(House of Representatives - October 25, 2017)

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[Pages H8212-H8217]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 3, 2017, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Zeldin) is recognized 
for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader.

                             General Leave

  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks 
and include extraneous material on the topic of my Special Order.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from New York?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Speaker, earlier this month, President Trump 
decertified the Iran nuclear deal. Tonight, during this hour, several 
Members of Congress will be speaking here on the House floor about the 
President's correct and necessary decertification, and discussing the 
urgent need to address Iran's problematic nuclear and nonnuclear 
  The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA, otherwise known as the 
Iran nuclear deal, is deeply flawed and very one-sided for what is in 
it, and it is fatally flawed and deeply one-sided for what is not in 
  The so-called deal props up the wrong regime in Iran, the world's 
largest state sponsor of terror, with a jackpot of $150 billion of 
sanctions relief.
  The United States made a slew of permanent concessions in exchange 
for temporary concessions on the part of the Iranians--a point that 
comes into greater focus as the sunset provisions are analyzed.
  This deal is not a pathway for how to prevent Iran from acquiring a 
nuclear weapon, it is a blueprint for exactly how Iran can acquire a 
nuclear weapon.
  We can and must do better. President Obama said this agreement was 
not built on trust, it was built on verification. I am still waiting 
for an answer on how you can support a deal based on verification 
without knowing what the verification regime is.
  The verification agreement between the IAEA and Iran still hasn't 
been submitted to Congress, and Secretary Kerry has admitted that he 
never read it.
  We have learned, though, that Iran collects some of their own soil 
samples and inspects some of their own nuclear sites. No U.S. 
inspectors are permitted to participate in any of these inspections at 
  The verification regime must become adequate and transparent, and 
Americans should know what the verification agreement is.
  Since the JCPOA was entered into, Iranian aggression in the Middle 
East, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere has only increased. These bad 
activities have only gotten worse since all of the leverage that 
brought the Iranians to the table was negotiated away in the JCPOA.
  Iran has continued to illegally test fire intercontinental ballistic 
missiles and finance terror. They even seized one of our naval vessels, 
subsequently holding hostage and publicly embarrassing 10 American 
  Iran has committed to wiping Israel off the map, and they chant, 
``Death to America,'' in their streets on their holidays, all while 
unjustly imprisoning American citizens. They call Israel ``the little 
Satan'' and America ``the great Satan.'' These are, unfortunately, just 
a few of Iran's bad activities.
  It is so important to note that Iran has not only violated the spirit 
of the nuclear deal with its nonnuclear bad activities, it has also 
violated the letter of the deal. For example, Iran spins

[[Page H8213]]

more IR6 centrifuges than they are allowed to under the JCPOA. They 
have assembled more IR8 rotor assemblies than they are allowed to. They 
have attempted to acquire carbon fiber that they agreed that they 
wouldn't. They stockpiled more heavy water than they were supposed to 
under the JCPOA. Iran is also not allowing any inspections at all at 
any of their military sites. Iran is not only violating the spirit of 
the deal, but they are also violating the letter of the deal.
  President Trump was absolutely correct to decertify the JCPOA. If 
Iran is serious about helping turn the JCPOA into a truly reasonable 
agreement, then they should make those intentions clear, both in 
private conversations with the United States and the other countries of 
the P5+1, but also in their public rhetoric. Many of Iran's other bad 
activities will need to cease.
  If Iran does not want to save the JCPOA, then the sanctions should 
immediately ramp up.
  Throughout this next hour, we will discuss the President's correct 
decision to decertify, as well as the urgent need to eliminate Iran's 
problematic nuclear and nonnuclear activities.

