April 30, 2015 - Issue: Vol. 161, No. 64 — Daily Edition114th Congress (2015 - 2016) - 1st Session
IRAN NUCLEAR AGREEMENT REVIEW ACT; Congressional Record Vol. 161, No. 64
(Senate - April 30, 2015)
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[Pages S2544-S2545] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] IRAN NUCLEAR AGREEMENT REVIEW ACT Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, the Senate will soon resume consideration of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act. I expect we will consider several amendments today, and I continue to encourage Senators to come to the floor and offer them. The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act is bipartisan legislation that will ensure that Congress and the American people have a chance to review any comprehensive agreement reached with Iran, and it ensures they will be able to do so before congressional sanctions are lifted. Here is why that is critical. First, these sanctions are a big reason why America was able even to bring Iran to the table in the first place. We shouldn't be giving up that leverage now without the American people, through the Members of Congress they elect, having a chance to weigh in. Quite simply, the American people expect us to have an opportunity to evaluate this agreement or not. Second, Iran wouldn't just use the funds derived from sanctions relief to rebuild its economy. It is certain to use that money to fund proxy forces such as Hezbollah and to prop up the Assad regime. What is clear is that Iran is determined to use every tool--to use every tool-- at its disposal to expand [[Page S2545]] aggressively its sphere of influence across the greater Middle East. The regime's belligerent behavior in the Strait of Hormuz was just another reminder of that fact. But it reminds us of something else, too--our need to invest in the naval and seaborne expeditionary capabilities in the Persian Gulf, which will be necessary not just to retain dominance at sea but to contain Iran's military and irregular forces, as well. Today, though--today--we are focused on one point above all else-- that the American people and Congress deserve a say before any congressional sanctions are lifted. At the very least, sanctions should not be lifted before the Iranians fully disclose all aspects of research and development as it relates to the potential military dimensions of their nuclear program. Yet the interim agreement, as it has been explained to Congress, would bestow international recognition to Iran's research and development program, along with an international blessing for Iran to become a nuclear threshold state poised at the edge of developing a nuclear weapon. It is frightening to think what Iran might be able to achieve covertly in that context. Now, to a lot of Americans this all sounds quite different from what they were led to believe a deal with Iran would actually be about-- preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and dismantling Iran's enrichment capability. But that apparently has already been given away. So the American people deserve a say through their Members of Congress. The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act will ensure Congress gets a vote either to approve or disapprove of the comprehensive agreement. Just as President Obama's successor will need to modernize our military to deal with the challenges posed by Iran's aggression, so will the President's successor want to consider Congress's view of any comprehensive deal. A failed resolution of approval, as the bill before us would permit, would send an unmistakable signal about congressional opposition to lifting sanctions. Let me say that again. A failed resolution of approval, permitted under this bill, would send an unmistakable signal about congressional opposition to lifting sanctions. So now is the time for Congress to invest in the capabilities President Obama's successor may need to use to end Iran's nuclear weapons program if the Iranians covertly pursue a weapon or violate the terms of the ultimate agreement. And now is the time for Congress to pass the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act. ____________________