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tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  March 7, 2016 3:00pm-5:01pm EST

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just thank you very much for your comments. i have two comments for you. one, how do you account for the repeated failures on the part of the u.s. intelligence community to anticipate the con tin generals such as russia's annexation of crimea, for instance, for the mischief in eastern ukraine and russia's decision to involve itself militarily in syria? that's the first question. the second question has to do with you mentioned central asia and in your both five-year and 20-year jute locks, you never mentioned the new silk road initiative by choo that and transforming the region as we speak. i was wondering to hear your thoughts about that. thank you very much. >> on the last i mentioned before sort of in passing obviously china regards central asia as a place it's going to be important. so far, you know, the silk road is more talk than action but over time it will turn into something. so i mean i think chinese
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influence in that part of the world is bound to grow assuming their economy stays in decent shape, gets back on the rails a bit. i take that to be truth. on your first question, my boss jim clapper says there are only two outcomes in foreign policy. policy successes and intelligence failures. i think i would resist a little bit the proposition that we always fail. i think our record is not bad f. you look at some of the studies of even predictions i don't think intelligence is entirely in the prediction business and studies looking at predictions said our batting average is not bad so something like arab spring, there the challenge -- i mean, i don't think intelligence did much better, much worse than the academic community. there the challenge was we all knew the places instability.
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that was on every list. you know? we do the lists of instability countries to worry about. policymakers say, okay, that's great, but when's going to happen? and so predicting that spark, the thing that's going to touch off turn latent instability into political turmoil, that's very hard. the other thing i guess i'd say is lots of aspects of recent russian behavior i think are mysteries and exactly when putin decided to do this or that, i mean, he's been obviously very opportunistic and so predicting when someone sees an opportunity they seize that's harder. third thing i guess i'd say, this is more in line with the tone of your question, i think, the challenge we face in intelligence was nicely illustrated by the ebola that the medical community had a story about ebola. and the story was that it would
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rise and rule areas and extinguish there. the problem was that story was valid so long as there wasn't much urban to rural migration. what changed it are patterns to pry inauguration. that's similar to our challenge. we often have a story about something and then circumstances change to make that story no longer helpful, no longer relevant. in the case of, for instance, the russian move into syria, we anticipated, we knew that russia was going to up the ante in syria. that was no surprise. but we sort of -- our story was that that upping of the ante would be the same old things. more opinions, more training. not a presence on the ground. >> yeah. you had your hand up for a while there.
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please make the questions brief. thank you. >> peter sharp. we haven't taken the terror out of the terrorism but we seem to have taken the terror out of weapons of mass destruction. would you xhaent lcomment a lit on what you see as the aspects of technological change in the future making it easier and therefore more widespread to develop weapons that can kill a lot of people at once? >> yeah. there i suppose i worry most about biological weapons. you know, that so far, that's the kind of a dog that hasn't much barked but as we get -- as all these things in biology, bio tech happen, the possibility of killing a lot of people and targeting and killing fewer, one of the thing this is east interesting, not very helpful but interesting about the
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development of what's badly called wmd, such different weapons. i wish we never called them weapons of mass destruction because they're so different but what's interesting there is the development that is are in some ways making them more usable, less lethal, but more usable. imagine targeted weapons after a tribe or a group or there's lots of interest of low yield nuclear weapons. pakistanis talk rather openly of nuclear weapons even on their own territory. to stem a conventional attack. the russians have lately be talking about possible nuclear weapons as de-escalation. not escalation. those are the kinds of trends we're watching. they go in both directions i think but the ones that interest me most and worry me most i think are the one that is go in the direction of some sense of trying to make the weapons more
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usable. >> yes, sir? >> stewart dye. two quick questions. one relates to russia, germany and the issue of energy independence or dependence. we seem to not have any discussion about taking the opportunity to help europe from our point of view to achieve more independence with our exporting of perhaps. and what is germany doing? they turn their back on nuclear making them more dependent it seems to me for the at least short term. what's going on on that front? secondly, north korea. i was struck by the fact that in all the discussions of short-term strategic, the word
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north korea has not come up until the puzzle point. i guess, where does that stand on your short-term, long-term? >> okay. >> sorry. relate the first question about? >> energy. >> energy, july. yeah, yeah. >> germany. >> there i'm this is mostly of a european issue and i would favor us doing exports. i think we should be doing exports. from an intelligence perspective, i'm surprised -- this would be a wonderful time for the europeans finally to get together on energy. they ought to be dictating prices to russia, not taking prices from russia and this would be a great time to do it but they continue to not let be organized enough and let russia
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pick a country off, put pressure on a country. this is for the europeans to do but i'm surprised there isn't more of a move in this period by to do something more by way of organizers so they're price setters, basically. on north korea, obviously, the intelligence community spends an enormous amount of effort and time on north korea. we talk about the big four. russia, china, iran and north korea. so we spend a lot of time. we actually have a separate national intelligence officer for korea. so we certainly spend an awful lot of time on it, worrying about it. it is a worry. it's as i said a strange kind of worry, this country that's a failure in every respect except military. awkward. i confess sometimes i have trouble taking it entirely seriously but i understand i need to. >> megan, you get the last question. >> sir, my question for you is a
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regional one. it was reported last week that a group of -- small group of special forces unit was commissioned. to what exstent the prolive case of europe and as you mentioned previously, is the absence of sufficient intelligence data pertains to africa a concern that this might be the emergence of a blind spot? >> obviously, we're obviously worried a lot about various terrorist groups, including boko haram in africa. in some sense, i would say one of the -- our focus understandably on counterterrorism does have a somewhat of a deforming effect on the analysis more generally. when we look at nigeria, it's all boko haram and even looking at boko haram there's not a lot
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of boko haram in the analysis either. it's networking and targeting and finding people understandably and it does mean that in some ways we understand and we're able to identify networks and targets better than we are at understanding, well, where are these people coming from, where are they going? those questions i would like us to be better at. yes, we are concerned. i think the absence of a lot of intelligence is a problem but it's obviously one we spend a lot of effort on with respect to the terrorist groups. >> greg, you demonstrated why you're such a fantastic choice for the nic. i'm happy and confident you are at the helm there and i'd like everyone to offer a round of applause. >> thank you all for coming abe you can find out about future events by going to our site here
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on twitter. to the main csis page and hope you join us for the next event here. thank you very much.
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our road to the white house coverage continues today with hillary clinton in detroit for a rally. live coverage on c-span at 7:45 p.m. eastern time. michigan has 147 democratic delegates at stake in tomorrow's primary and the latest poll shows secretary clinton with a double-digit lead over senator bernie sanders. michigan and mississippi hold primaries tomorrow. a total of 99 republican and 188 democratic delegates are at stake. we'll have results, candidate speeches and your calls live starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern time on c-span.
