"Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act.
"I want to commend the gentleman from California, Chairman Ed Royce of the Foreign Affairs Committee, in his leadership in bringing this bill to the floor. I also want to commend Congressman Eliot Engel for his leadership in working through this issue and bringing forward this legislation.
"The authoritarian regime in Iran is a brutal theocracy that suppresses dissent at home and sponsors terrorism and chaos abroad. For years, our State Department has listed Iran as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and many Americans have lost their lives at the hands of Iranian-backed killers. In a bid to establish regional dominance, Iran foments instability in neighboring countries and is a co-belligerent in Bashar Assad’s ruthless war against the Syrian people. Despite rhetoric that may lead some to a contrary conclusion, this is the nature of a regime that continues its headlong effort to acquire nuclear weapons capability.
"Like all Americans, I want to see Iran abandon its nuclear aspirations through peaceful negotiations, but its leaders must understand the path they are on now will only lead to more condemnation and pressure.
Considering that Iran continues to flagrantly violate numerous UN Security Council resolutions that call for the suspension of its nuclear enrichment program while denying inspectors access to suspected nuclear sites, it is clear that Iran has negotiated again and again in bad faith. America's policies must be based on facts and not some hope about a new government in Iran that will somehow change the nature of the clerical regime in Tehran. We must respond to Iran's policies and behavior, not to its rhetoric.
"This Act will strengthen the sanctions already in place and provide the President with new economic tools to pressure Iran to change course before it is too late. Strengthening these measures will help our diplomatic efforts to encourage Tehran to become a responsible member of the international community and once and for all abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
"Again I want to thank the gentleman from California, the gentleman from New York, and the rest of the Foreign Affairs Committee for their hard work on this issue, and I urge my colleagues to support this legislation. Thank you."