WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) spoke on the Senate floor today outlining her specific concerns with the Iran nuclear agreement, including the argument that we must accept this deal or go to war with Iran.
Watch Senator Capito’s floor speech here.
“Mister President, I rise to express my deep concerns with the nuclear agreement negotiated between the United States, other world powers and Iran.”
“I believe that this agreement is flawed in several ways.
“First, the agreement fails to provide for an inspections regime that is strong enough to prevent Iran from fulfilling its nuclear ambitions.
“Any agreement with Iran should include rigorous and immediate inspections of suspected nuclear sites. There has been much talk and hope of an anywhere, anytime inspection regime. But anywhere, anytime inspections are not what this agreement provides.”
“Second, I find it more troubling that Congress, or even the administration, has not been given access to the understanding between Iran and the IAEA regarding how Iran’s compliance with the agreement will be implemented. This has been a subject of great discussion.
“Third, I am concerned that the agreement will provide Iran with financial resources that it could use to continue to fund terrorist groups that put Americans and our allies at risk.
“It is troubling that when the sanctions against Iran are lifted, that nation will immediately receive at least $150 billion in assets. As a designated state sponsor of terrorism for over thirty years, Iran has funded proxy wars across the region.”
“While no one knows for sure how Iran will spend the signing bonus it receives from sanctions relief, the regime’s prior behavior provides the best evidence of how it will act in the future.”
“Finally, I am worried that the decision to lift the embargo on conventional arms and ballistic missiles sold to Iran will allow Iran to present a greater threat to its neighbors.”
“Despite these questions and concerns, the administration has argued that our only options are to accept this deal or go to war with Iran.
“To accept this binary choice is to say that the American people should accept this deal, regardless of how one sided it may be, in order to avoid a military conflict with Iran.
“As a newspaper in my state, The Charleston Gazette-Mail, editorialized yesterday, this argument ‘paint[s] a simplistic picture that allows [its proponents] to gloss over the very real problems with this deal.’
“The Gazette-Mail continued that ‘The deal’s many critics have consistently made the case that there are other possible paths. The problem is that this administration doesn’t want to take them.’
“Even the president’s top general agrees that this is a false proposition. Just this morning, when asked if the choice was binary – accept the Iran agreement or go to war – General Martin Dempsey, Chair of the Joint Chiefs, said that ‘we have a range of options and I always present them.’
“All of us would prefer a diplomatic solution in Iran. But a good agreement with Iran is one that will truly cut off Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon and improve the security situation in the Middle East.
“The sanctions passed by this Congress, together with the sanctions that were built in concert with our foreign allies over the course of a decade, were what brought Iran to the negotiating table in the first place.
“Those sanctions should be kept in place and strengthened until Iran is forced to accept a deal that actually makes the region safer.”
“The posterity of our nation and our allies depends on the critical policy decisions made by this Congress and this administration. Now is the time to carefully consider the nature of Iran’s threats towards Israel and America, the history of Iranian funded terrorism and the consequences of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.
“America does not have to accept a bad deal.”