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Condemnation of Administration's Failure to Stop the Iranian Nuclear Program

Congressman Trent Franks - Arizona 2nd District Takes to House Floor : States that Iran now has all necessary components of nuclear weapon... is the Administration planning an October Surprise?

Washington, D.C. -- After the House of Representatives voted yesterday on legislation to sanction the Iranian regime, last night Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-02) once again took to the House Floor to give a 25 minute speech in which he explains in detail how the Administration has fundamentally compromised America's national security by repeatedly squandering every opportunity over the last 3 1/2 years to stop Iran's nuclear program.

Congressman Franks also raises the scenario that the Administration, at last beginning to acknowledge just how far Iran's nuclear program has progressed and how suicidal are their intentions, may in fact be tempted to orchestrate an "October surprise" in an effort to shore up the President's national security bona fides.

Excerpts of the speech, as well as the entire transcript, are below. The video and audio of the full speech can be obtained here.

THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR THREAT:

"....tonight I stand here with a sense of urgency I find difficult to articulate, Mr. Speaker. I believe we may be facing the last window this world will ever have before it becomes too late to prevent Jihad from becoming armed with nuclear weapons, and shattering the peace and security of human freedom as we have known it."

" ....Because this administration has delayed and sent ambiguous messages to Iran and the world, as of approximately 3 months ago, Iran reached the point where it now possesses all the components necessary to become a nuclear armed nation. Mr. Speaker, Iran now has the knowledge, technical expertise, equipment -- everything needed to build a nuclear warhead. They need no new technology, personnel, parts or resources of any kind from anyone. All they need now is time and lack of intervention."

THE COST OF THE ADMINISTRATION'S FAILURE:

Iran_Nuclear_Promise"Mr. Speaker, if Iran is allowed to gain nuclear weapons. . . . [t]he world's primary financier of terrorism will be armed with nuclear warheads, a desperate nuclear arms race will rage across the entire Middle East, Israel will be in range of nuclear missiles in the hands of a Jihadist enemy who despises them, is dedicated to their complete annihilation, and capable of obliterating their entire nation in 15 minutes. America and our allies will face an enemy with the ultimate asymmetric capability of nuclear generated high altitude electromagnetic pulse, potentially capable of devastating our electric grid and the civilizational architecture it sustains. Jihadist terrorists the world over will have access to nuclear weapons and the world's children will forever have etched in their memory that moment in history when this government allowed the hellish shadow of nuclear Jihad to fall across their future."

"For almost 4 years, we have witnessed the same weakness, naiveté, vacillation, ambiguity and delusional policy toward radical jihadists in Iran that allowed them to hold 56 American hostages for 444 days during the Carter Administration. That failed approach now saturates nearly every policy corner of the Obama Administration as Iran seeks to gain a nuclear grip on America's throat."

"....Mr. Speaker, there is no longer a single rational defense for the argument that Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapons capability. So let me say this, and pray the members of this body and this nation understand, if Iran gains nuclear weapons, they will give them to terrorists the world over.

"And still, as the centrifuges in Iran are spinning, the Obama administration is fiddling, and many members of this body stand by and contemplate. Have we lost our minds?"

"....The House just voted yesterday on another Iran sanctions bill that was so weakened and watered down by Mr. Obama and his supporters in the Senate that it is now barely worth the paper it is written upon. The Administration's focus is upon sanctions, and weak sanctions at that. And even then, Mr. Obama has granted waivers to further weaken the sanctions already in place.

"I wonder if the administration has considered the fact that we have had economic sanctions against North Korea for over 60 years, and in the recent decades we have sanctioned them nearly into starvation and during that time, they have tested nuclear warheads twice. And it is a genie we cannot put back in the bottle, Mr. Speaker."

ON ISRAEL'S RESPONSIBILITY TO ACT

"So, Mr. Speaker, we should not deceive ourselves. When the head of Israeli intelligence tells the prime minister that Iran is entering into that "zone of immunity" where Israel will no longer have the conventional capacity to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons, Israel will act.

"They will act knowing that many in the world will condemn them. They will act knowing that they will be blamed for any radiation releases from Iran's nuclear facilities that might result. They will act knowing that thousands of Iranian, Hamas and Hezbollah rockets and missiles will fall upon the cities of their tiny nation in retaliation. They will act knowing that it is now extremely difficult for them to succeed. But Israel will act, Mr. Speaker, because they are students of history, and they will not be made to walk silently into the gas chambers again."

WHAT LIES AHEAD..... AN OCTOBER SURPRISE?

"So it has occurred to me, Mr. Speaker, that the Obama administration may at last have found sufficient rationale to move decisively against Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The president knows that in times of military action, the American people often rally around their president. Consequently, in spite of the fact that it has blatantly ignored the national security implications of Iran's nuclear program, it now will not surprise me at all if this administration launches an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities before the November elections to protect itself politically, even if it is done in concert with Israel to make it appear less politically motivated.