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secretary of state john kerry was on capitol hill recently testifying before the house foreign affairs committee on his department's budget request for 2017. it tollals just over $50 billion. secretary kerry also took questions of u.s. foreign policy and isis, iran and syrian refugees. >> this hearing will come to order. this morning the committee, once again, welcomes secretary of state john kerry to consider the department's budget request. when secretary kerry last appeared before us, he was presenting the obama
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administration's nuclear agreement with iran. in the seven months since, the administration got its agreement and the middle east has been transformed and not for the better. now, with access to 100 billion in unfrozen assets and sanctions wiped away, iran has instantly become the dominant country in the region. the revolutionary guards, already iran's most powerful economic actor in the words of the treasury department, will only grow more powerful with international investment. the committee has deep concerns about the way the obama administration in apparent deference to tehran has chosen to ignore portions of a new, bipartisan law ending visa waiver travel for those who have visited iran. and, mr. secretary, the committee still awaits a detailed response to its many questions about a surprise $1.7 billion payment to the iranian regime that coincided with the
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release of several americans. look no further than syria for the horrible consequences of an emboldened iran. the slaughter continues. and while the secretary does his best to broker some sort of ceasefire, the fact remains that russia, iran, and assad are calling the shots on the ground. the administration says there is no military solution to the conflict in syria, yet as far as putin and assad see it, there very much is. of course, russia's backing of assad means that isis only grows elsewhere. the isis jv team has gone global, capable of striking in europe, in asia, in africa, and here at home. some 50 isis-linked groups have carried out attacks in over 20 countries. in the failed state of libya,
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isis has doubled in size. now it has 6,000 fighters in libya. every day that isis advances, it draws recruits to plot new attacks abroad. the committee hopes to understand just what is the department's strategy to counter violent extremism. looking toward asia, the committee met yesterday with the chinese foreign minister and reminded him that the south china sea must remain open to international shipping and that any disputes should be resolved peacefully. even after the latest north korean nuclear test, chinese pressure on the regime in north korea is weak. fortunately, the president just signed into law this committee's north korea sanctions and policy enhancement act. it is now up to the president to enforce this law aggressively, to cut off the funds now flowing to the kim regime in north korea.
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after years of congressional pressing, this budget does acknowledge the need to respond to russia's weaponization of information and to isis propaganda. but the broadcasting board of governors, the international broadcasting agency that your predecessor called defunct remains in desperate need of an overhaul. and, mr. secretary, working together we can, we must fix this. facing a chronic budget deficit, even good programs may not be supportable at levels we'd like, and that's why i'm proud that this committee scrutiny of the department's new diplomatic security training facility helped to save the taxpayers over $500 million. i now recognize the ranking member, mr. engel, of new york for any opening comments he may have. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and mr. secretary, as always, welcome to our committee.
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we work very hard on this committee to make it the most bipartisan committee in congress because when it comes to foreign policy, differences really should stop at the water's edge. i want to thank you for your distinguished service to our country. i know that you sat on this side of the dais long enough to understand congress's important role in foreign policy, and we're grateful for everything you do. i will get into a few specifics, but even if we all listed our top ten foreign policy priorities, we'd just be scratching the surface. i can never remember a time when so much was happening all at the same time, all at once, because if you threw a dart in the map of the world, wherever it landed you'd find an american foreign policy interest. it might not be a top priority today because we focus mostly on the fires already burning out of control but what happens if we don't provide resources in sub-saharan africa to help consolidate democratic gains, what happens to the asia
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rebalance if we neglect u.s./india's security cooperation? what happens if we say tackling climate change and protecting the environment just need to wait? the issues we ignore today will be the fires burning out of control tomorrow. and one thing certain, stopping the ongoing crisis is a much costlier business in preventing one, in terms of american dollars and often american lives. so we need a robust foreign policy. we need to invest in diplomacy, development in foreign assistance, in order to tackle all of these challenges. we need to make the case that modest investments today just over 1% of the federal budget will pay back huge dividends for our security and prosperity tomorrow. we need to show that american leadership is always a sure thing because if we're not doing this work around the world, no one else will. so let me turn to a few particulars. i know and you know, mr. secretary, we must continue to hold iran's feet to the fire. we must make sure that they adhere to the agreement to the letter of the law. i'm glad the administration imposed new sanctions following
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iran's ballistic missile test. we need to continue making sure iran again is following its nuclear deal obligations to the letter. we also need to crack down on iran's other destructive behavior. iran continues stirring up trouble throughout the region from sending irgc commanders to syria, to supporting the houthis in yemen, to spreading instability in lebanon, to be the main supporter of hezbollah. we need to do what it takes to curb iran's ongoing mischief and support our allies and partners in the region, especially the state of israel, which iran poses an existential threat to. in syria, even with the planned ceasefire, i don't foresee a quick end to the crisis, especially now that russia provided assad another lifeline. the millions of refugees and displaced families desperate need humanitarian assistance, and we should support the administration's $4.1 billion request. but food and supplies won't end
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this conflict. we need to push for a political resolution to get assad out of power and help the syrian people start rebuilding. we also need a new aumf giving the president what he needs to defeat isis while preventing another large scale open-ended commitment of american troops on the ground. turning to ukraine, as fighting again intensifies we cannot take our eye off the ball. today ukraine's top priority should be rooting out corruption and pushing reform, and we need to support these efforts. we need to work with the ukraine. we need to be a partner of ukraine. a stronger, more prosperous ukraine stands a better chance of turning putin back. and speaking of putin, we need to let him know, we will never acquiesce to his illegal occupation of crimea. and his aggression in ukraine will not be tolerated. bolstering nato in eastern that's why i'm glad we're bolstering nato in eastern europe to deter further russian aggression.bolstering nato in e
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europe to deter further russian aggression. and any talk of sanctions relief for russia is premature so long as ukraine doesn't control its own eastern border. more to counter russian but, mr. secretary, we must do more to counter russian propaganda. the chairman and i feel strong about the fact that people in the russian language sometimes only hear on the air what putin wants them to hear, and they get a very unbalanced view and we need to be able to move in there and make sure they get a balanced view. here in our neighborhood, let me applaud president obama for what he's done over the last year. we should support the president's billion-dollar request for central america. if we're getting to the root causes of child migration from el salvador, guatemala and honduras, fewer children will attempt the dangerous trek. our top ally in the region, colombia, is nearing historic peace agreement with the revolutionary armed forces of colombia, the farc. just as we've supported colombia throughout this conflict, we should continue standing with colombia's people and government as they build a peaceful future. turning to argentina, the new government's desire to work more closely with the u.s. is a good sign.
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chairman royce and i have urged the president to prioritize this relationship, and i'm glad the president's traveling there next month. our policy on the americas in the americas brings me finally to global health. the zika virus may soon touch every country in the hemisphere and the connection between zika and the birth defect microcephaly creates even greater urgency. we should prioritize efforts including the are risk of sexual transmission and meet the needs for contraception. women need the right tools and information to choose whether and when to have children, particularly with this virus running wild. more generally, we continue to see the importance of investing in global health. the president's budget request is strong, but we should focus on the right priorities. for example, tuberculosis is the world's number one infectious killer so i don't understand why the funding request from last year hasn't gone up. mr. secretary, i could go on and on, but i look forward to hearing from you on these and
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other concerns. again, thank you, and i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. engel. so this morning, we are pleased to be joined by mr. john kerry, the 68th secretary of state. prior to his appointment, the secretary served as united states senator from massachusetts for 28 years and chaired the senate foreign relations committee for the last four years. and so, mr. secretary, welcome again. without objection, the witness's full prepared statement will be made part of the record. members here will have five calendar days to submit any statements or questions or any other material for the record. we want as many members as possible to have a chance to question the secretary and to accomplish that i would just ask every member and the witness, let's try to stick to the time limit and that means leaving an adequate amount of time for the secretary to answer your questions.
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so if we ask our questions succinctly and get a succinct response, with he can get through the members of the committee and with that, we begin with a summary of your testimony, mr. secretary. thank you again. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much, ranking member engel, all the members of the committee, i'm privileged to be here to have a chance to present the 2017 budget and to answer your questions, and obviously, i know most are respect to policy, et cetera. i will try to be very rapid in this opening. first, our request for resources this year. $50 billion is equal as ranking member engel reminded everybody to about 1% of the entire federal budget. one penny on the dollar is everything we do with respect to diplomatic security, development security, relationship security, all of the things we do with our embassies, a.i.d., everything.
