U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement today on negotiations scheduled to begin Saturday between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany (the P5+1) regarding the Iranian nuclear program:
"Negotiations are for countries and partners who, in good faith, are genuinely interested in making progress. Tehran's game is to use empty promises to ward off Western sanctions and to buy more time for its nuclear weapons program. They've done it before, and they'll do it again, if we let them.
"Instead of forfeiting our position of strength, the Administration should increase pressure on Iran by directly sanctioning all high-ranking Iranian regime officials, all financial institutions doing business with Iran, all companies investing in Iran's energy sector, and all entities supplying Iran with refined petroleum products.
"By hoping that negotiations may produce some magic deal, the Administration is refusing to read the clear writing on the wall."
NOTE: Ros-Lehtinen is the author of H.R. 1905, the Iran Threat Reduction Act. The bill was approved by the House by a vote of 410-11. The bill strengthens, updates, and replaces previous Iran sanctions laws to ensure that current law vigorously addresses the multiple threats posed by Iran. The bill closes loopholes in energy and financial sanctions, including by targeting the Central Bank of Iran. The bill also targets the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and senior Iranian regime officials.
Ros-Lehtinen is also the author of H.R. 2105, the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Reform and Modernization Act, which was approved by the House by a vote of 418-2. The bill expands sanctions on those assisting Iran, North Korea, and Syria in the development of their weapons programs, including their nuclear programs.