                              {time}  1900

  Joining me tonight are Members of Congress from all across our great 
country who are deeply passionate about America's best interests and 
supportive of the President's decision to decertify the Iran nuclear 
  At this time, it is my great pleasure to welcome the distinguished 
gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Joe Wilson, a leader on the House 
Foreign Affairs Committee and throughout all of Congress, who 
oftentimes has been to the Middle East, who is a grandson of a veteran, 
a son of a veteran, and a proud father of four veterans.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. 
  Mr. WILSON of South Carolina. Mr. Speaker, I thank Congressman Zeldin 
for his leadership. We sincerely appreciate his leadership for American 
families, particularly based on his service in Iraq.
  Mr. Speaker, on October 23, 1983, an otherwise peaceful Sunday 
morning in Beirut, Lebanon, there was, tragically, a disruption of a 
suicide truck bomb that crashed into the Marine Corps barracks, killing 
241 courageous U.S. Marines. This was the deadliest attack, 21,000 
pounds of TNT, since the U.S. Marines were in the Battle of Iwo Jima. 
Investigators determined that Hezbollah, an Iran-backed terrorist 
organization that has targeted America and our allies for decades, was 
responsible for the attack.
  The 34th anniversary of the Beirut attack serves as a solemn reminder 
that we have a responsibility to defeat Hezbollah and radical Islamic 
terrorists across the globe, many of whom are financed by Iran, all the 
way from Niger to the Philippines. It is important that we defeat the 
terrorists overseas to protect American families at home.
  President Donald Trump's decision to decertify the Iranian deal was 
correct. President Trump is protecting American families. The deal was 
reckless and dangerous from the start; it never served the interests of 
American families; and it threatened the safety and security of America 
and our allies in the region, from Israel to southeastern Europe, 
Greece, Bulgaria, and Romania.
  I am grateful to join Members of the House, especially my colleagues 
on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in promoting the fight against 
global terrorism. This includes tougher sanctions like those being 
considered by the House that target Hezbollah and its financiers in 
Tehran, and it includes working together with President Trump's 
administration that is committed to peace through strength.
  I am grateful to thank Congressman Lee Zeldin from New York, an 
appreciated Iraq veteran, for his leadership and for being firm with 
the Iranian regime, which subjugates its extraordinary people.
  As the father of four sons who have served our country overseas, I 
want to say once again: God bless our troops, and we will never forget 
September the 11th in the global war on terrorism.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Speaker, I thank Congressman Wilson for his continued 
  Mr. Speaker, at this time, it is my privilege to bring up a freshman 
from Tennessee's Eighth Congressional district, David Kustoff. Last 
Congress, I had the privilege of being both the lowest-ranking Jewish 
Republican in Congress and the highest-ranking Jewish Republican in 
Congress. But now that we have David Kustoff from Tennessee here, we 
voted for each other to chair the Jewish Republican Caucus of two, and 
1 day we may have a minion. These are our dreams that someday may come 
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Kustoff).
  Mr. KUSTOFF of Tennessee. Mr. Speaker, I thank Congressman Zeldin for 
his leadership on this very important issue.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to applaud the President's decision to 
decertify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or what is known as 
the Iran deal.
  This deeply-flawed Iran deal has failed to prevent the Iranian regime 
from ballistic missile testing and overall hostility that threatens 
American national security interests. Quite frankly, this was a bad 
idea from day one.
  Most recently, on September 23, 2017, Iran test-fired a new long-
range missile that could carry multiple warheads, and is the country's 
third test of a missile with a range of approximately 1,240 miles.
  An Iranian news agency further stated how this missile ``adds to 
Israel's misery and will be their nightmare.''
  As we have seen, Iran continues to be the world's largest state 
sponsor of terrorism, and the IRGC has known connections to Hezbollah 
in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.
  Over these past few years, we have seen these terrorist proxy groups 
carry out attacks on American troops and innocent Israeli civilians. In 
addition, Iran has gained access to over $100 billion in previously 
frozen assets, enabling the money to be funneled to various terrorist 
  From the frequent ballistic missile tests to supporting terrorism and 
funding proxies, such as Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen, Iran has escalated 
its aggressive behavior since the deal was signed just 2 years ago.
  Ultimately, this deal temporarily pushes back Iran's ability to build 
up its nuclear infrastructure and does not cease the Iranian regime's 
ambition to become nuclear after 15 years. The bad deal, therefore, 
ushers Iran into a nuclear club, where it can continue to test uranium 
pathways and pursue illicit nuclear materials, unbeknownst to the IAEA.
  President Obama entered that poorly crafted agreement using 
unilateral executive authority, quite frankly, circumventing the 
consent of Congress and disregarding the will of the American people. 
As we have seen, this was clearly a bad deal from day one. It does not 
stop Iran's path to obtaining a nuclear weapon, but, rather, paves it.
  As we work in Congress to implement further sanctions against the 
Iranian regime, we must work toward a strategy that protects our allies 
in the Middle East and effectively prevents Iran from obtaining nuclear 
weapons. We must remain vigilant against those who wish to inflict harm 
on America, and stand united with our allies around the world.

