an end at any point and to actually coerce the iranians into getting what you want. as david sort of suggested, at a certain point, you find yourself, when you're pushing up against the iranians, the only option you have is, for lack of a better word, the nuclear option of blowing up the whole deal in order to get what you want from them. so it isn't a very effective mechanism. when people look at this, at the way that the administration has caved on these coercive measures, there's a tendency to say that we were bamboozled, that the iranians are master negotiators, they play chess, we play checkers. we're just smalltown american simpletons and they live in this complex middle eastern environment and so on. but actually the people running our government are more clever
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than that. they're not smalltown simpletons and they know what they're doing. they are presenting what is actually one kind of agreement as another kind of agreement. because as omri has told us, they've done -- and as i'm sure he's correct -- they've done extensive polling of the american people and they found out that the american people don't trust the iranians. and they don't want a u.s. strategy that is based on trusting the iranians. but the fact of the matter is the president decided almost from the moment he got into office, possibly even before he got into office, that we need the iranians as a partner in the middle east. and the logic is absolutely simple. the president, the most important decision that the president made about the middle east, about iran, was one he made when he was campaigning and that is that he was going to
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pull the united states back from the region. the minute you say you want to pull the united states back from the region, you are done as the leader of a serious policy designed to contain iran in the region. the only way then to affect that pullback is to come to some kind of accommodation with the iranians. the biggest problem you have is their nuclear program. so they needed a way to put the nuclear question off to one side. well, they got down to the serious business of aligning with the iranians against isis and other -- that's the bad isis, not the good isis that david runs. against isis and other actors. so, that's what this agreement in my view is really all about. yes, they do want to stop the nuclear program. that is a goal of the obama administration. but it is not the only goal they
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have and it's not the primary goal. the primary goal is to pull the united states back from the middle east and to come up with a regional security architecture that will allow the united states to stay out. these two goals have been working simultaneously all along and at a certain point they run counter to each other. because in order to pull the u.s. back they've got to reach an agreement on the nuclear program. and the iranians picked up on that and they recognize that getting the agreement was more important for the administration than anything else. and they realize that they could use it to their advantage and they can come up with -- the iranians could offer solutions that were not really solutions, that the administration would accept in the end. so you get to see the amount of creative intelligence that has gone into this on the part of the administration in order to present to us something that is really something else is
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startling. the side deals is a great example. first of all, you subcontract out some of the work to the iaea so you can say, well, nothing to do with me. i haven't seen those agreement, don't even know what's in them. it isn't part of some kind of secret arrangement that i have with the iranians. the other thing that they've done, which you can see if you read closely in the text of the agreement, is they have sequenced the issues so it looks like we're getting something that we're not actually getting. the sequencing in time is that the iranians have to answer the iaea's questions about the possible military dimensions of their program and the iaea will submit a report by december 15 and it's only after that, the submitting of that report, that we get implementation day for the agreement.
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that's the point at which the sanctions are removed from the iranians. that sequencing allows the administration to stand and say with a completely -- complete sincerity, complete straight face and total honesty that the lifting of the sanctions will not take place until after the iranians submit their answers to the iaea. totally true. what it doesn't tell you, though, is that it makes it sound like there's a conditionality applied here. that the iranians have to answer questions that actually satisfy us about -- and actually satisfy the iaea in some significant way, that we now know about the possible military dimensions of their program. but that's not what's going to happen. the iranians are going to submit
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answers. the iaea is going to submit a report and then the sanctions are going to be removed. regardless of what the iranians say and regardless of what the iaea puts in its report. now, both actors, the iranians and the iaea, recognize that they will be putting the united states and the entire p5+1, all of those european foreign ministers who have already been to tehran with trade delegations and so on, will be completely discomfited if the iaea says, you know what, the iranians stiffed us again. so the iranians are do their best to come as far toward the iaea as they can without actually delivering anything that the iaea really wants and they'll be under enormous pressure to produce a report that will not embarrass the americans and the other p5+1 partners. but even if he does implementation day still goes forward. because as the agreement is written, there is absolutely no conditionality. and that to me, that is what i say when i see it's reflective of the whole agreement. the president of the united states wants an agreement with
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iran and he wants an agreement with iran for reasons that have to do with nuclear questions, but even more so for reasons that have to do with the whole position of the united states in the middle east. and you can see this falling, you can see this unfolding before your eyes right now with the russians and the iranians coordinating in an increase in their support for the assad -- their direct military support for the assad regime. this is the direct outcome of the strategic concept of the americans, of working together with the russians and the iranians to try to tamp down the worst pathologies of the middle east. at some point we should start debating that concept. the administration has not come clean that that is the strategic concept that it's working. the president has not come clean.
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when asked if he thinks this agreement is going to lead to a greater flexibility of the iranians in the region, he says, the administration talks out of both sides of their mouth. they're saying, we hope that happens but that's not why. we don't trust them. we think the agreement stands alone as it is. is it is why they're doing it. they are doing it because of this larger concept and the larger concept is flawed. i'd love, lee, if later on we could talk about why it's flawed. but it's flawed and in the end it won't work. lee: this is what i do want to come back to. but david had -- i was going to ask him to comment even if he didn't volunteer to comment, on what you were saying about the iaea. david: i think my organization were split. i think what michael is saying is this is all cynical exercise. and the argument is, look, iran has modified parchin. the iaea is very unlikely to find anything. i don't want to get too technical but it's a testament of an initiator made out of uranium.
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it may have three grams, four grams of uranium in it. that was then blown up 13 years ago or more. and iran's had three years to eliminate any traces of that. and you see it all over the area, that they've done cleanup, they know where it went, they know the weather patterns that day, they know what they need to do. and they've experience at cleanup. in other sites. so they can -- so the cynical version is, they're not going to find anything so who cares if this is a weak deal? just get through this. get armando to place the iaea flag at parchin and say, we have access. another side of my group wants that, look, every step of this process we want the iaea to be doing the most rigorous verification possible. we want to make sure their credibility is strong, we want to make sure that if they go to parchin and they say we didn't find any uranium, that they can
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say it's because of, you know, modification and we believe that's true. or maybe they'll find uranium. maybe they'll get lucky. and they'll find uranium. but then you've got to show that that uranium was related to an experiment related to nuclear weapons. that's another problem i didn't get into. but that attribution is nontrivial. a lot of uranium in the world. you've got to detect it and attribute it properly. you want them to be doing the most rigorous methods possible in order to grain credibility in their findings. the other -- and then what michael's saying is, this is a box-checking exercises. the administration said you're not going to find -- we know they had a nuclear weapons program. we don't really care about the past. we care about the future. and let's just get through this. and get the sanctions off.
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i know i've been briefed by white house officials who say they do care. we're a very technical organization and we've dealt with technical people in various countries on this. we don't deal with the policy and the p.r. parts. and i know that by march, february -- no, march -- february, march, april of this year, that what i was being told in briefings by white house officials or -- was different than what n.g.o.'s were being told by more senior white house officials. and i even complained about it and the answer i got, well, you just have to understand it's different. lee: can you say how it was different? david: i don't want to go into any samples per se but it's over -- this would be -- let me use this. this would be an example where i'm told it does matter. if the iaea's concerns are not addressed and we can talk about what that means, it may not mean
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what you're thinking, that sanctions would not come off. but listen to secretary of state kerry. others are told, and you hear him say, what happened in the past doesn't matter. is that my phone? oh, i'm sorry. i thought i turned it off. so i think -- lee: it's not secretary kerry. david: yeah. the bottom line is that we don't know. in fact, when i commented on this difference in the briefings, my reaction was, look, the people who are briefing these n.g.o.'s, i think they're really spinning them. i mean, i'm kind of disturbed by how the arms control community has bought into a lot of stuff to win this fight. that is compromising their, i believe, their integrity. but the bottom line is that the people who are higher are spinning, where the technical, scientific people are lower. and i believe they're not. but who's going to control the
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decision on implementation day? that's really the issue. there's no meeting scheduled among the p5+1 to sit down and say, you know, they've addressed the iaea concerns. it will be up to what happens in the u.s. government mind on implementation day to make a decision on whether this condition would stop the lifting of sanctions. i'm not ready to predict what happens. we've approached this very differently. he used an example of fox or whatever. michael: hedgehog and a fox. david: we see it very differently. scientists in washington are constantly confronted with the reality of, if you're going to make a mistake, do it right. and what happens is that we see our role as we see problems and
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that we also want an integrity to the process. we do want it more transparent, of course. but we want an integrity to the process that the work is done rigorously and that it can with stand review. i think that motivates our work to a great extent. and that's also why we're neutral. we want to be able to look at the strengths and value those. we want to look at the weaknesses. and just get into it without thinking or hearing a voice in our ear, oh, my god, you support the deal, you better not say that. i can tell you, we get beat up all the time because left wing groups use our work or i guess right now the, in this debate, we've had these fights before on the aluminum tubes in iraq. august, september, 2000, our -- august, september, 2002, our work, say questioning the aluminum tubes used in centrifuges was certainly not appreciated by the right wing. and we took a lot of abuse for those positions. on the syrian reactor, we thought the site bomb by israel
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we thought the site bombed by israel was a reactor and many in the left attacked us. and went after us. for that. and we see this case today on the iran deal, particularly this summer, where the left i think is attacking us and it's in the similar vein. they're defending things that really shouldn't be defended. this deal has problems that have to be faced. and i think the iaea is one of them that you need to find a way, and this is where maybe i'm not as pessimistic as you, maybe it's just optimistic, the iaea has to find a way to strengthen what it's doing over the next several months. you're not going to change this iaea parchin deal or iaea-iran parchin deal. it's in place. they can try to make the best of it. they can then try to get access to other sites. they can do a rigorous job on the verification of the possible military dimensions issue. and try to come out of this with the strongest report possible in december and that can withstand criticism.
