Washington D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul (R-TX) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s committee hearing on U.S. policy toward Iran:

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-Remarks as Delivered-

“Just last week, Norwegian and Japanese oil tankers lawfully traversing the Gulf of Oman were attacked by Iran. We’ve all seen the evidence for ourselves. This was Iran’s second attack on international shipping in weeks.

“Moreover, Iran attempted to shoot down a U.S. surveillance drone in the area. These attacks were no coincidence. Within days of the Administration’s announcement it would no longer grant waivers for Iranian oil, Tehran responded with threats to “protect and defend” Iran’s waterway as a retaliatory measure.

“This spring, Iran displayed propaganda on a billboard in downtown Tehran showing the United States and Israeli ships being sunk in a battle. The billboard read in English, Farsi, Hebrew, and Arabic “We drowned them all.” Total propaganda. Not to mention the fact they fired a rocket at our embassy in Iraq.

“Iran continues to flout UN Security Council Ballistic Missile sanctions, they continue to enable its network proxies to wreak havoc, in fact, the top General in Iran called for – prepare for war to its proxies. Our General said the threat is imminent.

“A particular concern are the Houthi attacks on Saudi oil fields and airports. The threat Iran poses to the United States goes back to 1979 in the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and has continued with the deaths of 600 servicemen from 2003 to 2011, which Iran bears responsibility for.

“In May, the threat to U.S. personnel in Iraq was judged so significant that many of our diplomats were evacuated. A few days later, as I mentioned earlier, a rocket landed near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

“Iran’s announcement that it will begin enriching and stockpiling uranium, in violation of international commitments, should concern everyone on the planet. All of these actions reveal desperation on the part of Iran.

“In my view, the sanctions are working. It is crippling Iran, it is crippling their economy, they are cash starved and Hezbollah is now begging for cash. To me, these are all positive signs.

“Their cries for attention are a call for action for the United States and our allies. I believe our maximum pressure campaign is working. We must continue to meet their aggression with forceful diplomacy.

“I believe all of us – the Administration, Republicans and Democrats on the Hill – agree that peace is preferable to war. No one wants to see military action against Iran. But rest assured, the United States will be prepared to respond to any attacks against our security and security in the region.”