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In Recognition Of Iran's Nuclear Threat

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

IN RECOGNITION OF IRAN'S NUCLEAR THREAT -- (Extensions of Remarks - May 07, 2009)


* Mr. GALLEGLY. Madam Speaker, I rise to recognize the threat Iran's potential nuclear weapon capabilities have on the Middle East, the world, and particularly Israel.

* In March, President Obama offered to open a dialogue with Iran. His olive branch was immediately met with scorn by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran has not cooled its international animosity since then, as noted by Defense Secretary Robert Gates as recently as Tuesday.

* Talk is fine if it is premised in achieving realistic goals, but the Iranian regime has used past efforts at negotiation to delay and divide the United States and our allies in our efforts to turn Tehran from a nuclear enrichment program that clearly could be used for nuclear bombs.

* Time for an open hand policy is running out. I believe it is time to up the stakes on Iran.

* One way to accomplish that would be to pass the Iran Threat Reduction Act, H.R. 1208, which was introduced by Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. H.R. 1208, of which I am an original cosponsor, would extend current U.S. sanctions until the president certifies Iran has dismantled its weapons of mass destruction program and ceased its support for international terrorism. It also would significantly increase U.S. pressure on Tehran to do both.

* The bill would sharply increase U.S. efforts to stop the shipment of refined petroleum and natural gas products to Iran, as well as materials needed for building or maintaining oil and gas pipelines. Furthermore, the bill completely prohibits U.S. importation of most Iranian products. It also denies U.S. foreign tax credits to Americans engaged in business activity with Iran that is prohibited by U.S. law.

* March 17 marked the 17th anniversary of the bombing by Iranian proxies of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires that killed 29 and wounded 242. It is but one of hundreds of attacks Iran has made against Israel and the United States in a war Iran seems committed to continue.

* Without direct Iranian support, Tehran's proxies, llamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, would be far less formidable foes for Israel. Without Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Iranian weapons, the United States would have suffered hundreds of fewer casualties in Iraq.

* Madam Speaker, the time for talk has ended. The United States should increase the pressure on Iran immediately. I therefore urge my colleagues to cosponsor the Iran Threat Reduction Act and I urge leadership to bring it to the floor for quick passage.

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