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lee: omri, i think you wanted to follow up. omri: this issue of what the white house was telling -- you know, most of the think tanks in this city have attempted to work with the administration in order to point out flaws over the previous two years and so on. that's happened both on the nuclear side, the stuff that david works on, but also in the context of the sanctions regime and so on. and there really was, the dynamic really did develop where the white house would be telling its validaters, these n.g.o.'s, one thing, and would be telling these experts that were trying to contribute a different thing. experts would show up with concerns like p.m.d.'s, with concerns like, you know, the iranians will push back against inspections, with concerns like what are you doing allowing the iranians to produce heavy water reactors after 15 years out of the agreement? and the experts would be told one thing and then the n.g.o.'s
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would be spun up and told something different. lee: i want to check. just make sure what david was saying, the experts were being told something by lower level officials who were themselves scientific or technical experts. omri: largely but not always. perhaps one of the gentlest things he could say was being spun up. -- as david was saying, more politically motivated. perhaps one of the gentlest things he could say was being spun up. then toward the end, especially the final days of vienna and after vienna, something very distressing began to happen which is that all of the excuses that were being provided to the white house validaters, to these n.g.o.'s, to go out and validate were actual concessions that got built into the agreement. so we do know on which side the actual text falls. on one side -- when it comes to things like p.m.d.'s, the possible military dimension of
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iran's past nuclear work, you know, experts were being told, of course these matter, we need them to baseline the program, we don't know how far the iranian as got, there are all kinds of technical details like it's important to know what kind of bomb design they were working on because that goes into calculations of how much uranium they need in order to produce that bomb which is the breakout calculation. so there are all kinds of experts saying, of course we need to resolve these p.m.d.'s. and then there was the spin that was, it crystallized in secretary kerry's statement to a teleconference which is, we have absolute knowledge of iran's past nuclear work and we don't need the iranians to tell us what they did. one was spin and by the way he was roundly, roundly criticized for that and the state department spent the next week walking back that statement. and yet that is the reading that was transmitted to congress. we know that among the documents that were submitted to congress,
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pursuant to its corker-cardin obligations, there were two documents that dealt with the p.m.d.'s issue at least two. one of those documents said, we've come to the conclusion that -- it's unrealistic and unnecessary to force iran to come clean on its past nuclear work because the u.s. intelligence community has judged that it has sufficient knowledge to detect an iranian breakout and to enforce the deal without having the iranians come clean. and then it said, for an explanation why, please see subsequent classified annex. so that's the first thing that, i believe it was the "wall street journal," that reported the existence of those documents. bloomberg view subsequently reported on the contents of that other document, the one that purports to explain why it is that the i.c. judges that it doesn't need iran to come clean on its past nuclear work and it turns out that that assessment is premised, without exaggeration, without hyperbole, it's premised on near total iranian cooperation with inspectors over the lifetime of the deal.
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right? in a very precise way, trust the iranians. so, when we talk about this very, very frustrating process that occurred as the jcpoa was coming together, where experts were being told one thing and white house validaters were being told another, one of the distressing things is that by the end, the spin had become the u.s.'s position. the experts' view that we need iran to come clean on its past military -- on the past military nature of its nuclear work was abandoned in favor of this spin that we know enough about what happened in the past and all that matters are the future. -- all that matters is the future. lee: thanks. mike, i think you wanted to respond. michael: i just wanted to say that the picture that david presented of lower level technical experts being committed to their job and thinking the best of all this, in contrast to --
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and not being influenced by political considerations, and higher level officials having a different view, is built into the d.n.a. of the obama administration. of course it exists in any administration, to a certain extent. but it's really heightened in the case of the obama administration. i think everybody now recognizes this. for a while it was only i think critics of the administration who said this. now i think everyone can see it. there is the president and four, five close people around him, and then there is everybody else. and the president and his closest advisors are often not sharing with the everybody else, some of their greatest concerns and calculations. we saw just in the last couple of days, there's a fascinating article in "bloomberg" about the russian move, the russian military move in syria.
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and first reaction of the state department, when this happened, was to go to the russians and the bulgarians and to protest them giving the russians overflight and staging rights for the russians to supply their forces in syria. but according to rogan, the president was very unhappy with this because the state department had run out and done this without consulting him. so my takeaway from that is that the president has one view about the relative advantages and disadvantages of what the russians are doing and the state department has another. and the president hasn't shared his thinking about the value of the russian and iranian actions in syria with the state department. and he's not going to do it. he's not going to do it because, precisely what omri explained to us, is that the american public
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does not trust the iranians and the u.s. strategy that is based on coordinating with the iranians is going to be politically illegitimate. lee: let me ask you, mike, you worked in the bush white house and we understand that this is a fairly -- it's not an unusual phenomenon, the idea that a white house and state department don't necessarily see eye-to-eye. these are different bureaucracies. with different ideas. white house is political appointees and state department is a permanent bureaucracy. how is this different? michael: it's different in that -- sorry, just to connect the dots. that's how you get to what david was saying before. you get actual technical experts who are presenting what the administration is doing with respect to -- on the basis of technical considerations and the traditional nonproliferation concerns that the u.s. government has, when those nonproliferation concerns are
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not what's actually motivating the difference is this. i talked to a high level of official about a year ago. thesis that the united states is aligning with iran. i pointed to a number of different examples where i saw that happening on the ground in iraq, syria, and lebanon. he said, you've got it totally wrong, mike. the thing about barack obama is that he approaches the region like a lawyer. each problem in the region is a separate file, so there's an iranian nuclear file, there's an iraq file, there's a syria file, there's the palestinian file and so on and so forth. and he adamantly refuses, he treats each case on a case by case basis and refuses to make a connection between the different
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cases. and i look at that, that's what it looks like if you're a high level official in the obama administration dealing with the president. "new york times" famously described the president in a meeting about syria where he was thumbing through his blackberry , reading, distracted while this discussion about whether the united states should arm the opposition was going on or not. my view on that is the president had in fact connected up all of the dots. he just wasn't sharing the connections that he had made with his officials. he was allowing meetings like this one to go on, allowing the bureaucracy to do different things, keeping everybody busy, because he knew that the siegel most important thing was what he said in a letter to the wall street journal -- don't worry, mr. supreme leader, the united states will not do anything on the ground in serial to harm
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assad. this is the guarantee he gave to khamenei. if you look now, for a couple of years, we have been arming and training the syrian opposition and have spent $500 million on training. we produced what? actuallyrs who have signed a declaration saying that they won't do anything to harm assad. nowhere has president obama gone out in public and said, i'm not going to do anything to harm assad because i made this promise to khamenei, because i don't want to do anything to throw a wrench in the works of the iran deal or because i want to coordinate with iran in the region. he hasn't said that publicly and he hasn't told that to his officials in the syria meeting where everything is going around. he let that meeting go around and around and around and finally, when the national security -- the major members of the national security council said, we should arm the opposition, he said, no, i don't want to do it.
