[House Hearing, 111 Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
IRAN: RECENT DEVELOPMENTS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR U.S. POLICY
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED ELEVENTH CONGRESS
JULY 22, 2009
Serial No. 111-31
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COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California, Chairman
GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey
Samoa DAN BURTON, Indiana
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey ELTON GALLEGLY, California
BRAD SHERMAN, California DANA ROHRABACHER, California
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois
ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
BILL DELAHUNT, Massachusetts RON PAUL, Texas
GREGORY W. MEEKS, New York JEFF FLAKE, Arizona
DIANE E. WATSON, California MIKE PENCE, Indiana
RUSS CARNAHAN, Missouri JOE WILSON, South Carolina
ALBIO SIRES, New Jersey JOHN BOOZMAN, Arkansas
GERALD E. CONNOLLY, Virginia J. GRESHAM BARRETT, South Carolina
MICHAEL E. McMAHON, New York CONNIE MACK, Florida
JOHN S. TANNER, Tennessee JEFF FORTENBERRY, Nebraska
GENE GREEN, Texas MICHAEL T. McCAUL, Texas
LYNN WOOLSEY, California TED POE, Texas
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas BOB INGLIS, South Carolina
BARBARA LEE, California GUS BILIRAKIS, Florida
SHELLEY BERKLEY, Nevada
JOSEPH CROWLEY, New York
MIKE ROSS, Arkansas
BRAD MILLER, North Carolina
DAVID SCOTT, Georgia
JIM COSTA, California
KEITH ELLISON, Minnesota
GABRIELLE GIFFORDS, Arizona
RON KLEIN, Florida
Richard J. Kessler, Staff Director
Yleem Poblete, Republican Staff Director
David S. Abramowitz, Chief Counsel deg.
Kristin Wells, Deputy Chief Counsel deg.
Alan Makovsky, Senior Professional Staff Member
David Fite, Senior Professional Staff Member deg.
Pearl Alice Marsh, Senior Professional Staff Member deg.
David Killion, Senior Professional Staff Member deg.
James Ritchotte, Professional Staff Member deg.
Michael Beard, Professional Staff Member deg.
Amanda Sloat, Professional Staff Member deg.
Peter Quilter, Professional Staff Member deg.
Daniel Silverberg, Counsel deg.
Brent Woolfork, Junior Professional Staff Member deg.
Shanna Winters, Senior Policy Advisor and Counsel deg.
Laura Rush, Professional Staff Member/Security Officer deg.
Genell Brown, Senior Staff Associate/Hearing Coordinator
C O N T E N T S
Patrick Clawson, Ph.D., Deputy Director for Research, The
Washington Institute for Near East Policy...................... 8
Abbas Milani, Ph.D., Co-Director, Iran Democracy Project, Hoover
Institution, Director, Iranian Studies, Stanford University.... 17
Michael Rubin, Ph.D., Resident Scholar, The American Enterprise
Institute, Senior Lecturer, Naval Postgraduate School.......... 24
Suzanne Maloney, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Saban Center for Middle
East Policy, The Brookings Institution......................... 32
Mr. Karim Sadjadpour, Associate, Middle East Program, Carnegie
Endowment for International Peace.............................. 43
Orde F. Kittrie, J.D., Professor of Law, Arizona State
University, Co-Director, Iran Energy Project, Foundation for
Defense of Democracies......................................... 51
LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING
Patrick Clawson, Ph.D.: Prepared statement....................... 11
Abbas Milani, Ph.D.: Prepared statement.......................... 20
Michael Rubin, Ph.D.: Prepared statement......................... 28
Suzanne Maloney, Ph.D.: Prepared statement....................... 36
Mr. Karim Sadjadpour: Prepared statement......................... 46
Orde F. Kittrie, J.D.: Prepared statement........................ 53
The Honorable Howard L. Berman, a Representative in Congress from
the State of California, and Chairman, Committee on Foreign
Affairs: Letter from the Iranian American Bar Association dated
July 22, 2009.................................................. 106
The Honorable Keith Ellison, a Representative in Congress from
the State of Minnesota: Op-ed by Trita Parsi, Ph.D............. 110
Hearing notice................................................... 114
Hearing minutes.................................................. 115
The Honorable Howard L. Berman: Prepared statement............... 117
The Honorable Gerald E. Connolly, a Representative in Congress
from the State of Virginia: Prepared statement................. 119
The Honorable Michael E. McMahon, a Representative in Congress
from the State of New York: Prepared statement................. 121
The Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee, a Representative in Congress
from the State of Texas: Prepared statement.................... 122
The Honorable Ron Klein, a Representative in Congress from the
State of Florida: Prepared statement........................... 125
IRAN: RECENT DEVELOPMENTS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR U.S. POLICY
WEDNESDAY, JULY 22, 2009
House of Representatives,
Committee on Foreign Affairs,
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:10 a.m. in
room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Howard L. Berman
(chairman of the committee) presiding.
Chairman Berman. The committee will come to order. I
believe the ranking member will be joining us in just a moment.
But before I begin my opening statement, I want to make mention
several procedural issues.
In the context of all of our hearings, we request that the
audience members do not hold up or wave signs, make gestures to
attract attention, stand up and protest, stand up and shout or
yell your views, or otherwise disrupt the hearing. And we will
ask the Capitol Police to remove anyone from the room who
violates this policy. It is the policy of the Capitol Police to
arrest anyone ejected from a hearing room.
After the ranking member and I make our opening remarks,
the chairman and ranking member of the Middle East and South
Asia Subcommittee will have an opportunity to make 3-minute
statements. I would strongly encourage other members to submit
their statements for the record or make any comments they may
have during their time for questioning, which will be extended
for this hearing only.
Because we have such a large panel, I would ask all the
witnesses to summarize their statements in 5-7 minutes. Your
entire written statements will be made a part of the record.
Finally, the ranking member and I have agreed that all
members will be given 7 minutes to question the witnesses. This
means that both the questions and answers must be completed
within 7 minutes, and we will enforce that time limit strictly.
It is not the intention of the chair to break for lunch. We are
going to plow right through until we are done and now I will
yield myself time for the opening statement.
No, I am not bringing food, either.
On June 12th, Iranians went to the polls in what was
expected to be a close Presidential election. But instead of a
down-to-the-wire contest, the Iranian Government almost
immediately declared that the incumbent had been reelected in a
landslide. This hearing takes place in the wake of 6 weeks of
post-election turmoil and uncertainty, the most significant
internal upheaval since the 1979 revolution. Hundreds of
thousands of courageous Iranians have taken to the street in
defiance of the regime to protest the election results.
The regime responded brutally to these peaceful
demonstrators. By the government's own admission, at least 20
protestors were killed and some 500 are in prison awaiting
trial. Most human rights groups say the actual numbers are much
higher, with some putting the number killed well into the
Iran also barred its domestic and foreign press from
covering the demonstration; shut down cell-phone coverage and
the Internet for long periods of time to limit communication
among the dissidents; arrested foreign journalists; and, in
total disregard of international law, broke into the British
Embassy to arrest local hires.
The people of Iran should know that the over 1 million
Iranians living in America and hundreds of millions of other
Americans stand in awe of their courage to stand up for free
election. Have no doubt, the American people stand with you.
Post-June 12 events in Iran raise many questions. Has the
regime, as many have said, now lost much, if not all, of its
legitimacy? Is the clerical elite now irrevocably divided? Has
the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps become the dominant force
in the country? If so, what are the implications of these
developments? Should we expect further turmoil? Is the regime's
survival in question? And, most important, what are the
implications for United States and international efforts to
prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability?
The facts on the ground are deeply disturbing. Iran has
made significant progress on its nuclear program, far exceeding
expectations of the recent past. According to the International
Atomic Energy Agency, Iran has now installed more than 7,000
centrifuges, and has produced enough low-enriched uranium to
fuel a nuclear explosive device, were that low-enriched uranium
to be transformed into highly-enriched uranium.
And some would point out that this describes only Iran's
overt programs; in many quarters, the suspicion lurks that Iran
also has a covert program that is even further along.
The nuclear issue is urgent and it is of such overriding
importance to America's national security--and to regional
stability--that we can't afford to drop the ball. Whatever our
feelings about the authoritarian regime in Tehran, that regime
continues to hold the reins of power, and for now, I believe
President Obama is correct in continuing to pursue a policy of
Why? Because our previous policy of seeking to isolate the
regime simply did not work. Nothing we have done has slowed
Iran's drive to acquire a nuclear weapons capability. And only
by making a good-faith effort to engage Iran can we build the
support we need from the international community to impose the
crippling sanctions necessary should engagement fail.
But while it is important to pursue engagement, it is also
critical that these efforts be time-limited and that the
administration be prepared to try a different approach if Iran
is not cooperating.
As I understand it, that is exactly the administration's
policy. The President recently said that Iran's willingness to
engage will be reevaluated in early fall after the September
24-25 G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh. He has also said that
``[w]e're not going to create a situation in which talks become
an excuse for inaction while Iran proceeds'' on its nuclear
efforts. In short, if I can paraphrase the President, we should
not allow Iran to run out the clock.
I agree with the President's timetable. If by autumn the
Iranians are not responsive to United States efforts to engage
them, it likely will be time to move on, hopefully in close
coordination with our allies in other key countries.
That is also my approach regarding H.R. 2194, the Iran
Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act, which I introduced with the
ranking member in April, and which is now co-sponsored by well
over half the Members of the House. My bill would impose
sanctions on companies that are involved in exporting refined
petroleum products to Iran or in helping Iran to increase or
maintain its existing domestic refining capacity.
This legislation would force companies in the energy sector
to choose between doing business with Iran or doing business
with the United States. The Iranian economy is heavily
dependent on imports of refined petroleum, so this
legislation--if it becomes law--would significantly increase
economic pressure on Iran and hopefully persuade the regime to
change its current course.
When I introduced H.R. 2194, I said that I did not intend
to immediately move it through the legislative process. I
wanted--and still want--to give the administration's efforts to
engage Iran every possible chance to succeed, within a
reasonable time frame. I view the bill as a ``sword of
Damocles'' over the Iranians--a clear hint of what will happen
if they do not engage seriously and move rapidly to suspend
their uranium enrichment program, as required by numerous U.N.
Security Council resolutions. If engagement doesn't work, then
I am prepared to mark up the bill in committee early this fall.
Thus far, Iran has not been responsive--not on the
bilateral front, and not even on the multilateral front. Last
month, Iran cancelled its attendance at the G-8 Ministerial in
Trieste, Italy. It has refused to set a date for the next P5+1
meeting. It is now late July--close enough to the
administration's time-limit, and to my own, that Iran should be
able to hear the clock ticking.
I am now pleased to turn to my ranking member, the
gentlelady from Florida, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for any opening
remarks she might want to make.
Ms. Ros-Lehtinen. Thank you so much, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you for holding this hearing on Iranian internal
political and economic developments and the implication for
United States policy. We have an impressive group of witnesses,
and I look forward to receiving their input.
Mr. Chairman, I had hoped, however, that since this is the
first full committee hearing on Iran we have held this year,
and in light of your statement during the June 10th floor
debate on the Foreign Relations Authorization Bill, that the
committee would have hearings in July on how multilateral
sanctions and the engagement process, the diplomatic process,
has worked, that we would have heard from administration
witnesses, and I hope that that will happen.
I respectfully request a follow-up hearing with senior
administration officials on this topic. As I mentioned in the
hearing earlier this month on the proposed U.S.-UAE Civil
Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, I am an equal opportunity
worrier. Last July, in a hearing before this committee, I
criticized the Bush administration's endorsement of an expanded
incentive package under the P5+1, stating it granted undue
legitimacy and leverage to the regime in Tehran, and the only
thing we have to show for this approach is that Iran is now 2
years closer to nuclear capabilities.
And my remarks, sadly, are as true today as they were then.
Just in the 7 years since Iran's illegal nuclear program was
uncovered, the United States position has gone from imitating
the successful Libya model and calling for a complete,
permanent, verifiable dismantlement of Iran's nuclear program;
to calling for the cessation of enrichment reprocessing to
temporary suspension, to the current United States position,
whereby the U.S. has accepted a so-called Iranian civilian
nuclear program, is pursuing direct engagement with the Iranian
regime, and is now engaged in a proliferation of nuclear
cooperation agreements with other countries in the Middle East.
Secretary Clinton stated earlier today that the U.S. would
upgrade the defense capabilities of, and extend a defense
umbrella over, United States allies in the Persian Gulf. This
was met with much concern and skepticism in Israel, where Dan
Meridor, the Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy, told
Army Radio, ``I was not thrilled to hear this American
statement that they will protect their allies with a nuclear
umbrella, as if they have already come to terms with a nuclear
I would ask our witnesses today for their views on this
U.S. approach, whether it signals an acceptance by the United
States of a nuclear Iran, and how this impacts sanctions
efforts and other efforts. Please comment.
Turning to recent developments inside Iran and how these
could affect the regimes' and our strategic calculations, the
so-called supreme leader must now resort to manipulating
elections and using force against unarmed demonstrators to
preserve the regime's hold on power. Regime authorities have
detained independent-minded individuals, repressed
organizations under the guise of protecting the regime against
what it labels as internal enemies, saboteurs, even
A process that has gone largely unnoticed outside of Iran
is the rise of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps or IRGC.
The rule of the mullahs has been significantly replaced by the
Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, a quasi-military
organization which has become the predominant power in that
country. The IRGC controls large swaths of the economy and
society. It uses its police and military forces to ensure
obedience. It even has a dominant role in Iran's nuclear
weapons and ballistic missile capabilities.
And it is only in this context that we can fully understand
what is now taking place in Iran following the sham elections
of June 12. In addition to providing us their analysis of
Iran's internal developments, I would appreciate it if our
witnesses would address how these are affecting the regime's
influence outside of the country and how we can capitalize on
any political and economic vulnerabilities.
For decades, Iran has spread unrest around the world,
directly and through its proxies, such as Hamas and Hezbollah.
Tehran has also facilitated attacks on United States forces in
Iraq and in Afghanistan. The regime continues to pursue long-
range missiles and seeks to enhance its chemical and biological
The most salient issue is Iran's nuclear weapons program.
Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
recently said, ``The clock has continued to tick on Iran's
development of nuclear capabilities, and our time to stop them
is running out.'' Ahmadinejad has declared many times that
negotiations regarding Iran's nuclear program are dead. He
reiterated that position on May 25th of this year and again
last month. It is time for our policy to be based on facts and
not on hope.
It is long past time that we apply a badly needed sense of
urgency to our policy toward the Iranian regime. It is time for
us to fully realize that a regime that tortures, oppresses, and
violently suppresses dissent, that only has disdain for its
people, is not a regime that the U.S. should be legitimizing.
I look forward to receiving the testimony of our witnesses
today, listening to your recommendations on what the United
States can do to support the people of Iran while undermining
the ability of the regime to threaten its people, the region,
and global peace and security.
Thank you, as always, Mr. Chairman, for this hearing and
the ability to ask great questions to our wonderful witnesses.
Chairman Berman. Thank you.
And I am very pleased to recognize the chairman of the
Middle East and South Asia Subcommittee, the gentleman from New
York, Mr. Ackerman.
Mr. Ackerman. Thank you.
Mr. Chairman, I don't think it is a secret that I have been
a very active advocate of sanctions in Iran. For many years, I
have thought it essential to force Iran to pay a price, some
price, any price, for its regional subversion, its state
sponsorship of terrorism and, most of all, its nuclear
proliferation. In this last regard, however, I feel it may
already be too late for sanctions.
In April of last year, I warned that our thinking about the
Iranian nuclear problem needed to change. I suggested then that
``Options that years ago would have seemed reckless have now
become essential leverage if we are going to be successful in
peacefully getting Iran to back down. With Iranian
proliferation on the horizon, what is feckless is in fact
reckless.'' That is what I said a year ago.
As have many others, I supported the administration's
efforts to engage Iran. In my travels through the Middle East
and here in Washington, I have asked Israelis and numerous Arab
leaders if they supported the President's approach to engage
Iran. Every single intelligence chief, Minister, King, Prince,
President, head of state, responded exactly the same way;
America's engagement is long overdue and absolutely essential.
And then when I ask them if they thought it would work, to a
man, they said, absolutely not. I don't think they are wrong
Recent events in Iran are instructive. But confronted by a
challenge, Iran's rule is responded like any other pack of
thugs with regime-sponsored violence and other disregard for
human life. And it should be noted, the concerns and views of
the rest of the world matter to them not in the slightest. In
short, with their backs against the wall, Iran's rulers didn't
care who or how many got hurt.
Unfortunately, these events don't bode well for the
administration's effort; whether or not bilateral discussions
are going on right now or not, I don't know. But either way, I,
frankly, have little hope that Iran's rulers will give up their
nuclear ambitions in any case.
What we have seen of late strongly suggests that Iran's
rulers would gladly break the country in half in order to
preserve their grip on power, and even given what has happened
in Iraq and what has not happened in North Korea, I suspect
Iran's thugocracy sees nuclear arms as their ultimate insurance
All of this is to say that we need to start thinking again,
not just about sanctions and not just about what constitutes
so-called crippling sanctions, but whether there is any level
of economic sanctions sufficient to compel a change in Iran's
nuclear program. And as we consider this question vis-a-vis
Iran, I would suggest we think seriously about the decade of
truly comprehensive sanctions on Iraq, which ultimately failed
to resolve concerns about weapons of mass destruction that
didn't even exist. Does anyone think that the Ayatollah
Khomeini is a nicer guy than Saddam Hussein?
This is reality; Iran is marching swiftly toward either a
bomb or either a latent nuclear capability. This development is
deeply destabilizing in an already deeply unstable region.
Successful proliferation by Iran will most likely destroy the
NPT and the international law against norm against nuclear
proliferation. If left unaddressed by the United States and the
rest of the international community, as seems to be the case
right now, Israel will have to either live under Iranian
nuclear sword or act preemptively themselves.
In April of last year, I concluded by saying, I am not
calling for another war; I want to prevent one. But we may have
to go right up to the brink to be considered serious and
Chairman Berman. The time for the gentleman has expired.
Mr. Ackerman. To make nuclear weapons unacceptable.
Chairman Berman. The gentleman from Indiana, the ranking
member of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia,
Mr. Burton, is recognized for 3 minutes.
Mr. Burton. Thank you.
Mr. Chairman, I have been one of your strong supporters of
2194, and I can't for the life of me figure out why we are
waiting month after month to bring that bill to the floor. It
has 260 co-sponsors. Everybody understands the threat that Iran
opposes, and we are sitting here talking.
They have been developing a nuclear weapons program, as I
understand it from staff, for almost two decades. They haven't
made any allusions about stopping or creating any illusions
about stopping that nuclear program. They are not going to
And unless we start imposing sanctions, real sanctions
right now, like your bill would do, give the President the
authority, we are giving him the authority to do it; let's do
it. I mean, he has tried to reach out to them. He has said that
he is willing to talk and all that other stuff. It ain't
working, and it is not going to work.
They have, as you just said, 7,000 centrifuges right now.
They are developing a nuclear capability. And I know B.B.
Netanyahu. And I know that he is a man that doesn't want to
have a conflict over there. But I don't believe he or the
Government of Israel is going to sit back if they have
intelligence information and wait for them to complete a
nuclear weapons program or a delivery system.
We are messing around by waiting and not imposing sanctions
today. Every day that we wait, we are risking a major conflict
over there. Now, from the United States' standpoint, we are
getting what 30, 35 percent of our energy from that part of the
world right now. We don't need a conflagration that might
involve nuclear weaponry. I mean, it would be horrible.
And so, you know, the people over there, obviously, the
people over there are good people. They like America for the
most part, the people over there. It is not the people; it is
the government. And we need to start putting pressure on that
government post haste, and we haven't been doing it.
If we start putting the hammer to them, if we give the
President the authority and he starts getting our allies to
stop them from getting refined oil back in their country, that
will put extreme pressure on that government, because the
people over there are already upset because of these elections.
And there is a very good chance that the people of Iran would
make some move to overthrow that government and bring in a real
democratic government that they could live with.
But for us to keep--I mean, I don't know how many hearings
I have been to. I have been on this committee now for 27 years.
I don't know how many hearings I have been to where we were
talking about how we can work with Iran or how we want to work
with Iran; we want to open up a dialogue. It isn't going to
work. The one thing about North Korea, you know they are going
to lie. Iran doesn't have to lie. They keep telling us they are
not going to pay any attention to us, and they go right ahead.
We need to impose sanctions now, not later.
Chairman Berman. The time of the gentleman has expired.
We have an excellent group of witnesses, some focused on
the economic issues and some focused on the political issues in
terms of the issues raised up until now and in Iran.
I am going to introduce them in the order that they will be
asked to testify.
First is a familiar face to this committee, Patrick
Clawson, deputy director of research at the Washington
Institute for Near East Policy. He previously spent 5 years at
the National Defense University's Institute for National
Strategic Studies, and 4 years at the IMF, the World Bank and
the Foreign Policy Research Institute. He is the author or
editor of over 25 books, including, ``The Last Resort:
Consequences of Preventa deg.tive Military Action
against Iran,'' published in 2008. And he has interesting ideas
about how to take credit for the sun rising in the east.
Abbas Milani is the co-director of the Iran Democracy
Project at the Hoover Institution. He is also the Hamid and
Christina Moghadam director of Iranian studies at the Stanford
University. He has previously taught at the University of
California at Berkley.