  Mr. Speaker, again, I thank Congressman Zeldin for his leadership.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Speaker, I thank Congressman Kustoff for his 
important, insightful words.
  Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure at this time to introduce the 
gentleman from Florida's Third Congressional District. He is an 
important voice on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, very learned on 
these issues related to Iran and the Middle Eastern region especially, 
and a great Member here in Congress.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Yoho).
  Mr. YOHO. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the leadership of Mr. Zeldin and 
I appreciate him using that word ``learned.'' It feels good.
  You know, this is an interesting thing, because I was there during 
the time that John Kerry and the President were negotiating this deal.
  Keep in mind, this is a deal that John Kerry and the President agreed 
to, but nobody signed. We didn't sign it, our Senate never voted on it, 
and Iran didn't sign it. So this is a deal in paper only that nobody 
has signed. If you

[[Page H8214]]

were to do any business transaction in the real world, this piece of 
paper would be worthless.
  I want to mention words of one of our previous Presidents. It has 
been about 60 years after President Dwight Eisenhower announced that 
Atoms for Peace Program, and one lesson is clear: ``Civilian nuclear 
programs flourish only through cooperation and openness. Secrecy and 
isolation typically are signs of a nuclear weapons program.''
  So here we are. I have in front of me the Institute for Science and 
International Security, August 31, 2017, and in the introduction, it 
says: ``One of the most serious compliance issues concerns the IAEA's 
access to military sites and credible verification of Section T, which 
prohibits key nuclear weapons development activities and controls dual-
use equipment potentially usable in such activities. In this report, 
the issue of verifying Section T is discussed. The absence of credible 
implementation and verification of Section T undermines the 
effectiveness of the JCPOA.''
  My colleague, Mr. Zeldin, brought up that we know they are using IR-6 
and IR-8 centrifuges. We know they have the carbon fibers that they are 
not supposed to have. We also know that they have overproduced heavy 
water more than two times. The first time, we bought it at the American 
taxpayers' expense. The other two times, it has gone to Russia. The 
only reason you would have an excess of heavy water is if you are 
producing nuclear fissile material.
  In addition to that, the heavy water--the inspections that we are 
supposed to do anytime, anywhere,--John Kerry said this over and over--
anytime, anywhere, that we can go, and if they are noncompliant, the 
sanctions will snap back. They must have used an overstretched rubber 
band because nothing has ever snapped back.
  With the IAEA supposedly being able to inspect anywhere, there are so 
many places that are off limits. It is only those areas that Iran says 
that we can go in and inspect. Parchin military site is a place that we 
know they detonated a nuclear trigger. We have not been able to go in 
there and check the soil, Yet we have to accept their word that they 
are checking the soil.
  I brought this up in the committee, and I am going to repeat it here. 
It would be like having a drug addict testing his own urine sample and 
taking it to the lab. It is just not the way to do business in the 21st 
century on something that is so important.
  During that time, when we negotiated or when the deal was being 
negotiated, there was an intelligence report--I don't know if you were 
in the Congress then, but there was an intelligence report that had 
always had Iran as a state sponsor of terror. The year this deal was 
done, state sponsor of terror was taken off. And when we questioned 
about it, they said it was an oversight. This deal just stinks from the 
  John Kerry said: No deal is better than a bad deal.
  This is a bad deal. The President should decertify it. It does not 
take us out of the deal, but it allows us to put the pressure back on 
Iran so that they are fully compliant with the letter of the law.
  If we don't hold up people to the letter of the law as we move 
forward in future negotiations, i.e., North Korea, why should they 
follow the letter of the law?
  So this is high time that we do this. I appreciate it, and I thank 
the gentleman for doing this.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Speaker, Congressman Yoho brings up some very 
important points. The Iran nuclear deal was an unsigned political 
commitment. Those were the words that were given to us by the 
administration, and to think that we wouldn't have even asked for a 
signature on something so important was foolish.

  The next speaker tonight in this important Special Order in support 
of President Trump's decision to decertify the Iran nuclear deal and 
the need to address Iran's other problematic nuclear and non-nuclear 
activities is a freshman from my home State of New York, someone I 
served with in the New York State Legislature, and we are really 
excited to have her here serving with us in the Halls of Congress. She 
has hit the ground running and is very passionate about our military, 
our veterans, and also especially why we are here tonight, the path 
forward with regards to Iran.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from New York's 22nd 
Congressional District (Ms. Tenney).
  Ms. TENNEY. Mr. Speaker, I am grateful to Congressman Zeldin. 
Obviously, we, from New York, all are so proud for his service as an 
Iraq veteran, and also for his leadership in serving both in the State 
Senate and also representing our great State in the House of 
Representatives on this very important issue.
  Mr. Speaker, on October 13, President Trump made the informed 
decision to decertify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the 
JCPOA--or I am going to refer to it as the Iran nuclear deal--and to 
develop, for the first time, a holistic strategy to address the Iranian 
menace. I applaud this sound choice, which prioritizes the safety and 
security of our citizens and the American homeland.
  Predictably, the flawed deal with Iran has done nothing to stem that 
rogue nation's aggression and misbehavior domestically, in the Middle 
East, and throughout the globe. Quite to the contrary, by front-loading 
the benefits to Iran, the Iran nuclear deal is funding these 
destabilizing and dangerous activities.
  Human rights abuses continue against the Iranian people as citizens 
who dare to speak out against the oppressive regime face imprisonment 
or abuse. Supporters of the Iran nuclear deal told the American people 
that this deal would lead to a more open Iran, with a renewed 
acceptance of diverse voices and opinions from within.

