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Cruz Statement on The Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013

December 20, 2013

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(202) 228-7561

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, released the following statement on S. 1881, The Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013:

"The single most important thing Congress can do to defend the national security interests of the United States is send a clear and unequivocal message that we will not tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran that would pose an existential threat to our nation, the state of Israel, and our Gulf allies in the region. The United States must lead the international community to ensure the most dangerous regime in the world does not possess the world’s most dangerous weapon.

"I am pleased to join a bipartisan group of my colleagues on this resolution outlining a comprehensive deal with Iran that, if properly implemented, would represent a material degradation of Iran’s nuclear activities. The resolution also raises the important issue of Iran’s ballistic missile program, which is designed to deliver a nuclear weapon to the western hemisphere including the United States—an issue that is lamentably absent from the November 24, 2013, Joint Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program. Majority Leader Harry Reid should listen to the thirteen members of his own caucus who have co-sponsored this Resolution and allow a vote on it before the end of the year.

"Given the profound deficiencies in the deal reached in Geneva last month that this Resolution does not fully address, I am hopeful that Congress will also take additional action to curb Iran’s progress towards a nuclear weapon. Almost a month has passed since the JPA was agreed upon, and the timeline laid out in it has not even begun. We should consider at the very least making the six-month duration of the deal retroactive to November 24th, 2013 so that the Iranians do not take advantage of the ongoing negotiations to gain time.

"We should also consider instructing the Treasury Department to increase its efforts to designate Iranian individuals and companies associated with that nation’s nuclear program and proliferation of WMD activities overseen by the IRGC (“Revolutionary Guard”) who are using deceptive practices to evade economic sanctions. Such action is in accordance with the current sanctions program; it is not affected by the JPA, and it would reduce the economic benefits the Iranian regime will enjoy from this interim agreement.

"The Obama Administration has insisted the Geneva deal is an important opportunity to reach a greater rapprochement with Iran that will result in a comprehensive agreement regarding their nuclear program, and that any additional efforts at sanctions are “gratuitous” for its duration. Unfortunately, Iranian actions since November 24, 2013, including their temporarily walking out of negotiations in response to the United States enforcing existing sanctions not covered in the Geneva deal and the recent public declaration by Foreign Minister Javad Zarif that Iran retains the ability to resume uranium enrichment at a 20% level within 24 hours, are not encouraging, to say the least.

"If this pattern continues, Congress should consider immediately suspending the proposed relaxation of sanctions under the JPA unless and until Iran actually halts its nuclear program. We should not be so naïve as to allow billions of additional dollars to flow into Iran while it is flouting its international commitments and actively pursuing nuclear weapons, to the detriment of our vital national security interests."

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