Michael Rubin is resident scholar at the American
Enterprise Institute and a senior lecturer at the Naval Post-
Graduate School's Center for Civil Relations. He previously
served as the editor of Middle East Quarterly and is a staff
advisor on Iran and Iraq at the U.S. Department of Defense. He
is the author of numerous books, including the forthcoming,
``Talking to the Enemy: The Promise and Perils of Engagement.''
Suzanne Maloney is a senior fellow at the Saban Center for
Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. She previously
served on the State Department Policy Planning Staff, and as
director of the 2004 Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on
U.S. Policy towards deg. Iran. She has published
widely on Iran and her forthcoming book from Cambridge
University Press will analyze Iran's political economy.
Karim Sadjadpour is an associate at the Carnegie Endowment
for International Peace. He was previously the chief Iran
analyst at the International Crisis Group. He is a frequent
media contributor for organizations such as the BBC, CNN, and
the New York Times. He has lectured at Harvard, Princeton and
Orde Kittrie is a professor of law at Arizona State
University and a visiting scholar at the John Hopkins School of
Advanced International Studies. He is also a senior fellow at
the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, where he co-
directs the Iran Energy Project. He previously served 11 years
in the State Department where he worked on trade and nuclear
This is our excellent panel.
And Patrick, why don't you start it off?
STATEMENT OF PATRICK CLAWSON, PH.D., DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR
RESEARCH, THE WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY
Mr. Clawson. Mr. Chairman, honorable members, thank you for
the privilege of permitting me to testify today. I have
prepared a statement that I would like to submit for the
Chairman Berman. All statements will be included in the
Mr. Clawson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Let me put on my economist hat to address the state of
Iran's economy and its vulnerability to foreign economic
First a word about Iran's overall economic situation. There
is no country in the Middle East that has suffered more from
the oil curse than Iran. Iran had spectacular economic growth
when its oil income was modest. Indeed that oil revenue fueled
But after the 1973 oil price rises, Iran became addicted to
oil while the rest of the economy suffered. That was true under
the Shah and has gotten worse under the Islamic Republic.
For years, the different political factions in Iran have
all agreed that the economy was in bad shape and that drastic
steps were needed, but no one has been willing to tackle the
entrenched interests, and so, therefore, the country's economy
The problem with the oil curse has been on full display in
the last decade. Since 2000, oil prices have been on the rise.
From 2000 to 2003, the average price was 50 percent higher than
it had been in the 1990s. And from 2004 to 2008, things got
even better for Tehran; each year the oil price rose 30
With this windfall, Iran's economy has grown at 6 percent a
year on average, which is faster than that of the United States
or other industrial countries. However, it is a lot slower than
the double-digit growth which should have been possible with
this windfall. And Iranians have been profoundly unhappy about
their country's economic performance because they realize what
a missed opportunity the last few years have been.
The oil windfall has been misused by President Ahmadinejad.
He has taken that money and used it to engage in populous
policies designed to secure short-term popularity at the
expense of long-term growth. The budget for grants and
subsidies went from $11 billion when Ahmadinejad took office to
$25 billion this year. An equivalent increase in the United
States would be if we spent an extra $550 billion a year on
grants and subsidies. And that is just the explicit subsidies
in the budget.
There is also an implicit subsidy which comes from pricing
oil and natural gas well below world market rates. The former
central bank governor of Iran estimates those implicit
subsidies at $45 billion a year; while the IMF estimates them
at $85 billion a year. Even at the lower figure, the equivalent
for the United States would be a $2.1 trillion subsidy.
While this oil windfall has been largely wasted, it has had
a substantial foreign policy impact. The additional oil income
swamped the impact of increased foreign economic pressure. Iran
could easily afford the higher price on its imports that came
because of our sanctions operations. After all, Iran's imports
tripled in the last 5 years. Given such a spectacular increase
in the availability of foreign goods, it was hard to make the
case that foreign sanctions were holding back growth.
In short, the last few years have been a particularly
difficult time for foreign economic pressure to have much
impact on Iran.
But the prospect for the next few years is entirely
different. Oil revenues are declining instead of rising, and
that is going to pose serious problems for Iran funding its
imports and paying for its government budget. If oil prices
stay at their current level, Iran's export earnings will be
down $20 billion from last year.
Now, at first, Iran could use its ample foreign exchange
reserves to make up for the shortfall, but those reserves are
going to run out, certainly within 3 years, and if oil prices
fall, they will run out even faster.
Then there is the government budget problem. The government
spending has been increasing at a brisk pace under Ahmadinejad.
At present oil prices, Iran will run a considerable budget
deficit. And furthermore, Iran is not in a position to finance
that deficit by borrowing from domestic banks because
Ahmadinejad has ordered the banks to lend money for
politically-favored but uneconomical projects. So the banks are
in poor shape.
In sum, the current situation in which Iran's economy is
likely to do poorly in the next few years is a perfect moment
for the international community to impose additional sanctions
on Iran. No longer can Iran afford to offset the impact of
those sanctions with a flood of higher oil income. On the
contrary, the sanctions will come at a time of looming economic
hardship, and there is excellent reason to expect that Iranian
public opinion will blame the economic problems on the
hardliners' isolation of Iran from the international community.
In other words, we are in the position of being able to take
credit for that which is going to happen anyway. And in
politics, if you can get credit for making the sun rise in the
East, take it.
Foreign pressure will not cause Iran's economy to collapse,
nor should that be our goal. But such pressure may well be able
to contribute to what is becoming an intense debate inside Iran
about the wisdom of a confrontational and isolationist policy
toward the international community. That debate offers the best
prospect for a fruitful resolution of a nuclear impasse,
because those who want Iran to join the world are not willing
to pay a high price for a nuclear program which they
increasingly see as part of the Ahmadinejad agenda, not as part
of a national project.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Clawson
follows:]Patrick Clawson deg.
Chairman Berman. Thank you very much, Dr. Clawson.
And now, Dr. Milani.
STATEMENT OF ABBAS MILANI, PH.D., CO-DIRECTOR, IRAN DEMOCRACY
PROJECT, HOOVER INSTITUTION, DIRECTOR, IRANIAN STUDIES,
Mr. Milani. Good morning, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you to the ranking member and the rest of the
Let me begin by saying that the last time I talked to this
committee, Congressman Lantos held the gavel, and he embodied
for me in his life and vision the best of America as the City
on the Hill. I am humbled by his memory and would like to
remind us of his service.
I, too, have prepared a statement that I would like to
submit to you, but I will try to make my presentation as much a
direct answer to some of your questions as a summary of the
statement, if I may.
I think Iran is in a purgatory today. I think it is in a
state of flux unlike anything that it has experienced in its 30
years. I can say with some certainty that I think it is the
most serious crisis this regime has faced, the most serious
political crisis this regime has faced.
The problem is that neither of the two sides that are now
facing off seem to have the power to dislodge the other or
control the other.
We are in what political scientists call a condition ripe
for the rise of a kind of a Napoleon. That Napoleon might have
already risen. The Revolutionary Guards, as you have indicated,
have now become a virtual state within the state and run much
of the economy, all of the military literally. They have their
own intelligence agencies. They have their own prison. They
have their own points of entry. They bring in counterfeit
commodities that are estimated to gain them $15 billion, $16
billion a year alone on that account.
So they, along with Khamenei and Ahmadinejad, this
triumvirate I think organized already a coup in Iran. I think
Iran, for all practical purposes, can no longer be called a
republic, but Islamic government, an Islamic government run by
I think the days of Mr. Khamenei as Velayat-e Fagih.
Velayat-e Fagih is a theological concept that indicates that
the words of one man are the words of the divine and must end
all debate, must end all tension within the regime. And up to
now, Khamenei's words were in fact allegedly divine. They did
in fact end all crises, but now, for 20 days, he has gone out
of his way to try to make this election stick, and he has not
Last Friday's prayer by Rafsanjani was a direct challenge
to Mr. Khamenei, was a direct challenge to everything he has
said since the election. So what will happen in the next few
weeks will tell us who will actually rule Iran in the next few
I am not at all convinced that the triumvirate's coup
attempt has succeeded. They have the upper hand because they
have the military, because they have the goons, because they
have the ability to pay this machinery of oppression. But look
at the tape of Ahmadinejad's last visit to the city of Mashhad.
Look at the few number of people who they succeeded to bring in
the city of Mashhad, that was supposed to be one the
strongholds, and compare that to the number of people, the
millions, who came out for Rafsanjani.
So I think part of the problem for the Obama administration
is that this situation is in a flux, and we still do not know
who shall emerge victorious in this battle.
There are three major contradictions in Iran today. I think
we need to be aware of them. The most important one is between
the people and the regime. The people have shown now clearly,
categorically, that they do not want this regime. Millions came
into the streets, took life and limb in hand, and declared
death to their dictator. There is no clear alternative of where
they want to take the regime except that they want it to be
And their contradiction with this regime is fundamental and
structural. This regime cannot solve the problem of the Iranian
society. It cannot solve it because 1 million people join the
labor force every year. Unemployment is double digits. For the
youth, that is three-fifths of the society, unemployment is
estimated to be between 25-40 percent. A disproportionate
number of the educated entering the labor force are college-
Another problem with the regime also related to women.
Women have been relentless in fighting this regime and fighting
the misogynist laws that occasionally exist in Islam against
women. Women have not given up an inch, and they have continued
to fight. And many of the social networks that they have
created were in fact the networks that were used by the
demonstrators after June 12th.
The economy is a major problem for the regime. As Professor
Clawson has suggested Ahmadinejad had his hand on $200 billion.
Much of it is unaccounted for; $36 billion of it is simply
unaccounted for. Where the rest has gone is very little clarity
about this. We know he has spread some of it in the smaller
cities and the countryside building roads, but that comes
nowhere close to the total amount that he has squandered.
We know he has given away $5 billion last year alone to
regime proxies around the world. This is the figure that was
suggested inside Iran from reliable sources with figures. How
much to Syria? How much to Hezbollah? How much to Hamas? How
much to Latin America? As we speak, Israel's Foreign Minister
is traveling to Latin America to counter Iran's influence, not
in the Middle East but in Latin America. All of this was
possible because of the oil windfall, because of the oil curse.
I think the tide is now beginning to turn for the regime. And I
think the people, because of this contradiction, are
irreconcilably opposed to the status quo.
The second contradiction, and again in its depth and
severity unlike anything the regime has ever experienced, is
between elements of the regime itself. Karubi, Rafsanjani,
Moussavi, Khatami, name only the four. These have been the head
of one of the three branches of Iranian Government for a total
of 34 years, longer than the regime has existed. Now they are
in clear opposition to with Khamenei. Now they are part of the
coalition for reform. They are not all of the same opinion, but
they are all of the opinion that Khamenei has overreached, and
that the election must go. That is an incredible moment of
There is a third----
Chairman Berman. Dr. Milani, this is fascinating, but I
think, if you could just bring it to a conclusion, there will
be ample time for more hearing of your thoughts during the
Mr. Milani. Okay, in terms of----
Chairman Berman. Just finish it up.
Mr. Milani. I think on the question of engagement, my
suggestion is that there must be engagement, but we must be
very careful when this engagement begins. We must wait for the
dust to settle in Iran to realize who wins this. Before we
engage with someone, we need to know who that someone is. But
engagement, I think there is, as you suggest, no other
alternative but engagement as the first next step.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Milani
follows:]Abbas Milani deg.
Chairman Berman. Dr. Rubin.
STATEMENT OF MICHAEL RUBIN, PH.D., RESIDENT SCHOLAR, THE
AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE, SENIOR LECTURER, NAVAL
Mr. Rubin. Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Ros-Lehtinen,
honorable members, thank you for this opportunity to testify.
On July 15th, Secretary of State Clinton spoke of
engagement in the course of a broader foreign policy address.
About the Islamic Republic, Clinton said, we know that refusing
to deal with the Islamic Republic has not succeeded in altering
the Iranian march toward a nuclear weapon, reducing Iranian
support for terror, or improving Iran's treatment of its
Secretary Clinton is correct to note the challenges the
Islamic Republic poses but is incorrect to blame her
predecessors rather than the Islamic Republic itself for the
failure of diplomacy. It is a myth that the United States has
not engaged Iran. Every administration since Jimmy Carter's has
engaged the Islamic Republic.
In each case, it was not lack of good will on Washington's
part but rather the regime leader's disinterest which lead to
failure. Ironically, the most hardline U.S. administration
toward Iran was Bill Clinton's, at least in its early years.
National Security Council official Martin Indyk made dual
containment the central pillar of U.S. strategy. As Iranian
sponsorship of terrorism and its pursuit of nuclear technology
accelerated, the Clinton administration ratcheted up sanctions,
issuing two executive orders in 1995, the prohibiting
transactions that would lead to the development of Iranian
petroleum resources; and then, second, imposing a ban on United
States trade with and investment in Iran.
Then, in 1996, Congress passed the Iran-Libya Sanctions
Act, which empowered the United States to act against private
companies investing in Iran.
Many U.S. policymakers, however, were unhappy with
containment. There seems to be little justification for the
treatment the United States currently affords Iran because of
its nuclear program, former National Security Advisor
Brzezinski and Scowcroft argued, suggesting an end to
unilateral sanctions and proffering of incentives, such as
greater commercial exchange.
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami's election, however,
lead the Clinton administration to renew its efforts at
dialogue. Clinton jumped at the chance to bring Iran in from
the cold. He ordered withdrawn and destroyed the FBI's report
detailing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp's involvement in
the Khobar Towers bombing.
Within weeks, Secretary of State Albright sent a letter to
Khatami expressing Washington's desire for government-to-
The initiative foundered after the Iranian Government
refused to move forward with any dialogue so long as U.S.
sanctions and trade bans remained in place. While former
National Security Advisor Scowcroft criticized the Clinton
administration for obstinacy, Clinton's caution was prudent.
Years later Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, the Khatami Government
spokesman, acknowledged Tehran's lack of sincerity explaining,
``We had one overt policy, which was one of the negotiation and
confidence-building, and a covert policy, which was
continuation of the activities.''
Still Clinton remained persistent in pursuit of dialogue.
After Albright spoke to the American Islamic Congress in 2000--
sorry, the American Iranian Council in 2000, the Islamic
Republic's ambassador at the United Nations said that Iran
would be ``prepared to adopt proportionate and positive
measures in return.''
While his response made headlines, a year later, Iranian
authorities had not offered any discernible measures. Khatami
explained that the United States had simply not offered enough
for Albright's initiative to merit any response.
Ultimately, Albright's unilateral concessions backfired.
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi responded to Albright's
``confessions'' of past U.S. malfeasance by demanding
reparations. On July 16th, 2000, the Iranian Government tested
a Shihab-3 missile, a deliberate attempt to undercut
accelerating Arab-Israeli peace talks. Supreme Leader Khamenei
poured cold water on any optimism when, in a July 27th
statement, he urged that any negotiations, let alone
rapprochement, with Washington would be ``an insult and treason
to the Iranian people,'' a position which he retains.
Despite the demonization of George W Bush, Bush was more
open to diplomacy with the Islamic Republic than any other
President since Carter. In 2001 and 2002, United States and
Iranian diplomats met to discuss Afghanistan, and the next year
Iranian U.N. Ambassador met senior United States officials
Zalmay Khalilzad and Ryan Crocker in Geneva.
Some say Bush missed a grand bargain opportunity in 2003,
but as even pro-engagement officials, like former Deputy
Secretary of State Richard Armitage, acknowledge, this is more
a myth that resulted from wrongly a deg.ascribing
Iranian authorship to an attention-seeking Swiss diplomat's
Many advocates of engagement say that its previous failure
can be ascribed to the failure to provide adequate incentive or
to truly embrace the strategy. Here the European Union provides
insight as it long pursued engagement unencumbered by
Beginning in 1992, the European Union undertook a policy of
critical dialogue. Critical engagement did not lead to any
noticeable improvement in Iran's human rights conditions, which
indeed worsened during the course of the dialogue. Persecution
of religious minorities like Bha'is increased and censorship
remained heavy-handed. Between 1992 and 1996, the Iranian
Government refused to allow a U.N. Special Representative on
Human Rights in Iran to visit the country. Between 1995 and
1996, the height of the dialogue, Iranian use of the death
Engagement has also failed to alter Iranian support for
terrorism or proliferation activities, issues which more
directly impact United States national security. The 2007
National Intelligence Estimate indicated that the Islamic
Republic maintained a covert military nuclear program until
2003. That is throughout Khatami's Dialogue of Civilizations.
IAEA reports from the period suggest a deliberate counter
effort that spanned many years to conceal material, facilities,
and activities that were required to have been declared under
the safeguard agreements.
Earlier this summer, Hassan Rowhani, Iran's former nuclear
negotiator, acknowledged to an Iranian interviewer that the
Iranian leadership's previous suspension of uranium enrichment
at the behest of European negotiators was more tactical than a
true concession. We did not accept suspension and construction
of centrifuges and continued the effort, she said; we needed a
Despite finding in 2003 that Iran had been developing a
uranium centrifuge enrichment program for 18 years, German
Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer corralled European Union
authorities to urge giving the Islam Republic another chance so
as not to diminish leverage.
Too often, and this is my fear with the Obama
administration, the desire to preserve leverage to wield in
future diplomacy becomes a chief argument against ever
utilizing or pursuing punitive measures based on an adversary's
actions. In a diplomatic calculation, ensuring continuation of
talks supersedes reality.
Of course, diplomacy is the strategy of first resort. It
always has been. Unfortunately, it does not always succeed.
Engagement has shown itself no magic formula for three reasons,
and I offer these in conclusion.
First, it takes two to tango, what Carter, Bush the elder,
Reagan, and Bush the younger learned, but their domestic
critics have not, is that the impediment to engagement lies not
in Washington, but in Tehran. When Under Secretary of State
William Burns sat down with his Iranian counterpart in Geneva
in July 2008, Mohammad Ja'afi Assadi, commander of the Iranian
Republican Guard Corps ground forces, quipped that Washington's
desperation showed that ``America has no other choice but to
leave the Middle East region beaten and humiliated.''
For diplomacy to be effective, the target government must
empower its diplomats to negotiate over contested issues and
then abide by agreements reached. Unfortunately, Iranian
diplomats hold no sway over Iran's nuclear program or terror
sponsorship. These are the purview of the Islamic Revolutionary
Guard Corps and the Office of the Supreme Leader.
And lastly, the Obama administration appears intent to
sequence policies. Comprehensive strategies, however, have not
only diplomatic but also informational, military, and economic
components. Absent any effort to lay the groundwork for either
containment or deterrence, both military strategies, Washington
is signaling to its allies that the U.S. commitment to protect
them is empty.
Arab states and Iran's neighbors----
Chairman Berman. Doctor, we do have to----
Mr. Rubin. Okay, I will.
Appear more concerned than Congress that neither Obama nor
Clinton have articulated by what metric the administration will
judge success. This is of paramount importance to prevent
Iranian officials from simply running down the clock.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Rubin
follows:]Michael Rubin deg.
Chairman Berman. Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF SUZANNE MALONEY, PH.D., SENIOR FELLOW, SABAN
CENTER FOR MIDDLE EAST POLICY, THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION
Ms. Maloney. Thank you and good morning.
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee on Foreign
Affairs, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to
comment on the past 6 weeks of upheaval in Iran and the
consequences of the these developments for the United States
and our policy options toward Tehran.
In the aftermath of events that have challenged all that we
thought we knew about Iran, it is particularly valuable for the
committee to address this issue and to engage in a serious
reassessment of the most effective means for Washington to
influence Tehran's policies and its future course.
The Islamic Republic has entered a new and ultimately
unpredictable phase of its perpetually gripping history. Iran
and the regime are now forced to contend with an almost
unprecedented array of internal challenges that are both
complex and interconnected.
The outrage over the electoral manipulation has spawned a
genuine if still embryonic opposition movement, perhaps for the
first time since the mid-1980s in Iran, that boasts at least a
symbolic leadership and a compelling popular mandate.
The other profound consequence for the Iranian regime, as
some of the previous panelists have suggested, is the cleavage
within the political elite. There has always been factional
bickering within Iran, but we have never seen anything at this
level. And we have never seen the direct assault on the
authority of the Office of the Supreme Leader.
In doing so, the crucial component of the Iran's elite has
begun to separate itself from the regime to promote the
opposing agenda of a nascent mass-based movement. This is
There are at least three potential directions that Iran's
volatile course may yet take. Khamenei's power grab may yet
herald the arrival of an increasingly despotic Iranian regime,
unconstrained by the niceties of limited electoral institutions
or any pretense of popular legitimacy.
We can see in Iran's past some precedent for this. In the
mid-1980s, the Iranian regime ferociously defended the system
and the newly established theocracy against internal threats,
both real and perceived. We may well see a reprise of that
There are at least two alternatives scenarios that would
seem more encouraging in the short term. The first would entail
some negotiation of a modus vivendi among Iran's hardliners and
the quartet of moderate leaders that others have referred to.
This could look anything like a super-empowered reform movement
in which you saw a kinder, gentler Islamic Republic, or a
complete capitulation by the reformist leaders to become a sort
of loyalist opposition along the lines of the Iranian freedom
movement, which existed for well over a decade after the
The third potential scenario at present seems out of reach
but remains the most dramatic threat to the Iranian regime.
Given time and further catalysts, the elite defections and
popular resentment might yet morph into something more
powerful, and Iran might experience the genesis of a serious
sustained opposition movement dedicated to ousting the current
Among the most important factors influencing Iran's future
trajectory and the tools available to the international
community are those related to the Iranian economy. As Dr.