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he ate up months and months of government time debating this issue and then nixed it and that's what's happened time and time again. all what that matters in the end is what we do or don't do to stop iran on the ground in these areas. and as long as he is comfortable knowing that we can make sure that we don't do anything to stop them, he gets what he wants without ever declaring what it is. lee: david, i was going to ask you a question unless you wanted to say something, just wanted to change, just wanted to change tracks a little bit. does the parchin deal, does the parchin side deal, secret side deal, does this hurt the iaea? i don't think the administration is necessarily looking to hurt the organization, but do you think it does? david: the short answer is i'm worried it does. but i think there needs to be some background.
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the united states has tremendous influence with the iaea. but it doesn't pull its strings. and kind of as a background, i don't know if you remember in the press there was discussion that the negotiators were going to put in -- create a list of sites and people that the iaea would get access to. and that that was going to be kind of -- the reporting was it was going to be hard-wired into the deal. they went to the iaea and they said, look, we have our own list. in essence, kind of pushing back. i don't think the negotiators really knew what to do. so, i would think that this iran-iaea deal was not done with the approval of the united states. again, this is just my own experience.
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i don't think they would have said, go do this. they have been pretty clear in meetings i've had, they want access to parchin. they don't -- some of them don't think anything will be found. lee: i want to be clear, the u.s. does or the iaea does? david: the u.s. wants access the iaea to have access to parchin. they want the iaea to have access to other sites that are associated with p.m.d. and the reason is simple. iran can't create presidents -- ts thatnt -- preceden sites in iran are off limits. the safeguards agreements do not distinguish between military and civilian sites. under the traditional safeguards agreement, the iaea can go where it needs to go and there's no such distinction. it can ask to go to a military site. the board wouldn't have said, you can't do that because it's a military site. it never would have done that. so the united states has strongly wanted to have the precedent set that iran can't deny access. but they want a deal. and so this gets into a very
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complicated debate. how's the u.s. going to react? i think part of the problem i've seen from, again from europe is that i think both sides are so distorting the facts, i mean, let me be honest, that it's hard to have an honest debate and an objective debate about this. we live on the left. that's where we are. i'll admit it. my group wants nuclear disarmament. and we see iran and north korea as the front line of efforts to get nuclear disarmament. not wrestling with u.s. nuclear weapons stock pile sides, so we're deeply committed to these causes traditionally associated with the left. and we're deeply disturbed by how the left has bought into positions and says things that don't even -- aren't even consistent with their own views. secrecy at the iaea, that's traditionally a left view, iaea needs to be more open. large centrifuge programs, millions, hundreds hundreds of
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thousands of centrifuges in iran in 15 to 20 years. i mean, most of them are anti-nuclear power or at least don't buy into large sensitive enrichment programs in dangerous regions of the world. and yet they did. and have. so i think there is a need to pull back from this kind of polarization, to have a more honest discussion. and in that i would say that the implementation of this deal does matter and that the united states and others, the public, should be pushing that the iaea do a rigorous job, they recover from this iran-iaea or this parchin deal and that they push hard to get access to bolster their credibility. and make sure, with the support of the member states, that they march into this, you know, postimplementation day agreement as strong as possible. and then i would say, what do we do? this is a town that works with congress. i would hope that congress does
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create legislation that puts in conditions to make sure that the deal is implemented better. i mean, we've proposed one, again, i don't know, we don't lobby and follow all the politics of it, and it seems very chaotic right now, that congress would pass a law that said, u.s. sanctions, again, it would be u.s. sanctions wouldn't be removed unless iran addresses the iaea's p.m.d. concerns. you could have one -- on another issue, you could have policy of the united states, we don't accept iran building an unnecessary, uneconomical, large, and i emphasize large, they can have some, large centrifuge program after year 13, is when it starts to happen, in a dangerous region of the world. it's just our policy to oppose that. doesn't mean you renegotiate the deal. you just say, look, we're going to oppose that. what does that mean? well, the country sells a nuclear power plant to iran and
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china's talking about it now, i'm sure russia has been, you say, look, all the fuel has to be provided for that reactor for the lifetime of the reactor. you eliminate any motivation for iran to produce the enriched uranium or even have an argument to produce the enriched uranium for those reactors. it is going to be hard enough to get a program large enough, but you could simply say that a condition of supply is that all -- condition of suppliers is that all the fuel is provided for that reactor, would not be provided indigenously. if iran wants reactors, it will sign that deal. and i can give other examples where you can actually create policies or actions now that can , in a sense, mitigate the weaknesses of this deal. lee: omri, did you want to follow up? among other things, i would like to ask you to, politically speaking, what are the mechanisms that you think have led to -- i just want to go through one more round and open up to a question or two.
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what are the political mechanisms or exigencies that have led to this moment where we wound up with this agreement, parchin, secret side deal, and how do we avoid it and the -- in the future? omri: sure. one of the hallmarks of this debate is it's a more specific version of what mike was talking about, which is, this has not been -- and i suppose a more specific version of what david's talking about -- this has not been a clean public debate. this has not been a debate -- a lot of this debate has occurred with not just different claims being made, but claims that were either in one way or another not binding. the usual way that the risk of oversimplification, the usual way policy proceeds is policymakers lay out their goals, they articulate why they
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believe that a particular policy has more benefits than costs and then they defend them. but we've gone through a two-year process where the administration repeatedly told lawmakers, please back off. if you give us breathing room, we will do things like -- of course the iranians will be forced to come clean, under secretary sherman, every time they went to the hill, emphasized that. of course inspectors will have to get access to parchin, state department spokeswoman once sarcastically brushed off a reporter who asked about that and said, i think we would find it very hard to accept an agreement where inspectors didn't have access to parchin. we would shutter fordo. we would get them to dismantle centrifuges. and then, as those commitments to fall by the wayside, a number of things happened. the main one was this claim that often was done unblinkingly of, well, we never said that in the first place. of course this got to the level
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of absurdity with the any time, anywhere inspections, where secretary kerry said, nobody ever mentioned any time, anywhere to me. and people said, secretary z, who is sitting next to you, mentioned that. that happened in interviews, it happened during testimony. we haven't had the usual way the public deliberation proceeds which is on the basis of, doesn't have -- listen, nobody's asking and it will never be achieved and actually existing democracies, nobody's asking for absolute facts, absolute honesty. everybody comes to the table as a computer. but the idea that there's no accountability for past commitments, commitments made to lawmakers, commitments articulated to journalists, commitments developed in public, is a very strange thing, even if you don't assume the doran thesis that there is actually a grand strategy being pursued that involves, if not full blown realignment, then at least entente with iran. even if you don't accept that.
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from the outside looking in, it's just a very strange debate. but there is reason to believe that that's being pursued. it's not just the right and not just opponents of the deal who have said that what's effectively being negotiated is entente with iran. the policy chief, i think he's the policy chief, at the pro-iran lobby here in town wrote an article about a month ago that said that israel will find itself completely internationally isolated unless it accepts u.s.-iran entente as foreseen by the deal. so it's a very, very strange debate. the answer to your question, this is the side deals debate in a macrocosm, the answer is, there need to be more transparency. the corker-cardin legislation was designed to allow a more robust public debate, having facts in hand about what the
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deal actually does. which is one of the reasons why this side deals issue and why the p.m.d. issue has legs both politically and in a policy sense and in a public affairs since. -- sense. it's because just to take these documents that were submitted, congress asked the president to submit documents outlining what actually is in the deal, so they could have this debate in public. the documents that were submitted we now know were either, in some cases full-blown -- fully classified, so, again, the p.m.d.'s issue, right, which was kind of -- people rolled their eyes when this came out. a kind of nonpublic document that says the administration has concluded we don't need iran to come clean and then it says, and for the reason why, see the classified document that's also attached. it made a mockery of that requirement. but we also know more broadly but we also know more broadly that those documents, and i believe it was the daily beast that reported this, the administration appears to have gone out of its way to mix classified with nonclassified material, into each of the documents they submitted in turn, in order to prevent them from being disclosed publicly.
