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"America made a momentous decision"

Rep. Lloyd Doggett on the Iran Deal

July 12, 2016

On July 12, 2016, Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett spoke on the House floor in support of the historic U.S.-Iran nuclear deal. He was joined by Reps. Jared Polis (CO) and Earl Blumenauer (OR).

The following are excerpts from his speech.

Diplomats stand in front of their flags after reaching the Iran deal

Diplomats celebrate the newly-negotiated nuclear deal with Iran. Austrian Ministry for European and International Affairs / Flickr

"One year ago, America made a momentous decision concerning the best way to deal with Iran, a dangerous, authoritarian regime with a history of promoting terrorism. We made a choice between war and peace. After the colossal failure of the Bush-Cheney go-it-alone, war-of-choice in Iran; we wisely chose the path of diplomacy. Now one year after these difficult negotiations with Iran, we should recognize that success has been achieved. Even though we have not limited every danger of Iran, we have limited the most significant threat.

"Whereas before, Iran could have developed a nuclear weapon within a few months, it now would take a year or more for Iran to produce enough material for a nuclear weapon. Before the agreement, Iran’s nuclear program was cloaked in secrecy. Now Iran’s nuclear sites are subject to rigorous and regular inspection. Tomorrow, if Iran were to decide to produce a nuclear weapon, not only would it take four-to-six times longer, but we would quickly be made aware and would be able to react appropriately.

This is progress -- by every measure, America and our key allies in the region are safer now than before.

"Iran has shipped out over 8.5 tons of enriched uranium to Russia, disabled more than 12,000 centrifuges and poured concrete into the core of a reactor at Arak designed to produce plutonium. These steps cut off Iran's short-term uranium and plutonium pathways to producing a nuclear weapon. This is progress -- by every measure, America and our key allies in the region are safer now than before. Safer than if we followed their path of confrontation and war. Continuous, intrusive monitoring is the key to keeping our families safer.

"An impressive bipartisan group of 75 high-profile signatories, including Nobel laureates, generals, diplomats and legislators have approved of this accord. They praise the agreement for 'providing greater security to our friends and partners in the region and to the world,' and noting that 'all pathways to an Iranian nuclear weapon have been blocked.'

"Diplomacy, the opposite of war, is hard to start and easy to end. Let us continue on this path more likely to keep our families safer, working to ensure Iran keeps its commitments as we keep ours.

"The path ahead remains difficult and tortured. We must continue to monitor Iran as hawks, but not give in to the hawks who reject peace."