Mr. Speaker, "Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran where, for the first time in a decade, we have halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material."
This absurd claim by the President last week earned him three Pinocchios from The Washington Post. Many disagree with the President, including a former International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, official, who says:
"It appears that the production of centrifuge components continues. No new nuclear components have been installed, but it does not mean that the production of those came to a halt."
For over a decade, the United States, along with the rest of the U.N. Security Council, has tried, but failed, to reach a deal with Tehran on its nuclear weapon program. Iran has defiantly marched toward developing nuclear weapons, while refusing to negotiate with the United States in good faith. Instead, its leaders have continued to call for the destruction of Israel and the destruction of the United States. Now, isn't that lovely.
Just this November, in the midst of nuclear negotiations, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps released this statement:
"The United States is still the great Satan and number one enemy of the Islamic Revolution and the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation."
Iran's actions over the years are not surprising. After all, it is the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism. Using both its own military operatives and its proxy, Hezbollah, Iran has planned attacks, terror, and murder throughout the globe. Hezbollah is the puppet, but Iran pulls the strings.
Finally, after years of Iran stalling and defying calls to halt its nuclear weapon development, the West played hardball with sanctions, by primarily targeting Iran's bank and energy industries. The sanctions worked. Iran's GDP dropped for the first time in 20 years, and Iran finally came to the negotiating table.
Then came the white flag and the great retreat of 2013. The administration relaxed sanctions just when Iran was beginning to feel the consequences of its actions. Relaxing sanctions has helped Iran, helped its economy, and resulted in Iran reverting to its defiant ways.
Mr. Speaker, sanctions worked. Now is not the time to retreat, appease and play the Chamberlain. If anything, we should increase sanctions. Congress is trying to do that, but the President has now publicly told Congress--and Iran--that he will veto any legislation that increases sanctions. This seems to be at odds with United States national security. Negotiators in Europe and the U.S. want to relax sanctions. They are acting like timid sheep. They cannot lay down with the jackal of the desert, Iran, for they shall be his mutton meal. Mr. Speaker, loosening up on sanctions is foolish, dangerous, and not dealing in reality.
Further, the Iranian negotiations do not even discuss intercontinental ballistic missiles. Why is Iran building intercontinental ballistic missiles? Prime Minister Netanyahu said it best:
"Iran isn't building ICBMs for Israel. They have missiles that can hit us. They are building ICBMs to hit America."
Iran wants ICBMs to carry a nuclear weapon across the pond to us, the U.S. A top adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani recently said:
Obama is the weakest of all U.S. Presidents.
Now is the time for the leader of the free world to prove Iran wrong. The world, including our enemies, are watching. The U.S. must make it clear and unequivocal: there will be no reductions in sanctions without verified steps to show that Tehran is abandoning, not just freezing, its nuclear weapon program. If Iran obtains nukes, the consequences are all bad. Israel will be less secure. The United States will be less secure. Other nations, like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt, will all seek and obtain nukes to balance power in the Middle East.
The Iranian Government cannot be dealt with like normal countries. This ``hug diplomacy'' with them is not in the national security interest of the U.S. Their Supreme Leader has never wavered on his religious and political agenda to destroy the United States. Iran must be forced to cease its nuclear weapon program by sanctions. We must impose such sanctions that cripple Iran's economy to force the Iranians to stop their nuclear weapon development. And hopefully at some point the people of Iran will soon have had enough warmongering by its leaders and replace their government.
And, Mr. Speaker, that is just the way it is.