Clawson suggested, Iranians must contend with double-digit
inflation; power shortages; a tumbling stock market; stubbornly
high unemployment rates, particularly among the large, young
population; increasing dependence on volatile resource
revenues; and perhaps most ominously for the leadership, a
rising tide of indignation among its people.
Ironically, of course, Ahmadinejad was elected on the basis
of a campaign back in 2005 that focused on the economic
grievances of Iranians. And yet he governed on the basis of
ideology. And as a result, the President himself bears much
direct responsibility for the current state of Iran's economic
affairs. His heavy-handed interference with monetary policy and
free-wheeling spending contributed to spiraling inflation
rates. His provocative foreign policy and reprehensible
rhetoric has done more to dissuade potential investors than any
United States or United Nations sanctions. His disdain for the
technocracy and his somewhat quixotic economic notions have
undermined much of the progress that was made in previous years
to liberalize the Iranian economy and address its underlying
distortions. And he spends like a drunken sailor, as Dr.
Clawson has suggested.
The senselessness of these policies provoked a firestorm of
criticism through his last several years in office. Notably,
the critiques were not limited just to his factional
adversaries. Much of the disquiet voiced about the economic
police of the Ahmadinejad regime has emerged from sources
ideologically inclined to support the President and his patron,
the supreme leader, including traditional conservatives with
longstanding links to the bazaar and the centers of clerical
As both Dr. Clawson and Dr. Milani suggest, what had
particularly galled many Iranians was the opportunity lost in
the past few years. Iran's oil revenues during Ahmadinejad's
first term exceeded 8 years of income earned during both the
Khatami and the Rafsanjani presidencies. Nearly 40 percent of
Iran's oil earnings over the past 30 years came during the past
4 years. And no one knows, as both Dr. Milani and Dr. Clawson
have suggested, where much of the deg.this money has
The unrest of the past 6 weeks will only aggravate Iran's
economic dilemmas and put durable solutions to the perpetual
problems of uncontrollable subsidies, unaccountable spending,
that much further out of reach. The crisis will persuade more
Iranians who have the means and/or ability to leave the
country. Even in advance of any multilateral sanctions,
political risks and the increasingly unpalatable nature of the
new power structure will dissuade investors and reduce the
competitiveness of the Iranian economy.
The events since June 12th have changed Iran in a profound
and an irreversible fashion. It would be fruitless, even
counterproductive, to proceed as if this were not the case. The
United States must adjust both its assumptions about Iran and
its approach to dealing with our concerns about Iranian
But the turmoil in Iran has not altered our core interests
vis-a-vis Iran, nor has it manifestly strengthened the case for
alternatives to the Obama administration's stated policy of
As a result, I remain a supporter of the American strategy
of engaging Iran. The United States is going to have to deal
with an increasingly paranoid and dogmatic Iranian regime, one
that is preoccupied with a low-level popular insurgency and
schism among its leadership.
Still, the Obama administration's interest in engagement
was never predicated on the palatability of the Iranian
leadership but on the urgency of the world's concerns and the
less promising prospects of the array of policy alternatives.
How do we draw thuggish theocracy to the bargaining table?
The hurdles are not insurmountable. The context for the
successful 1980 to 1981 diplomacy that lead to the release of
the American hostages was at least as challenging of that of
today. At that time, you also had a situation in which most of
the moderates had been forced out of the Iranian Government,
and the people who we were sitting across the bargaining table
from were from a particularly hardline group of people whose
authority, credibility, and ultimate goals were very much
A successful agreement entailed months of work and many
false starts, but a variety of tools, including secret
diplomacy, the involvement of a third-party mediator as a
guarantor for the eventual agreement, helped facilitate an
outcome. Perhaps a critical factor in the success of the
hostage negotiations was Iran's desperate need for economic and
diplomatic options after the Iraqi invasion.
In a similar respect, any U.S. effort to negotiate with
Tehran will benefit from the identification of
counterincentives that can similarly focus the minds of Iranian
leaders and expedite the path of negotiators. This is the
proper role for coordination with U.S. allies on an
intensification of sanctions should engagement fail. And here
we should focus our efforts on Beijing.
We shouldn't presume too much with respect to the efficacy
of sanctions. There are no silver bullets, and sanctions, in
fact, haven't proven successful in the past in reversing
Iranian policies. But they work best when they alter the
perceptions, timing, and utility of swaying a critical
constituency, and this is where our efforts should be focused.
Finally, to conclude, let me just say that we are facing a
situation of intense fluidity in Iran, and we should always be
applying a test of the ``island of stability'' sort of rhetoric
that was used by the Carter administration in the run up to the
Iranian Revolution. We don't know simply whom we are going to
be dealing with in a year's time in Iran.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Maloney
follows:]Suzanne Maloney deg.
Chairman Berman. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF MR. KARIM SADJADPOUR, ASSOCIATE, MIDDLE EAST
PROGRAM, CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE
Mr. Sadjadpour. Thank you.
Mr. Chairman, it is an honor to be here with you today.
It took us 30 years, took the United States 30 years to
finally prepare ourselves to recognize the legitimacy of the
Iranian regime just when the Iranian regime has lost its
legitimacy, and this is truly the dilemma the Obama
administration faces dealing with a disgraced regime which
presents urgent foreign policy charges, while at the same time
not betraying this incredibly courageous population.
I would like to make a few points about the domestic
implications for Iran and also a few points about the
implications for United States foreign policy.
In my mind, there have been two important casualties of the
last 6 weeks. The first is the moniker of the Islamic Republic
of Iran. Iran has ceded any claims, any pretensions of being a
republic. In my opinion, Iran has now become a cartel of
hardline Revolutionary Guardsmen and hardline clergymen, who
have made, as Abbas said, tremendous amounts of money the last
few years and are unwilling to cede power. They describe
themselves as so-called principle-ists, but in reality their
real principles are power and greed.
The other important casualty from the last 5 weeks has been
the loss of legitimacy of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah
Khamenei. For the last two decades, he had carefully cultivated
this image of a magnanimous godfather who stays above the fray.
But those days of Khamenei wielding power without
accountability are now over. He has tied himself firmly with
the fate of President Ahmadinejad, and it is unprecedented to
have hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets now
chanting, ``Marg bar Khamenei,'' death to Khamenei.
A word about the population. According to Mohammad Bagher
Ghalibaf, who is the mayor of Tehran, himself a former senior
Revolutionary Guard commander, 3 million people took to the
streets in Tehran at the height of the protests. And I can tell
you from talking to people throughout Iran, and just viewing
the images, that these demonstrators have truly encompassed an
incredibly wide swath of Iranian society. They transcended age,
religiosity, gender, geographic location. The scale of the
demonstrations has certainly decreased the last few weeks
because the regime does repression very well, and they are able
to prevent large amounts of people from congregating in one
area, but the nightly protest chants of ``Allahu Akbar,'' God
is great, reminiscent of the 1979 Iran revolution, in order to
keep the momentum going, have continued unabated.
Now a word about the opposition. The bulk of the leadership
of the opposition and their brain trust is now either in
prison, under house arrest, or unable to freely communicate. So
you have this tremendous popular outrage, but you don't have
the leadership which is able to tap into this tremendous
popular outrage and channel it politically. That is the dilemma
both the demonstrators and the opposition currently face.
A word, however, about the costs of this repression for the
regime, both the political costs and the financial costs. As
Abbas mentioned, we have seen unprecedented fissures in Iran.
It would be unheard of that a pillar of the 1979 revolution,
Hashemi Rafsanjani, has come out now in the opposition
implicitly questioning the legitimacy of the Supreme Leader.
Former President Mohammad Khatami, who received 24 million
votes not long ago, has called for a referendum. So truly at
the level of the political elite, there is unprecedented
I think what we should focus on and what would truly be
devastating for Khamenei and Ahmadinejad would be fissures
amongst the regime's security forces, namely the Revolutionary
Guards. So far we haven't seen that, but the Revolutionary
Guards are a very large entity, 120,000 men. And whereas the
senior commanders are hand-picked by Khamenei, and they are
going to likely remain loyal to him, the rank and file, both
empirically and anecdotally, we have seen, are much more
representative of Iranian society at large.
Also a word about the financial costs of this repression.
It cost a lot of money to have a state of martial law, to have
overflowing prisons, to have communication blackouts, and to
prevent Iranians from viewing satellite broadcasts from abroad.
It is estimated that for the regime to jam the satellite
broadcasts from Voice of America Persian Language Service and
BBC Persian, it cost them several thousand dollars per minute.
Multiply that over a 5-week period, and we see that the regime
is truly bleeding tens of millions of dollars just to retain
this level of repression.
Now a brief word on the implications for U.S. policy. I
would first say that I believe President Obama's overtures have
played a role in accentuating the deep internal divisions
within Iran. A couple months ago I encountered a fairly senior
conservative, pragmatic official, Iranian official, in the
Middle East, who remarked to me that there is a lot of pressure
now on hard-liners in Tehran to justify their enmity toward the
United States. What he said to me, to paraphrase, is that if
Iran can't make nice with Barack Hussein Obama, who is
preaching mutual respect on a weekly basis, and sending us
noerooz greetings, it is pretty obvious the problem lies in
Tehran and not Washington. And I think the cleavages we have
seen in the last 6 weeks, the Obama administration's initial
overtures, I think, had played a role in that.
I do believe, however, that it is time to reassess U.S.
policy postelection, and what I would argue is that we should
not be thinking or talking about engagement yet. Just as we
didn't want to intervene in Iran's internal affairs after the
election by forcefully coming out in favor of the opposition, I
think by prematurely engaging before the dust has settled in
Tehran, we may implicitly endorse these election results,
demoralize the opposition, and unwittingly tip the balance in
favor of the hard-liners, namely Khamenei and Ahmadinejad. So I
don't say renounce engagement, but let us hold off until the
I believe--yeah. Okay. Just one last point, and that is
that we shouldn't underestimate the magnitude of this moment.
Iran is the only country in the Middle East in which if you
hear about popular protests, it doesn't give you indigestion.
You hear about popular protests in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and
Jordan, it is not a hopeful sign. And Iran certainly, as we
have seen, these young people are agitating for greater
political voice, greater economic freedoms, greater social
freedoms. And they may not achieve this within the next weeks
or months or even years, but we should appreciate the magnitude
of what has transpired the last few weeks, and we should
certainly try to pursue policies which don't deter this moment
and do not alter its trajectory.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Sadjadpour
follows:]Karim Sadjadpour deg.
Chairman Berman. Thank you very much.
And now our final witness, Professor Kittrie.
STATEMENT OF ORDE F. KITTRIE, J.D., PROFESSOR OF LAW, ARIZONA
STATE UNIVERSITY, CO-DIRECTOR, IRAN ENERGY PROJECT, FOUNDATION
FOR DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACIES
Mr. Kittrie. Chairman Berman, Ranking Member Ros-Lehtinen,
distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the
opportunity to speak with you today. I have been asked to focus
on how to use sanctions to leverage the economic vulnerability
to which Dr. Clawson and others referred.
Disappointingly, the Obama administration's outstretched
hand has thus far been met with a clenched Iranian fist. Until
now that outstretched American hand has been accompanied by the
maintenance of existing sanctions. Congressional sanctions
bills have, as the chair said, served as a kind of sword of
Damocles, hanging high over the head of the Iranian regime. Yet
Iran's nuclear power has raced forward, and Iran's leadership
has continued to insist there are no incentives that could
induce it to halt or even meaningfully limit its nuclear
It has become increasingly clear if the Iran regime is
going to be peacefully persuaded to halt its illegal nuclear
program, we will first need to change its cost-benefit
calculus. In light of this and the regime's brutal measures to
crush the postelection protests, it is time both to increase
the weight of the sword of Damocles hanging over the Iranian
regime's head and to begin lowering the sword.
In a moment I will suggest some ways in which the sanctions
threat to Iran can be increased and made more imminent, but
first a threshold question: Can strong sanctions really
contribute to stopping an illicit nuclear weapons program? The
answer is yes. For example, strong U.N. Security Council
sanctions were a pivotal factor in inducing Libya's Government
to allow British and American Government experts to enter Libya
and completely dismantle its WMD infrastructure by April 2004.
As the ranking member said, that should be our goal with regard
In addition, it was discovered in the wake of the United
States occupation of Iraq, too late unfortunately, that strong
U.N. Security Council sanctions had helped destroy Iraq's
nuclear weapons program and prevent Saddam Hussein from
restarting it between the Gulf War in 1991 and the coalition
occupation of Iraq in 2003. However, the sanctions imposed on
Iran by the international community thus far are much weaker
than the sanctions that helped stop the Libyan and Iraqi
nuclear weapons program. The Security Council's Iran sanctions
are still far to weak to, A, persuade Iran's leadership that
the benefits of proceeding with its nuclear program are
outweighed by the sanctions costs of proceeding with it; to, B,
meaningfully contain Iran's nuclear program; or, C, deter other
countries that are watching from someday following Iran's lead.
That is unfortunate, because Iran's heavy dependence on foreign
trade leaves it potentially highly vulnerable to strong
The following are some ways in which Congress could both
increase and make more imminent the sanctions to Iran. Number
one, I urge the committee to do what it takes to position the
Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act for immediate enactment if
no significant progress is made by the time of the G-20 summit
meeting. If I understood correctly, the chair just announced
for the first time that he sees early fall as a time frame for
an IRPSA markup, and I commend him for that sharpening of his
Number two, Congress can and should in the meantime
continue its smaller steps to squeeze Iran's suppliers of
refined petroleum and other strategic goods. Steps such as
encouraging the executive branch and governments at the State
and local level to use their own discretion and market power to
put Iran's key suppliers to a business choice between the
United States governmental and Iranian markets.
Number three, while IRPSA is an excellent bill, a cut-off
of Iran's refined petroleum supplies may not be sufficient to
convince the Iranian regime that the benefits of its nuclear
program are outweighed by the sanctions costs of proceeding
with the program.
There are a number of provisions in other Iran sanctions
bills that I urge be passed alongside IRPSA. I list them all in
my written statement. These additional provisions include, and
I will highlight just a few, first, provisions that would cut
off most remaining direct United States trade with Iran.
According to recent reports by the Associated Press and other
sources, the United States had $685 million in exports to Iran
in 2008. That is an 80-fold increase over the $8 million in
United States exports to Iran in 2001. An 80-fold increase. It
will be harder for the United States to convince Europe to put
stronger sanctions on Iran if the United States does not itself
stop trading directly with Iran. President Clinton had in 1995
banned essentially all U.S. trade with Iran; however, the U.S.
had in 1999 and 2000, in a gesture to the relatively moderate
Khatami, eased the trade ban. The United States should reclose
these exceptions to direct trade with Iran.
Another step, another provision, that should be added or
passed alongside, provisions such as those in H.R. 1327 that
would encourage and facilitate State and local divestment from
companies doing business with Iran; and finally, provisions
such as those in the ranking member's H.R. 1208 that would
strongly discourage and reduce the transshipment of sensitive
goods to Iran through third countries.
In conclusion, the United States' considerable leverage of
Iran's suppliers of refined petroleum and other strategic goods
may mean that aggressive unilateral sanctions could have a
dispositive impact on Iran's economy and thus its nuclear
program. In the face of persistent Russian, Chinese, and
European reluctance to impose strong sanctions on Iran,
creative and aggressive U.S. unilateral sanctions may turn out
to be our last best hope for peacefully convincing Iran that
the cost of its nuclear program is too high.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Kittrie
follows:]Orde Kittrie deg.
Chairman Berman. Well, thank you all very much. Very
interesting, provocative testimony.
I will yield myself 7 minutes, our new, once only time
limit for this question-and-answer process. I am going to focus
just first on the political issue. A few of you spent some time
talking about--one of you referred to it, I think Dr. Milani--
as sort of a purgatory, an uncertainty. Dr. Maloney and Karim
Sadjadpour spoke about how this thing might play out. But let
me try and push you.
You are experts, so you are supposed to predict when you
don't know. Is the near-term existence--I mean, I took it at
least some of you were approaching the point of saying the
near-term existence of the regime is in question. And is the
opposition movement more about restoring the legitimacy and
integrity of the regime or about a regime change? A few of you
who want to take that up could start with that.
Mr. Milani. I think the opposition, in my mind, is divided
in two groups. Some, like Rafsanjani, are more moderate.
Rafsanjani, I think, wants a more refined version of the status
quo. Moussavi and the rest of them, although they have not
articulated it, I think want a return--some of them have
implicitly said they want a return to the first draft of the
Constitution. People forget the first draft of the Islamic
Constitution did not have the concept of velayat-e fagih, where
one spiritual ruler has absolute sway. The first draft of the
Constitution was, in fact, a republican draft. Only when
Khomeini realized that the opposition is weak, only when he
realized that the crisis, the American hostage crisis, and the
war with Iraq has created for him a situation did they ram
through the Parliament, the constituent assembly, this
provision of the law.
I think that concept is now dead because Rafsanjani's words
are no longer accepted. And many of the top clerics in Iran--
shi'ism has a very strong, peculiar structure. There are
ayatollahs, and there are lower figures, hojjatoleslams. The
ayatollahs have almost universally, with the exception of two,
spoken against the status quo, spoken against the suppression;
have considered it a sin to beat on innocent people. One old
ayatollah, Mr. Montazeri, has basically issued a fatwa that
says Mr. Khamenei no longer has the virtue, the capacity to
hold the position that he has.
So the crisis, I think, is a very serious crisis for the
regime as we know it, but whether a democratic alternative will
come out of it as we understand democracy is unknown.
Chairman Berman. Anyone else want to come in on this?
Mr. Sadjadpour. I would say in general that preelection
this was a referendum on Ahmadinejad. Postelection, I think
this is a referendum in many ways on Ayatollah Khamenei
himself. And in general terms, Abbas is right that the
opposition, I think, casts a very wide net. There is a
diversity of opinions. But I would say broadly speaking, they
want to see the disempowerment of the unelected institutions in
Iran, namely the institution of the Supreme Leader and the
Guardian Council, and the empowerment of the elected
institutions, namely the institution of the Presidency and the
Ms. Maloney. I think that gets to the nature of your
question, the near-term continuation of the regime, what kind
of regime will it be? Clearly the de facto opposition leaders,
the four political leaders, Rafsanjani, Khatami, Moussavi, and
Karubi, who are the kind of nominal leaders of what we are
calling an opposition, are not people who are looking to move
beyond the system. They are looking for some substantial
greater, or lesser in some cases, modification of the system,
much as Khatami sought to do when he was President. What he has
talked about is not dissimilar from what he tried to do in
terms of limiting the Office of the Supreme Leader and
elevating and empowering the elected offices of the Iranian
What the population wants, I think, is still unclear. The
protesters, in the aftermath of the election, tried very hard
to make it clear that they were not, in fact, challenging the
system. They focused their grievances on the election itself.
But once you begin to attack the Office of the Supreme Leader,
once you begin to say, ``Marg bar Khamenei,'' or, ``Ahmen
eraft,'' reprising one of the famous lines in the newspaper in
1979 about the Shah, I think you begin to raise questions about
the longevity of the system. They are not short-term questions,
Mr. Clawson. If I may just quickly add, those who stormed
the Bastille were loyal subjects of the King. I don't think
that is how the French Revolution turned out. These things have
a dynamic, and if Khamenei goes because of protests, expect
Chairman Berman. And that is a nice segue into the question
of what does that change mean for the United States? What
changes in tone or policy might follow on? A couple of
questions that are very important from my point of view: What
does it mean in the context of a uranium enrichment program?
What does it mean in terms of the continued financial support
for terrorist organizations? Is it foregone that those policies
continue, or is what Dr. Clawson hinted at, the potential of
greater change, in the offing?
Mr. Milani. You know, when the confrontation between Israel
and Gaza occurred, Iran did virtually nothing, virtually said
nothing. And I think that was a reflection of the fact that
they were economically straddled. They no longer had the $1
billion to give to Hezbollah to give out as insurance for
rebuilding the houses.
But when we think about sanctions, unless the sanctions are
crippling, the sanctions have also a positive point for the
regime. The regime has used the sanction as an excuse to cover
its economic incompetence. It keeps blaming the United States
for these problems. Unless we can come up with the kind of a
sanction that will do to Iran what the international sanctions
did to South Africa, and I would be all for that, a half-baked
sanction that gives the regime the excuse to offer as an
alternative this explanation for why there isn't energy in the
street, why there are no lights at night I think would
politically help the regime.
Chairman Berman. So in the context of our earlier metaphor,
the regime also tries to claim why the sun rises in the East,
and it is the fault--okay. I am happy to recognize my ranking
member, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen.
Ms. Ros-Lehtinen. Thank you so much, Mr. Chairman.
Questions for Dr. Rubin and Dr. Kittrie: Earlier this week
Secretary Clinton stated that ``we want Iran to calculate what
I think is a fair assessment, that if the United States extends
a defense umbrella over the region, if we do even more to
develop the military capacity of those allies in the gulf, it
is unlikely that Iran will be any stronger or safer.''
Secretary Clinton also said that North Korea must agree to
irreversible denuclearization before returning to multilateral
How can we account for such a contradictory position, given
the President's June 4th statement that he said Iran should
have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies
with its responsibilities under the Nuclear Nonproliferation
Treaty? Why would the administration now demand full
denuclearization of North Korea, yet not do so for Iran nor
Syria? Do you believe that this, in fact, is the
administration's acceptance of a nuclear Iran?
