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Public Statements

Iran's Hostility Must Be Combated

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak about the Islamic Republic of Iran--its past and its future.

February 11 is just an ordinary day for Americans, but in Iran, tomorrow is anything but ordinary. Military parades and massive state- sponsored celebrations fill the streets of Tehran and cities across the Islamic Republic. In just a few hours, it will be Islamic Revolution's Victory Day in Iran. The regime celebrates 37 years since the violent coup that brought the Ayatollah Khomeini to power and transferred Iran into a fundamentalist Islamic theocracy and the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism.

It is a dark period of history, Mr. Speaker. Thousands of innocent people were killed as the revolutionaries consolidated power. The U.S. Embassy was overrun and more than 50 Americans were held hostage for 444 days.

The United States has seen six Presidents since 1979, reflecting a broad range of leadership styles and governing philosophies. The Islamic Republic has been led by two Supreme Leaders, both zealots fanatically committed to the revolutionary ideas they espouse being celebrated on the streets of Tehran on this day. Make no mistake, Mr. Speaker, we are dealing with the same Iran today as we were in 1979.

The only day being celebrated by some Americans at the moment is implementation day, as President Obama's dangerous nuclear deal has now come and gone. The world is much more dangerous because of it.

Iran, the leading patron of global terrorism, just received a $100 billion check. The mullahs continue to foment violence and chaos across the Middle East, and their nuclear structure remains intact. The Obama administration has long argued that we would only be giving them $50 billion, but even they have conceded that it is closer to $100 billion or more.

We were also told that Iran would moderate its behavior as a result of this capitulation. Just in the past few weeks, Iran captured and humiliated American sailors, illegally launched ballistic missiles, fired rockets within 1,500 yards of U.S. ships, and flew a drone over a U.S. aircraft carrier. The list goes on and on.

Iranian Special Forces continue to assist al-Assad in his slaughter of innocents in Syria. Over 200,000 have been killed so far. Iranian- backed militias are likely responsible for kidnapping three American contractors in Iraq.

It doesn't take much imagination to figure out what Iran will do with another $100 billion, which is the windfall that they are about to receive based on this bad deal. As President Obama and Secretary Kerry have both begrudgingly admitted, it is nearly certain that the Iranians will use this money to sow the seeds of even more death and destruction. Think about that. They are nearly certain that part of this $100 billion will go there.

The Islamic Republic is not our friend, Mr. Speaker. It is a dangerous geopolitical foe. It is led by a cult of extremists that are hellbent on our annihilation. Yet President Obama will do nothing to stem the tide of the Ayatollah's ambitions.

When faced with an adversary whose theology and eschatology are fundamentally incompatible with peace and world order, the United States, under President Obama's leadership, chose a path of appeasement. I truly believe President Obama has made perhaps the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in our lifetime. We are now facing a newly emboldened, cash-rich, radical Islamic regime fully committed to weakening our Nation, terrorizing the West, and destroying our way of life.

Mr. Speaker, it is up to Congress to do everything in our power to keep as much of this money as possible out of the hands of Iran's terrorist proxies. The Congress must move swiftly to strengthen terrorism- and human rights-related sanctions against Iran and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The Congress must maintain strict oversight over Iran's nuclear program as its infrastructure remains intact.

Iran's hostility must be combated, Mr. Speaker, and this body should not abrogate that responsibility, even if our President already has.


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