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and that undercuts the ability to have a debate and, again, why do you overclassify something? you overclassify something accidentally or because of institutional needs or because risk-rewards indicate you should classify rather than declassify. but a lot of the reasons you classify something is to prevent embarrassment, and that appears to have occurred a lot during this debate. lee: mike, would you like to -- then i think i'm going to open it up for a question or two, but if you would like to summarize, as it were? michael: i'll just say that, with respect to what omri just said, i, too, have been disturbed by the way that the administration has presented things. on monday in a way that it completely contradicted on tuesday. and then nobody is troubled by it. but i would also add that this has played out and this has played out from the moment the
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interim deal was signed in november of 2013. the final agreement that we got was pretty well prefigured in the interim agreement. the interim agreement gave the iranians the right to request right -- course and the request recourse and the right to enrich. time, while the negotiations and agreement was being negotiated, we suck greater and greater coordination between the iranians and the u.s. on the ground in the middle east, to the point where we saw shiite militias enjoying the air cover of the united states air force. informed, has been
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and what is surprising to me is the number of people who have seen this clearly and have pretended not to. i can't completely explain why that is. >> we saw some of the statements coming out, especially some of the democratic senators coming out in support of the jcb away, -- jpcpoa. if you look at a lot of people coming out in favor of the deal, it is really like he's enteric writing -- esoteric writing. they're describing why the deal is deeply problematic. some people do actually recognize it, but -- >> the way the administration has helped those people emotionally get over there by its latest talking point, which is that we are going to push back against the iranians after the deal, and the
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deal was going to help us do that in the region and help us do this pushback. it is the new slogan. on the one hand, we have this picture of the deal that will strengthen iran economically, militarily, and diplomatically, and it will do so immediately. you can see that happening before your eyes with the trade deals and so on, with the russians releasing the 300 antiaircraft missiles, so on and so forth. you can see it happening before your eyes. the administration is saying, yes we are strengthening iran, but we are going to push back against it. if you believe that, go ahead and support this deal, but it is simply not going to happen. it is not going to make pushback easier. iss pushback talking point
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something that plays out among a number of things we have discussed him about at the biggest talking point is this idea that the administration consistently says whatever they have to say to get through new facts and testimony until on the ground made it untenable. in september 2013, we were going to enter iran's nuclear program. that was secretary sherman's explicit testimony. my 2014, some of that has changed, but by then we will have a verification regime that will be the world's toughest and have anytime, anywhere inspections. the iranians simply said, no, we continue to give up, until our goal began -- became a one-year break out. no coming clean by the iranians. the fear among skeptics of this
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isl and critics of this deal that this administration down on to double sections enforcement. it will take its place alongside the resolution of pmd's, the dismantling of centrifuges. as a promise the administration made to get congress to back out of for long enough to create new facts on the ground. we are already seeing that. at the same time be a ministrations as it will double that on sections enforcement, we leaders -- quds force leaders under travel bans traveling to russia. fox news quoted literally flight number and the flight times of the plane that was taken to
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moscow in violation of the international travel ban, and the administration for several days said, "we just don't know." it was a caricature of looking the other way. literally as they were on the hill saying we will double down on sections enforcement in order to provide the emotional buttressing to those who are concerned about iranian expansion. after this, there is nothing left. the reason why they had to make these commitments to congress, the latest being the pushback and to double down argument, is because congress has been in a position to jam up what lawmakers leave is a bad deal. bipartisan majorities in both chambers to believe it is bad. once that is over, there will not be another commitment of this sort, because the administration will not have to do it. the fear is that there will be insteadntability and
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of pushing back, we will end up seating syria to russian court nation. >> against the to those issues. -- i can't speak to those issues. i would just caution that there are a lot of positive things in this agreement. sure, the duration is not one of them. based on my experience in europe , our allies were not particularly happy with that. the 20 to 30 year range was the original goal. the 10 years is just not enough. an easy negotiation. it is an agreement that is very long, has lots of moving parts, and decisions were made in the negotiation and i don't think it was made by obama -- i think was made by competent that would try to win on this or insist on winning on that, they would give on that. it is an imperfect deal, but it
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is the deal and it is going to have to be omitted. i would argue that there is a need to try to fix these weaknesses rather than draw party lines and continue this battle and definitely. i think israel will be shooting itself in the foot if it does not start contributing very actively to try to strengthen this deal. i think it can be done, i think there is support around the world, i don't know how many of you have read about the procurement. it is a key part of this agreement, both on the verification side and on trying to enforce bans on iran getting arms and missiles. it still has to be created. there will be important meetings alongside the general assembly -- >> there is another place where
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their allies -- >> the iaea thing is very important. there is no intention to get iran to confess. it should, but it doesn't seem that -- and my understanding from negotiators, it it is not the supreme leader saying, oh my god, we would never have nuclear weapons, it is who gets blamed for sanctions. the iranian narrative blames the west for all of its suffering on sections. if they said we did have a nuclear weapons program, guess what the iranian dust -- domestic arguments -- domestic audience is going to conclude. that issue cannot be settled until there is some resolution on the sanctions. >> i'm sorry, what issue? >> that i wrong -- iran could come clean. to do with the thought law. it has everything to do with who gets blamed for sections in iran
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and . iaeank the idea of the effort is not to get iran to come clean, it is to say, we think this is what has happened. this and that, it didn't get there were couple is that goal. to know the people, -- or accomplish that goal. to know the people and the sides. it could just be that iran had a nuclear weapons program. that may be all that takes place. and theird access credibility is not undermined, that would be, i would argue, the sufficient outcome of this whole issue. again, i think that it is very important to try to find ways to strengthen this deal and get the on some of -- get beyond this fight.
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there will be global warfare in the house to undermine the deal. in the 1990's, we supported the deal despite the iaea being thrown under the bus. same arguments -- there will be war, you cannot let the iaea do their job, it will cause soldiers to be a serrated. -- incinerated. we made a deal and reluctantly went along, but congress didn't -- and every time you need a money, it was a nightmare. and lindsey graham has art he said it -- would -- has already said it. we would hold up money for the iaea. if you are trying to kill the bill, it is not -- the deal, it is not a crazy strategy. debate to shift the how we strengthen this, even though many don't like it. i would argue that -- the discussions in europe were very different. it is really different.
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you don't have this congress to there is much more of a willingness to look at the pluses and minuses and move on. no one is saying this is a perfect deal, not anyone i have talked to. what they say here i heard is very different than what they may say there. >> michael? >> in the spirit of bipartisan compromise, i will say that i am in favor of giving the iaea to money and needs to do its job. >> did you have anything else? , we think we do have time started a little late, so let's take one or two questions. that gentleman all the way in the back -- i think we have a microphone circulating, so if you could just wait one moment. student at george
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washington university. you are discussing the kind of if, then thing for congressional and the trust between congress and the administration, how congress has repeatedly tried to undermine the deal throughout the process and not getting it all the breathing room that is possible. and how that has affected the administrations trust of congress. the two way relationship has become difficult from both sides. i was wondering what your opinion would be on how congress constrict and the deal -- can strengthen the deal going forward. >> thank you. the theory that this started off as a relationship of trust and the descended into distrust is a difficult one to sustain, if that asause we know now
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early as january 2014, in the case of this particular meeting, the national security advisor ben rhodes was taking meetings -- withator's validator's to discuss how congress could be iced out of the process. that meeting was to create a front that would circumvent congress. whether or not that was justified -- the secretary kerry said the reason they did not pursue a treaty is because they knew they could not get 3. -- could not get two thirds. i think that at various times, -- less was left cooperative and at various times more cooperative, but there is been an enormous appetite in congress for the last two years to pass nonnuclear sanctions, which are explicitly permitted under the jcp away.
