Last Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint meeting of Congress. It was a great honor to have Prime Minister Netanyahu come to the United States and speak to both Houses of Congress.
During his address, the Prime Minister reaffirmed the importance of a strong alliance between the United States and Israel. Welcoming Prime Minister Netanyahu was a vital step in solidifying our bond with Israel and reaffirming our unwavering commitment to provide the support necessary to preserve Israel’s security and protect American interests. As we all work to see freedom and stability in the Middle East, maintaining a strong strategic alliance with Israel – our greatest ally in the region – is of critical importance.
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s remarks also provided a stark reminder of the maliciousness that is central to Iran’s global agenda. One of the gravest threats facing the world is the prospect of the Iranian regime attaining the capability to produce a nuclear weapon. It must be the policy of the United States to do everything within our power to prevent this from happening. For decades, Iran has unequivocally stated its desire to see the complete destruction of the United States and our ally Israel. While Iran insists that it seeks the development of a nuclear program for peaceful domestic purposes, it instead works in the shadows to develop weapons capable of wielding mass destruction.
Iran and the P5+1 nations, which include the United States, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom, wrapped up another round of negotiations last Wednesday and failed, yet again, to resolve negotiations surrounding Iran’s nuclear program. This should not come as a surprise. It is just another indication that Iran is not interested in negotiating in good faith to terminate its nuclear program. Instead, the Iranian regime is taking advantage of the lenience of many world leaders to evade economic sanctions, which to this point have been critically successful in hindering the regime’s nefarious shadow operations.
Iran has been unwilling to make necessary compromises, and there is little reason to believe this will change. We must not make any short-sighted concessions to the Iranian regime just for the sake of making a deal. Rather, we should impose the full force of economic sanctions authorized by Congress to maintain pressure on Iran to abandon its nuclear aspirations.
Congress has a vital obligation to conduct rigorous oversight of the Administration’s negotiations with Iran because allowing Iran to achieve the nuclear capabilities it seeks would pose an existential threat not only to Israel, but to the world. I am grateful for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s leadership in the effort to prevent a nuclear Iran and offering the American people the opportunity to receive his invaluable perspective on these critical issues. I remain committed to enhancing the necessary sanctions against the Iranian regime and to doing everything within our power to keep Iran from gaining nuclear capabilities.
If you need any additional information or if we may be of assistance to you, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.
Robert Hurt represents Virginia’s Fifth District in Congress.