                              {time}  1915

  Mr. Speaker and my colleagues, there have been already over 450 
executions in Iran this year alone. Obviously, the so-called moderates 
within the regime with whom we negotiated the Iran nuclear deal either 
aren't as moderate as we thought or are simply irrelevant in this 
  The American people were told further that the Iran nuclear deal 
would bring Iran into the fold and make the nation a more productive, 
contributing member of the international community.
  Sadly, but not surprisingly, Iran's transgressions in the region 
continue to be appalling. The Iranian regime is expanding its malicious 
network of control through increased financial and military support for 
terrorist organizations, including Hezbollah and Hamas.
  In Syria, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps has provided fighters 
and expertise to the brutal Assad regime that gases and brutalizes its 
own citizens. Iran has shown no signs that it is interested in pursuing 
peace or even curbing its malevolent behaviors. Chants of ``death to 
America and ``death to Israel'' continue as Iran rapidly develops its 
missile program and engages in proxy conflicts with the U.S. and our 
  I thank the President and my colleagues, as I indicated, especially 
Congressman Lee Zeldin from New York, for continuing to shine the light 
on this important national security issue.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Speaker, I thank Congresswoman Tenney for being here, 
for her remarks this evening, and for her leadership on this important 
  It is my pleasure at this time to yield to Congressman Andy Barr, who 
is a leader on the House Financial Services Committee. He has been very 
active in the efforts as it relates to sanctions. It is also important 
to note that it was sanctions that brought the Iranians to the table, 
and applied an incredible amount of economic pressure.
  The Iranian regime that is in charge desperately needed relief in 
order to get through their next election, and now the Iranians have had 
an opportunity to experience life with that sanctions regime and life 
without it. Chairman Barr is a very important voice here in the Halls 
of Congress for ensuring the right leverage is on the table to deal 
with Iran's nuclear and non-nuclear activities.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Barr).
  Mr. BARR. Mr. Speaker, I thank Congressman Zeldin for his leadership 
on this issue; his voice in criticism of this flawed nuclear deal with 
Iran; and, of course, for his valiant service to the United States in 
the military.
  I rise tonight in strong support of the President's decision to 
decertify this

[[Page H8215]]

deeply flawed JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal under the Iran Nuclear 
Agreement Review Act. I agree with the President's finding that Iran is 
not transparently, not verifiably, and not fully implementing the 
agreement. I agree with the President's finding that continued 
sanctions relief is not in the vital security interest of the United 
  That is because the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran was 
a dangerous and historic mistake. The deal provided the mullahs in 
Tehran with roughly $100 billion in upfront sanctions relief in 
exchange for Iran's promise, future promise, to temporarily pause its 
enrichment program.
  Unfortunately, the agreement contained fatally deficient verification 
protocols and the International Atomic Energy Agency now concedes that 
it has no capacity to verify that Tehran is engaged in activities which 
could contribute to the development of a nuclear explosive device. That 
is because under the terms of the agreement, the very terms of the 
JCPOA, international inspectors are barred from accessing Iran's 
military sites where elicit nuclear activities are most likely taking 
  President Obama's promise that there would be ``anytime, anywhere 
inspections,'' but that promise was replaced with ``managed access'' to 
suspect nuclear sites in which international inspectors must appeal to 
Iran, Russia, and China in a bureaucratic process that would take days 
during which Iran could remove anything covert and in violation of the 
  As Congressman Zeldin correctly pointed out, we don't even know what 
the verification protocols actually are because we haven't been able to 
access the secret agreement between international inspectors, non-U.S. 
inspectors, and the leadership in Tehran.
  But the most serious concern is not that Iran would cheat. It is that 
even if Iran is fully complying with this agreement, bad outcomes are 
guaranteed. First, Iran will be allowed an arsenal of nuclear weapons 
in as little as 10 years. Under the very terms of this agreement, Iran 
was not denied a nuclear weapon. The path was paved for Iran to have an 
arsenal of nuclear weapons with international sanction.
  Iran was not required to dismantle key bomb-making technology. It was 
permitted to retain vast enrichment capacity, and it was allowed to 
continue research and development on advanced centrifuges, and it will 
be allowed to continue to acquire intercontinental ballistic missiles. 
Intercontinental ballistic missiles.
  Why do you need intercontinental ballistic missiles if you have 
peaceful designs for your nuclear program?
  Those of you who are listening at home across America, remember this: 
an intercontinental ballistic missile is not a missile designed for Tel 
Aviv. An intercontinental ballistic missile is designed for New York 
City; for Washington, D.C.; for Atlanta, Georgia; for Los Angeles, 
California; and for Seattle, Washington; and for Chicago.
  Our homeland security has been jeopardized because of this fatally 
flawed agreement. Iran will receive a sanctions relief jackpot. They 
have already received upwards of $100 billion so far. In my capacity as 
the chairman of the subcommittee that oversees sanctions, oversees the 
Treasury Department's implementation of sanctions, I can say that we 
have heard it. We have heard the reporting that, as a result of this 
agreement, Iran has not become pacified. Iran has actually accelerated 
its support for terrorist proxies in Lebanon, Gaza, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, 
and Nigeria. Because Iran's neighbors know that this deal reverses a 
decades-long bipartisan policy blocking Iran's nuclear program, this 
agreement continues to risk a nuclear arms race in the broader Middle 

