Chairman Royce Reacts to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Address to Congress

Mar 3, 2015

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued this statement following the Prime Minister of Israel’s address to a Joint Meeting of Congress:

“This morning, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu powerfully described in unmistakable terms the threat that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose to Israel, the region, and the world.  Afterwards, I thanked him for presenting the Iranian threat in such clear and concise terms – for all to understand.  Every Member on the House floor felt the Prime Minister’s passion and resolve to confront this challenge.  For President Obama and his team, Iran is a problem to manage.  For Prime Minister Netanyahu, it is a threat to his country’s existence.

“Critics must now deal with the substance of the Prime Minister’s concerns, which I have long shared.  The Foreign Affairs Committee has consistently raised concerns with the troubling outlines of this agreement.  How does an Iran with industrial scale enrichment capacity – key bomb-making technology – make the U.S. and Israel safer?  How does an Iranian nuclear program, which will spur similar programs among neighboring rivals, make the Middle East less combustible?  How does it make sense for an agreement with a revolutionary regime - that has been in power since 1979 – to expire after just ten years?

“Indeed, negotiators have a long way to go to get to an agreement that will be in the long-term national security interests of the United States.  The ‘unthinkable’ of a nuclear Iran is now thinkable, with all of the dire consequences it would mean for our allies in the region.  The Prime Minister underscored, bolded, and capitalized the tough questions.  How will negotiators from the U.S. and our partners respond?  Deal or no deal, Congress will soon have its say on these negotiations.

“This is crunch time for the U.S. and Israel regarding the Iranian and growing terrorist threat in the region.  Today’s speech was historic.  The Prime Minister got many standing ovations for his speech.  The Speaker deserves one for making it happen.”

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