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they were told to not mess this up for us. of course you are a lad to do it, but please don't. and congress didn't. republican and democratic did not.s i think congress has provided an enormous amount of breathing room over the better instincts of many of its members. i believe it was senator booker, one of the democratic senators who came out in support of the cpoa, he said i think we haven't made them -- we have made a mistake by not pursuing more sections. moving forward, congress will have to do -- congress will have -- there will be efforts to kill the deal and strengthen the
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deal, but one of the things we're going to see as an effort to work with the administration to make good on their pledge to double down on nonnuclear sanctions. if it does turn out that the pledge for nonnuclear sanctions was another one of these commitments that were made just to get of the news cycle, then i think you'll see a record of all -- irreparable harm to the relations. >> let's take one more. this gentleman right here on my left. >> thank you. i am a recently retired state department officer. in the last week or so, one of the new aspects has been that the agreement allows for some limited continuing research on uranium. but it stops any research on plutonium. whatu really want a bomb,
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you really want is plutonium. i wonder if you can comment on that spin. >> there was a new york times piece on the iraq reactor. thing, theut a key plutonium separation. the iraq reactor was secondary to enrichment, and part of the main reason is that it was not done. it turned out it was not close to being operational. iran would said that it -- had said that it did not have a plan to separate the plutonium produced in the reactor. this gives iran the ability to make weapons grade uranium that can then use -- be used in a bomb. when finished, it would give iran the ability to have plutonium and spend fuel. they needed a reprocessing plant.
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yes, we think iran was working on that years ago, but it stopped. -- the uranium enrichment part is always gotten priority. everyone is happy with the limitations on the iraq reactor, for sure, but the story i think has been -- i think over several find what was happening. -- oversimplified what was happening. keep in mind, i don't know anyone who has made a bomb using uranium oxide. they use metal. iran is committed not to do that alongch indefinitely, with several other nuclear weapon eyes asian activities. -- nuclear weaponization activities.
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i don't know who originated, certainly and of the french were big proponents. i think that is an important achievement. it is also another reason why you want parchin to go right. that experiment is related to the development of a nuclear weapons component. it is very small scale hard-to-find and you want the iaea to be able to go places quickly without challenge in order to verify that those kinds of activities are not taking place. in the final agreement, it is going to be the nuclear weapon eyes asian activities that are banned. will have to verify them, and they are difficult to verify. if you cannot get to the military sites, you cannot verify that part of the agreement at all. >> david, thank you very much. i think that will bring our panel to a close. i want to thank david albright and michael durand. and i want to figure c-span audience and
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>> next, a house floor debate on the iran to clear agreement. calls on washington journal after that. first lady lou hoover used your office to advocate volunteerism and charity. as the depression deepened their one term ended a mixed overwhelming public frustration. first ladies, influence and image. examining the public and private lives of the women who filled the position of first lady and their influence on the presidency. from martha washington to michelle obama.
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republican-led house voted 260 the iran reject nuclear agreement. democrats were able to block a vote carotene that any legislation will not have to face a presidential veto. to the president authority to waive, suspend, or reduce sanctions on iran. it would need to be approved by the senate. here is the house for debate. floor debate. earned the right to be trusted? now, if the answer to that is yes, then i'd ask how. tell me how iran has earned this right to be trusted? if the answer is no, then obviously you would have to
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verify if you trust. if you don't trust. but if you actually look at the verification in this deal, in many cases we're finding out from these secret agreements, it's actually iran varyfying for themselves that in fact they are going to be nuclear-free. you know, i'm a veteran of yirke iraq, and one of the things largely forgotten in this debate is that iraq is responsible for the deaths for the hundreds, if not thousands of american soldiers both directly and indirectly through the explosive foreign penetrators they send to iraq to kill american troops. you know, the other thing is iran in this deal -- there's all this talk about iran cheating. we know it's in the d.n.a. of iran to cheat anyway, but they don't even need to cheat. they can follow this deal to the t and become a zero-time breakout nuclear state. you don't even need to have nuclear weapons to have the same kind of power if you're a zero-time breakout nuclear state. you just need to have the threat to marry a nuclear
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weapon to an intercontinental ballistic missile, which by the way we give iran the right to have in year eight. icbm's married up to a nuclear-tipped weapon. and iran can take weapons from russia, europe, frankly the united states if we wanted to sell it to them, because we lifted the arms embargo against them. south korea, the united arab emirates asked us to enrich uranium, friends of the united states and we told them know because of our dedication to keeping nuclear weapons out of the wrong hands. so we denied our best friends the right to enrich uranium and we're getting ready to give it to our worst enemy. this deal will in effect end the nuclear nonproliferation treaty for the world because we can never deny anybody the right to enrich uranium in the future. with that i urge the rejection of this deal, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. .
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mr. conyers: i'm pleased to recognize the gentleman from washington, mr. mcdermott, for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is recognized for two minutes. -- mcdermott: mr. speaker the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is recognized for three minutes. mr. mcdermott: mr. speaker, by now i should be used to the wild and spurious charges my republican colleagues will level at the administration when they know they are about to lose a big battle. this is an extremely well conceived arms agreement that does exactly what needs to be done when it comes to preventing iran from getting a nuclear weapon. if it's enforced. that is not -- there is not an argument or an objection against it that has not been debunked by actual regional and nuclear experts, on both sides of the aisle.
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not yet a single republican in the entire united states congress is willing to consider the deal's exceptional merits. not a single one. now, that's politics. that's not policy. instead we spent two days watching the republicans trip over themselves on how best to unanimously disapprove of this deal. if we disapprove, where does it lead? you heard either to war or -- let's go get another deal. that's not going to happen. everyone told us that's not going to happen. it's the same neocons that led us into 15 years of war in the middle east now want us to leave the thing open with iran. don't settle it. we have seen secondary -- secretary kerry and secretary moniz go toe to toe with the iranians for months during the through the night meetings and countless strained arguments,
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our diplomats ultimately delivered the most far-reaching, far-reaching nuclear agreement in history. there's nothing that compares with what we have here. that's real leadership. of course we have seen this shameful campaigns of misinformation and vitriol before. obamacare, if you were to play the obamacare arguments, they are the same ones you are hearing today. fear, fear, folks. you're going to lose your doctor. lose everything. and yet we now have it in place and 20 million people have more health care. now, we are seeing it again. a republican, teddy roosevelt, said it best. credit goes to the man who is actually in the arena whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood and who survives valiantly who at best knows in the end triumph of high achievement and
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at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so his place shall not be with these cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. the president has gone out of the line. he's listened to this stuff for two years and came back with an agreement which is -- you got experts in israel. you got experts around the world saying that this is a good deal. now, imagine we were making this agreement 70 years ago with the japanese. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. mcdermott: we would have the same argument. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. mcdermott: vote against this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. yielding myself such time as i might --
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: i yield myself two minutes. i want to underscore the point the gentleman from illinois made a few minutes ago. this deal effectively shreds the bipartisan nonproliferation treaty. . bipartisan accomplishment an accomplishment that has served to curtail proliferation for 50 years now. as a consequence of this action, for the first time, we are going to make an exception for iran, an exception that everyone else is going to demand. and we are going to see an arms race if this deal goes through. not just in the middle east but threaten s going to the wider world as well. i yield one minute to the gentleman from missouri -- the gentlelady from missouri, mrs.
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hartzler. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from missouri is recognized for one minute. mrs. hartzler: i rise today to voice my strong opposition to the president's nuclear agreement with iran. it is not good for america or her allies. the administration would have us believe that the only alternative to this deal is war. those of us saying this is a bad deal are not advocating for war. we are advocating for a better deal. one that effectively prevents iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon now, 15 years from nourks and into the future. instead of preventing a nuclear weapon capable iran, this deal allows iran to keep its nuclear infrastructure, gives iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief to promote terrorism and throughout the region, does not allow for any time, anywhere inspections, lifts the arms embargo, allows iran to aguirre intercontinental ballistic missiles, and does nothing, nothing to free the
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four american hostages being held by iran. quite simply, this is a bad deal that aims to solidify a legacy rather than prevent a nuclear weapon capable state sponsor of terrorism. i urge my colleagues to reject this deal. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i'm pleased now to recognize the gentleman from minnesota, mr. nolan, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota is recognized for two minutes. mr. nolan: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you members of the house. first of all i want to compliment all my colleagues for all the time that everyone has spent going through the classified, the documents, listening to the hearings, to the ambassadors from all the other nations, listening to people on every side of this issue. the decision we have to make right here now today is what does this decision ultimately -- what are the consequences ultimately of this decision?
