Approval of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 10, 2015
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Foreign Affairs


Mr. PRICE of North Carolina. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of this historic nuclear agreement reached by the United States and our negotiating partners with Iran. For the sake of our national security and that of our allies, we must seize this unique opportunity.

In the midst of all these wild charges, let's just try to get some perspective. In fact, this agreement goes far beyond any negotiated nuclear deal in history.

It will reduce Iran's stockpiled uranium by nearly 98 percent; it will permanently prevent the plutonium pathway to a nuclear weapon at Arak; it will disable and mothball two-thirds of Iran's enrichment centrifuges, including more advanced models; it will terminate all enrichment at Fordow; and it will provide for intrusive inspections of nuclear sites in perpetuity.

This is an unprecedented degrading--not just a freezing, a massive degrading--of Iran's nuclear program. No military strike or strikes could achieve as much.

I challenge any of the agreement's detractors to present a viable alternative that achieves the same result and will verifiably prevent a nuclear-armed Iran for the foreseeable future. They won't--and they haven't--because they can't. There simply isn't a viable diplomatic or military alternative for preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon.

The notion that we could somehow unilaterally reject the agreement and still compel the P5+1 to resume negotiations is pure fantasy. Our international partners have made clear that reinstating the effective sanctions regime that brought Iran to the negotiating table would be impossible. For Congress to scuttle the deal would destroy our credibility as a negotiating party and would very likely put Iran right back on the path to developing a weapon.

The stakes couldn't be higher. The nuclear issue should transcend political opportunism and partisan rancor. We should be working together across party lines to ensure the swift and effective implementation of the JCPOA. We should be exploring ways that we can enhance cooperative efforts with Israel and the international community to address Iran's support for Hezbollah and its gross abuse of human rights as well as other critical challenges in the Middle East.

Today, we can start down that path by supporting the agreement. I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on the resolution of approval.