  They are apologists. There are defenders of the Iran nuclear deal, 
and they say it is working. They say there is evidence of dismantling 
of the nuclear program, but we have the benefit of almost 2 years of 
implementation of the deal. We have the benefit of hindsight to see if 
this deal is actually working.
  Here are the facts. The facts are that since the Joint Comprehensive 
Plan of Action was implemented in January of 2016, Iran has continued 
to sponsor Hezbollah and other radical terrorist militias in the 
region. Its support for the Assad regime alone, including the use of 
planes to airlift military supplies, has helped claim an estimated 400 
lives. Last April, even President Obama suggested that the Iranians 
were violating the spirit of the deal by engaging in these activities.
  Rather than being deterred, in October, Iran sentenced three 
Americans to long prison terms on bogus charges. In January of this 
year, the country tested a ballistic missile in violation of U.N. 
Security Council resolution 2231. In April, just as a commercial 
airline manufacturer was announcing new sales to Iran as a result of 
the sanctions relief under the JCPOA, we learned that dozens of Syrian 
civilians, including at least 11 children, were gassed in an Iranian-
supported chemical weapons attack.
  Additionally, Iran has stated that it will no longer permit 
inspections of its military bases. It continues to attempt to 
intimidate our allies, and is facilitating the imports and exports of 
  As of February 2017, Iran has fired as many as 14 ballistic missiles, 
and the leaders of Iran continue to chant ``death to America,'' and 
pledge to wipe Israel off the face of the planet.
  So where do we go from here?
  As the chairman of the subcommittee that oversees enforcement of 
sanctions, we have been working on additional measures that can be 
taken, including non-nuclear sanctions consistent with the JCPOA to 
hold Iran accountable for its malign activities.
  On April 4, we held a hearing on the effectiveness of non-nuclear 
sanctions against Iran, where we determined that Iran Air, a state-
owned commercial airline, has used its aircraft to transport fighters 
and weapons throughout the Middle East on behalf of the Islamic 
Revolutionary Guard Corp. As a result of these findings, I wrote a 
letter to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin urging him to ban the sale of 
commercial aircraft to Iran Air.
  Similarly, I supported two appropriations amendments that would 
prevent the sale of aircraft to Iran and prohibit U.S. firms from 
financing such a sale.
  Finally, I recently drafted a letter to the Treasury Department 
urging it to identify all entities it believes to have transacted 
business with the IRGC, a precursor to possible additional secondary 
  These actions are all important and relevant in the aftermath of the 
President's correct decision to decertify the deal because it invites 
Congress to step in and offer constructive recommendations on how to 
address the flaws, the fatal flaws, in the JCPOA. These are some of 
those recommendations to the administration, and we hope the Treasury 
Department will respond accordingly.
  Going forward, we must do the following to stem Iran's nuclear 
ambitions: We must designate the IRGC as a foreign terrorist 
organization. We must make permanent the sunset clauses on Iran's 
nuclear program and testing. This cannot be temporary prohibition of 
the Iran nuclear program. This must be a permanent ban on Iran ever 
having nuclear weapons capability and the capability of delivering 
those weapons.
  Finally, we need to do a better job strengthening the agreement, 
revising the agreement, scrapping the old agreement, and actually 
getting to anytime, anywhere inspections. That means we have got to 
work with the P5+1 and our European allies to revise the JCPOA so that 
we mandate anytime, anywhere inspections of nuclear facilities, and so 
that we are guaranteed that the IAEA, that international and U.S. 
inspectors have access to all suspected sites within the territorial 
boundaries of Iran.
  In conclusion, I want to thank Congressman Zeldin for the Special 
Order. I want to thank President Trump and his administration for their 
leadership on stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, and for the 
important national security imperative of revisiting this flawed Iran 
nuclear deal so that we can actually achieve peace in the world.
  Mr. Speaker, we thank Congressman Zeldin for his leadership in 
pursuing this very important objective.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for his remarks. 
Certainly in the days, the weeks, the months that are ahead, many 
throughout our country will be leaning on his leadership as we discuss 
the path forward as far as sanctions and the right way to reestablish 
the leverage that