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and the fact is we have learned that iran is only several weeks away from the possibility of developing a nuclear weapon. those are the hard cold facts we have been told. they haven't because of the sanctions and the restriction that is are in place. they have enough fissile material to make eight to 10, maybe as many as 12 nuclear weapons. so what does this deal do? it makes them give up 98% of that fissile material. they won't have enough to build one bomb if this agreement is fully implemented. it makes them get rid of 2/3 of the centrifuges. they will not be able to develop one bomb if this deal is implemented. if this deal is implemented, we retain the support of the international community, all of whom are committed to seeing to it that iran does not have a nuclear weapon. and for those who prefer a military option, it is not taken off the table. we need to remind ourselves that until all of these conditions are met, none of the sanctions
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are lifted. and they can be snapped back in a minute. we've got 24 hours, seven day a week, camera inspection. we have unprecedented inspection. if they violate this agreement, we'll know about it. we can snap back the sanctions, and for those who want a military option, that is still on the table. this agreement gives peace a chance. this agreement gives diplomacy a chance. it's something that we can ill afford. the opposite may very well be, may very well be something that forces us into another war in the middle east costing us trillions in treasuries. costing us blood and creating the prospects of a conflageration that is unimaginable and unacceptable. we must give diplomacy a chance. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield one minute to the gentleman from arkansas, mr. steve womack.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arkansas is recognized for one minute. mr. womack: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the chairman for his leadership. on this issue. mr. speaker, over the last few days our nation has heard from its elected representatives on the joint comprehensive plan of action, affectionately known as the iran nuclear deal. i stand here today to add my name to the list of members who recognize what a terrible deal this is and the grave danger a yes vote creates for humanity. it's been said by most that this will be one of the most important votes a member will cast in his or her term in congress. i agree. it's been said by many it paves the way for a nuclear armed iran. i agree. it's been said by many that lifting of sanctions will further destabilize an already troubled region. i agree. and it's indisputable, mr. speaker, as most have admitted, that iran is the largest state sponsor of terror. i could go on and on. self-inspections, biffles,
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retention of centrifuges, side deals. mr. speaker, this is not just a bad deal. it's unconscionable that we would consider anything that leaves a path for iran to possess a weapon as this agreement does. a yes vote, mr. speaker, will be on the wrong side of history. i urge my colleagues to stand with the american people. defeat the resolution. and stop -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. r. conyers: mr. speaker, i recognize -- yield two minutes to mr. pascrell of new jersey. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for two minutes. mr. speaker, with all the rhetoric invoked around this agreement, i am reminded of what president ronald reagan since his name was used just a few moments ago by the leader,
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when he told soviet leader gorbachev in november of 1985 when they discussed the nuclear arms reduction. go back to history. and not have selective history. president reagan said this, i bet the hardliners in both of our countries, as he spoke to mckale, are leading when we shake hands. if that doesn't resonate, what will? and when the united states ruck an agreement with the soviet union, two years later to reduce the size of our nation's nuclear arsenals, president reagan received much criticism, including as conservative columnist george will put it, for accelerating -- listen to
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this. the moral disarmament of the west by elevating wishful thinking to the status of political philosophy, unquote. almost 30 years later we see president reagan's actions were not a capitulation to an entrenched enemy, but instead of underpinnings of a larger strategy that reduced the nuclear threat. look, this agreement should not be judged on its ability to curb iran's hateful rhetoric or role in destabilizing the middle east because that was never the goal of the agreement. no agreement can be perfect. but i am not convinced that a, quote-unquote, better deal which exists only in the abstract at this point, will materialize if congress were to reject the one before us.
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rejecting this agreement, mr. speaker, would require the world's largest economies who are party to this multilateral agreement to follow our lead and reimpose sanctions. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. pascrell: i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield one minute to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. ryan costello. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for one minute. mr. costello: mr. speaker, this is a bad deal. even many of those who have found a way to justify voting for this deal can see it's a bad deal. this deal enables iran more money to fund terror, accumulate more power, and it will lead to a nuclear arms race in the middle east and those points around disputable. this deal authorizes iran so much control over the inspection process that it is not possible to say that this deal provides the level of verification that even the administration demanded up until a few months ago. why do i say that? because we can't even see what the inspection procedures are. other than that iran gets to
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inspect itself. there's not accountability to iran in this deal. mr. speaker, i am perplexed how one can vote for this deal without knowing what the actual inspection and verification procedures are. we are sacrificing our strength and leverage to the unknown. what is known is that the statements coming out of tehran over the past week reinforce they cannot be trusted, that they will play games, and this their motives are evil and that their terror -- terrorist activities will continue. vote no to this deal. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. i yield one minute to the gentleman from michigan, representative tim walberg. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for one minute. mr. walberg: mr. speaker, i thank the chairman and the ranking member in a bipartisan way for doing the work necessary to inform the american people as
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well as our body of the concerns here today. so i rise today in strong and bipartisan opposition to the president's dangerous deal with iran. . this gives iran ultimately everything they can, paving a way to build a nuclear build and destabilize the middle east. it gives them billions in sanctions relief that will be used to finance terrorism. it gives iran 24 tace to cover its tracks before inspectors are allowed in. it even includes secret side deals that president, congress and the american people have not seen. meanwhile, four americans tragically languish in iranian prisons, including one michiganian. mr. speaker, in moments like this, party politics must take a backseat to the safety of the american people. i urge my colleagues to stand with our ally, israel, stand for security, stand for peace, stand for america. don't reward iran for spreading
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terrorism, abusing human rights and holding americans hostage. we ject this deal and let's de-- reject this deal and let's demand the right one. i yield become. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: we reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield one minute to the gentleman from indiana, mr. todd rokita. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana is recognized for one minute. mr. rokita: i thank the chairman. mr. speaker, constituent, deborah, visited me the other day and owns a restaurant in indiana and she was perplexed about this agreement. one of the things she mentioned, in her restaurant, osha, the e.p.a. and anyone else from the federal government can come and inspect her at any time with no notice. such is the case with this upside down administration. our own americans can be inspected at any time, yet, when it comes to the world's
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biggest sponsor of terrorism, we can't inspect them at all. we have to go through a third party and wait at least 24 days. common sense turned upside down. except in this case, mr. speaker, it's with grave danger to americans and grave danger to our friend, israel. now, the president says it's either this deal or war, and in fact there is no other deal, and i think that's false. in fact, i believe this deal in all likelihood bring war. and why do i think that? we're putting $150 billion back in the hands of iranians, and i want to know who here thinks they're going to build holts, who they'll use that $150 billion to help -- hospitals, who will use that $150 billion to help iranians? please reject this deal. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: we reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california.
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mr. royce: i yield one minute to the gentleman from maine, mr. poliquin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maine is recognized for one minute. mr. poliquin: thank you, mr. speaker. the iranian government has american blood on its hands. it vows to kill as many more u.s. citizens as it can. it's committed to destroying israel and it funds, trains and arms terrorists throughout the middle east. this nuclear deal with iran does not dismantle their program. it rewards iran with $100 billion in cash in frozen assets, and there are no anytime anywhere inspections. in five years, iran can develop or buy conventional weapons, and in eight years it can buy or develop an intercontinental ballistic missile. now, some members here in the house and in the senate hope hat these radical mullahs will abandon their request to become a military power.
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i submit to you, mr. chairman, mr. speaker, that hope is not a national security strategy, especially against those who wish to kill us. mr. chairman, the best way to protect our homeland and to keep us safe is to reject this deal. i encourage everybody. thank you, mr. chair. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, we're prepared to close on this side. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: and i'll reserve the right to close then. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker and my colleagues, just over half century ago john f. kennedy in an era of difficult engagements with the soviets said, let us never negotiate out of fear but
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et us never fear to negotiate. president obama's diplomacy with iran is grounded in strength and realism, but it's animated by something all too rare in foreign relations, hope. this is a strong deal that represents our best hope for less -- lasting security and peace. as a veteran, i stand with our president and support this deal. thank you. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield myself the remainder of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. president reagan walked away from a bad deal in iceland. he walked away and then he
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applied pressure and as the consequence of that pressure he then got a good deal. in the case of this administration, they did not walk away from a bad deal during the interim agreement. as a matter of fact, this administration rejected the stronger pressure that this house passed with a vote of 400-20 and held that back up -- that bill up in the senate during its negotiations in the prior congress and did not give us the leverage we needed for a good deal but that is still available to us. and frankly we all have experience with north korea. we remember what happened, but iran won't have to cheat like north korea did to get close to a bomb. and that's because the essential restrictions on iran's key bomb making technology expire. they sunset in 10 to 15 years. and after these restrictions expire, iran will be left with
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an internationally recognized industrial scale nuclear program and that is what the president concedes. as the president said of his own agreement in year 13, 14, 15, iran's breakout times would have shrunk almost down to zero. a former state department official testified to the foreign affairs committee that this sunset clause is a disaster. it will ep able the leading state -- enable the leading state sponsor of terrorism to produce enough material for dozens of nuclear weapons, all under the terms of the agreement. as another expert witness pointed out, the bet that the administration is taking is that in 10 tore 15 years we will have a kinder, gentler iran, but we're not going to have a kinder, gentler iran because we are releasing to an $100 billion in immediate
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sanctions relief. that's the down payment. s iran is guaranteed in this a reconnection to the global economy. now, the point i want to make to the members here, that does not go to the average iranian. it is the quds forces. it is the irgc. it is the clerics that took over the major corporations in iran, and they are the ones that are going to receive that $100 billion, and we already know the impact of that. it is going to solidify the supreme leader's grip on power. that's why he did the deal, to keep his revolution intact. we had the bottom falling out of the price of oil. we had hyperinflation in iran. we had -- we were in the position had we exerted the additional pressure to force a real choice between economic collapse and actual compromise on this program rather than what we got.
