Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Reform and Modernization Act of 2011

Floor Speech

By:  Adam Schiff
Date: Dec. 13, 2011
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. SCHIFF. I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I want to thank the chair and ranking member for all the leadership on this issue.

I rise in support of both the Iran Threat Reduction Act as well as the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Reform and Modernization Act. Both of these bills have at their heart and core the same purpose, and that is to prevent some of the most dangerous, terrorism-sponsoring and proliferating nations--nations like Iran, North Korea, and Syria--from obtaining a nuclear weapons capability or proliferating that capability.

Now, why is that so important? Well, in the case of Iran, Iran's acquisition of the bomb would empower that dictatorial regime to carry out what it has threatened to do, that is, to potentially wipe Israel off the face of the map. It would also, I think, very likely result in a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

And I believe that we will be judged as a country and as a Congress on whether we take every possible step, every diplomatic step, every step through sanctions to prevent Iran from acquiring the bomb and all the potentially disastrous consequences that could have. And this legislation, by particularly going after Iran's Central Bank, will be the most devastating of all economic sanctions on Iran.

We saw the concern manifest in Iran when Britain passed similar sanctions. Plainly, they are terrified of the impact this would have. This is the strongest leverage we could bring against Iran's nuclear program, and I strongly urge its passage.

We also have a deep national security interest in going after any potential proliferation of nuclear materials and technology. We have already seen in Syria a dictator's willingness to murder thousands of his own people. We have also seen a regime in Damascus willing to engage in a surreptitious nuclear program in violation of international law and agreement.

I urge passage of both bills.

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