[[Page H8216]]

brought the Iranians to the table in the first place.
  Mr. Speaker, Congressman Rokita is a strong voice in ensuring that 
America has a strong but effective foreign policy, one that makes sure 
that our military is always set up for success, our veterans are taken 
care of when they come home. As I mentioned earlier, as I was 
introducing Congresswoman Tenney, part of that effort, certainly is 
ensuring the right path forward as it relates to Iran.
  Mr. Speaker, at this time, I yield to the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. 
Rokita), from Indiana's Fourth Congressional District.
  Mr. ROKITA. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from New York for 
yielding and for hosting this Special Order. In my humble opinion, the 
people of New York are lucky to have a gentleman like him representing 
them; and I know it is the highest honor of his life as well.
  I also want to associate with my good friend, the gentleman from 
Kentucky (Mr. Barr), for the remarks he made. I think he has made an 
excellent record of not only the premise of the deal, but the effect of 
the deal so far.

  Mr. Speaker, I agree with the gentleman from New York that Mr. Barr 
is going to be critical in leading the effort forward in sanctions, 
whether they are part of the JCPOA or not. I thank the gentleman from 
Kentucky for his words tonight as well.
  Earlier this month, President Trump set a new direction for the 
United States, a direction of leadership. He made clear that we would 
no longer allow the Iranian Government to continue to pursue nuclear 
weapons, continue funding terrorism, or threaten the very existence of 
our great friend, Israel, the strongest ally we have in the region.
  President Trump made clear that, unlike the previous administration, 
we will not reward Iran for chanting ``death to America,'' and we will 
not allow this terrorist regime to dictate our Nation's foreign policy.
  Getting the Iran deal done was the only thing the previous 
administration cared about. Think about that, just getting the deal 
done. I think we all remember that sentiment around here: getting the 
deal done no matter how terrible was the only thing the previous 
administration cared about. We had to get the deal done. We had to get 
the deal done, as bad as it was.

