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Public Statements

Sportsmen's Act of 2012--Motion to Proceed

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. ISAKSON. Mr. President, before he leaves, I wish to acknowledge that today may be one of the more important foreign policy debates that ever takes place in the Senate

because whichever way the Paul amendment goes and this resolution goes is going to determine the direction of where America goes in terms of foreign policy. Are we engaged? Are we firm? Are we the greatest power on the face of this Earth? Or do we recede as we did prior to World War II and put our Nation in jeopardy again? I don't vote for receding. I think it is time to be strong. If there were ever an issue to be strong about, it is nuclear proliferation and the possibility of Iran possessing nuclear fissionable material to make a weapon. I will commend Senator Graham for his leadership in the Armed Forces, for his leadership on this issue, for his leadership on the floor of the Senate. He is a beacon of hope in a body that needs it right now.

I also commend him for getting 82 cosponsors--I agree with him, we could not agree that Sunday is a day of rest if we had to have a vote on it--to come together and join to send a clear message not just to the Iranians but to the world that a nuclear-armed Iran is not acceptable. We need to have a policy of prevention. That is what this resolution does. It doesn't just say to Iran we want to prevent you from having nuclear fissionable material and weapons, it encourages the world to join together to prevent it.

Ten days ago I was in Germany, meeting with the EU Minister of Finance, meeting the German Minister of Finance, and meeting with the Defense Minister of Germany. Do you know what the No. 1 question of all three of them was? It was not the problems with the EU, although they have them. It was Iran and what would happen if they ended up possessing fissionable nuclear materials and a weapon. So this resolution is an important statement of the United States of America, but moreover the world, and I think it will be replicated in parliamentary bodies around the world to send that united signal. We are close to a time when we have to fish or cut bait. The Iranians have continued to work. We have pretty good knowledge but not total knowledge. One of the problems the Germans have, the IAEA thinks they know where the centrifuges are and where they all are, but they are not sure. They think there hasn't been movement and in some cases they think there may have been movement.

We need clarity, and the only way to get clarity is for the Iranians to agree to the rules that we establish for them to disclose through the United Nations or through whatever body possible to see to it we have total transparency, and in the absence of that they need to understand that our goal is to prevent them from ever possessing a weapon that could destroy humanity.

The nation of Iran states clearly and often and tells the world it yearns for the day until it destroys the nation of Israel and the Jewish people. No entity, none whatsoever, deserves the ability to have enriched uranium or any other tool to actually carry out what it says is its stated goal.

So I rise today as one Georgian, but one of millions of Americans, to send a clear and unvarnished message to the people of Iran. We want the people of Iran to know freedom and democracy, to be released from the tyranny of the ayatollahs and the current totalitarian government but, most importantly, we will not stand 1 day, 1 minute, or 1 hour for Iran to possess fissionable material or a weapon that could destroy mankind.

I end by commending the Senator.

I yield the floor.

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