Chairman Ed Royce Opening Statement

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, will deliver an opening statement at today’s 2 p.m. joint subcommittee hearing that will examine the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, which began last week.  The hearing entitled, “Implementation of the Iran Nuclear Deal,” is being convened by the Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), and the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL).

Chairman Royce is the author of the bipartisan Nuclear Iran Prevention Act (H.R. 850), which overwhelmingly passed the House in July and is currently pending in the Senate.  The legislation would increase pressure on the Iranian regime amid its continued attempt to acquire a nuclear weapons capability.  The legislation would broaden economic sanctions, strengthen human rights sanctions, and increase oversight of the implementation and enforcement of existing sanctions.

Live webcast and witness testimony will be available HERE.

Below is Chairman Royce’s opening statement, as prepared for delivery, at the hearing:

“This continues the Committee’s laser focus on monitoring the Administration’s nuclear diplomacy with Iran. 

I have many concerns regarding the Joint Plan of Action, especially Iran’s being allowed to keep key parts of its nuclear program.  These include:

• its continuing to enrich uranium

• keeping large quantities of its existing stockpile on hand

• conducting research and development on advanced centrifuge capabilities

• and performing work on the heavy water reactor facility at Arak. 

Quite simply, these elements of a nuclear weapons program will continue to operate as the talks go on.

I also believe that Iran must be pressed to fully reveal its extensive activities to develop and test a nuclear device.  As we’ll hear today, there is a great deal of evidence that Iran has devoted much effort to this over many years.  This clearly demonstrates Iran’s intentions, and we must not let the regime cover up the extensive evidence.

But even if a so-called ‘comprehensive agreement is reached, the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran won’t be over.  One of today’s witnesses has estimated that even if we force Iran to dismantle 80 percent of its 19,000 installed centrifuges, close its entire enrichment facility at Fordow, dismantle or convert its planned heavy water reactor at Arak to a light water reactor, and agree to a multi-decade, intrusive inspections regime, Iran could still race to a nuclear weapon in a short six months.. 

Let me make my concern clear:  Even if the Administration achieves a far-reaching agreement, which many think is very unlikely – especially now that we have let up on the sanctions pressure – Iran will likely still possess the capability to very quickly produce a nuclear weapon.  The Administration appears to have us on track to face a permanent nuclear threat.”