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and i would suggest very respectfully to the members of this committee it is a minimum, minimum price for the leadership that we offer to the world, that we are currently engaged. i think as the chairman said, i can't remember a time where there were as many hot spots, as many difficult challenges because of the transformation taking place in the world right now, and as a result, we are engaged in more places simultaneously than at any time that i can remember in my public life. the scope of that engagement is, frankly, essential to protect the interests of our country, to project our values, and to provide for the security of the united states. we're confronted today by perils that are as old as nationalist aggression, state actions, and as new as cyber warfare, and non-state actors who are the principle protagonists in
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today's conflicts, as well as dictators in too many places who run roughshod over global international norms, and also, by violent extremists, who combine modern media techniques with medieval thinking in order to wage war on civilization itself. and despite the dangers, i come to you unabashedly, ready to say that we americans, i think, have many and profound reasons for confidence. in recent years, our economy has added more jobs than all of the rest of the industrial world combined. our military, our armed forces, are second to none. my friends, it's not even close. our alliances in europe and asia, are vigilant and strong
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and growing stronger with the tpp and with the rebalance and our citizens are, frankly, unmatched with any country in the world in their generosity, and their commitment to humanitarian causes to civil society and to freedom. we hear a lot of verbal hand wringing today, but i, for one, will tell you that, despite my deep respect and affection for my colleagues, that i have worked with these last three years plus, i wouldn't switch places with one foreign minister in the world. and i certainly don't want to see the united states retreat to some illusionary golden age given the conflicts and the challenges that we face in the world today and the need to project our values and protect our interests and build the security of our nation. so i, frankly, think that here and now we have enormous opportunities that we are seizing.
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in the past year, with great debate here, obviously, and many people who chose to oppose it, we reached an historic multilateral accord, multilateral accord, p5+1, and the world with iran, that has cut off that country's pathways to a nuclear weapon, and it has made the world safer because they no longer have the fissionable materiel or the capacity to build that bomb. in paris in december, we joined governments from more than 190 nations, that's not insignificant that 190 nations agreed on specific steps, comprehensive agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions and limit the most harmful consequences of climate change that we are witnessing to a greater degree every single day. witness the drought in california, the increase flooding, the increased numbers of fires, the intensity of storms, the fact that we spent
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about $8 billion in response to the intensity of those storms over the course of the last year alone compared to the minimal cost that we are asking you to provide for the global green climate fund. in addition, we signed the transpacific partnership which will ensure a level playing field for american businesses and workers, and it will reassert united states leadership in a region that is vital to our interests. in northern and eastern europe, we are quadrupling support for our security reassurance initiative, giving russia a very clear choice between continued sanctions and meeting its obligations to a sovereign and democratic ukraine. in our hemisphere we're helping colombia to end the globe's longest running civil conflict though there are still hurdles in that effort. we're working at it. we're aiding our partners in central america to implement reforms that will reduce the pressure for illegal migration.
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in asia, we're standing with our allies in opposition to the threats posed by a belligerent north korea, and we're helping pakistan and afghanistan to counter violent extremism. and we are opposing maritime claims in the south china sea. with friends in fast-growing africa, we have embarked on specific initiatives to combat hunger, to promote health, to empower women to fight back against such terrorist groups as al shabab and boko haram, and of course, the administration recognizes the threat posed by violent extremism extends far beyond any one region and will not be addressed simply by military means. so the approach we have adopted as a comprehensive and a long-term one. diplomatically we are striving to end conflicts that fuel extremism, such as libya and yemen, and we also work with partners to more broadly share intelligence. and as everybody here knows, we
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have forged a 66-nation coalition to counter daesh, and we will defeat daesh. i have no question about that. we've just moved with troops we support. we are making enormous progress there. we have together with the enormous efforts of the iraqi military now liberated 40% of the territory that was held by daesh. we're moving on heat. we'll eventually move on mosul. we've cut off the road that accessed raqqah and mosul and there are many other things that are happening that we can discuss in the course of the morning. we're assisting the government in baghdad as it seeks to professionalize its security forces. and through the international syria support group, which we formed, put together, we have helped design a plan that's resulted in the delivery of a possible cessation of hostilities. to take place on saturday.
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we have a team that will be working in geneva and another team working in the next couple days, directly with the co-chairs, the russians, in an effort to try to encourage that process to take hold. i will say that for the first time in years, five or six communities have received some 114 trucks of humanitarian assistance and some 80,000 people now have supplies for a month that didn't have it a week ago before we were able to seal that agreement. and my hope is, though i know it's very difficult, no illusions about it, my hope is that we can work out a modality in the next few days that will see this actually take hold. we're calling on every eligible party to join this effort and we can talk about our vision for the political settlement itself. i just close by saying, mr. chairman, as everybody knows this is the last budget of the
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obama administration. the last one we will submit to this committee on behalf of the american foreign policy and the national security of our country. there is nothing that i as secretary or personally as a citizen take more seriously than protecting the security of our country. i ask for the fair consideration for your counsel, your advice, your support and backing for this budget and our initiatives. but above all, i just want to say thank you to all of you, for the extraordinary privilege of being able to work with you in support of an agenda that i believe not only reflects the best hopes and values of our country, but i am convinced, when you analyze the challenges of the world today, i believe this budget also reflects the best hopes of the world. and that's what america's leadership is all about. so i thank you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, mr. secretary. we're going to move as quickly
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as possible, keeping all members to five minutes so we can get to as many members here as we possibly can. let me start with the observation that since just last month, mr. secretary, we've seen major foreign economic developments in terms of investment in iran. $20 billion on the part of airbus. a half a billion to modernize a car factory from peugeot. we see french and italian energy companies investing billions to revive the oil and gas infrastructure. these companies are government backed, many of them, and we have chinese and russian investment. in the face of this flood isn't snapback really just an empty threat? hasn't the dam broken? >> not at all, mr. chairman. not in the least.
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every country that you've just mentioned, china, russia, france, britain, germany are all agreed and signed up to and have voted for a united nations resolution that says snapback will take effect if iran were to engage in an egregious unsolvable violation of the agreement. but in the meantime, mr. chairman, they are going to do what they are permitted to do under the agreement, which is do business in terms of iran, and hopefully, those links will ultimately result in transformation to some degree. now i would ask all you to ask the question. why isn't it boeing? why isn't it general motors? i sat next to the chairman of general motors the other day in davos, switzerland. they are sitting there watching others go in. we can't do that. why? because we still have sanctions regime against iran on our embargo because of our other issues. >> because of ballistic missiles
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and because of their support for terrorism. >> that's correct, mr. chairman. but we can't sit here and complain about other people doing what they are allowed to do when we ourselves prevent ourselves -- >> but the major economic actor from the standpoint of members of this committee or many of us is the irgc, the iranian revolutionary guard corps, and we see them on the march. we see them in violation of another u.n. sanction, not only working on their icbm programs, but also, carrying out terrorist activities. so given the stock you're putting in the snapback provision, are you asking congress to renew the iran sanctions act? because that's going to expire. that's going to expire at the end of this year. this is the foundation of the sanctions regime. if it expires, there's nothing to snap back. >> that's not accurate, mr. chairman. we have all the snapback power
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that we need without the isa. i'm not saying not do it. i wouldn't advise that right now for a number of reasons. we've just announced implementation day. whatever we do with respect to the iran sanction act, my colleagues, friends, should be really done in the light of what we know is happening or not happening in the context of implementation, and iran's behavior going forward. now, it's too early to measure all of that. everybody here knows we can pass the iran sanctions act if we needed to because of iran's behavior in ten minutes in each house. in the senate and in the house. there's no rush here. number one. number two, the president has all the power in the world through the emergency economic powers act to be able to implement -- that's what we did to implement many of the sanctions that we put in place. the executive orders are in power because of that -- >> let me close with an observation. >> they are not dependent on the isa.