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but by removing economic sanctions, the president is withdrawing one of our most successful peaceful tools in confronting the regime and as a result 200 retired generals and admirals concluded this agreement will enable iran to become far more dangerous. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. ryan, is recognized. mr. ryan: mr. speaker, i will yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. ryan: mr. speaker, i think this is a terrible deal. this administration has made a lot of mistakes when it comes to foreign policy. this has got to be the worst
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one because this deal will not stop iran from getting a bomb. this deal will all but guarantee it. we went into these negotiations saying that iran had to eliminate its nuclear program, all of it, full stop. now they're saying that was unrealistic. too unreasonable. too high in the sky. and we're handing over hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief. so iran gets billions of dollars in exchange for what, for taking up some, not all, just some of its nuclear program? and then in 10 or 15 years, all of these limits expire. in other words, they're getting something for essentially nothing. it's a steal, and that's if they don't cheat. now, the administration says
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that this deal will bring about unprecedented transparency. we'll get regular access, they say. we'll see what iran's up to, they say. but if the inspectors think something's up, iran has 24 days to cover its tracks, and in some cases iran's own inspectors will get to collect the evidence. finally, against all of the advice from our military, we are going to let iran buy ballistic missiles in just eight years. mr. speaker, you only buy ballistic missiles if you're looking to build a bomb. i get why russia and china like this idea. they get another big customer. but i don't for the life of me understand why we would ever agree to this. mr. speaker, the president -- the president's taking a huge gamble here. he thinks if we make nice with the iranian regime they'll
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change their ways, bring them into the global economy and they'll become more like us. now, i think the iranian people, they want democracy. they want freedom. but we are not talking about the iranian people here. we are talking about an extremist regime that is unaccountable to their own people. this is a regime that chants "death to america." this is a regime that funds terrorism all around the world. has is a regime that called for wiping israel off the map. i'm all for diplomacy, but i am not for rewarding a rogue regime. i'd also point out that the sanctions we are lifting will let european and asian companies build up iran's economy and they will make the regime even stronger. and should iran start to cheat,
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which they have a pretty darn good track record of doing so, it will be that much harder to put back in place the sanctions. our trading partners, they'll feel the pinch and they won't want to hold this regime accountable. so i want to stress how firmly i oppose this deal. i know the president may have already lined up enough support to save his deal, but with this vote, with this vote we need to send a message to both iran and to the world the regime, the regime may have bamboozled this administration, but the american people know this is a rotten deal, and i fear that because of this deal the middle east and the world at large will only become a much, much more dangerous place. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. levin: before i yield
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myself such time as i shall consume, i'd like to yield 30 seconds to the ranking member of the budget committee, mr. van hollen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for 30 second. mr. van hollen: thank you, mr. speaker. and i thank my friend, mr. levin. this agreement represents the best path to achieving our goal of preventing iran from ever obtaining a nuclear weapon, and it advances the national security interests of the united states and our allies, including israel. i ask that the remainder of my remarks be placed in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. levin: thank you, mr. speaker. for far too long we faced the nightmare of iran with nuclear bombs. impacted by heavy sanctions, iran finally agreed to negotiate, led by the united states and five other nations. after agreeing on a framework, which iran complied with, the parties completed the
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much-detailed joint comprehensive plan of action. when i issued my statement of support for jcpoa six weeks ago, its fate was uncertain. what decisively turned the tide was the impassioned leadership of the president with secretaries kerry and moniz, combined with a momentus outpouring of support outside the political realm from a vast array of scientific experts, experienced diplomats, key figures from all religious faiths, a wide variety of military leaders and informed expressions from major former governmental figures of the highest integrity, including colin powell. .
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it also became increasingly clear that there was no other workable alternative. this point was reinforced by the joint statement yesterday from prime minister -- british prime minister cameron, french president holland, and chairman chancellor merkel. they said among other points, and i quote, this is not an agreement based on trust or any assumption about how iran may look in 10 or 15 years. it's based on detailed tightly written controls that are verifiable and long lasting. iran will have strong incentives not to cheat. the near certainty of getting caught and the consequences that would follow would make this a losing proposition.
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it is now absolutely clear that the jcpoa will go into effect. requiring the initial set of detailed obligations that iran must fulfill. .t is therefore time to go on this institution, which has been a major center of attacks on the jcpoa, would hopefully have those who opposed now join with those who support the agreement and work together to rekindle the kind of overall bipartisanship that senator van denburg of michigan urged should apply to key foreign policy issues as they approached the water's edge. surely this kind of rekindled bipartisanship needs to be undertaken in particular to take steps to deepen support for
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israel's security. to fight and defeat terrorism. and to rekindle efforts for viable peace negotiations. i urge my colleagues to vote yes on h.r. 3461, which is a vote of approval for the comprehensive agreement that would prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. i urge my colleagues to vote no on h.r. 3460, which would suspend the president's authority to waive sanctions and in effect prevent him from implementing the comprehensive agreement. i close, it is indeed time to move on and to take next steps. tolure to do so with instead perpetuate partisanship will, i
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strongly believe, be counterproductive for any who try it and for our entire nation. we can and we must do much better. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california is ecognized. mr. ryan: you mean wisconsin? the speaker pro tempore: wisconsin. mr. ryan: please, please, don't say california. mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to yield 1 1/2 minutes to a member of the ways and means committee, the distinguished lady from kansas, ms. jenkins. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from kansas is recognized for a minute and a half. ms. jenkins: i thank the gentleman for yielding. sanctions are about more than nuclear weapons. they are about the principles and values america holds dear. iran continues to hold american prisoners hostage. sponsors terrorism around the world. and american soldiers have died because of the terrorist actions
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of iran. iran st this week the supreme leader said, israel will be destroyed within 25 years. now, every lawmaker must ask, are we willing to put $150 billion into the hands of an iranian regime who chants death to america and wants to eliminate israel from the earth? we must ask, are we willing to risk american lives on the promises of a leader who believes those same american lives are worth nothing? i refuse to sit idly by while this administration leaves the safety, stability, and security of everyone, everywhere at the whim of iran whose neighbors fear them and allies consist of the assad regime and hezbollah. this agreement with iran would threaten all that we hold dear.
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i encourage my colleagues to join the bipartisan opposition against the iran deal and instead support the security of america above the dangerous desires of iran. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back of the the gentleman from wisconsin reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. levin: it's now my pleasure to yield four minutes to mr. rangel, to put it mildly, a senior member of our committee. mr. rangel: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman from new york is recognized for four minutes. mr. rangel: my fellow members, this is an historic occasion for the house and very emotional time for me because unfortunately i have known -- i have known the horrors of war and i speak for all of those that had this horrendous experience to say that we should
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always give diplomacy a chance before we put any american in harm's way. i don't think any of us with any degree of certainty have any idea whether this agreement is going to hold. or we can contain the criminal and human ambitions of the leadership in iran. what we do know is that the international powers p, not just f china, not just of russia -- powers, not just of china, not just of russia, but the united kingdom, france, germany, and thinking the united states of america truly believe that this is the best possible way to avoid war. it would seem to me that now is
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in the time for us to engage exchanges that separate and bring us apart as a nation. the rules of the house and the senate make it abundantly clear that whether you like it or not this is going to become the policy of the united states of america. this will not be the policy of president obama, of democrats or republicans, but the policy of our great nation. it pains me as i'm about to leave service in this august body that we have people in this hamber that have such hatred and disdain for the leadership of this country that they would
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put this feeling above what is the best policy for the security of this great beloved nation of mine. i know that if the president of the united states was able to walk on water, there would be people in this chamber that would say, see, we told you that he couldn't swim. -- i what i am saying if don't think i can do that because you said that china and russia supporting this because they want to sell arms to iran. nd i think that was despicable because that includes united kingdom, that includes france, that includes germany, that includes people that are talking about this is the best way that we are able to do this.