".... It would still be far better for the administration to do that than to stand idly by and force the tiny state of Israel, our closest friend and greatest ally on Earth, to undertake such a monumental task alone, with all the odds against them and facing such crushing consequences whether they succeed or fail."

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The full text of Congressman Franks's remarks are below.

Aug 2, 2012 Iran Speech - Congressman Trent Franks

Mr. Speaker, before I begin my comments tonight, let me just sincerely say that I hold in my heart this privilege of being a member of the American Family and this United States Congress to be a priceless Gift of God. I would ask that my comments tonight would be heard in that context, and I would even dare to hope, Mr. Speaker, that you and the members of this body might grant me a modicum of understanding befitting the conviction and gravity that give impulse to the statements I make tonight.

Mr. Speaker, the very first responsibility of human government is to protect its people. Many times during the nearly fours years of the Obama Administration, I have stood on the floor of this House and have called upon this administration to address the grave threat posed by Iran's nuclear weapons program. When I first began calling for Iran to be referred to the Security Council, they possessed only 157 centrifuges. Tonight, Iran possesses more than 9,000.

And tonight I stand here with a sense of urgency I find difficult to articulate, Mr. Speaker. I believe we may be facing the last window this world will ever have before it becomes too late to prevent Jihad from becoming armed with nuclear weapons, and shattering the peace and security of human freedom as we have known it.

Because this administration has delayed and sent ambiguous messages to Iran and the world, as of approximately 3 months ago, Iran reached the point where it now possesses all the components necessary to become a nuclear armed nation. Mr. Speaker, Iran now has the knowledge, technical expertise, equipment -- everything needed to build a nuclear warhead. They need no new technology, personnel, parts or resources of any kind from anyone. All they need now is time and lack of intervention.

Mr. Speaker, if Iran is allowed to gain nuclear weapons, it will unequivocally transform the landscape of human freedom as we know it, throughout the world.  The world's primary financier of terrorism will be armed with nuclear warheads, a desperate nuclear arms race will rage across the entire Middle East, Israel will be in range of nuclear missiles in the hands of a Jihadist enemy who despises them, is dedicated to their complete annihilation, and capable of obliterating their entire nation in 15 minutes.  America and our allies will face an enemy with the ultimate asymmetric capability of nuclear generated high altitude electromagnetic pulse, potentially capable of devastating our electric grid and the civilizational architecture it sustains. Jihadist terrorists the world over will have access to nuclear weapons and the world's children will forever have etched in their memory that moment in history when this government allowed the hellish shadow of nuclear Jihad to fall across their future.

For almost 4 years, we have witnessed the same weakness, naiveté, vacillation, ambiguity and delusional policy toward radical jihadists in Iran that allowed them to hold 56 American hostages for 444 days during the Carter Administration. That failed approach now saturates nearly every policy corner of the Obama Administration as Iran seeks to gain a nuclear grip on America's throat.

As always, any credible threat should be evaluated by whether an enemy possesses both the intention and the capacity to inflict harm.  The despotic regime now governing Iran has been explicitly clear in its intention toward the United States.

Official military parades in Iran have for years routinely featured a litany of slogans calling for "Death to Israel" and "Death to America."

President Ahmadinajad was speaking to the whole world when he said, "And you, for your part, if you would like to have good relations with the Iranian nation in the future…. Recognize the Iranian nation's greatness. And bow down before the greatness of the Iranian nation and surrender. If you don't accept [to do this], the Iranian nation will later force you to surrender and bow down."

Ahmadinejad also said, "Israel is about to die and will soon be erased from the geographical scene." Then he added: "The time for the fall of the satanic power of the United States has come and the countdown to the annihilation of the emperor of power and wealth has started."

Iranian Basij Commander Naqdi said "As long as America exists, we will not rest.... we must…create the environment for the destruction of America."

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has consistently denied the existence of the Holocaust, calling it a “myth” or “fabrication.”  And in the same breath, he threatens to make it happen again by repeatedly calling for the destruction of the Jewish state, for Israel to be “wiped off the map.”  He has said point-blank, "The wave of the Islamist revolution will soon reach the entire world." "Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury."

Just today, Mr. Speaker, Ahmadinejad called for the annihilation of Israel again.

The Pentagon estimates that hundreds of U.S. soldiers have died—as many as three in four of our causalities— as a result of Iran supplying terrorists in Iraq with weapons such as highly sophisticated explosive formed penetrators designed to destroy American armor and vehicles. What possesses us to believe they would not do the same with nuclear weapons?

Former Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen said "My worst nightmare is terrorists with nuclear weapons. Not only do I know they are trying to get them, but I know they will use them.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Iran “the major terrorist-sponsoring state of our time.... Tehran could give those nuclear weapons to terrorists or give them a nuclear umbrella that would bring terrorism beyond our wildest dreams.”