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that's the point. >> i understand that point, but when you say there's no rush here, let me point in terms of the iranian behavior there is very much a rush towards the mass production of an icbm program, and we're witnessing this. there is a rush on their part. there was a rush into yemen with militia. there was a rush into syria with forces and with proxies from iran. ing the it's that that we're seeing now so if the administration isn't supportive of this renewal, not so if the administration isn't supportive of this renewal, not only are we preventing the possibility of a snapback, but from the standpoint of myself and many of the members of this committee we're also getting relief on missiles basically. we're giving relief on actions which we would consider terrorist activity, you know, especially the attacks by the quds forces. >> mr. chairman, i respectfully beg to differ with you on that.
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we are not, in fact, giving them a freebie on anything which is precisely why we left the missile sanctions in place. the arms sanctions are in place. the sanctions on terrorist support are in place. the sanctions on human rights are in place. they are separate from the jcpoa, and they were purposely separated in the context of these negotiations to protect our ability to be able to push iran if they engage in those activities. now, we just sanctioned iran on january 16th. we sanctioned three entities and eight individuals for their support for the missile activities. and we have made it very clear to iran that if it chooses to engage in those activities going forward there will be further activity. so we haven't. and secondly, mr. president -- mr. chairman, we haven't lost
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our ability to put the sanctions in place or snap back. as i said to you they are not reliant. that power is not reliant on the iran sanctions act. >> my time has expired so i'm going to go now to mr. eliot engel, the ranking member of this committee. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, i'll throw out a few things and ask you to comment on them. first of all, to continue on iran, what steps are we taking and will we take to combat iran's support for terrorism and other malign activities? what are we doing to make sure that israel will be safe as iran re-arms and continues to arm hezbollah, which threatens israel? with ukraine, russia is challenging our nato allies across the continent. i'm encouraged by the president's commitment of significant additional resources to defense of europe but i still think we need to do more. nato needs to permanently station a brigade in poland and the baltic states and every ally needs to get above the 2% requirement for their defense spending.
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so i'm hoping that the administration will permanently commit more troops to the defense of europe and press our allies to more adequately share the burden of their defense. i would like to ask you what the administration thinks will happen next and what we're doing vis-a-vis north korea. finally, i want to talk about pakistan because i'm concerned that pakistan continues to play a double game fighting terrorism that has a direct impact inside pakistan and supporting it in places like india and afghanistan where pakistan believes such a policy furthers its national interests. what do we do to ensure that pakistan continues to fight all terrorists? >> well, mr. ranking member, let me try to address those as quickly as i can. on iran, let me just inform everybody here that the irgc has actually pulled its troops back from syria.
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ayatollah khomeini pulled significant number of troops out. their presence is reduced in syria. number one. number two, that doesn't mean they are still not engaged in active flow of weapons from syria through damascus to lebanon. we're concerned about that and that is an ongoing concern. the other thing is that this money -- i keep hearing this figure of 100 billion, 150 billion. iran is not going to get 100 or 150 billion, certainly not in the near term and that figure is not accurate. it's more -- our estimates are somewhere in the vicinity of 50 to 55 billion at some point in time but it's way below that right now. in fact, they are complaining about the slowness with which there has been a process of repatriation. i urge you to go to the intel piece, get the intel briefing on what's happened with the irgc and what's happening with the flow of money.
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now with respect to iran's behavior in the region, we have been deeply engaged with our gcc friends, and i've had three or four meetings now with them since last summer when they came to camp david. since then. i'm meeting with them shortly. we've engaged in a major plus-up of our military exercise, military cooperation, military support. we are joining with them in an active effort to push back against other activities. we're part of the coalition that's been supporting the saudis and the emirates and others who pushed into yemen to protect saudi arabia against the houthi. and i believe now, as a result of those efforts, find a ripeness in a political process that might be able to help resolve that. on syria, iran has come to the table together with russia to agree to two communiqués in
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vienna and a united nations security council resolution outlining a framework for the political resolution of syria. now i'm not here to vouch for the words, but i'm here to say to you there is at least a framework on paper which we are now following with hopes of getting back to the discussion in geneva in the next week with the support of iran and russia. now we're going to have to put that to the test. we're not sitting here saying it's going to happen automatically. but if there's going to be a political settlement the only way to get there is with the agreement and consent of all the parties. all the stakeholders are at the table for the first time. so we're hopeful that we can press that forward and at least come to you with a notion in a matter of months, weeks. they are either serious or not. if they are not serious then we're going to have to be talking with you about whatever plan "b" is going to be.
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but if there's a prayer of holding syria together, unified as a whole country without further refugee migration challenges to europe and challenges to jordan and lebanon and the rest of the region, we must pursue some kind of a political process. with respect to europe, we have engaged in a significant plus-up, as i just mentioned. the budget goes from 700 million, 750 million up to 3.4 billion. in our support for the forward deployment of both troops rotating, support structure, and assistance to europe. i won't go into all the details now. maybe i'll submit it for the record because of the time frame. but i just want to say to you that there is a very robust effort going on, on the front line state, our support for ukraine, pushing on minsk. president obama has had three or four conversations with president putin in the course of the last months from the united
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nations meeting on and in every one of them he spends probably 50% of the time at least on the issue of ukraine and full implementation of minsk and responsibility for protecting the integrity and sovereignty of ukraine. so we're deeply engaged on those fronts, and i think our support is welcome and very important. >> we're going to go now to ilya that russ let innocent from florida. >> thank you very much. welcome, mr. secretary. i hope that we're both opposed to the schemes at the u.n. to achieve unilateral statehood recognition outside of the peace process. i remain firmly opposed to your administration's offer continually to get a waiver to the law that prohibits u.s. funds from going to unesco a law that's been effective at preventing the palestinians from being admitted to that agency
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and others. in its last months of legacy shopping, as it tries to check off the remaining goals of its misguided foreign policy, is your administration going to abstain from a vote on the french resolution at the u.n. supporting palestinian statehood? so i'll ask you to definitively answer here this morning, mr. secretary. will the united states veto any resolution at the u.n. supporting palestinian statehood, yes or no? >> i don't know of any resolution by the french specifically -- >> if there were -- >> well, we have always opposed any one-sided resolution, something that is unfair to israel or that -- >> thank you. thank you. and moving on to the administration's shameful concession policy toward cuba that has turned its back on human rights advocate, yes or no, are human rights in cuba a priority for this administration? >> of course they are. >> thank you. then how do you explain this
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year's budget request for even less democracy funding for cuba while repression is worse than ever before? and you're about to travel to cuba for your second visit. yesterday was the 20th anniversary, as you know, of the shootdown of the brothers to the rescue planes that were ordered by raul castro resulting in the murder of innocent americans. will you commit, mr. secretary, to the families of these victims today that you will seek the extradition of castro regime officials responsible for the shootdown? general martinez, luis perez y perez, and francisco perez y perez. >> well, madam chair, let me just say that we are engaged actually more directly on human rights than we ever have been or capable of being because we now have negotiated additional diplomatic presence in cuba. we now have negotiated the right for our diplomats to be able to travel --
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>> mr. secretary, you're aware that over 8,000 people were arrested -- >> yes, i'm very well aware. >> -- since december 17th announcement of president obama -- th announcement -- >> arrested, you mean -- >> arbitrary arrests, human rights advocates, whatever you want to call people being held outside of their will. >> people were indeed detained -- >> 8,000. >> we are very much aware of that and we have objected to that and we are -- >> thank you, there secretary. >> we have succeeded in getting people released. >> some have been released were actually put on the list and some who were released -- anyway -- very interesting about that list of freed people that
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castro played -- and do you know where you will hold a press conference while you're in what january? the american owner still has a certified claim for majority interest in the hotel. did you know which illegally confiscated you will stop at this time? and then finally, will you commit to this committee that you will pressure castro to unconditionally return to the united states, new jersey cop killer joanne chessenmar, human rights confiscated property, u.s. fugitives from justice? does any of it matter to this administration? >> it matters hugely. in fact we believe we have created more opportunities for intervention, more opportunities it make progress. 1 in 4 people in cuba are now beginning to work for private enterprise.
