Sen. Bill Nelson’s remarks on president withdrawing from Iran deal

May 8 • 109 Views • View Comments

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U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) took to the Senate floor this evening to blast the president’s decision to withdraw from the Iran deal, and expand on comments he made shortly after the president’s announcement this afternoon.

“The president says he wants a better deal. Well, so do a lot of us,” Nelson said. “But by pulling out of the Iranian nuclear deal, it is a tragic mistake. It will divide us from our European allies, and it will allow Iran to build a nuclear weapon, a nuclear bomb, within a year.”

“Right now is the time to continue ramping up the pressure on Iran – not to back off, as pulling out of the agreement is going to do,” Nelson continued. “Let’s keep restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program – the lessened enriched uranium, the complete cementing over of the plutonium plant, the ability to inspect and to verify. And then what we ought to be doing is doubling down on Iran’s ballistic missile programming, on their regional aggression, on their support for terror, and on their human rights violations.”

“It was the tough U.S. and international sanctions that brought Iran to the table in the first place, and it was us in this Congress that enacted many of those economic sanctions,” Nelson said. “Pulling out of the Iranian nuclear agreement now is a tragic mistake.”

Rush transcript of Sen. Nelson’s remarks:

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson
Remarks on the Senate floor
May 8, 2018

Sen. Nelson: Mr. President, the president just announced that he will withdraw the United States from the Iranian nuclear deal. The president says he wants a better deal. Well, so do a lot of us.

The fact is, we need to keep pressure on Iran with additional economic sanctions to stop them from developing ICBM missiles. That was not part of the Iranian nuclear agreement. We need to ratchet up the pressure on Iran to do that — to stop their ICBM missile program.

But by pulling out of the Iranian nuclear deal, it is a tragic mistake. It will divide us from our European allies, and it will allow Iran to build a nuclear weapon, a nuclear bomb, within a year as compared to staying in the agreement, which would be at least seven to 12 years in the future. And keeping an atomic weapon out of a radical religious outfit like Iran, headed by an ayatollah, I think it is clearly in the free world’s interest to keep a nuclear weapon out of Iran’s hands. It certainly is for the free world. It is for the United States, clearly, and it’s for all of our allies.

And that’s why we had such broad support joining the U.S. In coming to an agreement that Iran not build a nuclear weapon. Pulling out of this agreement risks all of the unprecedented restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program that are already in place right now. The hundreds of visits by the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency; their ability to get in behind locked doors. Before this agreement, we never had that kind of insight into Iran.

And right now is the time to continue ramping up the pressure on Iran not to back off, as pulling out of the agreement is going to do.

So first things first, let’s keep restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program – the lessened enriched uranium, the complete cementing over of the plutonium plant, the ability to inspect and to verify. And then what we ought to be doing is doubling down on Iran’s ballistic missile programming, on their regional aggression, on their support for terror, and on their human rights violations.

It was the tough U.S. and international sanctions that brought Iran to the table in the first place, and it was us in this Congress that enacted many of those economic sanctions. And so, to sum up, we need to put more pressure on Iran with additional economic sanctions to stop them from developing their ICBM missiles.

But pulling out of the Iranian nuclear agreement now is a tragic mistake. It will divide us from our European allies, and it will cause Iran to build a nuclear bomb within a year instead of preventing it from building one for at least 7 to 12 years. That seems to me to be a choice that we made at the time, that we agreed to. This agreement, it seems all the more clear today, that we ought to continue the agreement.

Mr. President, I yield the floor.

 

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