VIDEO: Senator Lankford Continues To Speak Out Against Iran Nuclear Agreement
Lankford: I'm convinced we can do better
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today spoke on the Senate floor again about the President’s Nuclear Agreement with Iran. Today’s remarks were his third Senate speech about the deal, which is scheduled to be voted on today. Among various points, Lankford focused today’s speech on what a better Iran Nuclear deal would look like.
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Below is the transcript from the speech:
“Mr. President, I do have a concern as well. Typically we reward people for a change in behavior that’s a good behavior—go from bad to good, not static, old bad behavior. The concern that I have that I have deals with Iran. We’ve seen no change in behavior. The same battles are happening in Yemen, they are leading a coup. The same issues are happening in Syria where Russia and Iran are working together to prop up Bashar Al-Assad. They’re still causing all sorts of trouble in Bahrain. This same behavior is happening in Lebanon with Hezbollah. There's been no change in behavior.
Yet the Administration is determined to make an aggressive nuclear deal to change the status quo on our sanctions on Iran based on the hope of some future new good behavior when seeing no present change in the behavior in Iran. This doesn't line up with some of the statements from our own Administration. For instance, November 2013, Secretary Kerry said there is no right to enrich. We do not recognize the right to enrich. December 2013, president Obama said we know fully that they don’t need to have an underground fortified facility like Fordow in order to have a peaceful nuclear program. Same time, December 2013, President Obama said they don’t need the advanced centrifuges they currently possess in order to have a limited peaceful nuclear program. But under this deal, not only have we given them a right to enrich, not only allowing them to have fortified underground bunkers, we’re also allowing them to have advanced centrifuges. The President said there's absolutely no reason to have them unless they're not using them for peaceful purposes.
I've heard over and over again for the last several days in this chamber, Mr. President, the conversation if someone has a better deal, you should propose it but this is the best deal that's been proposed. Let me throw a few ideas out there as a better deal as a proposal. First, why don't we actually have the opportunity to read the agreement? I would like to be able to see it. No one in this chamber has seen all aspects of this agreement. No one in the House has seen all aspects of the agreement. It's not that we won't read it. We can't read it because the Administration even they have said they have not read the entire agreement. Now, I would tell you, we don't allow secret side deals between a bank and a car dealer when you're buying a used car. We certainly don't allow secret side deals between the U.N. and Iran that no one can see. And I'm astounded that this body is okay with signing off an agreement that absolutely no one has read the entire agreement.
In fact, the administration has said they haven't even seen it. The White House wants to have it both ways. They don't want to turn over the documents which the statute requires, but they also want to keep the part of the law that says Congress only has 60 days to review it. They want to say by the end of this week it's done, but no, we're not ever going to turn the documents over the statute requires. How about this for a different idea of what we can do for an agreement, they don't keep the advanced centrifuges. Since even the President said there is no peaceful purpose for those centrifuges, if we’re going to have a good, solid agreement, they do not keep the advanced centrifuges. Not only do they keep them, they keep them in cascade, they keep them running, they keep them spinning, there is no change behavior on those centrifuges other than the promise they won’t put uranium in them.
How about this for an idea for a better agreement? We have on-site inspections that will actually allow Americans on the inspection team? How about this for a better agreement? We don't lift a ban on missile testing and research on Iran which allows Iran to start missile testing and R&D again on ballistic missiles. We don’t lift the ban on conventional weapon sales to Iran which will allow Iran to start buying large supplies of conventional weapons and surface-to-air defense systems. How about this for change in agreement, as a better agreement? Iran turns over their previous military dimensions of a nuclear program. They have stated over and over again they do not have a nuclear weapons program or ambitions. What would be the problem then in inspecting their research facilities and their technology if nothing existed? How about this for a better agreement? We don’t agree to defend Iran in case, in some future time, they’re attacked at their nuclear facilities by Israel. I think that's absolutely absurd to have in this agreement. How about this? We at least allow Iran the opportunity to publicly acknowledge that Israel has the right to exist, which they currently don't acknowledge that Israel even has the right to exist.
Or we get our American hostages back. Since we're lifting the sanctions on the individuals who personally killed hundreds of American soldiers, those sanctions are lifted, why can't we have our American hostages back? Or here’s one simple idea: Why don't we have the same nuclear agreement with Iran that we had with Libya? You see, when we negotiated the agreement with Libya years ago, their program actually ended. They actually turned their centrifuges over. They turned their nuclear material over. They allowed any time inspections. While this Administration continues to say over and over again what you’re asking for is not possible was actually done by the last Administration in Libya. This is not asking for something new or radical or different. This is asking for something enforceable and clear.
Why can't we have the same nuclear agreement with Iran that we made with Libya and actually stop Iran from advancing towards a nuclear weapon? Mr. President, I'm convinced we can do better. We must for the security of the nation as a whole. And with that, I yield back.”
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