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>> how do you explain the massive exodus of 80% of cubans leaving the island -- >> madam, do you want an answer or just ask questions? i can just sit here if you want to do that. >> you are talking about small business owners. those glasses are amazing. but the massive arrests, massive exodus and still we talk about this nonexistent entrepreneurial class in cuba. >> we now have more opportunity to engage. we have plmore visits taking place, going to cube why and engaging with the cuban people than ever before in the last 50 years of our policies. we believe there is greater chance of changing cuba than anything that happened in the last 50 years. it didn't work for 50 years. nothing changed. now it is changing. >> we need to go to mr. gregory meeks from new york. time's expired. >> thank you, there chairman. secretary, thank you for the great work you've been doing.
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i just want to ask three quick questions in the spirit of what the chair has asked us to make sure that we timely give you an opportunity to answer though questions. first question of course, deals with the situation in turkey as it moves a tipping point, referring to tensions and conflict between turkey and the kurdish community. and the details are important because we are working well with the syrian kurds, in the fight against isil. nevertheless, the rising tensions between the kurds and turkey have deepened and since particularly since the tragic of ak ram. so my question is how is turkey's tensions with the kurds effective with an ongoing fight and the tragedy there and what role, if any, can the united states play in helping with the kurdish question. secondly, different part of the world, as you also indicated in
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your state -- opening statement, i'm delighted that we was able to share the 15th anniversary with president santos here. and now we are talking about peace columbia, which i think is important. so i'm concerned about how we make sure that african colomb n colombians are included in what the there and finally you also mention that we have concluded the negotiations in asia on tpp. and if we do not vote here in the united states to support the administrations negotiations, cha setbacks, if any, would have forness the region will have dealing with our allies and friends, vis-a-vis china and a strategic advantage over us.
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>> thank you very much, congressman. i appreciate the questions. let me move quickly through them. turkey is our jl eye, nate why ally. we work very closely with turkey. turkey borders with syria and turkey has enormous interest in what is happening there. we are very sensitive to this challenge about their concern about the pkk. their concern to the links of the pkk and so forth. we have been talking with them considerably about it. we need to respect turkey's concerns and we will. we have, we believe. going forward is very important that there not be a different problem created by the short term solution of working with the kurds and that creates a longer term challenge for all of us in the region. so we're working very, very carefully. on the other hand, we have also needed to have people on the
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ground who are prepared it push back. this is an example of that. we are able to hold ka banny and drive dash out of ka banny as by support. and with respect to the north component, northeast component of -- northwest component of iraq, have been particularly helpful and engaged. they were essential to a number of successful military initiatives to push dash back. and in fact, different kurds because some are more prepared and more comfortable working with turkey than others are and those divisions need to be managed carefully. bottom line, we are talking with the turks right now about how to proceed in ways that do not
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cross important lines for them and that respect the sensitivities of the region. and i'm confident we will be able to do that. with respect to peace colombia, we are -- we've committed, as you know, and it is in the budget, very important demining initiative which could take place in the aftermath of an agreeme agreement. there's still some difficult issues to resolve in context of the agreement and we are encouraging that process. president obama has a special envoy to those talks. he has the respect and confidence of president santos and other participants. i i may well be meeting with some of them in the next days, depending on how events flow. there are many countries supportive of this effort and our hope is that we can resolve
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the transitional issues and victims issues, which are outstanding at the moment. on the tpp, folks, i know i've been part on the hill for the 28 plus years i've been in the senate. i know how difficult it is. i was there when nafta passed and we went through some enormous transitions. this agreement is different from any trade agreement i saw any time i was here. labor requirements, environment requirements are boldly within the four corners of the agreement and because this is essential, frankly, to raising the business standards of the region. it eliminates 18,000 taxes on american goods. that can be ex export into the region. it is a benefit to american workers. it will create jobs here in america and it will profoundly
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impact the standards going forward for the protection of intellectual property. for the protection under cyber and from our ability to be able to raise the transparency and accountability by which people do business. if this doesn't pass then we are rejecting the most important economic initiative and unified moment of i think the last 20, 30 years. and we would be turning our back on the american leadership in that endeavor and that leads it people to want to race to the bottom. standard of doing business. absence of transparency. absence to counter corruption. the deal with reform. important reforms are contained in this tpp. and i simile urge you. look at it. analyze it. i believe in the nd you will agree, this is not like any prior trade agreement and i
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believe takes us it a much better place and reinforces american leadership in the region. >> mr. chris smith of new jersey. >> thank you, there chairman and thank you mr. secretary for your service. couple of questions, when i learned late last year that the administration was considering -- mass genocide and christians -- chairman of the yazidi human rights international testified that the yazidi is on the verge of annihilation but said the yazidi is an christians face this, this is his quote, faces genocide together. a bishop testified. christians have a countered genocide in the obama administration refuses to recognize their plight. dr. george stanton of genocide watch testified, failure to call isis's mass murder of christians, muslims and other groups in addition to yazidis bity proper name, genocide, is
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grave as u.s. refusal to recognize ro wandian genocide. secondly, because i know i only got five minutes, last year a reuters investigative report, a very incisive report, that i would ask to be made part of the record, found that tier 3 recommendation made by the trafficking person's office experts being 14 instances, including malaysia, china, cuba, india and ma lan were rejected further up the chain of command and artificially given a clean bill of health for other political purposes. johnson testified in november. i asked a lot of pointed questions about were there other political factors involved. tight-lipped, very good person, but did not convey information.
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can you ensure, because a report will be coming out very shortly, that that won't happen again this year. speaking of the power and defending vigt ims against these heinous crimes of sex and lab child labor, as you know you were strong about it as secretary of state and what you do with it is in terms of penalties and sanctions but the book has it speak to power and getting it right. 14 instances. can you respond? >> yes, i can.right. 14 instances. can you respond? >> yes, i can. and i will respond. i'm responsible for that report. i accept responsibility for that report. i made the decision about malaysia. and in fact malaysia has made improvements, increased its investigations. it has passed amend lments on
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anti-trafficking. providing better law enforcement protection. it has issued regulations in consultation with ngos and it has increased law enforcement efforts to prosecute and to convict and it had additional convictions. now, you know, you have to make a judgment in some of these cases. but i will absolutely vouch for the integrity of this process. we have a very detailed year-long effort where people are measuring and i have instructed our embassies to be engaged year-long in working with countries to try to give them time to make changes. to respond to our needs. sometimes you are better off working with be encouraging, getting people to do something rather than slamming them in a report and finding they say the hell with them and walk away and they don't respond.