Mr. Speaker, can we allow a man like Ahmadinejad, leading the world's most dangerous regime, to be able to disseminate nuclear weapons to terrorists and to have his finger on the button that could launch nuclear missiles targeting our children and families?

And how do we intend to negotiate with a nuclear Iran, as Senator Obama suggested, when their Jihadist ideology considers Armageddon a good thing?

Mr. Speaker, even without nuclear weapons, the Iranian regime has remained relentless and undeterred in its efforts to harm America, Israel, and Western interests.

In October of last year, our intelligence interdicted an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador and to detonate bombs at both the Saudi Arabian and Israeli embassies right here in Washington DC. Tapes in American possession show that the Iranians were unconcerned with "collateral damage". Translated, that means dead Americans, Mr. Speaker. It also means Iran has no fear whatsoever of the Obama Administration.

And now, in recent days, we have learned that Iran was behind another barbaric terror attack on innocent civilians when its terrorist proxy, Hezbollah, bombed a Bulgarian bus killing five innocent Israeli citizens, including a pregnant woman and wounding dozens more.

Imagine how emboldened Iran will become if they are allowed to come into possession of nuclear weapons.

Specifically imagine for a moment, Mr. Speaker, the scenario of Hezbollah, one of Iran's terrorist proxies, gaining possession of just two nuclear warheads and bringing them across the border into the United States concealed, say, in bales of marijuana; then transporting them into the heart of two different, crowded, unnamed cities. Then calling and telling the White House exactly when and where the first one will be detonated, and then following through 60 seconds later.

Then imagine them calling the White House back and making demands, which if are not met would mean that the second warhead would also be detonated in a different, unnamed American city. The entire United States would be held hostage by terrorist monsters, Mr. Speaker.

Or imagine if those same terrorists acquired two small cargo ships carrying mobile launchers with SCUD missiles from Iran's existing arsenal and used them to launch those two warheads in a coordinated and devastating high altitude electromagnetic pulse attack over the homeland of the United States.

The fact is, Mr. Speaker, that Iran is pursuing the means whereby they could assist groups like Hezbollah to do exactly these kinds of horrifying things. The only components they lack to proceed are the nuclear warheads.

Mr. Speaker, there is no longer a single rational defense for the argument that Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapons capability. So let me say this, and pray the members of this body and this nation understand, if Iran gains nuclear weapons, they will give them to terrorists the world over.

And still, as the centrifuges in Iran are spinning, the Obama administration is fiddling, and many members of this body stand by and contemplate. Have we lost our minds?

Mr. Speaker, President Obama has allowed Iran to Rope-a-Dope this Administration in so-called “peace talks” that have "burned the clock" for the nearly 4 years of his presidency. The President has made stern warnings then backed down every time.

We have endured five rounds of peace talks, five different proposals, six different United Nations resolutions, and more than a dozen sets of economic sanctions.

The House just voted yesterday on another Iran sanctions bill that was so weakened and watered down by Mr. Obama and his supporters in the Senate that it is now barely worth the paper it is written upon. The Administration's focus is upon sanctions, and weak sanctions at that. And even then, Mr. Obama has granted waivers to further weaken the sanctions already in place.

I wonder if the administration has considered the fact that we have had economic sanctions against North Korea for over 60 years, and in the recent decades we have sanctioned them nearly into starvation and during that time, they have tested nuclear warheads twice. And it is a genie we cannot put back in the bottle, Mr. Speaker.

President Ahmadinejad has said of economic sanctions, "If they want to continue with that path [of sanctions], we will not be harmed. They can issue resolutions for 100 years."

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran's nuclear policies would not change no matter the pressure. He said, "With God's help, and without paying attention to propaganda, Iran's nuclear course should continue firmly and seriously. Pressures, sanctions and assassinations will bear no fruit. No obstacles can stop Iran's nuclear work."

Mr. Obama’s own director of national intelligence was asked by the Senate intelligence committee whether sanctions had any effect on the course of Iran’s nuclear program, the answer was simple: “No. None whatsoever.”

Mr. Speaker, I have said many times, starting long ago, that we should have pursued truly effective sanctions, dissident support, regime change, and political pressures to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear armed state. But Mr. Speaker, without the conviction in the minds of the Iranian leadership that military intervention will occur if they continue to develop nuclear weapons, none of these other approaches will change their minds. Our greatest hope to prevent military action against Iran was to make sure their leaders understood that the free world would respond militarily before we allowed them to threaten it with nuclear weapons.

Unfortunately, Iran's radical leaders concluded that Barack Obama simply lacked the understanding or the resolve to use military action to prevent their nuclear weapons development.  And why would they  conclude anything else, Mr. Speaker?