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so what i am saying is this. 14 years ago a terrible thing happened to my country, to my ity, when terrorists struck on 9/11, and now we have the opportunity to bring our country together the way we did then. 14 years ago there were no republicans, there were no democrats, there were americans that would say we have to come together. we are not going to change this agreement. this is the policy of the united states of america or soon will be. should we not be saying, what is the enforcement, what are we going to do, what happens if they violate it? are we here to embarrass presidents, republicans or democrats, or are we here to preserve -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman is recognized for 30 seconds.
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mr. rangel: thank you, mr. chairman. or are we here to preserve the dignity and the integrity of the united states of america no matter who is the president? if ever there was a time for us to come together and support the policy, the time is now. thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan reserves. mr. ryan: i give myself 15 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized. mr. ryan: mr. speaker, the oldest trick in the book, if you cannot win a debate on the merits is to impugn the other person's motives. people who are opposing this agreement, whether they be republicans or many of the democrats who are opposing this agreement are opposing this agreement because it's a terrible agreement and there is no other reason. with that i yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentlelady from tennessee, a member of the ways and means committee, mrs. black. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will remind all persons in the gallery that they are here
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as guests of the house and that any manifestation of approval or disapproval of proceedings is a violation of the house rules. the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. black: thank you, mr. speaker. this nuclear deal isn't much of a deal at all. it's a gift to the iranian regime. we're sorry we gave them permanent sanction relief to the tune of $150 billion in exchange for temporary enrichment restrictions. mr. speaker, the ayatollah calls the united states a great satan. just this week he said that israel will not exist in 25 years. imagine that evil that this regime can carry out when they cash in their billions. under this agreement iran will undoubtedly become the central bank of fear. what's more, with this deal we shrunked off the opportunity for time anywhere inspections. instead we gave iran and opportunity in many ways for
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investigations of their nuclear sites and conceal the signs of compliance. even worse, under the secret side deals, that was not transmitted here to congress, we learned that iran will be allowed to self-inspect a key military base. so to be clear, members of this body who vote for this agreement will be voting for a deal that they have not seen in full. mr. speaker, i'm not prepared to tell tennesseans that i represent that the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism without knowing every last deal. we cannot and should not leave anything to chance when it comes to the security of the america and our allies. i will be casting my vote on behalf of the tennessee's sixth district against this dangerous deal. i urge my colleagues to do the same. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from wisconsin reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. levin: i now yield 2 1/2 minutes to another so valuable member of our committee, mr. lewis from georgia.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for two minutes. mr. lewis: i thank my friend, the ranking member, for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise in support of diplomacy, a pathway to peace. for many months i thought long and hard about this decision. attended briefings, red documents, and met with citizens of my district. i even had a long executive session with my staff. i reflected on the words that dr. martin luther king jr. to call upon us to rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter but beautiful struggle for the world. the way of peace is one of those principles as thought and reflection, i believe that this is a good deal. no, it may not be perfect, but do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. i remember standing on this very floor seven years ago and
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speaking against a war in iraq. i said again and i will say gain today, war is bloody. it destroyed the hopes, aspirations, and the dreams of a people. the american people and the people around the world are sick and tired of war and violence. we do not need more bombs, missiles and guns. when you turn on the news, when you read the newspaper you see a mass dislocation. too many people suffering and many are desperate for a chance at peace. i believe in my heart of hearts that this may be the most important vote that we cast during our time in congress. to put it simple, it is nonviolence or nonexistent.
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it is my hope that my vote today, along with the votes of others will be a down payment for peace toward a world community with itself. maybe with this deal, we will send a message that we can lay down the burden and tools of war. maybe we can come together as a family of human beings. mr. speaker, we have a moral obligation, a mission and a a chance. give peace thank you. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. ryan: at this time, mr. speaker, i'd like to yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from ohio, the speaker of the house. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio, the speaker of the house, is recognized for one minute. the speaker: let me thank my colleague for yielding. my colleagues, later today we'll cast two votes and these votes will be amongst the most consequential votes that we'll cast some of us in our careers.
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our founding fathers charged both the president and the congress with providing for the common defense for good reason. it's the core responsibility of our federal government. it's the key to our freedom and for all of our opportunities. and that's why at the front of the oath every member takes it states, i do solemnly swear that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic. so as we consider this nuclear agreement with iran, it's our duty to determine whether it will keep america safe. sadly, this deal is far worse than anything i could have imagined. why? because the president and his negotiators broke every one of their promises. does this deal dismantle iran's nuclear program or shut off their path to a nuclear weapon
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as they promised it would? no. instead, it allows iran to keep thousands of nuclear centrifuges spinning as they are today. and within 10 years in the best case, it allows iran to achieve a nuclear status. was this agreement full-on verification? no. it appears the side deal will trust iran to self-inspect a key site where the regime conducted tests on nuclear detonators. of course, we have not seen that side deal and we don't know if there are other secret components. does this agreement allow inspectors to have anywhere 24/7 access as they promised it would? no. inspectors would have to wait up to 24 days of access to suspicious sites.
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will sanctions snap back? no. the administration admits that nothing at the u.n. happens in a snap. does it shut down iran's ballistic missile program as they promised it would? no. actually the agreement lifts the arms and missile embargos n five and eight years respectively. and they are allowed to build icbm's capable of delivering a warhead right here in the nited states of america. does it help the leading sponsor of terror? yes. it gives them billions to support terror around that part of the year and it gives amnesty to the shadow commander responsible for the deaths of hundreds of american troops in raq.
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and this is all without iran cheating. the ayatollah won't even have to cheat to be just steps away from a nuclear weapon. so today we are going to cast two votes and these votes are aimed at stopping president obama from unilaterally lifting sanctions on iran and ensuring ccountability. my colleagues in pursuing this deal with iran, president obama refused to listen. he ignored the concerns of the american people, national security experts and a bipartisan majority here in the congress. and now he's trying to enforce this deal over our objections. never in our history have something with so many consequences for our national security been rammed through with such little support. today is september 11. today for all americans to come
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together and for us to keep the oath we swore to our constitution. so our fight to stop this bad deal frankly is just beginning. we will not let the american people down. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan. mr. levin: it's now my pleasure to yield one minute to our leader who indeed, as she goes leader , has been our on this effort, the gentlelady from california. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for one minute. ms. pelosi: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding and i thank him for his leadership, for the courage it took for him and the humility to listen and to learn what was in this legislation and this agreement and that is something that i commend the members of the house for doing,
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to listen and to learn. our distinguished speaker just referenced the oath of office that we take when we become members of congress, and it is a vow that we make to the american people, to protect and support our constitution and our responsibility to protect and defend the american people. today, mr. speaker, we will vote on an agreement to make america safer. indeed, to make the world a safer place. so say the nuclear scientists and the diplomats. so say the military and security leaders of both parties or of no party. so does the faith community beseach us to do. this morning father conroy offered a prayer to god to, quote, help the members of this house to recognize that you are with us in our deliberations. indeed, as we cast our votes on
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this historic agreement, we were thankful to god that god was with us to, again, give us the humility to learn and the courage to act. and for that we should all be grateful. it's important to note that support for this agreement, as i have said, comes from both sides of the aisle, hundreds -- more than 100 former diplomats, democrats and republicans, ambassadors, etc., wrote, in our judgment the agreement deserves congressional support and the opportunity to show it will work. we firmly believe that the most effective way, mr. speaker, to protect u.s. national security and that of our allies and friends is to ensure that the tough-minded diplomacy has a chance to succeed before considering the more costly risks and alternes