‘It would be total malpractice to squander our leverage just to jump back into a flawed deal.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Iran:
“The attacks being directed at innocent Israeli citizens are coming from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Both those terrorist groups receive support from Iran.
“The regime in Tehran is the most active state sponsor of terrorism in the world. The regime supports Shi’a terrorists, Sunni terrorists, and secular terrorists.
“Many of the rockets now raining down on Israeli cities are gifts from Iran. Technologies of terror honed by Iran’s proxies in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.
“Days ago, the U.S. Navy seized weapons on a vessel that appears to have been dispatched from Iran, bound for Yemen to fuel the violent Houthi terrorists, in violation of a UN embargo.
“Just last night, the Houthis again fired missiles against Saudi Arabia.
“And public reporting suggests Iran’s proxies, on top of assassinating Iraqi protesters, are stepping up attacks on the United States and coalition presence in Iraq as well.
“Iran is emboldened by our retreat from Afghanistan. They’re eager to challenge an Administration that appears desperate to return to a failed deal.
“What former Defense Secretary Bob Gates said this week about weakness inviting challenge from China and Russia applies to Iran, too.
“The answer is not accommodation. It is American strength.
“But reportedly, this Administration is considering preemptive concessions. A huge rollback of sanctions, squandering our leverage, just to leap back into a failed nuclear deal. I sincerely hope these reports are wrong.
“It is difficult to believe an American President would consider removing terrorism or missile-related sanctions at the very moment Iranian rockets are raining down on Israel, Iranian-backed militia are attacking American facilities in Iraq, and Iranian missiles are being trained on Saudi Arabia.
“I cannot understand why the Administration is considering any sanctions relief to induce Tehran back into the Obama deal in the first place.
“It would be total malpractice to squander our leverage just to jump back into a flawed deal. That kind of preemptive capitulation would make negotiating a better deal much more difficult.
“Iran’s own foreign minister has lamented that the terror masterminds of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps basically run the country.
“So what on earth does our Administration think the successors of Soleimani would do with another influx of cash?
“If the Administration will stay smart, stay tough, and work towards a better deal that truly halts Iran’s nuclear and missile programs, as well as a strategy to confront Iranian terrorism, then the President will find support and partnership from the Republican side.
“But if the Administration chooses policies that leave America weaker and the world more dangerous, Republicans will stand up for what’s right.”