September 10, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the need to stop the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran.
Transcript of Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“The president's nuclear deal with Iran, that's what the Senate is debating right now - a deal that President Obama negotiated with Iran, and whether that deal should stand or fall.
“This agreement could affect American foreign policy in the Middle East and beyond for this generation, as well as the next.
“It will affect America’s relationship with our allies – and with our enemies.
“Other countries are wondering: Will America accept a flawed agreement that gives Iran almost everything it asked for?
“Or will we, as the United States of America, stand strong against outlaw nations with nuclear ambitions and dreams?
“As senators prepare to vote on this legislation, we should ask: Does this agreement do enough to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program?
“Does this agreement do enough to protect the security of the American people and our friends around the world?
“I believe the answer is ‘No.’
“It would be irresponsible to support such a weak, such a naïve and such a dangerous deal.
“The original goal of ending Iran’s nuclear weapons program was a good one.
“I wish that the president had stuck with that goal.
“I wish that the president had done a better job of negotiating with the Iranians. He did not.
“During the negotiations, the administration was far too willing to make concessions that put our own national security at risk.
“We were in a very strong position during these negotiations – and the Obama administration squandered that advantage.
“The president badly wanted to strike a deal with Iran.
“And that’s a problem because President Obama has shown once again that if you want a deal bad enough, you will get a bad deal.
“The president fell in love with this deal even though it is deeply flawed.
“And deeply flawed is a description that our Democrat colleagues continue to make about this deal.
“The president cannot see the flaws that our colleagues on the Senate floor can see because, I believe, the president is blinded by deal euphoria. He is in love with the deal.
“The agreement that President Obama has negotiated will legitimize Iran’s nuclear program. It will accept Iran as a nuclear threshold state.
“This is inexcusable.
“This is not the deal the president should have signed.
“This is not the deal the president could have signed.
“It is not the deal that President Obama promised he would sign.
“President Obama once said that Iran didn’t need advanced centrifuges in order to have a limited, peaceful nuclear program.
“Under this agreement his administration did negotiate, Iran will not eliminate a single centrifuge.
“It will continue to research more advanced centrifuges – and it can even start building them.
“How did that happen?
“On the day the agreement was announced, the president of Iran bragged about how he had gotten the Obama administration to surrender on this point. To surrender – that’s the language I’m hearing around the state of Wyoming, and certainly that we’re hearing from Iran – that the president surrendered.
“He said that the United States started by saying Iran would only need 100 centrifuges. Then the number went to 1,000; then 4,000; and then we eventually allowed more than 6,000.
“When it mattered most, the administration wanted a deal so badly that it was willing to concede on point after point after point.
“Again, if you want a deal bad enough, you will get a bad deal. The same thing happened with ballistic missiles.
“General Martin Dempsey – the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States military– told the Senate Armed Services Committee, ‘Under no circumstances should we relieve pressure on Iran relative to ballistic missile capabilities and arms trafficking.’
“Defense Secretary Ashton Carter also testified at the same hearing. Now this hearing was only six days before the final deal was announced by the president. He said: ‘We want them to continue to be isolated as a military and limited in terms of the kinds of equipment and materials they are able to get.’
“Six days before the final deal was announced.
“So what happened? What did the president of the United States surrender on? With this agreement, Iran will have access to ballistic missile technology in as little as eight years, even though the secretary of defense said no, even though the chairman of the Joint Chiefs said under no circumstances.
“That’s when Russia and other countries will be able to start selling this deadly technology to Iran, and I believe that Iran will use it.
“This was a last-minute demand that Iran made, and it should have been easy for the president to reject, but he did not – he surrendered.
“Instead, President Obama was so desperate for a deal that he gave in once again.
“It’s always the same story with the Obama administration.
“If you want a deal bad enough, you will get a bad deal.
“When the Obama administration is negotiating with countries that need a deal much more than we do, the president surrenders.
“This administration has no red lines when it comes to negotiating.
“They will give away anything to get a deal.
“There have been too many concessions for anyone to be comfortable with this agreement. There are too many red flags.
“President Obama cannot see the defects that are obvious in the plan.
“He refuses to see what is so clear to the American people.
“After this agreement, Iran will be a nuclear threshold state, and a military and industrial power.
“It will have the money to support terrorists around the world. More money that is has had in the past. It will have the freedom to pursue its nuclear ambitions.
“Even some Democrats who have said they support this deal are doing so with great reservations.
“They say they know it’s not a good deal, but it’s the only option we’ve got.
“That is not a good enough reason to accept all of the risks and all of the concessions that the Obama administration allowed in this agreement.
“The president says, ‘The choice is the Iran nuclear deal or war.’ He has said it time and time again. It’s fear mongering.
“It’s not true, there is an alternative – the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said so.
“General Dempsey was asked about that at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“The general said, ‘I can tell you that we have a range of options, and I always present them.’
“It’s not just a choice between this deal or war. It’s a choice between accepting a bad deal or rejecting it.
“If the only choice is to take this deal or leave it, then we must leave it.
“The Obama administration doesn’t want us to have a vote here in the Senate.
“The Obama administration knows it signed a bad deal – and it wants the whole thing to disappear from the front pages before it causes them any more embarrassment.
“So instead of having a full and honest debate on the floor of the Senate, the president and the Senate Democrat leader are trying to hide behind a filibuster.
“That is not how the Senate should handle this important resolution to disapprove the Iran deal.
“Every member of the Senate should be willing to cast a vote – up or down – on this Iran deal.
“We should stand up, represent the people of our state and this nation, and cast our votes.
“The Obama administration has made its arguments – and I believe it has failed to make its case.
“The president has not shown that America will be better off with this deal than we would be without it.
“We have heard the administration’s excuses.
“We have heard all of the ways the final deal fell short of their promises.
“America cannot afford to let Iran have the nuclear program that this agreement will allow it to obtain.
“We should vote to disapprove the Iran deal.
“The president should drop his veto threat.
“He should send his people back to the negotiating table.
“This deal poses too great a threat to America’s national security for us to do anything less.”