Even now, the stated goal of the Obama's sanctions policy is simply to get Iran back to the negotiating table, where they can waste even more time and gain more valuable advances. And if we do get them back to the negotiating table, Mr. Speaker, what compromise can we seek? Iran keeps a smaller number of nuclear weapons? No, Mr. Speaker, if Iran is hell-bent on getting nuclear weapons, there is no diplomatic solution.

In the popular revolt in Iran in 2009, the president could have assisted the dissidents to overthrow the Iranian regime, or at the very least, spoken up on their behalf.  But he left them twisting in the wind.

To call Mr. Obama a bystander in all of this is to be charitable. The truth is, Mr. Speaker, he has been nowhere to be found.

Many Congressional Republicans have written and pleaded with this president numerous times on this vital issue to absolutely no avail.

The truth is, Mr. Speaker, that this President has waited too long. He has waited so long, that the equation now before us has no good answer. His policies have only helped Iran accelerate their nuclear program. Iran is tripling its uranium output, moving enrichment facilities deep under a mountain near Qom and restraining the IAEA from even inspecting weaponization facilities.

Maybe now it is becoming clear why Israel is so concerned. Because for them, a nuclear Iran calls into question their very survival. And the Obama administration has now placed Israel into an impossible circumstance

Israel has watched this president resist an Israeli strike on nuclear facilities in Iran more than he has resisted a nuclear Iran. Israel has listened to Mr. Obama openly criticize Israel more for building homes in their capital city than he has openly criticized Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for building nuclear weapons with which to threaten the entire free world. In fact, they have watched this administration systematically scrub references that Jerusalem even is the capital of Israel.

Consequently, I believe Israel has known for some time now that they can no longer trust the Obama administration to act in their best interest.

They know that Mr. Obama has waited so long that if Israel acts now to defend their own nation, and all of us, that they will suffer a far more damaging response from the radical regimes that surround them than they otherwise would have. Israel knows if they wait much longer to attack, that Iranian nuclear facilities may well be beyond their conventional military capability.  Israel desperately needs America and her greater ability to attack heavily fortified targets. They need us, Mr. Speaker, but they will act without us if they must.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said simply and clearly, "One thing I'll never compromise on, and that is Israel's security…. "When it comes to Israel's survival, we must always remain the masters of our fate."

So what is this administration's present strategy? “We’re trying to make the decision to attack as hard as possible for Israel.”  The most disgraceful part of it, Mr. Speaker, is president Obama's threat to withhold resupply from Israel to pressure them into his brand of inaction.

So Mr. Speaker, let me see if I have this straight. The president says (according to his own State Department)that the world’s greatest supporter of terrorism, a self avowed enemy of America, with an advancing nuclear weapons program, has committed to destroy us and Israel, and that the president 's goal is to prevent Israel, our best and most committed friend and national ally on this earth…from defending themselves. Did I get that right?!?

Mr. Speaker, that's why Israel will never trust this president with their national survival.

You see Mr. Speaker, Israel knows the very inconvenient truth that when it comes to a nuclear armed Iran, if we are to prevent we must preempt. They know that the choice with Iran is no longer a choice between the way the world is now, and the way the world might be after a military strike to prevent them from gaining nuclear weapons. Rather, the choice now is between what the world will be like after a preventative military strike on Iran, or what the world will be like after Iran gains nuclear weapons.

So, Mr. Speaker, we should not deceive ourselves. When the head of Israeli intelligence tells the prime minister that Iran is entering into that "zone of immunity" where Israel will no longer have the conventional capacity to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons, Israel will act.

They will act knowing that many in the world will condemn them. They will act knowing that they will be blamed for any radiation releases from Iran's nuclear facilities that might result. They will act knowing that thousands of Iranian, Hamas and Hezbollah rockets and missiles will fall upon the cities of their tiny nation in retaliation. They will act knowing that it is now extremely difficult for them to succeed. But Israel will act, Mr. Speaker, because they are students of history, and they will not be made to walk silently into the gas chambers again.

They will act, Mr. Speaker, because they know that whatever the consequences for their actions will be, that they will pale in insignificance compared to what the consequences would be for them and the whole world if the Jihadist government of Iran were to gain nuclear weapons.

And if and when they do act, Mr. Speaker, the Obama administration will owe an apology to the whole world for ignoring this grave reality for so long, but especially to Israel for leaving them with no choice but to act on behalf of all of us.

Congressman_Trent_Franks_AZCongressman Trent Franks is a conservative Reagan Republican, and he has spent most of his life working on children’s issues and trying to build a better future for all children.

Trent is someone who still believes that there is such a thing as the truth and that people and principles should be at the center of political discourse in America. He works very hard in The United States Congress for smaller government by cutting government waste, reducing taxes, bureaucracy, and regulation. Trent believes in personal responsibility, free enterprise and that government's first purpose is to protect its innocent citizens.

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