I will ramble on here, and then whatever time you have got
left. The GAO recently reported that the International Atomic
Energy Agency has provided Iran and other state sponsors of
terrorism millions of dollars in nuclear assistance over the
past decade. The GAO recommended that Congress consider
restricting the U.S. contribution to the IAEA for its technical
cooperation program. I have introduced legislation to do just
that. I would like your comments on whether this would put
significant pressure on the Iranian regime.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you to the witnesses.
Mr. Rubin. I will start, if I may, very briefly.
The contradictory statements that come out of the
administration on proliferation undercut our policies across
the board. And anyone that looks at the North Korean press or
the Iranian press will certainly see reference to the other in
With regard to the broader problems, we see Iran's nuclear
breakout as an untenable issue, untenable for U.S. national
security. The problem is that other regional states, most
specifically Israel, see it as an existential threat, and
unless we are seen to have credibility in that our diplomacy is
going to advance to the point where Iran will not become a
nuclear weapons-capable power, then we risk Israel making a
calculation based upon its own interests, which could plunge
the region into chaos.
Ms. Ros-Lehtinen. Thank you.
Mr. Kittrie. Thank you.
The U.N. Security Council, in Resolution 1737 of December
2006, explicitly ordered Iran to, without further delay,
suspend proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities, including
all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, and work on
all heavy-water-related projects. The IAEA--not the Obama
administration, not the Bush administration, the IAEA--has
explicitly stated, including in its June 2009 report, that Iran
has not abided by those legally binding orders of the Security
I am troubled by the administration's implication that
perhaps something less than the U.N. Security Council
resolutions would be acceptable. The NPT regime is at stake,
and I think we need to do whatever it takes from a sanctions
perspective to make sure that Iran abides by those legally
binding U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Ms. Ros-Lehtinen. Thank you.
And I just have 3 minutes left. Can a regime that now
defines itself and its domestic legitimacy by its nuclear
weapons program be convinced to effectively discard that
Mr. Rubin. I am not sure that it can be without some robust
coercion. One of the things which I chafe at when I hear the
media is the description of Iran's nuclear program. What we are
actually talking about when it comes to a potential nuclear
weapons program is the command and control of the Office of the
Supreme Leader and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. As Karim
alluded to in his testimony, while we talk a great deal about
the political spectrum, hard-liners, reformers and so on, when
it comes to the IRGC, that tends to be a black box when it
comes to the political factions therein. We simply don't know a
lot about what is going on inside the IRGC, and that should
scare us to death, considering it is not the Iranian people or
the protesters in the street that are going to have any say in
this program, it is going to be the Islamic Revolutionary Guard
Corps and the Office of the Supreme Leader.
Should change come, Iranians are, of course, fiercely
nationalistic. But our problem, and the International Atomic
Energy Agency's problem, has been Iranian noncompliance with
nuclear safeguard agreements. It would be a lot easier to
verify Iran's intentions should there be much more significant
change across the board in Iranian society.
It should also lastly be noted that the Iranian people are
far more moderate than the Iranian Government is, and
therefore, if the Iranian Government were to somehow become
much more accountable to its people, that would also have a
moderating effect on the issues not only of nuclear intentions,
but also of state support for terrorism.
Mr. Kittrie. Your question is a good one, and as it
happens, there are some very interesting precedents, both the
Iraq and Libya precedents, where these dictators gave up their
nuclear programs under pressure, and indeed, there are also a
number of instances of where countries have given up actual
nuclear arsenals, including Kazakhstan, Belarus, Ukraine, and
South Africa. All had actual nuclear arsenals that they gave
up. So if we play our cards right, I think there is reason for
Ms. Ros-Lehtinen. Thank you so much.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you to the witnesses.
Chairman Berman. Thank you.
I wish Iraq had told us they had given it up.
The gentleman from New York, Mr. Ackerman.
Mr. Ackerman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Engagement. I think I have seen the movie before. I would
concede that I saw it in a different theater, but that doesn't
disqualify me from thinking that I suspect that I can remember
how it ends. If there is a chance that we could have engagement
with Iran, with whom right now would we negotiate?
I ask that question fervently believing that despite the
fact that there may be some confusion over who comes out on
top, I would be shocked if I thought any of you would suggest
that they have stopped their nuclear weapons program while that
dynamic is happening.
Who would you talk to if you were the President and made a
phone call? Or would you not talk to anybody until some of the
dust settles, and it becomes clearer with that clock ticking
within the alligator?
Mr. Clawson. Personally, I would wait for their phone call.
I think that the ball is in their court----
Mr. Ackerman. Okay.
Mr. Clawson [continuing]. And that we shouldn't rush, and
that we have shown the world that we are interested in
engaging, and that----
Mr. Ackerman. So you would allow them to continue to
develop their nuclear weapons program with the Israeli clock
ticking at the same time?
Mr. Clawson. I wouldn't be in any great rush to engage with
Mr. Ackerman. Okay. Dr. Maloney?
Ms. Maloney. I think that is the reality. I am sorry,
Maloney and Milani, we often find ourselves conflated here, but
I think that is where the administration is at this point.
There have been a number of gestures that were made earlier in
the year. The administration is prepared for a response and, I
think rightfully so, is going to play out this clock.
Mr. Ackerman. Okay. Dr. Milani?
Mr. Milani. You know, my sense is that the two clocks, the
nuclear clock and the democratic clock, are interlinked. This
regime cannot be relied on to abide by its words. Even if it
promises to stop its nuclear program, a regime that----
Mr. Ackerman. You have seen the movie, too.
Mr. Milani. I have seen the movie. But I would say that
engaging with them creatively and wisely helps the democratic
clock. We will not have a resolution of the nuclear program
unless we have a democratic regime in Iran. Every policy, in my
view, that tries to stop the nuclear program must have the
Mr. Ackerman. Okay. Dr. Sadjadpour?
Mr. Sadjadpour. I am not a doctor yet, but, you know, I
think there is a policy which reconciles these two goals of
preventing Iran's--or deterring Iran's nuclear ambitions, while
at the same time helping to facilitate the conditions for the
But I would simply agree with what Patrick Clawson said,
that the Obama administration has made tremendous efforts to
reach out to Tehran. The dust hasn't settled in Tehran, so we
shouldn't reach out yet.
Mr. Ackerman. Okay. We are 0 for 4 on negotiating.
Mr. Rubin. If the Supreme Leader and the IRGC aren't
prepared to talk on nuclear and terrorism issues, we need to
consider what our plan Bs, Cs and----
Mr. Ackerman. 0 for 5.
Mr. Kittrie. The offer of dialogue is----
Mr. Ackerman. Press your button.
Mr. Kittrie. The offer of dialogue is on the table. I don't
think we should just sit back and wait. I think we should be
squeezing the Iranians as time goes on in the ways I described.
Mr. Ackerman. 0 for 5\1/2\.
In order for us to have any effect on the process of
stopping a nuclear program, we have often talked about big
carrots and big sticks, which I think the administration has
referred to previously, and certainly the chairman has
advocated in the past. The question is really the big sticks,
which we have not implemented whatsoever. Should we be right
now, as quickly as we can, ratcheting up critical sanctions in
which we get as many international players involved?
Mr. Clawson. Mr. Chairman, as big a problem as the stick
has been that Khamenei thinks our carrot is poisoned. He thinks
that, in fact, our objective is to overthrow his regime through
a velvet revolution. And so, therefore, he is completely
unconvinced that doing a deal on the nuclear issue is going to
bring him any benefit whatsoever.
Mr. Ackerman. If there were big sticks in effect, if we
indeed were able to realize a rapid implementation of sanctions
that had a more crushing impact on their economy, does not that
Mr. Clawson. Our problem is he thinks we are going to keep
up those sanctions until he goes. He thinks that our real
objective is to get rid of him and to get rid of his system. So
he thinks that the nuclear issue is just their latest ruse that
we are using for our goal of a velvet revolution.
Mr. Ackerman. My question is, don't economic sanctions help
the people in the street?
Ms. Maloney. Iran is a rational actor. The regime makes
cost-benefit calculations. It has reversed policy on very
critical issues, including the decision to end the war after
Khomeini inveighed against that for years.
Mr. Ackerman. Who would make that decision now? With
everything going on, who would make that decision now? Is there
anybody able to make that decision?
Ms. Maloney. The Supreme Leader, deg. Ayatollah
Mr. Milani. I don't think Khamenei is no longer in a
position to make that decision. I think a clique of the
Revolutionary Guards are as much in charge of Iran's foreign
policy as Khamenei is, and I think without their say, that
won't happen. Again, I think you have to remember there is
something very unusual about the Iranian people. They are the
only pro-American Muslim society. We need to keep that in mind.
Mr. Ackerman. Yes.
Mr. Sadjadpour. I think the most devastating blow to the
Iranian economy would be a precipitous decline in oil prices. A
$1 decline in oil price is about $900 million lost annual
revenue for Iran. And a country which can most effectively
bring oil prices down in the near term is Saudi Arabia.
Mr. Rubin. If we are interested in diplomacy, coercion
Chairman Berman. The time of the gentleman has expired, and
the gentleman from Indiana, Mr. Burton, is recognized.
Mr. Burton. You know, Mr. Chairman, it seems to me there is
three avenues to solve the problem. One is a dialogue, and we
have tried that, and it hasn't worked. That kind of thing was
tried with Libya, and it didn't work. And then Ronald Reagan
bombed the hell out of Libya, and that changed everything
pretty quick. And when the Israelis decided to knock out the
nuclear development program in 1982, and they were criticized
for it, that changed the attitude of Iraq a little bit,
although Saddam Hussein was still a lunatic.
It seems to me that if we don't impose sanctions
immediately, really strong sanctions, nothing is going to
change over there. And I would like to give you an example.
Most of you are too young to remember, but after the Treaty of
Versailles in World War I, the Germans weren't supposed to have
over 100,000 people in their military so they would never be a
threat to Europe anymore. Instead, a man named Adolf Hitler
used 100,000 people to train a multimillion-man army. And
because we wanted to make sure there was peace in the world,
and we were involved in trade, Rolls Royce engines were being
sold to the Luftwaffe in Germany, and he built up the biggest
military machine in history. And instead of trying to put
economic pressure on Adolf Hitler, we tried to negotiate with
him. We tried to talk to him. We didn't put any sanctions on
him. And in 1938, Lord Chamberlain went to Munich, came back
with a piece of paper saying, ``Peace in our time,'' gave away
the Sudetenland, and 60 million people died.
You know, we are in the atomic age. We are in the nuclear
age now. If we don't deal with this now, we could see what
happened in World War II to be child's play. There could be
millions and billions of people killed in a nuclear
conflagration, not to mention the economic problems that would
arise after you have a war in the Middle East, where so much of
our energy comes from. So we have to do something now.
I mean, all this talk is great, and I really appreciate the
intellectual approaches that you are talking about and how we
ought to be talking to them and working with them. We have been
trying. We tried, and we tried, and we tried, and it hasn't
worked. And so it seems to me the next thing we do is we use
the hammer, and that is a sanction. We take the chairman's
legislation, and any other legislation we can come up with, get
it passed, get our allies to work with us as much as possible,
put a freeze on all their assets in the United States, hammer
these guys really hard right now; and then if that doesn't
work, and they continue with all these development programs,
these centrifuges and everything else they are doing over
there, then something is going to have to be done to stop them,
because they want to destroy Israel, and they have said that we
are not their best friend, and they don't much care about doing
something like that to America. This is a world threat in my
opinion. Just one voice up here, but I think a lot of my
colleagues share this view.
I think it is extremely important that all sanctions be put
in place as quickly as possible. Let them know we mean
business, and let them know that the next stage is going to be
something that they are not going to want to have happen. It
worked with Libya, and I think it would work there as well. We
don't want to hurt those people. The people in Iran are good
people. They like America. They dress like Americans in many
cases. They try to live like Americans. But those guys in
charge over there need to get the message, and these sanctions
are the way to get the message to them, and they need to know
what is going to happen next.
Now, Israel is threatened. A nuclear weapons program that
develops a nuclear capability with a delivery system threatens
the very existence of a very small country called Israel. And
they have nuclear weapons. Unless we do something and do it
relatively quickly, in my opinion, we are going to see a real
threat of a conflagration over there that nobody wants.
And I hope you will just take what I have said to heart. I
know you have differences of opinion. I know some of you have a
much more pacifistic approach, a much more reasonable approach.
But if you look at history and see what has happened in the
past, you know that there is a real correlation between the way
we treated what happened in World War II and what is happening
right now. You have to let them know you mean business. You
have to impose those sanctions, and they have to know what is
coming next if they don't deal with it.
And I yield back.
Mr. Clawson. Sir, if I may say that as you indicated, the
prospects for diplomacy are poor. Frankly, so are the prospects
of resolving this problems deg. through sanctions.
Mr. Burton. How do you know that? How do you know that? How
do you know if we put the hammer on them as far as the bill
that the chairman is talking about and the President would
utilize, how do you know if we froze all their assets here in
the United States, how do you know if we didn't get our allies
to do some of this that it wouldn't work? To say that it won't
work, the people are out on the streets right now because of
the election. You think if the cost of everything goes up, and
the unemployment rate goes through the ceiling that they are
not going to want to do something about it?
Mr. Clawson. Mr. Khamenei doesn't care much about the
Mr. Burton. Well, he will if they are out there in the
streets after him with guns and knives and everything else. And
that is what is happening. That is what happens when the people
feel the pressure from sanctions that are severe. And we can do
it. Their assets are here. Their production of oil, their need
for oil and gasoline. This idea--I am about out of time. But
this idea that you can negotiate with a tyrant who sends people
into the surrounding countries to blow themselves up because
they are going to go to Valhalla or someplace, I mean, he
doesn't--he is a power-hungry man, and the only thing he
understands, like any bully in a school yard or a world
theater, is strength. And the first fist you give him is
sanctions that are so severe that everybody feels it in that
country, and then I think you will see a lot of uprising in the
people. And then if that doesn't work, you have to do something
Chairman Berman. Would the gentleman yield?
Mr. Milani. Congressman, the United States negotiated with
Hitler. The United States negotiated with Stalin. The United
States, President Nixon unilaterally began negotiations with
Mao Zedong that was personally responsible for the death of 30
million people and 10 million people during the Cultural
Revolution. The fact that these are despots and dictators does
not mean that we should not negotiate with them. It means we
should not allow them to be dictators.
A unilateral United States sanction helps Rafsanjani,
Khamenei, and the regime, and it will because there is China
out there. There is Russia out there. There is Venezuela out
there. These guys have created an international brotherhood of
despotism. You are not working in isolation. Germany, the
United States ally, just sold $700 million of the most
sophisticated equipment for censoring people and beating up
people. Well, stop those, and you will stop the regime.
Chairman Berman. The time of the gentleman who was around
for the signing of the Treaty of Versailles has expired.
Mr. Delahunt. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I don't know how you
follow that, the Versailles Treaty. When was the Versailles
I guess, Mr. Milani, you know, I understand the hammer. I
guess let me pose this question again to the panel, but let me
start with Dr. Milani, because I think I agree with what he was
going to say. The issue is, from where I see it, if we use the
hammer, is there a likelihood that the nationalist impulse
among the Iranian people will rally and support the current
Mr. Milani. I think if the Iranian people feel like the
nation is under assault, if there is a military strike, I would
be extremely surprised if people don't rally around the regime.
That is why I think a military option in this current situation
is the only thing that will save this tyrannical triumvirate
that has seized power.
Mr. Delahunt. But I am going to the tough sanctions, the
kind of sanctions that were being described by my friend from
Mr. Milani. I think Patrick Clawson is right, Khamenei does
not want to negotiate. To start negotiating with the United
States is the end of his regime. We have to make him an offer
he can't refuse.
Mr. Delahunt. What is that offer?
Mr. Milani. The offer is we are willing to sit and talk
with you unconditionally on every issue, human rights,
Mr. Delahunt. The so-called grand bargain.
Mr. Milani. Not a grand bargain. In fact, I have argued in
my paper that the grand bargain is a good bargain for the
regime. The regime says, give me security, I will make a
promise that I won't make the bomb. If you buy that, I have a
bridge in San Francisco to sell you. This is a regime that lies
to its own people; it is going to lie to you.
That is not good enough. Talk with them the way Ronald
Reagan talked to the Soviet Union. He talked about nuclear in
the morning; he talked about human rights in the afternoon.
Shultz is sitting a few doors from my office, and he mastered
the process of negotiating with murderous, tyrannical regimes.
The U.S. knows how to do this. The U.S. has successfully done
this. This is not a superpower. These are--as he said, this is
thugs, this is the Soprano family ruling a country. And it is
not that difficult to talk to the Sopranos, but you can't do it
through empty threats, and you can't do it through threats that
they can bypass when they have China and Russia.
Mr. Delahunt. In other words, you can't do it by way of
unilateral sanctions. It has to be multilateral sanctions to be
effective to get their attention.
Ms. Maloney. I would just add that I think this is one of
the problems with the Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act, which is
that, one, you will conceivably split the people from the
regime. Iran can withstand a cut-off of refined products. The
people who will suffer are those without access. There is an
inordinate amount of smuggling that goes on in this part of the
world, and the regime and those with access to power will
probably have plenty of gasoline. It is the kids in the street,
it is the people who earn their living driving a taxi cab in
their off hours who will suffer, and they may not blame the
regime, they may well blame us. But the larger problem is this
issue of unilateral versus multilateral.
Mr. Delahunt. Is that the core of the problem that we have?
Ms. Maloney. Absolutely. And I think this is where we have
a potential opportunity here, because we typically--our
diplomacy is focused on Russia first and then dealing with
China secondarily as a country that will follow Russia's lead
on this particular set of issues. They have very different
interests at stake. The Chinese depend upon energy sources from
the gulf. This is why they are so interested in Iran. They are
investing in Iran for the long term. They are signing a lot of
deals. They are not actually putting a lot of money into the
country. And this is because they are trying to secure a place.
What they need to understand is that Iran is in a period of
flux, and that as they seek to secure a long-term position in
Iran, they need to be doing so with an eye to the fact that the
structure of power is changing and is likely to change further.
We can have that kind of a conversation. We may well be able to
begin to get the Chinese to appreciate the power and utility of
sanctions, and that would have much more influence on the
regime's outlook and the regime's decision making than
sanctions that are largely targeted toward the population.
Mr. Delahunt. Mr. Clawson?
Mr. Clawson. So far I see no evidence whatsoever that the
public opinion in Iran has blamed the economic problems of the
country on sanctions. Quite the contrary, the blame has been on
the regime for its hard-line policies that isolate Iran from
the rest of the world. And so we are in the exact obverse
situation we are in in Cuba, where the regime has been
successful in blaming its problems on sanctions. In Iran, by
the contrary, problems----
Mr. Delahunt. Has the Iranian Government made the effort to
ascribe their economic woes to the existing sanctions?
Mr. Clawson. Not very much, and when it does, it usually
blows back in their own face, because the response from the
populace is, then why are you adopting these stupid policies
that are isolating us from the world? It is the same regime
which cuts off the Internet which cuts Iran off economically
from the rest of the world. The people of Iran blame the hard-
line government for cutting Iran off economically, socially,
culturally from the rest of the world. That is the big issue in
Iran. Do you want to be part of the world, or don't you? And we
are on the side of the angels.
Mr. Delahunt. Let me--my time is running out. If a tough
sanctions legislation as proposed by the chairman should come
out of the committee, would you recommend that the sanctions be
mandatory, or should discretion be vested in the executive in
terms of their application so to allow for, if you will, a more
Mr. Clawson. One has to have confidence in an
administration when one provides it with that kind of
authority, because there is a long history of administrations--
Mr. Delahunt. That is neither a yes nor a no.
Mr. Clawson. I have modest confidence in the
administration, so my answer is yes.
Mr. Delahunt. Okay. So it is a kind of yes.
Ms. Maloney. Unless you are prepared to sanction China, you
have to provide some sort of waiver authority to the
Mr. Delahunt. Okay. Dr. Milani, yes or no, please.
Mr. Milani. I don't think unilateral sanctions work.
Mr. Delahunt. You don't think they work, so you are a no.
Chairman Berman. I think----
Mr. Sadjadpour. I will say one word.
Chairman Berman. One word.
Mr. Sadjadpour. We should defer to the opposition
themselves instead of trying to decide for them here from
Chairman Berman. The time of the gentleman has expired.
Mr. Rohrabacher, your choice, 2 minutes now or 7 minutes
when we come back?
Mr. Rohrabacher. How about 5 minutes now?
Chairman Berman. You will do it without me.
Mr. Rohrabacher. That is fine. Let us just go very quickly.
Number one, this has been a great panel. And let me
associate myself with Dr. Rubin. We will not--dialogue means
nothing unless there is force behind it, especially with
tyrants and gangsters, which we are dealing with. For the
record, the United States needs to act rather than just talk.
And even in terms of what we are saying has been wrong in the
last 12 months. We actually--what we have been saying portrays
us as weak. Apologizing to a tyrant, apologizing to people who
murder their own people is not taken as something that, oh,
that must be sincere; now we can negotiate honestly with this
person because he has apologized.
