Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke on the House floor this evening in support of H.R. 2194, the joint House-Senate conference report on the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act, which passed the House by a vote of 408 to 8. The Senate passed the conference report earlier today and the legislation now goes to the President for his signature into law. Below are the Speaker's remarks.
“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thank the gentleman for yielding. I thank him for his great leadership in bringing this very important legislation to the floor. And I want to commend Leader Hoyer and Whip Cantor for the bipartisan spirit with which this bill was brought to the floor. The leadership of the committee, Chairman Berman, Ranking Member Ros-Lehtinen, thank you to both of you for your leadership, bringing us together around this very important issue.
“And I am proud to rise in strong support of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act, which will provide the President with more tools to address the looming nuclear threat from Iran.
“All Members of Congress, regardless of party, agree: a nuclear Iran is simply unacceptable. It is a threat to the region, to the United States, and to our allies across the globe.
“The Iranian regime has demonstrated - time and again - its refusal to work in good faith to eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons in the Middle East and around the world. In the last year, Iran has: concealed major nuclear facilities; repeatedly blocked UN nuclear inspectors from doing their job; and openly threatened to, as the Iranian President said quote, ‘wipe Israel off the face of the map.' End of quote.
“These actions reflect a clear record of defiance. Now Iran must take steps to demonstrate its willingness to live as a peaceful partner in the international community. And we must all use all the tools at our disposal to stop Iran's march toward nuclear capability.
“This month, under President Obama's leadership, the UN Security Council passed its most far-reaching set of sanctions yet targeting Iran's nuclear program and financial system.
“Today with the passage of this legislation and when it goes to the President's desk to be signed, we give the President new tools to: impose sanctions against companies that sell Iran technology, services, know-how, and materials for its energy and petroleum sector; and we offer foreign banks a choice - they can deal with institutions that support weapons of mass destruction and terrorist activities, or they can do business with the United States.
“This is the strongest Iran sanctions legislation ever passed by the Congress.
“My colleagues, no discussion of Iran at this time is possible without condemning the actions of the Iranian regime one year ago, when they responded to public protests with deadly force.
“The American people stand for peace and security for the people of Iran. We look forward to a relationship with them; we look forward to a day when Iran is a productive partner for us, for its neighbors, and the world. Until that day, we must ensure that Iran is prevented from obtaining the nuclear weapons that would threaten global and regional security.
“Again, I thank our distinguished Chairman, Mr. Berman, Ranking Member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mr. Hoyer, and Mr. Cantor for giving us this opportunity--a strong, bipartisan way to support the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act--and hope that we can have a unanimous vote today.”