                              {time}  1930

  It is unlike our current President who has demanded action to hold 
Iran accountable, guarantee our national security, and protect Israel 
and our allies across the world night and day. I appreciate the 
President's leadership on this and other matters.
  The United States never should have signed onto the deal in the first 
place, Mr. Speaker, because it was a bad deal. It gave Iran immediate 
access to $150 billion, it allowed the Iranians to continue their 
ballistic missile research, and it contains a sunset provision that 
will allow the Iranians to return immediately to enriching uranium 
without consequence.
  Now, even then-Secretary of State John Kerry said: ``Some of the $150 
billion will end up in the hands of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard 
Corps or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists.''
  That was our Secretary of State's direct quote admitting that some of 
this $150 billion was going to get to terrorists.
  There is no situation in which the United States should allow money 
to get to terrorists. Hoosiers that I represent see this quite clearly. 
Surely, the Americans that the rest of us represent see the same thing. 
But then-President Obama and Secretary Kerry allowed this to happen and 
were cheered on, in fact, by many in this very Chamber and many in the 
  This year alone, Iran has tested their ballistic missiles at least 
three times, and they tested a rocket space launch vehicle. Now, in 
their most recent test in September, they used a ballistic missile with 
the potential range to hit Israel, the only stable democracy in the 
  As Mr. Barr pointed out, Mr. Speaker, intercontinental ballistic 
missiles aren't even meant for Israel. They are meant to come here. 
They are meant to go to our other allies--a bad deal indeed.
  The threats Iran poses are truly extreme: terrorists, a nuclear arms 
race, and continued threats to America and its neighbors. 
Unfortunately, we cannot go back in time and stop then-President Obama 
from signing this disastrous Iran nuclear deal--and, by the way, it is 
signing in the theoretical sense because Mr. Yoho is also right, Mr. 
Speaker, when he said that this was a set of papers that truly had no 
signatories. It was an executive action by then-President Obama for 
sure. But, all in all, no matter what the semantics, it was a bad deal.
  But we can--we can--move forward by creating tough sanctions like, 
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Barr was pointing out and making sure Iran is held 
accountable. That starts tonight with the work that Lee Zeldin and 
other Members of Congress are doing.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from New York again for yielding 
to me, and I thank him for his leadership. Mr. Speaker, let's get it 
right this time. Let's make sure Iran doesn't become the threat that 
the previous administration has allowed it to become.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Speaker, I thank Congressman Rokita for being here 
and for his important words as well and for all of the Members who have 
  I recognize House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, 
Congressman Pete Roskam, and former Congressman, now CIA Director, Mike 
Pompeo. These are some of the voices during the course of these last 
few years on this very important issue on the need to hold Iran 
accountable and to fight for the best possible agreement for the United 
  Over the course of tonight, we discussed what was in the JCPOA, and 
we discussed the JCPOA as far as what wasn't in it and some of the 
challenges that we have faced since the JCPOA has first been entered 
  We all want to deal with Iran's bad activities. We have to ask 
ourselves: How are we going to do that? What is the leverage that 
brought the Iranians to the table to negotiate the Iran nuclear deal? 
How do we get that leverage back?
  Now, some people out there are saying that Iran is abiding by their 
word and that the United States would somehow be going back on our word 
by the President decertifying the Iran nuclear deal. We can have a 
discussion about what violates the spirit of the Iran nuclear deal.
  We talked about Iran's other bad activities: their financing of 
terror, their overthrowing of foreign governments, illegally test-
firing intercontinental ballistic missiles, holding Americans hostage, 
and publicly embarrassing American Navy sailors. We had to pay a ransom 
to get hostages back in January of 2016. They call Israel the Little 
Satan, America the Great Satan. They pledge to wipe Israel off the map. 
They chant ``death to America.'' They are supporting Assad in Syria and 
  What do we do to deal with Iran's nonnuclear bad activities? Right 
now we don't have the leverage to deal with that. We really needed to 
bring that to the table when we were sitting down with Iran last time 
because, when you negotiate away the leverage that brings them to the 
table, what is left to deal with all of those activities that we would 
say violate the spirit of the JCPOA?
  But people say that if the President decertifies the Iran nuclear 
deal, then that would mean that we are going back on our word and that 
Iran has been abiding by the deal. We cannot forget about all of the 
ways that Iran is violating the letter of the JCPOA.
  Why is there no accountability in debate, as we know, that Iran spins 
more IR-6 centrifuges than they are permitted to under the JCPOA? Why 
aren't we talking about that?
  Why aren't we saying that Iran is not following their word when they 
assemble more IR-8 rotor assemblies than they are allowed to under the 
  Why aren't we saying that Iran is not following through with their 
word as they attempt to purchase carbon fiber that they are not allowed 
to try to purchase under the JCPOA?
  Why are we giving Iran a free pass?
  Does the President's opposition despise him so much that they are 
willing to literally take Iran's side when Iran says that we will never 
be able to inspect any of their military sites?

  Before, during, and after this deal, they said that we will never be 
able to

[[Page H8217]]

