Mr. Chair, I rise in support of language Representative Doug Lamborn offered when the Committee on Armed Services marked-up the National Defense Authorization Act.
Like most Americans, I remain concerned about Iran's state sponsorship of terrorism, its horrendous human rights record, its efforts to destabilize its neighbors, its pursuit of intercontinental ballistic missiles, and its threats against our ally, Israel, as well as the fates of American citizens detained by Iran. I remain extremely alarmed by Iran's pursuit of uranium enrichment and plutonium separation efforts. In spite of Iran's statements to the contrary, I am concerned that these materials are in fact part of a nuclear weapons program. The pursuit of nuclear materials under the proclamation of peaceful energy initiatives raises some serious concerns when coming from a country with a terrible human rights record and ties to terrorist groups. It is both a necessity and a priority that the United States ensure that Iran does not have a nuclear weapon.
On November 24, 2013, Iran accepted the terms of an international proposal to temporarily halt further expansion of its nuclear program, in return for relief from economic sanctions. While this proposal would in theory limit Iran's nuclear enrichment program, it does nothing to prevent Iran from pursuing a warhead or nuclear delivery system for a nuclear weapon or curtailing other issues that are threats to U.S. security and the security of our allies. That is why I am supportive of Representative Lamborn's amendment. This amendment makes it crystal clear, that it is the intent of the United States Congress that the U.S. should only agree to a comprehensive agreement on Iran's nuclear program if Iran ceases uranium enrichment, ceases all of their nuclear, chemical, biological, chemical weapon programs, ballistic missile program, and ballistic launch site technology and Iran has ceased providing support for international terrorist.
The United States government must use every tool possible to deter threats from Iran. Economic sanctions remain an important and necessary tool to deterring aggressive actions. Should the United States provide any relief from these Congressional mandated sanctions, it is imperative that Iran halt all activities that are threatening to our national interests. Mr. Lamborn's amendment is an important and appropriate addition to the National Defense Authorization Act, and I look forward to seeing it included in law.