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    US Lawmakers: Iran Missile Tests Undermine Nuclear Pact

    US Lawmakers: Iran Missile Tests Undermine Nuke Pacti
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    Michael Bowman
    December 17, 2015 9:07 PM
    US lawmakers say Iran’s continued missile tests cast doubt on the viability of an international nuclear accord with Tehran and require a stronger American response. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, top administration officials faced sharp questions Thursday at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
    Michael Bowman

    U.S. lawmakers said Thursday that Iran’s continued missile tests had cast doubt on the viability of an international nuclear accord with Tehran and required a stronger American response.

    “I think the agreement is off to a really terrible start,” said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican. “Iran has convicted an American Washington Post reporter, launched cyber attacks against the State Department, defied a U.N. travel ban, exported weapons to Syria and Yemen, violated the U.N. ballistic missile test ban twice and lied to the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency].”

    “We see no evidence of them paying a price for any of these actions,” Corker added at the start of a hearing to which top Obama administration officials were called to testify.

    Stephen Mull, the State Department’s lead coordinator for Iran nuclear implementation, said Iran’s objectionable actions fell outside the scope of the nuclear accord finalized earlier this year, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. On the accord itself, he said Iran is moving to comply.

    “Iran has begun dismantling its uranium enrichment infrastructure by removing, so far, more than 5,000 centrifuges,” Mull said. “Iran is also reducing its stockpile of various forms of enriched uranium.”

    FILE - Stephen Mull, the State Department’s lead coordinator for Iran nuclear implementation, says recent actions by Iran to which U.S. lawmakers have objected fall outside the scope of the nuclear accord finalized earlier this year.FILE - Stephen Mull, the State Department’s lead coordinator for Iran nuclear implementation, says recent actions by Iran to which U.S. lawmakers have objected fall outside the scope of the nuclear accord finalized earlier this year.
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    FILE - Stephen Mull, the State Department’s lead coordinator for Iran nuclear implementation, says recent actions by Iran to which U.S. lawmakers have objected fall outside the scope of the nuclear accord finalized earlier this year.
    FILE - Stephen Mull, the State Department’s lead coordinator for Iran nuclear implementation, says recent actions by Iran to which U.S. lawmakers have objected fall outside the scope of the nuclear accord finalized earlier this year.

    Uranium to Russia

    Mull added that Iran was on track to ship tons of enriched uranium to Russia, and to render inoperable its Arak nuclear reactor.

    Corker repeatedly pressed Mull on why Iran would continue missile tests if it intended to adhere to a pact that denies Tehran the material for a nuclear payload.

    “What does the administration draw from the fact that they are testing missiles that throughout history have only been used [built] to deliver nuclear weapons?” Corker asked.  “This is totally inconsistent with rational thinking.”

    “I’m not in a position to characterize what the Iranian government is thinking,” Mull said. “We are focused on making sure they cannot develop a nuclear weapons capability.”

    The committee’s top Democrat, Ben Cardin of Maryland, said Iran’s recent actions showed that “Iran cheats and they want to develop a nuclear weapon through covert activities. That is not a surprise.”

    “As we go forward, we need to make sure there is zero tolerance from any deviation for Iran’s obligations under the JCPOA,” Cardin added.

    Fellow Democrat Robert Menendez of New Jersey echoed that point.

    “Iran over the last two decades has tested the will of the international community,” Menendez said. “If we allow them to continue to test us without consequence, believe me, they will continue to expand [their actions].”

    Mull and Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Countryman repeatedly stressed that non-nuclear sanctions against Iran would remain in place and sanctions lifted under the JCPOA could be reimposed if Tehran violated the terms of the pact.

    'Permissive environment'

    That did not satisfy Corker, who accused the administration of “creating a permissive environment” in hopes of affecting elections in Iran next year.

    “I don’t understand the argument about a permissive environment,” Countryman responded. “The Obama administration is doing exactly the same thing the Bush administration did, which is to respond to every violation of [U.N.] ballistic missile resolutions, of human rights, of terrorism, of hostage-taking with the legal authorities Congress has given us.”

    Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado suggested that the administration “prevent Iran from receiving billions of dollars” in sanctions relief under the JCPOA.

    “And that violation by us of the JCPOA would lead to a resumption of the [Iranian] nuclear program,” Countryman said.

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that he expected sanctions to end in coming weeks.

    Iran’s state news agency quoted the country’s defense minister as saying missile tests were meant “to tell the world that the Islamic Republic of Iran acts based on its national interests.”

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: karan from: india
    January 02, 2016 12:23 AM
    they also have big amount of crude oil in their stores , dont you want crude oil to reach 10 $ per barrel for more cheaper things .cheaper oil , cheaper goods , cheaper fertilizer , cheaper food . lifting sanctions on Iran is beneficial for us and problem for saudi sheikhs , if oil prices will come down how will saudis have 20 wives and call hollywood stars for their birthday parties . how will oil corporation will earn profit . did US got anything form iraq. is it ok to intervene or become hurdle in any bodys development

    IRAN have full rights for their development

    by: Esther Haman from: DC US
    December 19, 2015 12:28 PM
    Iran has every right to develop missiles that can carry her satellites and other experiments into orbit. Iran as an independent nation who's been around for 3000 years also has the right to defend itself against all threats that is being made by the Zionist and the Western powers. More power to Iran who has stood up against Neocons and other fanatics in this country who want dominate the Oil fields of Middle East.

    by: Esther Haman from: DC US
    December 19, 2015 12:18 PM
    Iran has every right to develop missiles that can carry her satellites and other experiments into orbit. Iran as an independent nation who's been around for 3000 years also has the right to defend itself against all threats that is being made by the Zionist and the Western powers. More power to Iran who has stood up against Neocond and other fanatics in this country who want dominate the Oil fields of Middle East.

    by: Johnson Okwu Kamalu from: Port Harcourt, RS, Nigeria
    December 18, 2015 1:51 AM
    Opponents of the nuclear deal have always argued that Iran can never be trusted and that is a sad reality.

    by: MKhattib from: USA
    December 17, 2015 6:16 PM
    for an international non-proliferation regime. They have both diluted the compliance necessary to resolve violations and lowered the cost for future proliferators tempted to cheat on their Nuclear Non-Proliferations Treaty commitments. As for the IAEA, it has buckled under diplomatic pressure and undercut its own standards. They can never be restored because any future cheaters or potential proliferators will refuse to acquiesce to anything less than that won by the Iranians nor will they accept inspections more restrictive than the very loose and unobtrusive inspections acquiesced to by the Obama administration

    by: Jake from Albuquerque
    December 17, 2015 5:50 PM
    Iran has always been a rotten apple when it comes to cooperation and upholding their word...even back to the days when we were shipping F-14 Tomcats to the Shah.

    They get $10 billion and give up absolutely nothing. Only a fool would think that they aren't already drooling over North Korea's weapons catalog. A large fraction of that money will find it's way into the Dear Leader's pockets, and the submarine shuttle service between Pyongyang and Tehran will resume.

    by: Duh
    December 17, 2015 5:10 PM
    Didn't see this coming!!!!!!!

    by: tom from: usa
    December 17, 2015 5:04 PM
    I cut trees for winter ( I spin and spin URANIUM ) I fill the wood shed ( I need enough to make it thru winter or build a bomb )I never have enough ( so I spin and spin ) nobody knows what I am doing ( the shed is almost full....winter is coming ), I point away from my shed ....everybody looks in that direction...I look at my shed. ITS ALMOST FULL.. Does this sound like Iran?

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