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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) made the following remarks today on the House floor in support of H.Con.Res. 341, which condemns the Government of Iran for violating its international nuclear nonproliferation obligations and expresses support for efforts to report Iran to the United Nations Security Counsel:
“Mr. Speaker, the international community is being challenged again by a dangerous, deceptive lawbreaker, whose defiant pursuit of nuclear weapons threatens America’s national security interests as well as international peace and stability. And, I believe that this grave and gathering danger commands the collective attention, effort and action of the entire international community. This time, the nations of the world which are committed to peace, security and the rule of law must embrace their responsibilities, not flinch from them.
“Through this Resolution today, this House speaks with one voice in condemning in the strongest possible terms the many breaches and failures of the government of Iran to comply with its nuclear non-proliferation obligations. We call on all responsible members of the international community to impose economic sanctions designed to deny Iran the ability to develop nuclear weapons. And, we urge the Members of the United Nations Security Council to take action in response to Iran’s non-compliance with its international obligations.
“Let no one harbor any illusions: The government of Iran – which is recognized as a state sponsor of terrorism – believes it can exploit international irresolution. And, it will prey on vacillation. The international community must stand as one against this lawbreaker, whose record leaves no doubt as to its motivations.
“Iran failed to properly disclose the existence of a fuel enrichment plant and facility at Natanz, until both were revealed by opposition groups. It has failed to meet its obligations under its Safeguard Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency to report all nuclear material it has imported. It confirmed that it had conducted research on uranium conversion processes, but only after it denied doing so. On February 4 – in response to a 27-to-3 vote by the IAEA Board to report Iran to the Security Council – Iran ended voluntary cooperation with the agency and announced it would start large-scale enrichment activities.
“It goes without saying that an Iran armed with nuclear weapons constitutes a threat to the national security interests of the United States of America, as well as the peace and security of the international community. Our concerns are only heightened by the inflammatory, irresponsible statements of the Iranian President (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad), who has stated his hope for ‘a world without America’ and his desire ‘to wipe Israel off the map.’
“Mr. Speaker, when the Security Council considers Iran’s flagrant and deceptive abuses in March, I urge it to act as one. Today, I urge the Members of this House to do the same. Support this important Resolution.”