Iran won’t even have to cheat to be a step away from the bomb, dominate the region and secure its oppressive regime at home, says Foreign Affairs Chair

Hearing to Examine Nuclear Deal Begins at 10 a.m. TODAY

Washington, D.C. –Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued this statement as U.S. negotiators concluded a final agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.  During the last 18 months of negotiations, the Committee has held numerous hearings examining the nuclear negotiations.

“Secretary of State Kerry and his team have worked very hard to get this deal.  But in many ways, their work is just beginning, as this agreement now comes to Congress for approval.  The deal they have struck is looking like a tough sell.

“Congress has repeatedly made clear that a final agreement must effectively block Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon. 367 Members of Congress are on record stating that a deal must last for multiple decades and include full disclosure of Iran’s past efforts to build a nuclear weapon, a dramatic reduction in the number of centrifuges, as well as intrusive inspection and verification measures.

“We will see how Administration negotiators have done on these and other essentials needed for a verifiable and enforceable agreement.  While the Administration expressed great confidence in today’s announcement, past interim agreements have not held up after careful Congressional scrutiny.  With recently passed legislation, instead of this agreement going into effect today – it must now come to Congress for review.  I look forward to working with Ranking Member Engel and all Members of our Committee as we take on the task of reviewing one of the most consequential deals in decades.       

“While these details are key, the overall outcome of today’s agreement is clear:  Iran is not required to dismantle key bomb making technology, but is permitted a vast enrichment capacity, and will continue its research and development to gain an industrialized nuclear program in as little as ten years or so.  That is hardly “decades.”  Even Iran’s heavily fortified underground nuclear facility – which the United States had vowed to shut – stays open.  Iran is still able to ‘mass produce’ its ballistic missiles, as the Supreme Leader has ordered.  And the terrorist state of Iran will be flush with cash.  Iran won’t even have to cheat on this agreement to be a small step away from the bomb, dominate the region and boost its oppressive regime at home.  The international sanctions Congress drove for years had this regime on the ropes.  Iran’s regime is now claiming to be a winner.  

“Congress will be deciding if this deal in the long term security interests of the United States.  Or, like the Clinton Administration’s agreement with North Korea in 1994, is this another case of a pariah state marching towards nuclear weapons?”

Note: This morning at 10 a.m., Chairman Royce will convene the second in a series of hearings to examine the Obama Administration’s nuclear agreement with Iran.  Additional details about this morning’s hearing can be found HERE.  As the Committee continues its examination of this deal, Chairman Royce expects that Secretary of State John Kerry would testify before the Committee.