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we found in malaysia and other countries we have been able to make progress. but i can assure you this report will demote somebody who deserves to be demoted and will call it as we see it. and i don't think anybody -- but i'm responsible -- >> cuba, china, oman, we are told oman because they helped on the negotiations with iran. and cuba and china when it comes to sex trafficking because of the missing girls, has become the ultimate mag nant because of p pimps, i think they have the worst numbers. and -- >> i'll come back to that. i do want to speak it that very much. each of these are real judgments that we make, that i make ultimately. on cuba, cuba is upgraded from
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tier 2 to tier 3 because it did make significant efforts to address and prosecute sex driving. including the conviction of 13 sex traffickers and it provided more services to sex trafficking victims. the gov government provided training it cube an officials to address sex trafficking. ministry of tourism reached out to address sex tourism. and reduced the demand for commercial sex and have changed their laws to u.n. protocol. if that doesn't happen then there is a measurement to try to go backwards. but we felt in each of these cases, that there was progress. now i would put on the record here today, we are concern had that the government of cuba has not recognized forced labor as a problem. criminalized forced labor. or reported efforts to prevent
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it. so there are things we need to do going forward. on the christian issue, i share your concern very, very much. again, this is a judgment i have to make. i will make it. and any reports that we have made a decision to the contrary that is not -- that the decision has been made not to are incorrect. that doesn't mean we made a decision to do so. this has to be done on the basis of illegal standard with respect to genocide and illegal genocide with respect to crimes against humanity. i have asked our legal department to reevaluate several observations that were circulating as part of the vetting process of this issue. i'm concerned about it. i will make a judgment and also try to do so very, very soon. >> we need to go to new jersey.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, thank you for your hard work. i want to go back to the topic of cuba. i know we have this issue of 50 years. but there seems to be more repression in the last ten years, this year this past year, than the last ten years. i was wondering with all of the people going back and forth to cuba, are any efforts made to bring back to the united states? >> we are discussing all of the outstanding, i might add in conjunction with the chairwoman's question also, we are entering into the period now where we will begin discussing the confiscated property. that's a critical component as well as extradition or release of various people. and all of those human rights issues are on the table. i pursued them and president will pursue them when they are there. we will be working on all of the
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issues. i can't good into all of the specifics. >> there seems to be more repression after making contacts with a cuba, are we addressing that? >> yes, we are addressing the arrests. we are particularly innocenced by the arrest of several people part of the release effort originally. the cubans say, well, they went out and broke the law again. we looked what the they allegedly broken's we object entirely. one of them hung a sign in the window saying i will only vote in an election in which i can choose my president and so forth. and four-year sentence. that is ridiculous and obscene. we've told them, that is wrong. we have continued to press those issues. we have the ability to interact with the cuban people. when i was there it raise the flag, to have the marines raise the flag. the marines were there to lower the flag, there to raise the flag. masked behind the --
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>> no dissidents though. >> no, no, no, these people cheered mightily at the return of the united states and presence of our country. and my speech in which i talked about democracy and talked about the need to have protection of human rights was broadcast to the entire country. and some of it a little bit of it in spanish. and the the president -- >> the diplomat -- >> we have more ability because of this to interact with the cuban people and more americans are traveling there and interacting. >> even our diplomats are restricted from moving about the island. >> we negotiated our diplomat, a specific number, as we test the expansion of this relationship, more diplomats are able to proceed to travel around unannounced without people following them or engaged in any activities. we have diplomats, are able to travel around the country. >> are they actually traveling? >> i believe they are.
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i've heard nothing to the contrary. >> the other thing i want to talk about is colombia. if they do come to an understanding, i hope we do not walk away from helping colombia. >> we are deeply committed. president obama, that's part of the reason for the celebration of the 15-year mark, we invested, we, you, everybody here -- well not everybody but those of you in the upper area, invested significantly in the late 1990s in colombia and it made all the difference. that is why we talk about plan peace. we want to -- >> i hope we still continue to assist clom colombia. >> so do i. >> in the news i see russia gave after beg afghanistan gave russia all these arms -- >> russians are concerned about
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the stability country. they have raised the issue with us of trying to protect the region. they have concerned about countries near them. they have concerned about the flow of terrorists. that is also one of their concerns about syria. we are discussing with the russians these issues of security for the ongoing challenges of afghanistan. >> were you aware they were going, with these arms, to afghanistan? >> we know they are supporting the afghan government -- >> it was in the news this morning. >> are you talking about the afghan government or the -- >> yes. they gave 10,000 rifles or whatever -- arms to -- >> yes, we support that. >> thank you, mr. secretary. >> thank you. >> we now go to mr. dana row balker of california.rowbalker . >> thank you for your service to our country.
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you work very hard for us and while we have some disagreements, policy disagreements, you have our respect and gratitude. >> let me mention some of the issues we may disagree on. when you say it may act on the idea for the christians and yazidis, targets of genocide, let me note this has been going on, we have been seeing this now for well over a year. several years now. of the slaughter of christians. in the middle east. and for us to have not made a decision and that we're making a decision, that decision hasn't been made yet is unacceptable. we are talking about the lives of tens of thousands of people being brutally slaughtered, targeted for genocide. i have a bill, hr 4017 and the president commented it would be giving preference to christians.
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is it preference to give -- is it wrong to give preference to people who are targets of genocide and say we will save them, realizing that they are the ones most likely to be slaughtered? >> this decision has to be made quickly. and i understand that. but i think i only had the first discussion come to my desk on this in terms of the legal interpretations a couple of weeks ago. and that's when i immediately initiated some reevaluation, which i'm looking at. and i can tell you, i want to do this as quickly as -- >> let me suggesting with this coming to your attention only weeks ago -- >> well it requires -- congressman, it does require a lot of fact-gathering. you have to get the facts from the ground more than just anecdotal -- >> mr. secretary, the whole world knows that christians are being slaughtered in the middle east. it's clear. it's time for america it act and the excuse that we've got to study it, ask the lawyers what
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the wording is, is this preference or not, is unacceptable. i would hope that your word that it'll be acted on soon, we will hold you true to that. second about the do you agree with some of your administration officials, and claim that russia is a greater threat to our national security than is radical islam uk terrorism? >> you know, i don't want to get into sort of an either/or here because i don't think it is necessary. i think what the defense department and others have been saying, is that they have seen russia engaged in which present challenges. for instance, what happened with crimea, what happened in support for separatists, the long process of back and forth implementation is interpreted by
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the front line states as a threat. and russia through its propaganda and operatives and other countries and it is considered as threatened -- let me just finish. >> yes, sir. >> i believe if you want me to put on the table the top threat of the out today in terms of day-to-day life and stability of the world, it is violent extremism, radical religious extremism and violence of -- >> are you willing to say radical islamic terrorism as our president is unable to say? >> i think you should heard me say radical religious extremism -- >> no, you didn't say radical islamic -- >> it is disheartening when a representative of our government can't say radical islamic terrorism and at the same time can't make a decision whether christians are targeted for genocide. this is not acceptable.
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about your point on russia and whether or not we consider them the greatest threat over radical islamic terrorism, let me just note that increasing spending of our military spending so we now have more tanks in europe could be taken as a hostile act by russia as well. time for us to get out this cycle of, well we're going to find things that they are doing that we consider hostile and vice versa. we have every reason, do we not, mr. secretary, of trying to find a way to work with russia to combat what is the real threat which is radical islamic terrorism. >> congressman, i think you heard me say that it is predm nantly, predominantly islamic. i have no hesitation in saying that. i've said that in many parts of the world. yes, that's not the issue we are
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trying to cooperate and russia is the co-chair with us of the international syria support group and cessation of hostilities task force. we are working on the violent extremism initiatives which president obama has led in the u.n. and elsewhere in convening people to work against violent extremism on a global basis. so me, this is the greatest challenge we face because there are hundreds of millions of young people and many of these countries where you have 60 to 70% of the nation under the age of 35 and if they don't have jobs and if they are not educated and there is not opportunity for we don't keep radical religious extremists from any time to reach them and turn them into a suicide bomber or extreme operative of one kind, we have a problem. all of us.
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this is to me the more prevalent challenge that we all face and russia shares an interest in working with us to deal with that challenge. >> thank you. >> now to mr. jerry connolly of virginia. >> thank one mr. machairman and mr. secretary. obviously my colleague wants to get to you say the number one threat is islamic terrorism. but is it also true that the biggest victims of that terrorism are in fact islamists themselves and that many of our allies fighting the islamic war is islamic countries. isn't that true? >> they are indeed our very significant allies in this country and of every country in the world are joining in the effort to deal with the terrible distortion of one of the world's principal religions. >> i think that is important to put it in context.
