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Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. HOYER. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I rise in support of this legislation, but I also thank my friend Keith Ellison for his perspective on this, and I want to speak to that as well. I want to thank Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel for their leadership on this bill.

Mr. Speaker, I believe the most dangerous threat to peace and stability in the Middle East continues to be that posed by Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, which would launch this turbulent region into a nuclear arms race that no one can afford to risk, including our troops in the region. Time and again, Security Council resolutions after Security Council resolutions, Iran has refused to heed the international community's warnings, and it has, instead, continued along a path toward the bomb, choosing isolation over integration.

We are here today to talk about how to stop Iran's pursuit. As a government, we have many tools to use. Diplomacy is one and diplomacy must continue. Indeed, many feel the time is right to test President-elect Rouhani's sincerity, and I agree, but he must expect us to turn his positive talk of a policy of reconciliation and peace into action. We should welcome and pursue his willingness to come to the table to negotiate. We need to test that, but delay has been too long for us not to pursue concurrent approaches. That tool of economic pressure, which is working, should also be pursued additionally. That is why I support this resolution.

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Mr. HOYER. I thank the gentleman for yielding. I thank him for his thoughtfulness.

Hopefully, negotiations will prove successful and such pressure can be either moderated or removed. President-elect Rouhani campaigned on a promise to ease the burden of sanctions on the Iranian people, and he won. We would welcome a second victory for him and the United Nations in seeing that objective of denuclearization realized.

I support today's bill because I believe a robust sanctions regime could help encourage Iran to abandon its pursuit of the bomb and to end its support for terrorist groups and human rights abuses. President-elect Rouhani is uniquely positioned, I believe, to show leadership on this and achieve early success in his new administration.

However, our skepticism about the Iranian leadership's action in the past has been more than justified, but we must nevertheless continue to work for a resolution of this challenging issue. Engaging President-elect Rouhani in our quest for early resolution is appropriate, but these sanctions are also appropriate. Therefore, I rise in their support.

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