inspect all their military sites. The Obama administration said we will 
inspect their military sites. So you have a material disagreement on 
this JCPOA, this Iran nuclear deal.
  We said that sanctions were going to be phased in over time based on 
compliance. The Iranian regime said sanctions relief was going to be 
immediate, no suspension. But why are we not holding Iran to their word 
on the ways that they are violating the letter of the JCPOA?
  Why is it that before implementation day when inspectors, the last 
time they got to Parchin and they found particles in the soil that are 
consistent with nuclear capability, and then after we discover those 
particles the Iranians say, ``That is it. No more access to Parchin,'' 
why are we not saying that Iran is not following their commitments 
under the JCPOA? This is the letter of the JCPOA.
  Now, it would be great if we can have a discussion here about what 
the verification regime is. I would love to read the deal between the 
IAEA and Iran. When I was at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing 
with then-Secretary of State John Kerry and I wanted to engage with 
him, have a conversation about what the verification agreement was, I 
was shocked that even he said that he hadn't read the verification 
regime between the IAEA and Iran. It really makes you scratch your 
  I asked the question here on the House floor last Congress while we 
were debating the JCPOA. President Obama says that we are entering into 
the JCPOA not based on trust, but based on verification. So the 
question that I posed then, and I still haven't gotten an answer today, 
is: How do you support a deal based on verification without knowing 
what the verification is?
  We are propping up the wrong regime. In 2009, during the Green 
Revolution, an undemocratic election, millions of Iranians went to the 
streets. These are people who go to the streets that right now there 
are people--millions of Iranians today--who would love a free, stable, 
democratic Iran. After an undemocratic election, they went to the 
streets. We said that it was none of our business.
  Fast-forward years later, we are paying ransom of $400 million that 
was disputed for good reason for decades, claims going both ways. There 
is a reason why that money wasn't paid out. There was a dispute, 
multiple claims, U.S. to Iran and Iran to the United States, and $1.3 
billion of interest. They said that it wasn't a ransom. $1.7 billion in 
cold, hard cash in pallets that had to get delivered at the exact same 
moment of the American hostages--by the way, not all of them--at the 
exact same moment of the American hostages being released, and we are 
saying that that is not ransom.
  That was a coincidence that we are signing documents in the middle of 
January on the same exact day within 24 hours of each other.
  Now, after we provided a jackpot of sanctions relief in exchange for 
this very one-sided deal, there was an election. After that election in 
Iran, members of the American media and around the world said that this 
was evidence of progress in Iran that the most moderate candidates were 
  But do you know what that completely ignores? The 12,000 most 
moderate candidates not being allowed access to the ballot. We are 
propping up the wrong regime.
  After our American sailors were detained, held hostage, and 
embarrassed in videos and photography all around the world, we said, 
``Thank you.'' That was our response, ``Thank you.''
  After all the concessions that were made as part of the JCPOA, our 
Secretary of State became president for the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, 
and here we are. Fast-forward to today, and everyone who wants to see 
this President fail will stand with Iran before they would stand with 
the United States. They will ignore Iran's violating the spirit of the 
JCPOA. They will turn a blind eye with their head in the sand over 
Iran's violating the letter of the JCPOA.
  Mr. Speaker, we gathered here this evening to talk about the 
President's correct decision to decertify the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear 
agreement, and to talk about the need to eliminate Iran's very 
problematic nuclear and nonnuclear activities. We heard from a half 
dozen other Members of Congress: Congressman Joe Wilson of South 
Carolina's 2nd Congressional District, David Kustoff of Tennessee's 8th 
Congressional District, Congressman Ted Yoho of Florida's 3rd 
Congressional District, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney of New York's 22nd 
Congressional District, Congressman Andy Barr of Kentucky's 6th 
Congressional District, and Congressman Todd Rokita of Indiana's 4th 
Congressional District. I thank them, and I thank all of my colleagues 
for their leadership on this issue.
  There is important work ahead. There really should be more Members on 
both sides of the aisle working together on behalf of the American 
people putting country first on this issue.
  People since the election pledged to entirely oppose and obstruct 
this President on everything and anything. While the President's hand 
was on the Bible, the streets of the parade route were lined up with 
people holding up signs that said ``impeach him now''--while his hand 
was on the Bible.

                              {time}  1945

  Last November, Americans all around this country elected a President 
whose hand was on the Bible, yet people are calling for his impeachment 
just for the fact he got elected. Every day we are here, we have 
Members who come to the floor doing whatever they can in any way that 
day, that minute, to try to tear the President down.
  I had disagreements with President Obama, but he was my President. We 
disagreed on the Iran nuclear deal. That is okay. We can disagree. We 
should disagree with President Trump, President Obama, President Bush 
before that, when we have strong philosophical differences on policy. 
That is what we are elected to do. We are not elected to all just come 
here and agree with each other.
  But for those who are so set politically on trying to bring this 
President down, so much so that they will take Iran's side in this over 
the United States' side, I encourage you to rethink that and put 
country over party, because we need to work together as colleagues 
representing the greatest country in the world on a better path 
  It is a privilege for all of us to be able to serve here in the 
United States Capitol in the United States Congress, because there is 
so much history on this floor. There is going to be much debate ahead 
on what challenges lie ahead for us with regard to Iran.
  With servicemembers in harm's way, we understand and we reflect that 
that is what is most important. We should never send our troops into 
harm's way unless they are sent to win. We send our troops to win, or 
we do not send them at all. When they come home, they are treated with 
the love, dignity, and respect that they deserve on behalf of a very 
grateful nation; and with a strong, consistent foreign policy and 
taking care of our vets and setting up our military for success. It is 
having the right foreign policy with challenges that are in front of us 
in the Middle East and elsewhere.
  That is why we are here for this Special Order hour in support of the 
President's decision to decertify the Iran nuclear deal. Mr. President, 
you made the right decision. We stand with you. We stand with the 
United States. We want to hold Iran accountable. We want the best path 
forward for our great country.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.