I would hope that this administration breaks out of this
psychological mind-set that it has got in terms of America as
the cause of all the problems of the world, and the suffering
can be drawn back to some mistake America made 30 or 40 years
ago. Let me note that we did not overthrow communism, we did
not defeat communism without a major conflagration by simply
And I certainly appreciate the witness who suggested that
Ronald Reagan knew how to talk to the Soviet Union, because he
not only talked, he acted. And that is the basis of my question
here. We can do more than just sanctions. It sounds like to me
that what we have been presented, well, we have economic
sanctions, or we talk to them, or we just don't engage. Well,
what about the other option that has been very successful with
the Orange Revolution in Ukraine and other revolutions, and
especially the overthrow of Soviet communism, in that we should
have covert support for those elements within a dictatorship,
in this case Iran, so that they will have the material well-
being and the where-for-all to take on that government
themselves? Could an operation of covert support work in Iran?
And just very quickly down--first Mr. Rubin, yes, sir.
Mr. Rubin. Well, with regard to President Reagan, one
opportunity we missed with Iran was in December 2005, when we
missed a Lech Walesa Gdansk moment, when for the first time in
the Islamic Republic, an independent trade union formed among
Iranian bus drivers. If we are going to make the Iranian
Government more accountable to its people, we should
certainly--and we can most certainly join with the Europeans in
this--voice a great deal more support for independent trade
unions in Iran like we did in Poland.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Let us note this.
Chairman Berman. Dana, I am going to----
Mr. Rohrabacher. Can I come back?
Chairman Berman. You absolutely can come back. And when we
come back, I do want--I am going to use the chairman's
prerogative to explain what I think is a slight
misunderstanding of my idea of the strategy of my legislation.
And--but after Ms. Woolsey, who is going to take the chair,
because she would rather talk to you than make the first of the
series of five that we are now on.
We will recess probably for about 25 or 30 minutes. Talk
among yourselves. But we intend to come back and finish this,
and we very much appreciate your indulging our little problem
we have with votes on the House floor.
Ms. Woolsey [presiding]. I thank you. We are going to have
one more question. That is my question, because I can't come
Thank you, panel. You have been so interesting. I couldn't
believe it was 7 minutes for each of you. You were wonderful.
We talked about pro-American Islamic society. So anybody
can answer this, but this is a huge--I have got a couple really
big questions. I am going to ask them both, and then you can
answer as you want, and then I will go vote.
Are the young people, are the women that are part of the
resistance part of this pro-American Islamic society, or is it
just my generation and not your generation? Dr. Maloney, those
of us--and, Dr. Clawson, those of us that have been around a
long time, is it only people like us? That is one question.
The other question is--and I was very concerned about this
when I was, you know, supporting in my heart the opposition and
cheering them along, but when it gets to modifying the system
as being the core reason for the opposition at this point, how
will that change the uranium enrichment program? Will it be
So those are my two questions.
Mr. Milani. What was the second question?
Ms. Woolsey. I can't hear you.
The second one was about the modification of the system
being the goal, and how will that change the uranium enrichment
program and their cause?
Mr. Clawson. If I may address the second question. As Karim
Sadjadpour has often said, everybody in Iran wants a nuclear
program so long as it doesn't have a cost. But it does have a
cost, and if the cost of the nuclear program is isolation from
the world, that is not a cost which those in the protest
movement are prepared to see their government pay. And so if
this protest movement is successful, there is excellent
prospects that we can resolve the nuclear impasse, because the
debate in Iran is not should we have a nuclear program or not,
the debate in Iran is should we connect with the outside world.
Khamenei's answer is no. And the protest movement's answer is
yes. If the price of connecting with the outside world is
compromising on the nuclear program, those in the protest
movement would say pay that price.
Ms. Woolsey. All right. That gives me hope.
Mr. Milani. On the question of enrichment, we have actually
an empirical answer to your question. There is a poll. Almost
90 percent of the Iranian people in that poll conducted by an
Ms. Woolsey. That we trust so much.
Mr. Milani [continuing]. That we trust--in the poll almost
90 percent of the people said that Iran should provide adequate
guarantees to the United States and the rest of the world that
its nuclear program is peaceful, and then continue the program
in cooperation with the West. In other words, 90 percent of the
people don't want this confrontational path that the regime has
taken. And I think a disproportionate number of the Iranian
youth and women, the women's movement are also pro-West,
prodemocracy, pro-United States.
Ms. Woolsey. Okay. Dr. Maloney?
Ms. Maloney. I will answer the first question for the most
part because I don't disagree with what Patrick has said or,
frankly, what Abbas has just said. But in terms of the views of
women and youth, I spent a little bit of time in Iran, not
recently. Karim has spent more time and more recently. None of
us were there during the protests, but I will tell you that the
general sentiments of the Iranian people as expressed to
Americans who visit is almost uniformly positive. Whether you
are at the Ministry of Islamic Guidance, or whether you are
simply walking down the street, you become something of a rock
star if you are an American. And I think that sentiment has
continued. It doesn't always correspond to similarly positive
feelings toward the U.S. Government or toward U.S. policies.
But there is a general appreciation for American culture,
American history, a respect for American ideals, and a hunger
that is widespread and infects the Basij as well as the pro-
Western youth as much.
Ms. Woolsey. People to people they like us still.
Ms. Maloney. Exactly.
Ms. Woolsey. Okay. Mr. Sadjadpour?
Mr. Sadjadpour. I would group together the two questions by
saying that I think the vast majority of not only the Iranian
population, but also the Iranian political elite behind closed
doors recognize that this ``death to America'' culture of 1979
is absolutely bankrupt today. And it has really brought nothing
but economic malaise and political and social repression. And I
think that includes the reform movement, the opposition as
well. And I think that a changed orientation toward the United
States and toward the Middle East peace process would result if
this opposition movement ever came to office. And I think it
would also change the orientation of the nuclear disposition as
Ms. Woolsey. Okay. Thank you.
Mr. Rubin. I tend to agree, but with the cautionary note
that ultimately it is the guys with the guns that control
things. The Iranian people aren't the impediment. And then the
dialogue-to-dialogue exchanges, we still don't get to the main
issues of concern to U.S. national security, which is what is
going on within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which
certainly is not as pro-American as ordinary Iranian people.
Ms. Woolsey. Professor.
Mr. Kittrie. Your excellent question about the Iranian
people, I think, goes to the issue of what would be their
response to enhanced U.S. sanctions? There was an implication
by a number of the panelists that, in fact, enhanced U.S.
sanctions might lead the Iranian people to blame the United
States, be a ``rally around the flag'' kind of effect for the
I disagree. From what I have seen, I think you can look at
the example of Under Secretary Levy's sanctions that have had a
significant impact, and the Iranian people are blaming the
regime for their economic problems. If you look specifically at
IRPSA, the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act, you know, what
happened in 2007 when the Iranian regime had to ration fuel,
people rose up against the regime. They would have to ration
fuel again if IRPSA went into effect. The BBC has called such a
step dangerous for the government of an oil-rich country like
Iran, where people think cheap fuel is their birthright.
Squeezing Iran's gasoline imports would remind the Iranian
people that instead of choosing to invest in improving refining
capacity to meet Iran's growing demands----
Ms. Woolsey. Okay. Thank you. I do have to go vote also.
Thank you very much for taking this extra time.
The committee is in recess briefly. We have four more votes
after this one. So thank you again.
Chairman Berman. The committee will come to order.
I am going to use the chairman's prerogative. I have cut a
deal with Mr. Rohrabacher, so I can use my prerogative, and he
can get an extra 1 or 2 minutes.
Just to clarify some of the questions and points made, I
think, regarding the strategy here, I think it is good to get
those on the record. First, I believe assets of the Iranian
regime have been frozen in the United States since 1979. Now, I
like ``The Producers'' as a play, but I think you can't keep
selling 1,000 percent of this.
So, secondly, with a few exceptions--and I am actually
surprised to hear the notion of the level of bilateral trade
between U.S. and Iran. But with a few exceptions, we pretty
much have a, quote, deg. ``unilateral embargo,'' a
comprehensive set of sanctions. I don't know if that 80-fold
increase in trade is all pistachio nuts, carpets--well, the big
thing was we have exempted food and medicine from all
embargoes. And if you want to challenge that issue, I think,
okay, but let's clarify that that has to be--I like pistachios,
but that would not account for an 80-fold increase in trade. So
it must be the food and medicine exemption.
Mr. Clawson. Mr. Chairman, if you will allow me, it was 90
percent wheat, U.S. sales of wheat to Iran.
Chairman Berman. Ah, yes. We used to do that to Iraq, I
Third, Dr. Rubin earlier talked about you have a plan A,
and you better have a plan B and a plan C and a plan D. My
legislation I view as plan C.
Plan A is to make it clear that, whether it is bilaterally
or multilaterally, the United States is prepared to engage with
the leadership of Iran. That, I think, the President has made
clear in many different times, in many different fora. And, as
we have talked about earlier, it hasn't been responded to.
Plan B is the issue of international sanctions. No one can
argue with a straight face that unilateral sanctions are
anywhere near as effective as tough international sanctions.
And there are key players that make up part of that.
I took note of the fact that what had been a timeline on
the engagement of the end of the year became a move to an
assessment of plan A at the G-20 in late September. And,
presumably--I know the groundwork is being laid for a plan B
now. It is my belief that, at the summit, the single longest
time spent discussing any subject in the meetings between
President Obama and Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin was the
subject of Iran. And I believe other efforts are going on, as
Plan C, for me, it isn't that my bill is unilateral
sanctions by the legislation we have. There are already
unilateral sanctions. These are extra territorial unilateral
sanctions, which I am talking about some time in the early fall
marking up in this committee and moving out.
And there is an aspect of this that can have an impact if
it is actually enforced by an administration, because it does
force some critical companies to choose between doing business
with the United States and people involved with the sale of
refined petroleum products or investments in the energy sector
or increasing Iranian refining capacity. It requires these
companies to choose.
Other countries hate those sanctions, but sometimes, in the
context of their hatred, it makes them more open if they think
we are seriously moving down that road toward considering
taking the international sanctions issue more seriously. So it
is in that context that I have proposed this bill and have the
timeframe I had.
And, with that, I am happy to recognize the gentleman from
California, Mr. Rohrabacher, for 5 minutes.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And,
again, let me congratulate you on choosing an excellent group
of witnesses today.
Each and every one you has made a contribution to my
understanding of what is going on. And I hope that people read
your testimony who weren't here.
Especially, of course, Dr. Rubin, I already congratulated
you, because I think that some of the fundamentals that you
talked about were very clear and very to the point. And they
are truisms that need to be recognized if you are going to have
any real influence in this world.
Theorizing and philosophizing will get someone nowhere when
dealing with a gangster or a tyrant. And soft talk--and if I
had any criticism of this administration, it has been the soft
talk. And soft talk does no good, even if you have a big stick.
If you talk softly or if you apologize, it will be taken as a
sign of weakness. And I believe that is what has happened with
the current administration and those goons that control the
Tough condemnation of human rights violations and
aggressive vocal support for the cause of freedom can have an
impact. Speaking too softly to tyrants certainly will have a
negative impact, but speaking aggressively and condemning
tyranny can actually have a positive impact. So weak remarks
are likely, as I say, to be seen as weakness.
Now, to Ronald Reagan, who was mentioned, he knew how to do
it. Well, he used tough rhetoric, and I am very grateful that I
had the opportunity to work with President Reagan for 7 years.
I was one of his senior speechwriters. But let me note that it
wasn't just the rhetoric. It was also that Ronald Reagan had
acting programs that he personally had approved, covert
operations, to weaken the Soviet Union.
And so our choice isn't, as Mr. Burton might have been
mistakenly interpreted as saying, we need to have military
action or threaten military action. We don't need to do that.
There are other actions that can take place, which leads me to
the question for the panel.
Number one, do you think that freezing the bank accounts of
the mullahs who have robbed their people of hundreds of
millions, if not billions, of dollars would have an impact,
Number two, should we have the covert support, which we
have not been? And do you believe that, had we over these last
10 years been providing covert support, which would have given
money and other type of financial support behind those people
within the Iranian society, the young people, the other
nationalist elements there that oppose the mullah dictatorship,
would that have made an impact, as it did with the Soviet Union
when we supported solidarity and we supported various pro-
freedom elements within the Soviet bloc?
So those are my two questions about freezing the assets--
and, for the record, I think that the United States should,
right now, step forward, find out where that money is, and
freeze the bank accounts of every one of those mullahs who run
their country with an iron fist.
And, number two, if we are going to succeed, we need to
support, not just vocally, the cause of freedom in Iran, but we
need to support those people who are struggling on the ground
so they know they have outside support. Would that make a
Right on down the line, very quickly.
Mr. Clawson. Interesting indications suggest that there
have been significant amounts of money transferred by some of
those mullahs to Europe in the last 2 months. And I would hope
that we could help provide European governments with
information about this.
There is some considerable interest to Europe in freezing
money along the lines you described for human rights reasons
and also for banning their travel. Because a number of those
people, especially their family members, go to Europe on a
regular basis on shopping trips.
Mr. Rohrabacher. And the second part of it, very quickly,
because we only have a little bit of time, would covert
support--for example, the union that was mentioned already--
unions and other religious groups, other national groups and
other student groups, would that have a chance at succeeding?
And could it have already succeeded had we done so 10 years
Ms. Maloney. To the first question, let me just say that,
obviously, there are no bank accounts of regime officials in
this country. We would need cooperation from Europe, and
particularly from the Gulf, from Dubai, where much of the
regime's money is banked.
And if we had a blanket frozen order, what we would likely
do is pick up accounts associated with Hashemi Rafsanjani, who
is, of course, now a de facto leader of the opposition. So it
would have to be somewhat targeted in the way that we did that.
In terms of covert support, I think that would be
disastrous. It would be exactly the wrong lesson to take from
what we have just seen on the streets. Iranians want an
authentic opposition movement. They don't want our money; they
don't want our involvement in what they see as an indigenous
Mr. Rohrabacher. And you know that--just for the record,
the only time any revolution has ever worked against tyrants,
including the American Revolution, they had outside support,
especially the Orange Revolution.
Ms. Maloney. Not in 1979.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Well, in----
Chairman Berman. The time of the gentlemen has expired.
The gentlelady from Texas, Ms. Sheila Jackson Lee, is
recognized for 7 minutes.
Ms. Jackson Lee. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for
this hearing. And courtesies have been extended by the members,
primarily the members of this panel, for giving us your
Many of us are reminded of the apartheid fight in South
Africa, when those who loved South Africa dearly rose and asked
for sanctions by the world. Bishop Tutu, whose love of his
country can never be challenged, felt compelled to stand in the
eyes of the world and ask that his nation be condemned.
I believe it is important to stand in the eyes of the world
in solidarity with what has to be one of the most provocative
expressions of opposition in Iran for a very long time. I stand
in solidarity. I believe individual voices of this country
should be raised continuously. I make a plea to our
nongovernmental organizations to take up this cause.
Today, I want to salute entertainers who are now on a
starvation strike, artists who typically are called, in many
instances, ``soft,'' whose voices we may not know here in the
United States, but are clearly raising their ire.
So my questions go to this whole world attitude, and where
is the outrage? Where are the voices? Where is the United
It is difficult to promote sanctions when you think of what
could happen to the most vulnerable and children. So I am going
to start with those questions.
One, where is the world outrage for what is occurring? And
let me pose my questions to--if I can find my list--let me
start with Dr. Milani, if I can, on that question.
Mr. Milani. I absolutely share your wonder about where the
rage is. Ahmadinejad, a Holocaust-denying anti-Semite, came to
New York, and no more than 1,000 people went to protest his
arrival. There should have been hundreds of thousands of people
demonstrating his presence there. If they had done so, he would
not come back for more and more.
Every time he comes back here, he gets treated like a rock
star. He gets asked the same repeated questions about whether
he, in fact, has denied the Holocaust, whether he, in fact, has
asked for the destruction of Israel, and not a single serious
question about the fate of journalists in Iran, about prisoners
in Iran, about the Baha'is of Iran, about other religious
minorities is asked.
Ms. Jackson Lee. My time is short, and I appreciate what
you have given us.
Professor Kittrie, would you answer the question of
I come from energy country, Houston--sanctions on my
domestic producing or domestic-owned petroleum companies.
Sanctions on the most vulnerable, babies needing milk--what
kind of story will come out of a sanctions regime?
Mr. Kittrie. Sure, thank you for your question.
The ``Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act,'' in fact,
doesn't target U.S. companies. The only companies that supply
gasoline to Iran currently are a handful of European companies
and one Indian company. And it is those companies that would
bear the brunt.
And, in fact, U.S. companies have long been cut out of,
have long been prohibited by sanctions from selling gasoline to
Iran. And I would think they might be supportive of leveling
the playing field and having those European companies play by
the same rules.
Ms. Jackson Lee. Let me ask Dr. Maloney, because I believe
in free speech and equal time, on your position on the
engagement and sanctions.
Ms. Maloney. On the question of this particular act?
Ms. Jackson Lee. World outrage, and I believe that you have
expressed some question about sanctions.
Ms. Maloney. On the question of world outrage, I actually
think that there has been a lot of sympathy voiced around the
world by, as you suggest, entertainers and celebrities who are
conducting this hunger strike in New York, rock bands--U2 has
swathed their concerts in green. There has been a lot of
interest in Iran, probably more interest in Iran than countries
like Burma, China, elsewhere, where we see----
Ms. Jackson Lee. Can you answer the question about the
sanctions, your position on that?
Ms. Maloney. Well, I think you raise an interesting point.
Thus far, we have not heard the voices of Iranian opposition
leaders calling for greater sanctions, as we did here with
South Africa. And I think that would be an important barometer
to watch for.
Ms. Jackson Lee. Dr. Rubin, what about her point? We have
not heard from the activists in Iran.
And what kind of leader would Mousavi have been? Would we
have been more pleased with him?
Mr. Rubin. The presidency in Iran is more about style than
about substance on the issues of concern to U.S. Foreign
policy: Nuclear proliferation and terrorism. The problem is
with the Revolutionary Guard and with the Office of the Supreme
With regard to sanctions and opposition, it is hard to--
certainly, Hashemi Rafsanjani is not the opposition figure. He
is widely disliked inside Iran.
The issue is that, when it comes to what has been said
before with regard to taint, we are darned if we do, we are
darned if we don't, because whether we do act covertly or not,
the regime media apparatus is going to accuse us of
interference. So we might as well base our policy on what we
believe to be correct and right.
Ms. Jackson Lee. Dr. Sadjadpour, let me just ask you this
pointed question: Do we have a breach in this Iranian
Government that we can build on democracy? Do we have the
potential of a regime change? Is this sustainable? What do we
need to sustain it?
I know your position on sanctions, but there has to be some
evidence to you that we need a change.
Mr. Sadjadpour. I wouldn't use the term ``regime change'';
I would use the term ``regime transformation.''
And, actually, on sanctions, I think that there are many
members of the opposition and the population who are actually
starting to come around. Their views toward sanctions have
changed. They are not in a position to publicly articulate that
Ms. Jackson Lee. They see value in it.
Mr. Sadjadpour. They are starting to see value in it.
Ms. Jackson Lee. And do you not believe that this is a
historic time in Iran, for the government to change? Our words
may be different, but since I speak Americanese, ``government
change,'' this is not a time for government change?
Mr. Sadjadpour. Absolutely, I think this is a truly
historic moment. And I think that we shouldn't underestimate
the magnitude of what has transpired the last 6 weeks and, I
think, what may continue to transpire.
Ms. Jackson Lee. It is sustainable?
Mr. Sadjadpour. I believe that it is going to be very
difficult for the regime to go back to the status quo ante,
because sacred red lines have been crossed.
Ms. Jackson Lee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back my
Chairman Berman. The time for the gentlelady has expired.
The gentleman from Arizona, Mr. Flake.
Mr. Flake. I thank the chairman and thank the witnesses. I
was able to read a lot of the testimony, but I wasn't able to
hear much. So I apologize if I plow ground that has already
But the last vote on sanctions we had in this committee, I
think it was 45 or so to one, me being the one. I am reluctant
to use economic sanctions as an instrument, in this case. I
have always felt that the difference between Iran and some of
the other countries that we deal with is you don't have a
population that is inherently anti-American. And I am loathe to
make them so. And so, I have heard some of the comments. I know
that is a concern that many of you have. And if some want to
elaborate on that, I would appreciate it.
And, also, first, I wanted to ask Dr. Maloney, if you will,
with this new proposal on sanctions, it would affect some
European countries, one Indian country you mentioned. I think
we all recognize that, to the extent sanctions could be
effective, we have to do them on a multilateral basis. And that
involves our European allies, and we need to pull them into it.
Would enacting these petroleum sanctions make it more or
less likely that we could get cooperation with our European
allies in a broader set of multilateral sanctions?
Ms. Maloney. I think the Europeans are coming around to the
issue of sanctions support in a much more significant way, but
it is still episodic, it is still very spotty across Europe.
The British, the French are probably not too far from at least
being willing to consider a wholesale ban on investment and
trade. The Germans, the Italians remain in a very different
place, although the human rights issue now changes their
calculations, to some extent.
There had been a lot of European companies that have left
Iran of their own volition, both because of the political risks
but also because of some moral suasion from the Treasury
Department. And I expect to see more of that.
But, obviously, to the extent that we engage in the
business of potentially sanctioning trade partners, whether it
is in Europe or Chinese state oil companies that are now
talking to the Iranians about investment in their refinery
sector, then we are going to have some repercussions.
And I think that is why, as Chairman Berman has suggested,
the next round, the sort of plan B needs to focus on what we
can do multilaterally, what we can do that has the broadest
international buy-in. Because that is what is going to have the
greatest effect on Iran's decision-makers.