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not that my friend would do that. i don't mean that. but we have heard candidates take an entire faith with something i think grossly unfairly. when in fact victims are muslims and many of the countries allies with us in the fight against terrorist are in fact muslim countries. so it is a very complex situation but not subject to some simplification or oversimplification of who are the villain is and who are the good guys. so i just thought we would get that on the record. i think this is your first visit back since the iran nuclear agreement got implemented. i want to say, it'll be part of -- it is one of the most successful things, u.s. foreign policy has done in a long time. and despite the critics and all the predictions, we had hearing the other week and established definitively the fact that iran has complied.
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if we're looking at removing an ex esten shl threat to israel, we did it. i want to congratulate you. if you want it to disagree with compliance, feel free. but in every metric we set so far, we have not seen cheating. we have been able to observe and validate. that doesn't make iran a good guy in the international say. but it does say we were able to deliver on a a fact that delivers enforceable agreement. i don't know if you want to comment to that, mr. secretary. >> i thank you, mr. congressman, very, very much. that is in fact what we concur with that they have complied. >> thank you. >> quickly, to crimea and the ukraine. one of the concerns i've got and i know it is shared by friends
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on both side of the aisle, is with respect to soviet expansionism, soviet imperialism, whatever word we want to use for it, it all starts with crimea. if you let crimea go, now you are cribeling over the price in eastern ukraine or wherever. and what is the united states' position with respect to the illegal annexation of crimea? >> that it is illegal. and we're not seeding crimea with anything except the primary focus at the moment is done on the minsk agreements implementation. >> but we won't give up on the crim crimea? >> no, we have no intention. >> some of my friends have criticized for executive orders but not these. executive orders 13660, 661, 662 and 685, blocking property
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persons and transactions related to the illegal annexation of crimea and sub version in the eastern ukraine. how is this compliance going with those executive orders and is the administration seeking additional legislative relief with respect to the subject? >> we believe that russia continues to pay a real price for the annexation of crimea. and crimea is physically isolated from international transport links now. from the global financial system. its tourism sector collapsed. it remains unable to provide full significant electricity to its population. and inflation completely erased any potential of the russian promises of a better standard of
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living for the people. it is obviously tragic for the people of crimea. we know that since the annexation, human rights situation for people of crimea has deteriorated. and there has been a mounting repression of minorities, particularly the dar cores, and we press russia on this issue and i believe the measures in place are having an impact. >> mr. stu shabbot of ohio. >> thank you. good morning mr. secretary. this is the 20th year i've had honor to serve on the foreign affairs committee. i've chaired the middle east committee and asia-pacific committee and i've had the opportunity to listen to and to question a number of our secretaries of state from warren christopher to madeleine albright, collin powell to condoleezza price, hillary
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clinton, to yourself in past and here again today. this administration has less than a year to go. what i would like to do is to ask you to address some of the things which many would argue haven't gone so well. and what we can learn from these things and hopefully avoid repeating in the future. as you know, i've got limited time. and i have several questions. so i ask that you keep your answers reasonably succinct so i can avoid interrupting you. first you already talked of the iran deal. but i would like it ask this. i realize of course that hillary clinton was secretary of state and not yourself. so i'm not blaming you. but i would ask this question. was not aiding the students and pro democracy reformers in the iranian movement a mistake? >> i think, my memory is that president obama spoke out in
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support of and we suffered criticism from iran. in fact this is one of the hurdles they had to get over. they are responsible for it. >> these young pro democracy folks pleaded for our help. pleaded. and they got exactly nothing from this administration. president obama essentially, if you go back and look at what he said at the time, he took the side, i would argue, of the repressive of iran over its freedom-seeking people. i think most people looking at at the time, shameful of what happened. let me move on. in retrospect was it a mistake to pull all u.s. troops out of iraq? >> i believe this has been badly misinterpreted. there was no contemplation.
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firstly, the agreement was made by president bush to pull the troops out. what obama did was try to negotiate with prime minister mol kie. and there were noafá(pá troops that would stay there. so even if they had stayed, that would not have made a difference with respect to what was happening because prime minister mol kie was turning the army into its own personal enterprise -- >> i hate it interrupt you -- >> let me just finish. >> i think next to the iran deal, i would argue that it was this administration's greatest mistake and it led, i think, directly to the rise of isis. let me ask this, how is this administration so, putin, and president bush did too, looked
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into putin's eyes, thinking he got a sense of his soul. but let's face it, putin has be been undermineding u.s. policy at every term. why did it happen? >> i don't think that anybody could predict what an unpredictable set of choices might produce. the bottom line is that that at the time, a number of other things happened, which had an impact on putin's perception of what was going on. >> lit me just -- i'm almost out of time. let me comment on your comment. it seems to me that from the start of this administration, from hillary's famous pressing of the reset button to, we've been played like chumps by putin. this administration scrapped the missile defense program with our allies, poland and czech
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republic, to playcate putin. what do we get a? he invaded an annexed crimea, started a war in eastern ukraine. which is ongoing. shoots down a civilian airliner. and of course denies it. his allies did that. threatens the nato alliance. assad in syria. harbors treasonist edward snowden and on and on. i argue that this administration's policy with respect to russia has been speckless. and i'm out of time. >> can i respond quickly. there was an agreement in which yanokovich was supposed to honor. but putin believed he had a deal and the deal was broken. he thought and perceived certain
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things. people respond in certain ways and perceptions. i dent believe -- and also the european association agremt aem and the way that had been maneuvered had a lot to do with perceptions. now we are building a missile defense. the administration came it a conclusion they can did a more effective one and that is kerntly being deployed. russia still objects to what is happening. but it's happening. so nobody pulled back from doing something as a consequence. no one has been played for a chump. we went in and put sanctions in place that have profoundly negatively impacted russirussia economy. profoundly impacted rush why's ability to move and maneuver in the region and ultimately resulted in the minsk agremt which we hope can be implemented fully. if it is, then russia will not have taken over all of ukraine. not even the eastern part where
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the separatists will still be part of ukraine and in arrangement with the government kiev. i just don't agree with your conclusion there. if you look, russia cooperated with the united states on the iran agreement. russia cooperated with the united states in getting the chemic chemical weapons out of ssyria. now in an effort to try to fight against dash and -- >> we need to go to mr. deutsche from florida. >> it is just not -- the point i'm trying to make is, it doesn't lend itself to just one judgment. this is more complicated and for better or worse, more nuanced than the conclusions allow for. >> mr. ted deutsche of florida. >> thank you for being here. i appreciate your service to our
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country. this morning i had time to spend with amir armaday. and it is wonderful to see amir and i'm thrilled for the families but i want to urge you to continue to press with the utmost greatest sense of commitment and urgency to bring bob home to his family. i'm grateful for you to push this issue. i would like to talk about the iran agreement. without making judgments about whether it is the greatest or worst thing ever done, i think this is a 15-year term and we are five months since it was signed. we just had implementation day. a lot of us, whatever side we're on before, want to see this succeed. so i want to focus specifically on the snap back provisions which had come up earlier. the international sanctions, the
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tests of the ballistic missiles by iran, clearly violate resolution and advanced power took this to security council. and security council kicked it to the sanctions as i understand it and if this is a clear violation and can't be sanctioned at the international level. i commend your administration for taking action as the united states against these three entities and individuals. but at the international level, if the security council can't act with a clear violation like this, how do we know they will ever react. ? you talk about the iran sanctions act. i just wanted to go back to a
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story in "politico" in last summer in august about jpcoa, senior official told politic why and i quote we absolutely support the iran sanctions act. it is an important piece of legislation. the isa doesn't expire until next year and because we are focused on implementation. we will have plenty of opportunity in coming months to take part in deliberate and focused communications on this important topic. the deal has been signed. implementation day has come and gone. it is 2016. the year in which this is going to expire. mr. secretary, if not now, when? when will we have the discussions the administration was committed to having last summer? >> well, congressman, first of all, on bob levinson, i understand completely.
