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Senator Risch Comments on Iranian President Rouhani’s Speech

Remains skeptical of Iran’s “charm campaign”

September 24, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Risch released this statement following Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s address to the United Nations General Assembly today in New York City.

“President Rouhani’s speech was filled with the usual factual inaccuracies designed to blame others who shouldn’t be and, with that, entice Western governments to believe change is possible.  However, Iran is still ruled not by this president but by a cleric that personally approved his candidacy. With the pursuit of nuclear weapons undeterred, Iran’s actions matter more than a new President’s rhetoric and I remain highly skeptical.  Proof comes, if ever, when Iran commits to compliance with all sanctions and immediately acts accordingly. 

For years Iran has used the idea of talks to buy time for its weapons program.  President Rouhani has even bragged about his success as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator in reducing international tensions so Iran could complete the nuclear fuel cycle.

In addition, Iran continues to provide weapons, soldiers, and aid to the Syrian regime as well as money and weapons to terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas, and seeks to undermine the democratic forces in Iraq and elsewhere.  I am unconvinced the election of a new President in Iran and a charm campaign has changed the destabilizing behavior of Iran in the region or the threats it is poses to the United States or our allies.  Instead the threat remains and indeed grows.”

Last week, Senator Risch challenged Anne Patterson, nominee to be Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, on her remarks in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing that U.S. sanctions in Iran are a “success”. See the video: 

Additionally, Senator Risch joined a number of his Republican colleagues in signing a letter to President Obama asking that he increase pressure on the Iran. The letter is attached.