Mr. Flake. And that is my premise. I believe that if we
want to be successful, we have to have that buy-in. And what I
am asking, if Dr. Milani or somebody else wants to comment,
would enacting this new sanctions regime, these tertiary
sanctions, make it more or less likely that we can get that
buy-in that we need?
Mr. Milani. I would like to continue essentially what my
friend, Mr. Sadjadpour, said. I think if you asked the Iranian
democratic leaders inside Iran about the effectiveness of
sanctions, 2 months ago, they would have almost universally
told you that they have helped the regime, they haven't helped
But now things have changed. Things have changed in two
ways. First, when oil was at $120, the regime found a way of
circumventing the embargo and, in fact, benefitted from it.
Revolutionary Guard commanders became billionaires over these
illicit trades; the sons of these clerics that created 10,000
companies in the United Arab Emirates whose sole job was to get
commodities into UAE and send them to Iran. UAE suddenly became
Iran's biggest trading partner. But now with oil at $70, with
them needing about maybe $40 billion at least to keep the
subsidies going, they are not going to be able to circumvent.
Second, the regime is now shaken to its core. And some of
the leaders inside Iran, though they cannot yet publicly come
out and say it, are suggesting that this sword must be held
over their head for the regime to know that there is a limit of
what it can do to the Iranian people and that the world is
willing to stand with the Iranian people if the regime doesn't
I am hearing for the first time--in fact, just before I
came here, I talked to someone, and that was precisely the
position that they had. And this is someone who is a very
important member of the opposition inside Iran.
Chairman Berman. Professor Kittrie, you wanted to get into
this, I think.
Mr. Kittrie. Thanks, yes.
With respect to our allies and the impact that this might
have on them, we have seen, very interestingly, an example with
Under Secretary Levey, who has been talking to banks all across
Europe, and those banks have been getting out of the business
of doing business with Iran. And there hasn't been a rally-
around-the-flag effect in Iran, nor have our allies
particularly complained aggressively.
I think we will see the same thing if the Iran Refined
Petroleum Sanctions Act is passed. In fact, there is just a
handful of companies that supply gasoline to Iran. One of those
that supplied, British Petroleum, already got out. When,
frankly, Chairman Berman and Congressman Sherman and some
others started making a fuss about this issue last fall,
British Petroleum got out.
Total, I know, I know is on the fence as to whether to get
out or not. Reliance, the Indian company, got out for 2 months
earlier this year and got back. These companies are on the
verge of getting out of this business. They will get out, and I
don't think their governments are going to make a big fuss
Mr. Flake. Dr. Rubin or Sadjadpour?
Mr. Sadjadpour. Thanks for your thoughtful question,
I would say that in a couple of years of being based in
Iran and traveling throughout the country, it was very, very
rare that--people always complained about the economic malaise,
but when you would ask them why, they would complain about
corruption and mismanagement. It was very, very rare that
people would cite U.S. sanctions as the root of their economic
I would support unequivocally sanctions or prohibitions on
companies like Siemens Nokia, which have provided the Iranian
regime repressive technologies. Unequivocally, I would support
And, lastly, I keep going back to this issue of oil. And I
recognize that, you know, sanctions are something that you in
the Congress can do. But, again, just the statistic is quite
startling, that a $1 drop in oil prices is about $900 million
lost in annual revenue for Iran. And if we really want to hurt
this regime, I think a precipitous decline in oil prices would
be the best way to do it.
Chairman Berman. The time of the gentleman has expired.
The gentleman from Arkansas, Mr. Boozman.
Mr. Boozman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I appreciate the testimony. I think it has really been very
helpful to help us understand what is going on.
I think we all agree that, certainly, there is unrest over
the economy, freedoms, and the list goes on and on. I guess I
don't see any evidence at all, though, that with the regime
change, with the current regime change that might be coming on
board, that that group will renounce nuclear weapons.
Some of our allies have said that this is going to happen
within the next 6 months, that they are right on the verge. So
I believe in going forward vigorously with talks, sanctions, et
cetera. But the reality is, none of that has worked in the last
5 or 6 years, and we are facing this very looming deadline. If
Iran goes nuclear, all of our work on nuclear proliferation for
the last decades will be down the tubes.
So with that being said, I would really like for you to
comment. I support, if Israel feels like it, it needs to defend
itself based on what Iran has said it is going to do with
nuclear weapons once it acquires it. I support them 100 percent
if they feel like they need to go forward and defend
What I would like to know from you all is what you feel
like Hamas and Hezbollah in Iran will do in retaliation. And
then, again, how important it is that we as a Congress, we as
an administration resupply and do what it takes to help Israel
during those very crucial hours after that happens.
We will start with you, Professor Kittrie.
Mr. Kittrie. Sure. Thank you.
You raise the option of an Israeli military strike on Iran.
I mean, it is not a good option. Nor is a U.S. military strike
on Iran a particularly good option. I certainly wouldn't
recommend them today. Although, on the other hand, the only
thing worse than a U.S. Military strike on Iran would be a
The challenge is that, if you go in and try and take out
Iran's nuclear program, you really have to do the job right.
There are a lot of sites that are well-hidden. There are sites
that we may not know about. And for one squadron of Israeli
planes to go and drop a few bombs, it worked in Osirak; it may
well not work with respect to Iran.
So if anybody is going to do a military strike, it would
have to be the United States, because only the U.S. has the
capacity, the manpower to do the job right.
Mr. Rubin. Well, I just have three quick points.
The United States should not be the practice of sacrificing
allies. That is not realism; it is just stupid.
Two, a nuclear Iran would feel itself overconfident. And
one of the greatest threats we have to Middle East peace and
security is overconfidence or states not understanding the
others' red lines. After the 2006 Hezbollah-Israel war, the
Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Nasrallah, said that if he had
known how Israel would have reacted, he never would have
launched the operation he did that started the war. The problem
is, a nuclear Iran--Ahmadinejad and the IRGC and the supreme
leader, surrounded by like-minded people, may be prone to
overconfidence and miscalculation.
The last point I want to make which has direct relevance to
both the popular protests which we have seen and the issue of
Iran's ideology is that a lot of people say that, should Iran
develop nuclear weapons capability, we could live with a
nuclear Iran because they are not suicidal. The problem is
that, among certain portions of the people that would be in
command and control, specifically within the supreme leader's
circle and the IRGC, there may be people that are ideologically
committed to the destruction of Israel.
Now, should there be a popular uprising when Iran has that
nuclear capability, they may feel they have nothing to lose,
with the calculation that ``Look, we are done for anyway. And
is the United States or Europe really going to retaliate
against an already changed regime?'' Therefore, it is essential
for the peace and stability in the region that Iran not be
allowed to get this far in the first place.
Mr. Boozman. And with Iran having nuclear ability, then the
Saudis and the whole region are going to feel threatened,
aren't they, and also start the proliferation? We are already
hearing, perhaps, deals with Pakistan and things like that,
with the Saudis.
Mr. Rubin. You are absolutely correct. It would be a
cascade of instability, and the nuclear nonproliferation regime
would be dead.
Mr. Sadjadpour. Also, three quick points, Congressman.
I would slightly disagree with Michael here, in the sense
that I think that what we have seen from the last 6 weeks is
that this Iranian regime is incredibly odious, but it is not
suicidal. On the contrary, it ruthlessly wants to hold on to
The second point is that the problem we have with Iran has
far more to do with the character of the regime than its
And the third point is that, if we bomb Iran, I feel that
we could do serious damage to this opposition movement and
alter its trajectory and further entrench these odious
hardliners in Tehran.
Mr. Boozman. So do you feel like Iran is serious about
doing what it says, if they have nuclear weapons, to Israel?
Mr. Sadjadpour. What do they say they are going to do?
Mr. Boozman. I think they have made it clear that they
don't feel like Israel should exist. And Israel is probably a
one- or two-bomb country.
Mr. Sadjadpour. Well, they have never articulated a policy
of military destroying Israel. They articulated a policy of a
referendum in Israel, which is essentially----
Mr. Boozman. So, for you, that is way too far of a stretch,
if you felt----
Mr. Sadjadpour. Again, I would just simply reiterate that
the problem we have with this regime, in my opinion, is the
character of it, not its nuclear ambitions. And if we bomb the
regime, we are going to extend its shelf life indefinitely.
Mr. Milani. I think, first of all, whether it is Israel or
in conjunction with the United States, the United States will
be blamed for it. No one in Iran or in the Middle East
believes, whether right or wrong--there is, as you well know, a
prevalence of conspiracy theories, where people will believe
that the United States is complicit in it.
I think it would be the gravest mistake Israel has made. I
think it would be counterproductive to Israel's security. I
think it would be extremely counterproductive for the U.S.
Thousands of U.S. soldiers sit within a missile strike of
Iranian soldiers and Revolutionary Guards.
And I can tell you that, if they are attacked, they will
respond. And there will be thousands of collateral damage. They
know that this strike might come. They have fortified their
bases. They have taken it and put it in some of the most
sensitive places underground in the city of Esfahan. So you are
going to have a lot of unfortunate collateral damage.
Chairman Berman. The time of the gentleman has expired.
The gentleman from Florida, Mr. Klein, is recognized for 7
Mr. Klein. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And thank you. I appreciate you all being part of this
As has been stated by many of the colleagues up here and
many of you as well, the choices of what the United States can
or should do fall into a few different categories. I do support
the notion of trying, recognizing that we may not succeed and
we need to have our plans B and C, et cetera, in place. But,
certainly, in terms of the discussions to stage and setting up,
if necessary, for what would be the next stage would be
significant or what I would call crippling sanctions, which I
think would be appropriate.
I am from Florida, and I just heard recently that the
company Vitol, the European company which apparently supplies
over half of the refined oil to Iran, or gasoline, is
constructing a $100 million fuel facility in Port Canaveral,
And, again, those are the kinds of transactions and
investments that I think the United States needs to be
concerned about. And if we are going to have a serious
conversation of creating strong economic impact or the effect
of an impact which will cause a change of behavior, not only
throughout the United States, because we have limited capacity
and involvement with them, but throughout Europe and Asia and
My question--maybe I will start with Professor Kittrie and
Dr. Clawson--is, how responsive do you think companies like
Vitol will be if we pass legislation in the United States which
says that you make choices, you either do business with Iran
and you don't do business in the United States? How effective
is that? How will a company like Vitol or others react to that?
Mr. Clawson. One problem we have had in the past is if
other governments, such as European governments, think that our
policies are utterly inappropriate, then they would encourage
their companies to ignore our legislation and assure those
companies that, in fact, they will provide political and
economic cover for them to ignore what we are doing.
But what we have seen recently, with the actions of the
Treasury Department, especially Stuart Levey, is that, instead,
the attitude of European governments has been to say to
European banks, ``Well, the Americans may be a bit pushy here,
but they do have a good point.'' And I think that that would be
the attitude of a lot of European governments if we were to
enact sanctions about refined petroleum products; is that,
indeed, there are a number of European governments, some of the
most important European governments, that are frustrated that
smaller European states are blocking EU action on this issue.
And a number of the big European governments would be quite
delighted to go to their companies and say, ``You know, the
Americans have a point here. You really ought to think about
Mr. Klein. So your opinion is that the European governments
may react favorably to this legislation. But, more
specifically, these multinational businesses that are making
their own decisions--some of which are impacted by governmental
authority and some are not.
And I guess the question with a company like Vitol--I am
just using them as an example, though--is, if you have
millions, hundreds of millions, possibly billions of
opportunity to do business in the United States, these are
behavior--they obviously have to weigh that against the rest of
the world and what they are going to be doing.
Mr. Clawson. Well, in a situation where your home
government says to you, ``We are going to get the Americans off
your back; we are going to really threaten the Americans if
they try to go after you,'' then the company will say, ``Well,
we can ignore what the Americans are doing because we will be
protected.'' But in a situation where their home government
says, ``You really ought to listen to what the Americans are
saying,'' then the company will say, ``Uh-oh, we better change
And I think we are much more in that latter situation than
we were in--the former situation is was prevailed with regard
to the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act in the 1990s. And we are not in
that situation at all now, not at all.
Mr. Klein. Professor Kittrie?
Mr. Kittrie. Yeah, I agree with the gist of what Dr.
Clawson had to say. I mean, we have seen, in fact, that
congressional efforts with respect to these gasoline suppliers
to Iran have already begun to work. British Petroleum got out
of the business of supplying gasoline to Iran. Reliance
Industries, an Indian firm, got out of the business of
supplying gasoline to Iran for 2 months earlier this year. And
the press reports, the trade press reports, said it was due to
the efforts of Congressman Berman and Congressman Sherman, due
to their letters that they wrote to the Ex-Im Bank raising
questions about loan guarantees.
With respect to Vitol specifically, they are a privately
held Swiss company. They are in it to make money. If you put
them to a business choice where it is clear that they are going
to lose more business in the United States than the profit they
are making in Iran, they are going to choose the U.S. market.
You mentioned Port Canaveral. Frankly, Los Angeles
International Airport, LAX, buys some $600 million a year of
jet fuel from Vitol. And if, you know, the L.A. City council
that runs LAX puts Vitol to a choice, that by itself may be
enough to get Vitol out of the business of supplying gasoline
Mr. Klein. Okay. And as a follow-up to the question,
sanctioning suppliers of refined petroleum--obviously, refined
petroleum is an important issue for Iran because of their
capacity. Do you recommend this sanction?
Let me quickly just go down the row, if we can. United
States Congress, do you recommend that we lead on this sanction
of limiting refined petroleum entering into Iran?
Mr. Kittrie. Oh, yes, absolutely.
Mr. Rubin. Yes, absolutely.
Mr. Sadjadpour. I would say I am not there yet until the
opposition has reached that point, but I think they are getting
Mr. Milani. I approve it in precisely the manner that the
chairman indicated, as plan C. After plan A and B fails, then
the plan C is certainly called for. And I think, by then, many
Iranian democrats will be calling for it, as well.
Ms. Maloney. I think, unless you have figured out a way to
deal with the Chinese--and that would be part of your plan B,
but also needs to be factored in here--you are likely to spark
a trade war with the Chinese as a result of this. And I am not
sure that is what the U.S. economy needs. So I am not in favor
Mr. Clawson. Give the President the authority so he can use
this as an important part of the way that he bargains with the
Chinese and others for multilateral sanctions to much to the
Mr. Kittrie. Let me just point out, China provides no
refined petroleum to Iran----
Ms. Maloney. They are in talks to upgrade a number of
Iranian refineries right now.
Mr. Kittrie. They are in talks to upgrade them, but
currently they provide none.
Mr. Klein. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Berman. All right, thank you.
The gentleman from California, Mr. Royce, is recognized for
Mr. Royce. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
You know, Ahmadinejad once made the comment that ``I pray
to God that I will never know anything about economics.'' And
based on the inflation rate at 20 percent and the official
statistic now of 30 percent unemployment, it looks like his
prayers have been answered.
And the question I have is, there seems to be a growing
consensus that petroleum--and I know it can be a lynchpin for
this reason. I have seen a clip of an interview in Iran of cars
backed up for 4 hours. And one of the fellows in line who is
being interviewed says, ``You mean this regime has millions of
dollars to send to Hezbollah, and we are standing here in this
gas line for 4 hours without petrol?''
It seems to me that this would be a lynchpin in this. But I
am wondering what else could be a chokepoint, in terms of
affecting that kind of an attitude, creating that kind of
animus. We have examined other concepts for something along the
lines of a South African-type, apartheid-type sanctions. What
do you think would really do the trick?
Mr. Clawson. A ban on travel by the families of the key
regime figures, many of whom go on regular shopping trips or
other trips to Europe. That is something that the United States
and Europe can act on together. These people are not interested
in going to Moscow for shopping. They want to go to Harrods.
There is precedent for what we and the European Union did
together with regard to the former Yugoslavia, where we, by the
end, acting outside of the United Nations, had banned the
travel of 600 named individuals, targeting regime figures.
Mr. Royce. I think that is a great concept.
Go ahead, Doctor.
Mr. Rubin. Thank you very much.
Before, it was talked about perhaps one should sanction
Nokia and the other companies which are contributing to Iran's
ability to repress. You don't need any sanction there. If the
President and Congressmen and Senators would publicly name and
shame these companies, it would have great effect. Generally
speaking, public exposure of corruption is a theme which
resonates inside Iran.
And when it comes to credibility, for example, of U.S.
outreach, oftentimes the regime will say, ``Oh, what the United
States is doing is just propaganda.'' But instead of the Open
Source Center, for example, simply translating and distributing
national press, if it focuses on the local press, if it reads
back verbatim, word for word, stories of labor movement strikes
and other instances of local corruption, amplifies local
stories into international stories, the Iranian Government
cannot say that that is simply external propaganda, because all
you are doing is reading back its own press but on a national
Mr. Royce. Let me make another observation. We have Iran
spinning 5,000 centrifuges, and I guess soon it is going to be
7,000. So that is reality, that is a nuclear weapons program.
And Iran continues this relationship with North Korea.
So let me ask a question. There has been a lot of well-
documented evidence in terms of the proliferation between the
two. India forced down that plane that was carrying,
presumably, missile parts to Iran from North Korea. And we
understand the North Korean motivation for this: It is cash.
But let's look at it from the other perspective, because
that is something I don't understand. What is Iran's motivation
for its technology transfer and its engagement up in North
Korea? Is that technology, or is there something else?
Nobody has commented on this relationship, and I just
wondered if there is any perception as to what the incentive is
on the Iranian side for this.
Mr. Milani. You know, if the regime makes the decision--and
I don't think they have made it yet--to go from becoming a
virtual nuclear state to an actual nuclear state, in other
words if they decide to weaponize, then they also have to
decide to find a way of delivering that weapon somewhere. They
need missiles. And I think North Korea has been very much
helping them in developing the kind of technology that allows
them to put a warhead on and deliver it.
Mr. Royce. So the North Korean experimentation with three-
stage ICBMs and miniaturization on nuclear warheads is
something that, apparently, Iran is attempting to--is there
kind of a consensus that that is probably the rationale for
Mr. Clawson. The North Korean rationale seems to be money.
Mr. Royce. Right. That I understand.
Mr. Clawson. But the Iranian rationale, as Dr. Milani
suggested, is that this is a powerful way for them to get
access to technology they would like. I mean, they would much
rather have that technology from other sources, and they turned
to the North Koreans because they can't find anyplace else.
Mr. Royce. And the specific technology that is in question
here are three-stage ICBMs, the long-range ICBMs, and
miniaturization to put it on that kind of an ICBM.
We are cutting back on our strategic defense initiative, at
this point. It would seem like an inopportune time to do so,
given not only North Koreans doubling down on their efforts to
develop this capability, but the presumption now that perhaps
the transfer of that potential capability to Iran would give
the Iranians long-range delivery capability.
Mr. Rubin. Correct.
Mr. Clawson. This regime has been very excited about what
it describes as its space launch programs. And so we see every
reason to believe that the regime is interested in developing
very long-range missiles. And that would be technology which
would be ideally suited for carrying a nuclear warhead that
Mr. Royce. Yes, Doctor, go ahead.
Mr. Rubin. Indeed, there are many reasons why we continue
to doubt Iran's explanation that their nuclear program is
intended for civilian use only. It is not just their trade with
North Korea for nuclear technology. There are a number of other
factors, as well.
Mr. Royce. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Berman. Thank you. The time of the gentleman has
The gentleman from California, Mr. Costa, is recognized for
Mr. Costa. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
One of you mentioned earlier today, likened this regime to
the Sopranos. If we reflect on that as an analysis, I mean,
organized crime reached its heyday in the 1920s and the 1930s,
but we spent another 50 years, some would argue still today,
combating organized crime. I am not so sure we have the same
luxury in terms of dealing with this regime over that kind of a
I want to move from sanctions a bit and talk a little bit
about some of the other influences in the area. First, the
other Arab states in the neighborhood. Are we, either formally
or informally, using all the tools available?
I mean, certainly, if, in fact, the result of it is a
nuclear weapon in Iran, we know that there is going to be a
reaction to that with the other Arab states. Are they as
focused on this as we are?
Yes, Mr. Rubin.
Mr. Rubin. The other Arab states are certainly, especially
in the Persian Gulf, are very cognizant of it. The problem is
that if they do not believe that we are serious, if they do not
see an effective effort for sanctions and other reasons, then
they will come to the conclusion that they have no choice but
to accommodate with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Therefore,
our intentions should go beyond dialogue. And I should say that
organized crime wasn't simply defeated by talking to them.
The other issue which we need to focus on is the continued
pursuit of the Gulf Security Dialogue, which--George Bush
relaunched an initiative that had been initiated by the Clinton
administration. And the basis of the Gulf Security Dialogue
isn't just talk; it is to enable the Persian Gulf emirates on
the other side of the Persian Gulf, the Arab states, to better
defend themselves, to better implement containment.
And this is what we had talked about before, when it comes
to what is taught in our U.S. military academies, the DIME
paradigm, where every component should have a diplomatic,
informational, military, and economic component. And when I
talked about ``military,'' I am not talking about bombing. I am
talking about containment, and I am talking about deterrence.
And that actually amplifies diplomacy, when they are all done
Mr. Costa. And you don't think this administration is using
all of those elements in this strategy?
Mr. Rubin. No, the problem with this administration, in my
opinion, is that we are prone a little bit too much toward
sequencing rather than using these multiple aspects of strategy
in which the sanctions bill will play a part to amplify the
diplomacy and to amplify the package as a whole.
Ms. Maloney. Let me just disagree with that, because I
don't think that, at this stage, we are in a position where we
can say we are holding back with the Gulf states.
