WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) today spoke on the Senate floor about the Obama Administration’s Iran nuclear agreement and urged his colleagues to reject the deal. Senator Perdue also encouraged his colleagues to join him in gathering the 67 veto-proof majority needed to stop President Obama from granting the largest state sponsor of terrorism a pathway to developing a nuclear weapons capability.
“I rise today to talk about a very important topic for our country, the future of our kids, and the future of our kids’ kids.
This morning I was in a Foreign Relations hearing about Iran.
It’s pretty obvious the Administration has decided, once again, that our democratic values and procedures are just too high of a hurdle to clear.
Instead of keeping its promise to the American people and following the pledge it made to Congress just a few months ago to give everyone time to review the terms of this deal the Administration has instead undercut all of us again.
This Administration has effectively ignored the 98 senators—myself included—and 400 representatives who voted for the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act earlier this year.
By advancing this vote at the U.N. Security Council, this Administration has violated the very balance of power between our three branches of government.
I am outraged that this Administration continues to circumvent Congress at every turn, from regulations to mandates to foreign policy.
This is an absolute failure of the Administration to do what’s best for the American people, our security, and indeed, the security of the world.
The precept for this deal with Iran simply doesn’t make sense. This deal started off by ceding the right to enrich to Iran immediately—reversing decades of U.S. nonproliferation policy.
In fact, Secretary Kerry said in 2013 that, quote, ‘we do not recognize the right to enrich.’
This deal reverses six U.N. Security Council Resolutions and turns a pariah proliferator into a legitimate nuclear state.
This agreement allows Iran to leapfrog over the 18 countries who have peaceful nuclear programs, but no enrichment, and to be treated like countries like Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Netherlands, and Japan who have peaceful energy programs and domestic enrichment, but who do not have a nuclear weapon. These five nations are upstanding members of the international community.
And this deal takes Iran—the largest state sponsor of terrorism, and a violator of human rights, as well as an international pariah—and treats Iran’s nuclear program like Japan’s.
Secretary Kerry said at a hearing in the Foreign Relations Committee in March that “our negotiation is calculated to make sure that Iran can never have a nuclear weapon.”
But President Obama has said that ‘in year 13, 14, or 15’… ‘the breakout times would have shrunk down to almost zero.’
So this deal won’t protect Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state—it just delays it.
As I’ve said all along, I cannot support any deal that allows Iran to become a nuclear weapons state. Not now, not in ten years, not ever.
What’s more, this deal provides Iran with billions of dollars of sanctions relief upfront, before the IAEA completes its full assessment on whether or not Iran’s nuclear program is indeed peaceful.
It took the IAEA 19 years to make this determination for South Africa’s program. And this deal starts lifting U.N. and E.U. sanctions this year, the arms embargo in five years, and the ballistic missile ban in eight short years.
This deal will provide Iran with a windfall of sanctions relief of up to over 100 billion dollars. Funds that President Obama’s National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, just recently conceded will go to terrorism, the Iranian military, the Houthis, and Assad.
President Obama said that “this deal is not built on trust, it is built on verification.” But, this deal doesn’t require ‘anytime, anywhere’ inspections of all nuclear and military sites.
Instead, it empowers Iran to create lengthy delays when IAEA inspectors request access to suspicious nuclear sites that are indeed not declared by Iran.
From what I understand, the IAEA will have two teams traveling the country twice the size of Texas. And let’s not forget that Iran developed the Fordow facility and it operated for years, despite having IAEA teams on the ground.
And if we do find Iran to be in violation of this deal, our enforcement mechanism has no teeth. ‘Snap back’ sanctions in fact are a fantasy.
Paragraph 37 of the Iran deal states that Iran will cease performing all of its commitments to the deal, in the event of a full or partial snapback.
Iran will walk away if we try to hold it to the very deal it just signed off on.
With this all-or-nothing nature of the snap back, will anyone try to punish Iran’s cheating?
History tells us that when Iran cheats, it does so incrementally. In small steps. So no single action in and of itself can be punished. But, when you look at it over time, their cheating is egregious.
Will any nation be willing to stake sinking the entire deal over minor cheating?
Even if sanctions are indeed snapped back, Iran’s sanctions relief is front-loaded. They will be able to so quickly pad their economy to make themselves more resistant to future sanctions.
Most dangerously, this deal is predicated on the idea that the regime will change its dangerous behavior, when we’ve only seen proof that we’ll see more of the same: sponsorship of rogue regimes and terrorism worldwide.
So I’m curious, given what we know now about this deal, how the United States not only voted for this deal at the United Nations Security Council, but actually sponsored the resolution.
Secretary Kerry claims that should Congress disapprove of this deal, we would be in noncompliance with all of the other countries in the world. He claims that there will be no nations standing with us on our sanctions or opposition to Iran.
Well I say we let the nations of the world decide for themselves. Let’s give the world the option—we’ve stood alone before. Do you want to do business with Iran or with the United States?
We have stood alone many times in history when it meant doing the right thing.
The American people, and the fine people of Georgia who are calling and writing into my office every day, are uncomfortable with this nuclear deal for Iran. And they are uncomfortable with our future under its provisions.
So I say to this Administration that you cannot circumvent the American people with this nuclear deal.
Congress will have our say. We worked hard for this 60-day review period and I will do my part to muster the 67 required to disapprove a deal that leaves Iran as a nuclear threshold state in a little more than a decade.
This 60-day oversight period is the result of a bipartisan effort in the House and Senate, protecting the balance of the three branches of government.
Now we must act together to protect our country and our world from a very bad actor like Iran from ever becoming a nuclear weapons state.”