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Public Statements

Motion To Instruct Conferees On H.R. 2194, Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act Of 2009

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CANTOR. I thank the gentlewoman for yielding. I want to salute, first of all, the gentlewoman's leadership on this issue as well as that of the gentleman from California in bringing this to the floor. I would also like to thank the majority leader for bringing this to the floor as well.

Mr. Speaker, last year the new administration came to power insisting it had a new approach that would head off the looming threat of a nuclear Iran. By talking to and engaging with the regime in Tehran, the administration said we could convince the world's most active state sponsor of terrorism to abandon its nuclear weapons program. And if that didn't work, America ostensibly would gain the ``moral authority'' to galvanize China, Russia, and the rest of the world to go along with a regime of crippling sanctions against Tehran.

Fifteen months and countless missed deadlines later, the administration's strategy has failed. Our lack of resolve has only enabled Iran to accelerate its illegal activities.

Let us take this opportunity to remember how high the stakes are. The danger of a nuclear Iran is not hypothetical; it is real. It is a direct and serious threat to America. It is a game changer that would set off a nuclear arms race throughout the Middle East, permanently destabilizing the world's most dangerous region.

Top U.S. military officials recently warned Congress that within 1 year Iran will have the fissile material it needs to make a nuclear weapon. Once Iran gets the bomb, the concept of deterrence that underpins U.S. national security is no longer valid.

The resounding voice of history reminds us that we ignore the threats of dangerous men and dangerous regimes at our own peril. That's why Congress must rise to the occasion and send the message to the world that the United States will not tolerate a nuclear Iran. It is time for a concerted effort to impose sanctions with real teeth, and that begins here today with the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act.

We must block the shipment of all refined petroleum to Iran, and we must cut off all international companies who do business with Iran's Revolutionary Guard from the U.S. financial system. Iran's trading partners must understand that they will no longer conduct business with the regime in Tehran with impunity.

Mr. Speaker, these are times of sharp partisan divide in our Nation's capital, but today we have the chance to come together to take a major step forward in the interests of world peace. The time for decisive action to head off the regime in Iran's nuclear program is now.

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