The Gulf Security Dialogue, launched by the Bush
administration, was, for all intents and purposes, an arms
sales package, massive arms sales package, which obviously has
its role in reassuring those states. We didn't ask anything in
response from them, in terms of their support either from the
Iraqi Government, for example, or their support for tougher
sanctions against Iran. It was a gift, and I believe it served
This administration has been very up front in going to the
Gulf states, talking to them about Iran, about ensuring the
continuing defense cooperation that is an integral part of our
Mr. Costa. And, on that point, to the other gentleman's
notion, do you think they believe that we are serious?
Ms. Maloney. I think they do believe that we are serious.
On the other hand, their long-time--it predates us, predates
this regime in Iran--their strategy for dealing with local
threats is balancing. And so they balance their relationship
with the United States with a continuing relationship with the
They are not prepared to cut off their nose to spite their
face. They are not prepared to break ties with Tehran. They are
not, in the case of most of the smaller Gulf states, prepared
to engage in serious economic pressure on the Iranians, because
it would have direct and very problematic impact on their own
And so I think we have to recognize that we need to help
reassure them, but if we are looking to do more to pressure
this regime, we are going to also have to ask more from the
Mr. Costa. And you think we are doing that?
Ms. Maloney. I don't believe that we are there yet. I think
that those conversations occur, but, obviously, you know, the
focus of efforts so far of this administration has been on
engagement. But, notably, obviously, Dennis Ross, who is the
Secretary's envoy for this issue, his very first international
trip was to the Gulf states.
Mr. Costa. Yeah, quickly, Mr. Sadjadpour, because I want to
move into another direction.
Mr. Sadjadpour. I agree with Suzanne's point. And I would
simply add that I fear that many of the Persian Gulf countries,
the smaller ones, don't necessarily share the United States'
interest, meaning I think the United States would love to see a
more progressive, democratic Iran emerge. I think the----
Mr. Costa. Which is not necessarily in their interest.
Mr. Sadjadpour. Exactly. They don't necessarily want to see
Iran emerge from its self-inflicted isolation.
Mr. Costa. And they are probably not so sure about the
consistency of our policy.
Mr. Sadjadpour. Of the U.S. policy?
Mr. Costa. Right.
Mr. Sadjadpour. Well, I think that, in many ways, they want
to see the status quo ante. They want to see a beleaguered,
isolated Iran. They don't want to see Iran get bombed, and they
don't want Iran to get the bomb.
Mr. Costa. Well, let's talk about internally. And I know
there have been comments about it earlier, with regards to the
elections and the protests since the elections. And the
comments of Rafsanjani and some of the others seem to be rather
outspoken in this aftermath of the election.
Where do you think this is all going, in terms of--I mean,
obviously, there seems to be a challenge for power among the
council. And how does this play out? I mean, I think it is
fascinating from an outsider, but we are not in the inside. And
this, obviously, isn't a transparent process.
Mr. Milani. I think there are two tracks to watch. One is
the Mousavi track, to watch what the popular people will do,
led by Mousavi and Khatami. And Khatami's recent announcement
that there should be a referendum is truly a remarkable
statement coming from him.
Mr. Costa. Is that getting reported throughout the country?
Mr. Milani. It is very much reported. And he has already
received literally a death threat by the Keyhan, which is a
mouthpiece of Khamenei. Shari'atmadari is the editor, and he
has already written an editorial saying that this idea is
concocted in Washington. In fact, he attributed it to a
commentator here, Michael Ledeen. He said this idea came from
Michael Ledeen. And that Khatami will pay a very heavy price,
Khamenei also threatened.
But in Rafsanjani's speech, there was a very key sentence.
He said, ``Everything I am saying I am saying after consulting
with people in those two clerical bodies.'' Both of which he
Mr. Costa. In other words, he has more support.
Mr. Milani. Absolutely.
Mr. Costa. If I might, one more question, Mr. Chairman?
Chairman Berman. Actually, the time has more than expired,
so I think----
Mr. Costa. Thank you.
Chairman Berman. Yeah, the time of the gentleman has
The gentleman from Texas, Mr. Poe.
Mr. Poe. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you for being here.
I am a believer in self-determination. I commend the
Iranian people for speaking out. I admire them for that.
I think it should be clear that America's quarrel is not
with the people of Iran; it is the way they are being treated
by their own government and run roughshod, black-booted thugs
killing Iranian citizens on the streets.
My concern is how we approach that from an official point
of view. I mean, the Iranian Government blames us for all the
unrest anyway. After the crooked elections, we took--the
administration took I think somewhat of a soft approach on what
took place over there, that it was unfortunate or whatever.
Would it help--this is an opinion question for you--would it
help with the issue of self-determination if the United States
was more vocal in supporting the people of Iran in determining
their own destiny?
Dr. Rubin, you are looking at me first, so go for it.
Mr. Rubin. Generally speaking, if the United States uses
its bully pulpit in a very careful manner and talks about how
we value freedom, we value liberty, we value the ability of
elections to matter, that is very important. We should not get
into the nuts and bolts of specific opposition figures,
especially since we have a habit of misidentifying who the
opposition figures truly are. But there is no reason why we
should be ashamed of moral clarity.
Mr. Poe. All right. Anybody else want to weigh in on that?
Yes. Dr. Clawson, go ahead.
Mr. Clawson. Actually, the regime in Iran has been blaming
the Europeans much more than blaming us, and particularly
blaming the British.
Mr. Poe. They never liked the British.
Mr. Clawson. Very true. But it was also intriguing, the
considerable contrast between the statements of the Chancellor
of Germany and the President of France with the President of
the United States; and it is an interesting situation when we
see the French President being much more active, supporting a
stand of principle than the United States President.
Mr. Poe. So my question is, if we were more vocal, the
bully pulpit, for example, idea, would that help that country
have self-determination? That is my question.
Mr. Clawson. Certainly the leaders like Khamenei believe
that is the case.
Mr. Poe. All right.
Mr. Clawson. And I suspect he knows his country better than
Mr. Poe. All right.
Mr. Sadjadpour. I like Michael's term about moral clarity.
These themes which universally resonate of justice and freedom
without anointing a particular party or individual I think are
the right way to go. I think we should continue to condemn
human rights abuses. There is even a U.S. citizen now
languishing in Evin prison, Kian Tajbakhsh.
And I would also add--this is in response to some of the
questions earlier--that we should also try to provide the
Iranians the means for self-determination, meaning now
communications--they have great difficulty communicating.
Internet is down. They are not receiving news from the outside
satellite broadcasts. Anything we can do to help lift that
communications embargo I think would be a great service to
Mr. Poe. My next question is the protests since the
election. Do you think that this is going to--is this a flash
in the pan or is this going to be a continuous opposition to
the government? I am not talking about the players, so to
speak, and the different leaders. But is this something that is
going to keep going or is this just something that happens in
the summer? Dr. Rubin?
Mr. Rubin. Iran is a tinderbox, and it has been a tinderbox
for some time. The issue is whether the Iranian Government is
better at putting out sparks than--and if the sparks will get
out of control. Some people like Rafsanjani want to preserve
the regime but want a controlled burn. Ultimately, this is why
greater U.S. attention to the state and the factions within the
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the security forces
becomes so important.
The problem with muddle-through reform is that if you are
the Supreme Leader--and we don't want to engage in projection.
He may really believe that sovereignty comes from God, not the
people. Therefore, it doesn't matter what 90 percent of the
people think. Then you are not going to be responsive to the
will of the people. The question for U.S. policy should be, how
can we create a template upon which the Iranian people can take
action in their own hands?
Mr. Poe. Dr. Milani?
Mr. Milani. I don't think this is a flash in the pan. I
don't think this is the 1999 student movement, where they can
throw a few thugs and throw some students off the fourth floor
and quiet it down. This is a much larger movement in terms of a
social base; and it has enormous support amongst both stalwarts
of the regime like Rafsanjani, Khatami, and the clergy.
We haven't talked about the clergy. Many of the most
influential Shiite clergy have said either nothing in support
of Ahmadinejad or have taken Ahmadinejad and Khamenei to task.
They are an enormous force that I think indicate--their silence
indicates that the rift is much bigger and the problem is much
more serious than a flash in the pan.
Mr. Poe. The opposition, different factions--and without
giving me how many you think there are, are the opposition to
the government--are they generally united or are they
independent entities all in opposition?
Dr. Milani, what do you think?
Mr. Milani. I think the opposition right now is clearly
united inside Iran around the issue of the election, around the
issue of the fairness of the election, and around the issue of
the overreach of Mr. Khamenei and his Revolutionary Guard
cohorts in making this coup. The demand of the opposition is to
turn this coup back and create a more democratic, less despotic
personal government. I think everybody is in agreement with
Mr. Poe. I think the best hope for Iran, in my opinion, and
the best for the Middle East and the United States, is a regime
change, without going into dealing with the issue of nuclear
And I will yield back the rest of the time that I don't
Chairman Berman. Such as it is.
The gentleman from Georgia, Mr. Scott, is recognized for 7
Mr. Scott. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
First of all, Dr. Milani, I felt that you gave a very
descriptive, very riveting analysis of describing the situation
and the volatility and the precariousness that Iran is in as a
result of this crisis from the election. But my concern is that
we interpret this uprising, this revolt properly. And I think
it would be good for us to examine why and examine it from the
perspective of the people who are doing the uprising and not
just automatically assume that they are rebelling against what
has become the standard attitude toward Israel or the standard
attitude toward developing nuclear weapons.
So I would like to find out from each of you to what degree
is this crisis and this uprising and this surge for liberty and
democracy and the revolution against this--revulsion against
the election returns has to do with their dissatisfaction of
Iran going down a nuclear track and Iran's very professed
disdain for Israel?
So if we can say that the reason they are upset is not just
because it was a bad election but because we, the people of
Iran, are not interested in pursuing a nuclear weapon--and I
don't know if that is the case or not--or we in Iran, the
people in Iran, we are upset and our crisis is because we don't
like this attitude against Israel.
So I would like to get your comments, and each of you,
because these are the issues that concern us. We don't want
them to get a nuclear weapon. We don't like their attitude
toward Israel. What degree of this uprising and disdain and
crisis can we take from this to support our two interests?
Mr. Clawson. Sir, I don't think anyone is on the street in
Iran because of the nuclear program or because of Israel. But
they are on the street because they would like to see Iran
reintegrated back into the world and better connected with the
world, and they don't want to see their country isolated from
the world. That is the issue for these people. And that is true
about cultural isolation; it is true about political isolation;
it is true about the difficulty of travel; it is true about
economic isolation. They don't want to be isolated from the
rest of the world.
And if in that context then being seen as supporting
terrorists and being seen as having an unacceptable nuclear
program is part of this isolation and much as many people in
Iran who are out there on the streets who think it would be
good for Iran to have nuclear weapons, if they have to give up
much of the nuclear program in order to end their isolation
from the world, I don't think it is going to be a tough call
for them. I think they would be prepared to do that.
Mr. Scott. Okay.
Mr. Milani. I refer again to a poll that was done, a poll
that was done by a group in Washington. It is as close to a
scientific poll--it had a flaw. It was done outside from phone.
It had that flaw. But they talked to about 1,000 people. Fifty-
two percent of those asked said Iran should recognize the State
of Israel. Ninety percent said Iran should make all the
necessary--give all the necessary guarantees to the West that
its nuclear program is not military in return for scientific
As Patrick said, Iranians want to join the world. There are
24 million Internet users in Iran. There are 500,000 bloggers
in Iran. This is not a country that can be ruled by a medieval
ideology that says I speak for God. They want that change, and
they want to come to the rest of the world and join the 21st
Chairman Berman. Dr. Maloney wants to respond.
Ms. Maloney. Let me jump in and just add that I am from
Boston, so I live by the maxim that all politics are local. To
what I can interpret--obviously, none of us were in Iran for
the protests, so we are all looking through the glass darkly--
most Iranians were provoked to take action that they haven't
taken in the past because of the simple outrage of the just
blatant rigging of the election. And this speaks to how
important the electoral process is for Iranians, how important
the tradition, this 100-year-old tradition of constitutionalism
is in this country and how even elections that were never fully
free and fair provided a voice for Iranians that they valued.
And when that was taken away from them, they were prepared to
go to the streets in a way they never have before.
Mr. Scott. Okay. Yes.
Mr. Rubin. I would certainly agree that all politics are
local. The issues here are both the Iranian people and the
United States Government face a common adversary in the Iranian
state security apparatus, albeit for different reasons and
That said, we have seen protests over the years. The
teachers union protesting in Tehran under the banner ``forget
about Palestine and think about us.'' In 2006, there were
protests when the Tehran government wanted to send money to
Lebanon after the 2006 war. This is one of the reasons why I do
think it is essential that the United States doesn't miss
another Lech Walesa moment and we do support the growing and
nascent independent trade union movement inside the Islamic
Republic of Iran in order to force the Iranian regime to become
more accountable to its people. It is in both our interests and
Mr. Scott. And my final remark is that I hear this, but, on
the other hand, you are saying for the United States not to get
involved. I think that was the consensus before we left to go
to vote. It was stay away. I mean, don't interfere at all.
Mr. Rubin. That is not--so there is no consensus.
Mr. Scott. Oh, you were the only one then.
Mr. Rubin. I don't know.
Mr. Scott. Wasn't that the consensus, that our best deal
here is to allow this thing to work out?
Chairman Berman. There was a majority view of let the
Iranian people own this, not us. That may have been a consensus
view. But the notion of detachment totally may not have been a
Mr. Rubin. Correct.
Mr. Clawson. I think we probably all support Michael's call
for an endorsement of moral clarity and principles. We would
all say that we should be actively supporting our principles,
not just things we see in the G-8 statement and so on.
Chairman Berman. I think the time of the gentleman has
The gentleman from New Jersey.
Mr. Smith. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Berman. Mr. Smith.
Mr. Smith. Thank you for assembling an excellent panel and
for an outstanding hearing, which has brought a lot of clarity
to this debate. So I thank each of our witnesses for your
A few years ago, I read a very disturbing and a very
insightful book by Edwin Black called, ``IBM and the
Holocaust.'' In his heavily footnoted book, the author points
out that, beginning in the early 1930s, Nazi Germany was
significantly aided and abetted in its plan of conquest and
genocide by IBM and its subsidiaries. IBM helped Hitler to
create the Hollerith punch card technologies to identify Jews
so they could be targeted for asset confiscation, deportation,
ghettoization, slave labor, and finally extermination.
And the question was often asked, where did Hitler get all
the names? Well, IBM provided that and helped the Nazis develop
It is well-known today that certain governments are using
modern technology, including technology from the United States,
to violate fundamental human rights. We have had several
hearings in this room on the shameless collaboration of certain
Internet giants, from Google to Yahoo and others, in aiding and
abetting the Chinese dictatorship. As a matter of fact, I have
introduced legislation, the Global Online Freedom Act, which is
designed in part to compel at least transparency as to what
they are doing; and hopefully we will mark that up soon or some
On June 22nd, the Wall Street Journal reported that
Siemens--and a couple of our distinguished witnesses have
already made mention of that--and Nokia during the latter half
of 2008 provided the Iranian regime with the capability not
only to block communication but also to monitor it and to
gather information about individuals and to alter that
information in order to spread disinformation. This
sophisticated system, which the Wall Street Journal
characterized as the world's most sophisticated system for
controlling and censoring the Internet, was used, as we all
know, to suppress the uprising after the fraudulent elections.
On the same day, the Wall Street Journal reported that
Siemens, again enabling the Iranian Government, had reported
that the company expected to land some $21 billion worth of
stimulus contracts globally, of which some $8 billion would
come right from the United States. And, as we know, several
California politicians and Iranian human rights advocates are
trying to pressure that Siemens not be awarded hundreds of
millions of dollars in sales at the L.A. Metropolitan
Transportation Authority, which I think sends a very clear
message; and I hope they succeed.
But I would deeply appreciate--since there is so much
stimulus money in this country and abroad in the pipeline, that
money is almost assuredly going to be spent--what your views
would be on limiting those dollars from going--as we can;
hopefully, other countries will do the same, which would be my
view--to companies like Siemens.
Because the complicity with the Iranian crackdown obviously
hasn't stopped. You know, the communications center continues
and e-mails are being interrupted every day. Information is
being gleaned from it and used in a repressive way by the
I would appreciate all of your thoughts on that. Should we
limit our stimulus money or other contracts as well to
companies like Siemens?
Mr. Milani. First of all, a point of clarification. I wrote
a letter to the office--the MTA office objecting to it and
threatened that I would write a letter to the editor in the
L.A. Times. I got a letter back saying that they are not about
to give Siemens anything, that the deal is something else, and
it is with a different company.
But I 100 percent agree. I think it would send an
incredible message to the Iranian people if you could sanction
a company like Siemens. If people in Iran learn that companies
that are complicit in this regime's crimes get punished, that
would be the most invigorating message that that democratic
movement can hear.
Now whether it is possible to do it or not, you folks know
that much better than I do.
Mr. Sadjadpour. I would just simply second Abbas' comments
and say I would also unequivocally support a prohibition of
repressive transfers of technology to regimes like Iran; and I
think it would send a wonderful signal if Siemens, Nokia--
McAfee is another company--would be censured and punished for
Ms. Maloney. Let me just at least suggest an additional or
even alternative route, which is that, you know--and I am not a
tech person, but I think one of the difficulties with dealing
with technology is it is constantly evolving. And whatever we
preclude the Iranians from getting today, they will be able to
develop or get their hands on. And I would suggest that the
bulk of our efforts in this regard should be focused on finding
alternative ways for Iranians to communicate and providing that
to them to the extent that we can.
I know that there are a lot of people with Internet
expertise and particularly in the Iranian American community in
California who have already begun talking about this, and there
were likely efforts under way even before June 12th. But, you
know, providing mechanisms for Iranians to communicate with one
another that evade whatever technology their government is able
to get its hands on--because, you know, we may block Siemens,
but we may not be able to block the Chinese and Russians, who
can provide similar technology.
Mr. Kittrie. I agree wholeheartedly with the gist of what
you are saying.
I also happen to think that we should be looking to help
the Iranians find other ways of communicating. But the fact of
the matter is that there are certain technologies that are
cutting edge. There was a study recently, two-thirds of Iranian
industry depends heavily on German machinery. If Germany
stopped exporting, stopped servicing that machinery, the
Iranians wouldn't be able to turn to--you can't just put a
Russian part in a German machine.
I think it is a great idea that we put companies to a
choice between the United States market and the Iranian market,
and then we consider doing that as well with the stimulus
funds. I think that would be a very powerful tool.
Mr. Rubin. I also agree with the gist, in addition to which
we don't need to enact any legislation for the White House to
become much more active in naming and shaming these companies.
The other point I would make--and I concur with Dr. Maloney
with regard to providing independent media. I would note that
while in the previous administration the Iran Democracy Fund
was quite controversial, the plurality of money in that went to
Radio Free Europe and Voice of America's television and radio;
and it is important that that not be withdrawn.
Chairman Berman. I thought it went to polling.
Mr. Rubin. The Iran Democracy Funds.
Chairman Berman. Yeah.
Mr. Rubin. Oh.
Chairman Berman. The time of the gentleman has expired, and
the gentleman from----
Well, first, I want to say people here are grandfathered
in. Anyone else who straggles in now, not going to be
recognized. At some point, we have to show some mercy to the
panel and to the chairman.
Mr. Ellison. In other words, Ellison, Pence, Sherman,
Berman, and Costa for 1 minute each. Mr. Ellison.
Mr. Ellison. Thank you, Mr. Chairman; and thank you to the
Given that President Obama's projection in terms of when
negotiation or engagement will have run its course as being
September was before the new political situation we see with
the election, do any of you think that we might delay that
deadline and sort of take that deadline off the table and sort
of begin counting, if ever we want to do that counting, after
the political environment has settled down? Mr. Rubin?
Mr. Rubin. Very quickly, the issue isn't just the deadline.
The issue is that neither the Obama administration nor the
Clinton State Department has not indicated the metrics by which
they are going to judge that engagement.
Mr. Ellison. Yeah, Mr. Rubin, that is a good point. But I
only got 7 minutes. So is there anybody who wants to answer the
question I asked?
Mr. Clawson. The problem we face is that the nuclear
program is advancing; and if we let this issue slide until the
dust settles, we have got a real problem, especially with our
Israeli friends, who are already very nervous.
Mr. Ellison. I will take that as a no.
Mr. Clawson. I am saying we are stuck between a rock and a
hard place. Because it is going to be very--I would agree with
my colleagues that engagement now is tough to do and that there
is much reason to wait for the dust to settle. However,
hopefully, that is not nuclear dust. And the problem we face
Mr. Ellison. I think we all understand that. I get that.
But I just want to----
Does anybody think that, given that this timeline was set
forth before this new situation, should we consider this
September deadline as sort of a--should we be more flexible
with that, understanding some of the points that have been made
already? Mr. Milani? Dr. Milani, excuse me.
Mr. Milani. I agree with you. I think the September
deadline was an arbitrary deadline, and I think it is going to
be impossible to imagine that from now until September anything
substantive can happen between Iran and the United States,
particularly because I don't think we still know who we will be
engaging with in Iran. I think it is unwise to engage with Iran
before we know who it is that is in power.
Mr. Ellison. Dr. Sadjadpour?
Mr. Sadjadpour. I would agree with what Abbas just said.
And I will say that probably a better approach would be to--
instead of rushing into engagement so we can meet the September
deadline for failed negotiations in order to then pursue
crippling sanctions which will foment unrest and create
fissures among the regime, that already exist right now, the
agitated population and the fissures. And let's let this
process play out. Let's wait until the dust settles before
Mr. Ellison. My concern about rushing into negotiation now
would be that they would inevitably fail, and then there is a
real cost to failed negotiations. Because, in my subjective
opinion, there are people who want war; and they would get what
they want without ever letting negotiation really have an
opportunity to succeed.
I just disclosed my own bias.
Let me ask this question. Has the 2003 NIE comment about
weaponization been altered since--has that been revisited and
reviewed and therefore changed--and thereafter changed since
they made that pronouncement that the weaponization program
ended in 2003? Have they revised and changed their perspective?
Mr. Clawson. You would know better than we what the
intelligence community may have done.
Mr. Ellison. No, I am not on that committee, so I don't----
Mr. Clawson. The intelligence community may have done.
May I point out they said in the NIE that they had a high
confidence that Iran had suspended its program in 2003 but
moderate confidence as to whether or not the suspension was
Mr. Ellison. Thank you very much.
In terms of the weaponization in 2003, has that been
revised and changed? Because, of course, there is this thing
that some have already alluded to, which is this ticking clock.
And I guess if they haven't restarted or if we don't have
evidence that they have restarted, I mean, do we have--I mean,
Mr. Clawson. Sir, I don't know anyone in the technical
community who believes----
Mr. Ellison. Thank you very much.
Mr. Rubin. You might want to ask the IAEA, which----
Mr. Ellison. Let's talk about the IAEA for a moment. The
IAEA has recently indicated that their level of cooperation is
not what is expected, but they have not--unless you guys can
correct me--said that they have restarted a weaponization
Mr. Clawson. They haven't looked for one.
Mr. Ellison. Ms. Maloney?
Mr. Clawson. They don't look for one. Since they don't look
for one, they----
Mr. Ellison. I would like to hear Ms. Maloney's opinion on
Ms. Maloney. I think you get at the fundamental ambiguity
that is the problem that we are all trying to deal with with
the Iranian nuclear program, which is we don't know what we
don't know, and the IAEA doesn't know what it doesn't know.
Mr. Ellison. Right.
Ms. Maloney. And there are many skeptics about the state of
the Iranian weaponization activities, but at least the
intelligence community assessment of 2007 still stands that
this was stopped in 2003. The difficulty, of course, is that
without that level of cooperation, without any sort of
Mr. Ellison. I got it----
Ms. Maloney [continuing]. And access to those facilities--
Mr. Ellison. I am at 1:26. I am sorry. And I want everyone
know my sharpness is not designed to comment on your view. I
respect all of your views and thank you for them. But I have to
move on, so I can get my questions answered.
Okay, we have had about 15 years of Iranian sanctions and
about 30 years of limited--in deference to Dr. Rubin's point--
limited engagement. It hasn't been total isolation. Dr. Rubin
is right about that. But I would say limited engagement.
My question is, if we were to pass these crippling
sanctions that have been talked about, could we impact the
Iranian economy unilaterally, or does--have we sanctioned
ourselves out of economic sanctions? Do we have any more cards
to play against the Iranian economy or have they built a world
around themselves such that they really don't need us very
I would like to know Mr. Sadjadpour's opinion on this.
Mr. Sadjadpour. I think what will concentrate minds in
Tehran is not when they wake up in the morning and they see
there is an amplification of existing U.S. sanctions but when
they see the Chinese and the Russians and Indians are not
returning their phone calls. So certainly if it is pursued in a
multilateral fashion I think it would impress them much more.
Mr. Ellison. Dr. Milani, can we impact the Iranian economy
unilaterally, or don't we depend upon the cooperation of the
Mr. Milani. I don't think the United States can
unilaterally impact the Iranian economy. They don't buy much of
its oil, they don't sell much to it, and unless there is----
Mr. Ellison. Dr. Milani, I have to ask you a question real
quick and forgive me for this. Can the United States gather the
world community around--can I finish?
Chairman Berman. No. You got a lot of questions in there,
Mr. Ellison. I was in a rush, and I appreciate everybody's
Chairman Berman. It is past the time.
And the gentleman from Indiana, Mr. Pence, is recognized
for 7 minutes.
Mr. Pence. Thank you, Chairman. I want to thank you and the
ranking member for calling this very timely hearing.
I want to thank this distinguished panel for your testimony
today. I look forward to reviewing the balance of this hearing.
As the chairman knows, this is an area of profound interest
to me; and I am grateful for the leadership and the intellect
represented on the panel.
As I am sure this panel knows, quite recently Chairman
Berman and I authored a resolution for the Congress that
expressed the support of the people of the United States of
America for Iranian citizens who embrace freedom, human rights,
civil liberties, and the rule of law. It condemned the ongoing
violence against demonstrators by the Government of Iran and by
pro-government militias, as well as the ongoing government
suppression of independent communication.
I want to take this public opportunity to thank Chairman
Berman for the bipartisan and, if I may say, statesmanlike
approach that you took to moving that legislation in an
expeditious and substantive manner.
To this panel, I would say, as news comes to us of
challenges from former leaders in Iran, reformers, to the hard
line taken by Iran's Supreme leader, the question obviously
before Congress and before the American people is the subject
of this hearing. That is, what role will the United States play
in a relationship with Iran and how might we best, I would add,
expand the horizon of freedom in that nation by our conduct?
Now, I believe the American cause is freedom, and in that
cause we must never be silent. Those of us who cherish that
tradition of bold, pronounced rhetorical leadership on behalf
of freedom in the world have been troubled, frankly, by this
administration's first 6 months on the world stage. The
President has traveled the globe, often apologizing for
America's past. It seems to me that he has passed by a number
of opportunities to advance the cause of freedom in the global
debate. And this administration, I believe, has met each
international crisis, whether it be in Honduras--the country of
Honduras or Iran with an unpredictable foreign policy.
In the streets of Iran, hundreds of thousands of Iranian
dissidents rallied to have their votes properly counted and
their voices heard. Sadly, the Iranian Government responded
with a violent crackdown of the dissidents. The
administration's first response was not to,
quote, deg. ``meddle in the internal affairs of Iran.''
While the administration waited, Congress acted and spoke
forcefully into the world debate, as did the EU, as did other
countries. And while the President found his voice after
Congress acted, the mixed message on our commitment to the
freedom the people of Iran were clamoring for on their streets
was regrettable. The President often says, ``The arc of history
bends toward justice.'' I would argue the arc of history does
bend toward justice, but it also teaches us that weakness
emboldens evil, and rogue dictators grow stronger when
Recently, Secretary of State Clinton, I believe speaking at
the Council on Foreign Relations, reaffirmed the commitment of
the United States of America to a policy of engagement; and I
know it has been much of the discussion this afternoon. And I
guess my question--I would direct it to Dr. Rubin, if I may--is
the Secretary of State, I believe--although I don't have a copy
of her speech in front of me--she referred to a commitment to
engagement with the leaders of Iran. She said Iran has the
opportunity to be, quote, deg. ``a constructive actor
in the region.''
And I would just--I would ask you, Dr. Rubin, given your
written testimony that I had a chance to review and your
comment that the administration is going with sequenced policy,
is it proper for the United States of America to denote who are
the leaders of Iran in an engagement if the people of Iran by
the millions have not agreed on who are the legitimate leaders
And does it serve the interests of freedom, first for the
Iranian people, and freedom in the world stage, for us to
pursue engagement following a clearly discredited and
fraudulent election, followed by violence, and one that I
believe evidence in the news media in the last 3 days indicates
continues to foment unrest within that country?
Mr. Rubin. I would just respond with two points.
First of all, it is a fallacy to believe that engagement is
a strategy that can be implemented without a cost. And with
regard to who the leaders of the Iranian people are, I do think
that it is important that we not snatch defeat from the jaws of
victory and make the same mistake three times.
Mr. Pence. In which respect?
Mr. Rubin. With regard to siding with a government and
against reform when the Iranian people had already made up
their minds that that government no longer had popular
Mr. Pence. I am going to startle the chair and yield back
the balance of my time.
But I had that one question. I am grateful to the panel,
and I do appreciate the voices of all the intellectuals on this
panel. This is an extremely important question. The chairman
and the ranking member I know are grateful for your time, and
we will continue to avail ourselves of your thinking on this
Chairman Berman. Thank you very much. The time of the
gentleman has been yielded back; and the gentleman from
California, Mr. Sherman, is recognized for 7 minutes.
Mr. Sherman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
We have engaged with Iran. We did so through our European
friends. Throughout that process, for virtually every day, the
centrifuges turned. If the Iranian powers that be were serious
about negotiations, they would agree not to be going in the
wrong direction while they were negotiating. They would freeze
It will take years for sanctions to affect the Iranian
economy, perhaps a shorter time to have some political effect
The gentleman from Minnesota talks--focuses on the NIE and
weaponization. We had hearings in our subcommittee on
nonproliferation, and a number of things emerged.
First, weaponization is very, very hard to detect. It can
take place anywhere. Whereas the creation of the fissile
materials is a major industrial process. So we don't know
whether they have resumed weaponization or not. What we do know
is weaponization is the easy part--not completely easy, but the
easy part--and they could suspend weaponization until next year
and still be very much on target to have a nuclear device by
the end of 2012.
What they have to do to have a weapon by the end of 2012 is
keep producing the fissile material. For that, they need the
centrifuges; and the centrifuges are turning now. That NIE
report buried in footnote number one the important aspect of
the report and was perhaps deliberately designed to be
It is true that all serious sanctions have got to affect
the behavior of European and other foreign businesses. That is
why all our sanctions bills are designed to affect the behavior
of foreign companies.
Of particular note--and the chairman will agree--that those
of us from Los Angeles also believe that all politics is local,
and we have two very local things happening directly relevant
to this hearing. I believe it is Thursday the MTA will vote
whether to go with the contract I believe they have already
approved but are reviewing again with an Italian firm, AB, or
instead reject that contract and in effect give it to Siemens.
I hadn't thought of the MTA as a major foreign policy
instrumentality of the United States, but I for one--and
perhaps the chair will join me in this--will call our friends
on the MTA and let them know the role that Siemens is playing
The second is Vitol, a major supplier of refined petroleum
to Iran, just acquired a company that has--I believe it is a
month-to-month contract to provide jet fuel at LAX. So we could
just in L.A. County have a dramatic effect on two of Iran's
leading business partners. And I think it is particularly
important that we do so. Because the front page of the
Washington Times, the number one story was about Siemens, Iran,
and the Los Angeles transportation system.
I don't believe in punishing European companies just for
the joy of doing so. The purpose is to affect their behavior,
and the best way to affect their behavior is in something that
is widely publicized. Also, I think at least one of the
witnesses says that is the kind of message that people in Iran
would want to see.
I want to bring to the attention of everyone here H.R.
3284, which Mr. Royce, Mr. Klein, and I introduced based on a
theft of intellectual property from Senator Schumer and that
prohibits Federal contracts with firms that provide monitoring
or blocking Internet equipment to Iran.
And that brings us to our friends Nokia and Siemens, and my
question for the panel is that the Nokia Systems network Web
site says that they sold Iran a product marketed as
intelligence solutions monitoring center. They disclaim having
provided more advanced technology. And perhaps one or two
members of the panel would want to comment.
Do you believe Nokia Systems when they say they didn't
provide the deep packet inspection add-on, and do you think we
should give Nokia Siemens a pass if all they sold was an
intelligence solutions monitoring center?
Do I see someone who wishes to respond?
Mr. Rubin. Dr. Rubin.
Mr. Rubin. Sir, that would be like saying, if you were
Nokia, that don't worry, we only shot the victim in the
abdomen; we didn't shoot them in the chest. The net effect of
it is the same, and it is quite unfortunate and shameful on
Mr. Sherman. Nokia Siemens part.
Yes, Mr. Sadjadpour.
Mr. Sadjadpour. I would just say I am not a technical
expert myself, but I have spoken to several technology experts
who disagree with Nokia Siemens' assertion that they simply
provided this benign technology to the regime.
Mr. Sherman. They have been remarkably non-forthcoming with
the press and others. They flatly say, well, we did only in the
abdomen, but they have been unwilling to provide information
about what they did to the victim's chest.
I would like to shift here. I don't know if anybody has the
answer to this. What are the foreign cash reserves of the
Mr. Clawson. About $80 billion.
Mr. Sherman. $80 billion.
Mr. Clawson. It is not clear how much of that is actually
usable. There is some reason to think that, in fact, the usable
reserves are more like $50 billion. And to what extent is
Mr. Milani. Could I add?
Mr. Sherman. Yes, Doctor.
Mr. Milani. I don't think we have any clear indication that
that is in fact the figure.
Mr. Sherman. You think corrupt officials may have kind of
spent that without notifying anybody?
Mr. Milani. Ahmadinejad has dipped into it several times
and has dipped into it in spite of the law. And when members of
the Parliament tried to look into it----
Mr. Sherman. Let me just interrupt with one thing. To what
extent is Iran's credit rating enhanced by the new IMF facility
that provides roughly $2 billion in special drawing rights but
also gives the IMF the new capacity to bail out the Iranian
economy should the IMF choose to do so?
Mr. Clawson. There is very little chance the IMF would
choose to do so, because Iran's policies are exactly the kind
the IMF has warned against on many different occasions.
Mr. Sherman. So they would have to change their economic
policies in order to get that. Of course, they probably would
rather change their economic policies than their political and
I yield back.
Chairman Berman. All right. Everyone has had a chance.
First, I want to ask unanimous consent to include a letter
from the Iranian American Bar Association in the record of this
[The information referred to follows:]Berman
Chairman Berman. Secondly, I am going to recognize myself
for two short questions; and if somebody else hung around, they
can get two short questions, too.
Question number one. In fact, I am just going to make it
one short question. An analysis firm called STRATFOR produced a
paper sometime soon after the Iranian election which appeared
to have a sophisticated mathematical analysis, which for me
means they had a bunch of numbers in different paragraphs, and
therefore I assumed it was sophisticated. The thrust of it was
that all this stuff about election-rigging and the breadth of
the opposition was massively overstated. That if you looked at
the different logical population centers, Ahmadinejad would
have won a resounding victory with a fair count. That
essentially the opposition to him is isolated to some college
students, some feminists, a few discontented mullahs. That the
notion that there is some groundswell in Iran against the
supreme leader and Ahmadinejad is hyperbole, exaggeration,
Now, in all fairness, that was done at least a month ago.
But it is contrary to what a number of you particularly focused
on internal Iran political developments have been saying. So I
would like your reaction. I don't know if you saw that paper.
Mr. Milani. I have read the paper, and I think it is deeply
misinformed. It doesn't take into account many of the data that
we have acquired since then, many of the evidence about how
they rigged the election, about 15 million ballots that were
printed without authorization and without numbers and many
other things that basically show us that the government did in
fact steal the election. Three million people, according to the
Mayor of Tehran, came out in Tehran out of a population of 12
million. That is a quarter of the population.
Chairman Berman. Came out not for the election.
Mr. Milani. To oppose the election. They came out to oppose
Chairman Berman. Out in the streets.
Mr. Milani. A quarter of the population came out for 5
days. That would be like 80 million people demonstrating in
America for 5 days. When you have that level of support, to
then claim that there are only feminist pockets that support
this Moussavi is absolutely I think ridiculous.
If the regime had the ballots, they would have produced it.
They could have solved the problem very easily. The only person
that has been allowed to see a ballot is Mr. Rezai's
representative. Mr. Rezai said they opened one ballot for us.
Seventy percent of the ballots in there were in one
handwriting, in one pencil and for one candidate. That is the
ballot they opened.
Chairman Berman. Ballot box.
Mr. Milani. Ballot box, I am sorry.
Chairman Berman. Mr. Sadjadpour.
Mr. Sadjadpour. Congressman Berman, Ahmadinejad went from
5.7 million first round votes in 2005 to 24.7 million first
round votes in 2009, an increase of 19 million after overseeing
an economy in which inflation doubled, economic malaise deeply
increased. That is the first point.
Second point is that I think that the images really say it
all. They deeply discount this analysis from STRATFOR that this
was simply an isolated movement of students in northern Tehran.
And, lastly, as Abbas alluded to, if you genuinely win an
election two to one, you don't need to imprison thousands of
people and kill hundreds. You agree to a recount.
Chairman Berman. Anybody else? All right.
Ms. Maloney. No, I mean it is important to actually take
this notion on. Because as much as there is kind of unanimity
on this panel and probably in most of Washington that it was a
rigged election, I do hear these strands of skepticism when I
talk to people. And I find it sort of inconceivable, because
there is so much anecdotal evidence, reports of things
happening in the Interior Ministry before the election was
There is statistical analysis which shows that the way that
the votes were reported had to have been concocted rather than
real. But there is also the gut level analysis of anyone who
knows anything about Iran and the Iranian people. Nobody found
the idea that nearly two-thirds of the electorate wanted
another 4 years of Ahmadinejad credible. And I think that is
more powerful than anything else.
Chairman Berman. Mr. Costa.
Mr. Costa. Thank you very much again, Mr. Chairman, for an
excellent hearing. And what a very good panel that we have here
It is a follow-up, and you partially have answered it, I
think, but on the line of questions I was asking earlier, and
that is the battle that is taking place among the highest
levels of leadership within Iran. And is this just a battle for
the leadership for power or is it something bigger like for the
hearts and minds of the Iranian people? Is there really below
that level of the highest council a fermenting of this
population that are 30 and younger, or half the population is
30 years of age or younger that want a different Iran, a new
Mr. Milani. I think it is both. I think we have a major
rift within the clerical leadership. Some of the clergy who
were with the regime have now completely taken a different
side, like Mr. Khatami, Mr. Karubi, Mr. Rafsanjani, and Mr.
Montazeri, who was one of the founding fathers of this regime
has just issued a fatwa that basically says Khamenei is not
morally fit to have this job.
There is another bunch of clergy who have never been inside
the government who oppose the idea of velayat-e fagih. They are
also speaking out against the current status, because they
realize that people are becoming completely areligious, if not
anti-religious. They are trying to save some of the religion
And, finally, the youth, which are modern, savvy, want a
job, and 40 percent of them are without a job.
Mr. Costa. And secular many of them.
Mr. Milani. And for that I have anecdotal as well as
Again, that poll shows that the majority of the people want
the spiritual leader's job elected. That basically means the
presidency elected by people.
Mr. Costa. Anyone else care to comment?
Chairman Berman. Mr. Ellison.
Mr. Ellison. Again, I want to join Mr. Costa and the chair
in thanking the panel. It has been a great panel.
I also would like to ask unanimous consent to have an op-ed
from Mr. Trita Parsi to be entered into the record.
Chairman Berman. Without objection, his op-ed will be
[The information referred to follows:]Ellison
Mr. Ellison. You know, I would love to see Iran be a
constructive and positive force in the Middle East, not
contribute to dissension within Israel and Palestine and
southern Lebanon but actually help bring parties to a good
resolution. I would like to see the talents of its people
flowered forward. And I really do join my colleagues in really
hoping for the best for the Iranian people.
My big question is how. How? What is the best way forward?
So I will say that I haven't been persuaded that the best
thing for us to do is to rush to crippling sanctions. Because,
quite frankly, we need the world community to support our
efforts if it is going to be successful. We have sanctioned
ourselves out of sanctions unilaterally.
How do we get the world--and I am talking about the whole
world--to help us out the way sanctions brought about change in
South Africa if we do not give real diplomacy a chance to work?
And not the kind of diplomacy that says, well, we tried, so
let's oil up the guns. That is the concern that I have.
I am not in principle against sanctions, if that is what we
need to do, but I am skeptical of this idea that we only--that
we can't move anything past September, that there is going to
be a nuclear weapon in October if there is not one. I am just
very concerned about that.
And so I would just like to get your reaction to some of my
fears. Help me feel more comfortable, if you think I am wrong,
about my analysis. And, Mr. Kittrie, I have heard you before,
so let's let somebody else get started. Dr. Milani and Mr.
Sadjadpour are the first two I would like to hear from.
Mr. Milani. Sir, I think your concern I completely share. I
think the Iranian people have the capacity to really become a
major force for change. Iran has been a bellwether state in the
Middle East. If there is democracy in Iran, I think there will
have an effect for the rest of the region. And I think they
deserve better than this leadership. And I think the United
States is in the position to help them by sending the kind of
messages that we talked about.
I agree with you. Unilateral sanctions will only enrich the
Revolutionary Guards some more.
Mr. Ellison. And hurt the people.
Mr. Milani. Unless it is--as I said, unless it is an
internationally sanctioned and participated, like what they did
to South Africa, that would cripple the economy. Unless the
world agrees not to buy oil from these people. These unilateral
sanctions pours deg. water, as we say in Iran, in
their pot rather than the pot of the people. But sending a
message to Siemens and others that doing this kind of thing in
Iran has a price to pay I think will help a great deal.
Mr. Sadjadpour. I agree with that.
Mr. Ellison. Anybody else?
Chairman Berman. All right. Again, I want to thank the
panel very much. You gave us some wonderful information and
analysis. I thought it was an excellent panel, and I am very
grateful for the nearly 6 hours that you spent here. Well, 5.
Thank you very much.
[Whereupon, at 2:36 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
Material Submitted for the Hearing RecordNotice deg.
Berman statement deg.
Connolly statement deg.
McMahon statement deg.
Jackson Lee statement deg.
Klein statement deg.