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i just met with the family recently. and i completely understand the tension, feelings, and disappointment that they feel. they see people come back and bob is not among them and they don't have answers yet. we have put a process in place as part of the actual agreement that we reached whereby is very much front and center in terms of our following through to trace every lead there is and be first engijed. i deon't want to get into detai, but in fact we are doing them. with respect to the missiles, does it have a meaning that we aren't doing what we said we were going to do. the answer is no. missiles were left outside of jc polar. jc polar stand by itself.
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missile is separate track. arms are separate track. we purposely did not want to confuse the accountability for the implementation with these other things. so that's why we put additional sanctions on. with three entities and eight individuals. now you raise the question about 2016 if not now, when. well now is a good time to have the discussion. this is part of the discussion. we are having it here today. i'm saying we should be informed in whatever we choose to do on the isa. by how well the implementation goes. by how necessary it is to be thinking about the concern about the application and sanctions. we don't need the isa. >> right. >> i'm sorry. i'm out of time. i wanted to ask, is one of the
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reasons that there is hesitation to go forward now even after implementation day, that iran will interpret this as some sort of violation of the agreement, which clearly it is not. >> no. i think that it is on its face exactly what i just described to you. there's no rush. we know we can pass whatever we need to very quickly, number one. flub two, we want to be in whatever we decide to do, aught to be described by the efficiency and effectiveness of way this is implemented and so it is rational and related to the project itself. as you said, we are only a few months into it. let's get into it. there is plenty of time. let's see where we are. >> now to mr. wilson.
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>> thank you for being here. there are shocking admissions of how iran would use sanctions relief to fund terrorism. which i believe the american people needs to know puts families at risk. on january 21st, mr. secretary, you admitted quote, i think that some of the funds from the sanctions relief will end up in the hands of irgc or other entities. some of which are labelled terrorists. end of quote. this is sad, mr. secretary. iran is widely recognized as the leading state of terrorism supporting groups like hamas and hezbollah. responsible for murdering hundreds of americans. it should come as no surprise that at least some of their $100 billions in sanctions relief granted under the nuclear agreement will be used to finance terrorists. you are not alone in this aversion. several key obama administration officials including the president himself have made the
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exact same admission. quote, do we think that some of the sanctions coming down that iran will have some additional resources for its military? for some of the activity in the reasonon that are a threat to us and threat to our allies. i think that is a likelihood that they've got additional resources. end of quote. president barack obama. also, quote, we should expect that some of the portion of the money should go to iranian military that could potentially be used for the kinds of bad behave your used in the region until now. end of quote. from susan rice, also quote, as iran's behavior, the united states is under no illusions. this agreement was never based on the expectations it would transform the iranian regime or cause iran to cease contributing to sectarian violence and terrorism in the middle east. end of quote. under secretary of state for political affairs wendy sherman. we agree on implementation day,
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quote, the president himself acknowledged iran is likely to use this cash infusion more than $100 billion in total, to fund terrorism. end of quote. that why the house voted to reject the nuclear deal. sanctions should be only lifted when iran ceases litany of illicit activity and end support for terrorism. until that day comes we should not be complicit in fuelling a regime that has a long history of hostility toward the united states and its allies. i'm particularly grateful for the bipartisan contract of this committee with chairman ed weiss and ellioiot engel. i believe iran promotes attacks on american families with its pledge of death it america and death to israel.
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secretary keri, from your responses to chairman royce's questions, what i heard you say is the administration wants to let the iran sanctions act expire. the administration em tending it through the international emergency economic powers object is simply a power grab. allowing isa too expire stater toly is unacceptable. how has iran's terrorist activities been affected by the deal and lifting of sanctions has eye rairanian support for terrorism increased or decreased? >> congressman, you raise a lot of questions in all of that and you make some assumptions that i just don't share or agree with. we never suggested the goal is to let it expire. i said, let's take our time and be thoughtful about it. you draw a conclusion that i never meant any creedance to. secondly, this goes back to the sort of argument about the iran
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deal itself. you say we shouldn't lift sanctions until we have given up their sponsorships. the problem is, you know, they just have the different interpretation about some of those things that would have lasted a lifetime and would have been had a nuclear weapon and iran with a nuclear weapon would be far more dangerous in iran than without one. if you are worried about terror, the first objective is to make sure they don't have a nuclear weapon. now, we've been very honest. i wouldn't sit here and suggest that some portion of that money doesn't make its way to one of those groups. but what they do has never been dependent on money. never has been. they will do it anyway. if we hadn't gotten rid of the weapon, they were still supporting hooti and hezbollah.
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>> mr. secretary, this is not right. i yield. >> okay, we go to rhode island. >> thank you, mr. chairman and mr. secretary for your extraordinary service to our country. i have questions i will run through quickly to give you as much time as possible to answer. first i'm concerned with the rule of law and adhering it human rights in egypt. egyptian judiciary is ripe for political agenda but reports yesterday about no matter how bad the situation is become when a cairo military court handed down a sent tones 116 defendants that mistakenly included a 3-year-old boy. this is incredibly outrageous and exemplifies how little the their judiciary care res about the law. and with this budget question what's the justification for
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removing of language and what signal does this send to the egyptian government and people. >> congressman, the rule of which language? >> related to partial aid conditions and national security waiver and reporting requirement. >> and second question is there are tremendous challenges you outline them in your testimony and the budget international affairs budget which funds programs and continues to shrink. since 2010 the overall funding with the base budget has been reduced 12%. and fiscal year 2007 requested slightly down from last year. what are your most serious concerns about the resources that are necessary to confront the many challenges facing our country and does this budget provide resources that you think we need and third and finally, the u.s. israeli memorandum understanding i know is doing going to expire in 2018. i understand that we have begun
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to discuss a new set of terms. what's the stat jus of those ne goe negotiations and what do they need for the threats to their security. tried to do those fast. >> i appreciate it. congratulations. moving up to the uper die yas there. >> thank you. >> let me just begin with your question about egypt itself and, look, these sentences obviously are of the more misconcerned it all of puss. we expressed that very straight forwardly and we have seen a deterioration over the course of these last months, i guess is a fair way to say it. with arrests of journalists and civil society personality.
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we understand that egypt is going through a very difficult challenge right now. there are terrorists in the sinai. the challenges of extreme ims that has played out in bombings in cairo and elsewhere. so it's difficult. no one is suggesting otherwise. but we believe deeply that countries that protect freedom of speech and encourage civil society will ultimately do better and be stronger in their ability to defeat extremism. i have a good working relationship with my counterpart. we talk frequently. we are working on these issues on a regular basis. we have succeeded in getting some people released. we have succeeded in getting some progress on a number of human rights issues, but it is a concern.
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their judicial system which operates separately, makes some moves that i think sometimes the leadership itself finds difficult to deal with. and our hope is that over the course of these next weeks and months we can make progress in moving back on these. i do think egypt said something about the 3-year-old, if i recall, but i don't want to dwell on it right now. when the resources, we are can balancizing a lot of subjects and everyone is dealing with difficulties in governance today as a result of budget challenges. and it's no secret to any of you because these are the fights you've all been engaged in on the floor. i think we're making a mistake. i try not to get into the politics in this position at all.
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but i do think that the united states is not responding in ways that we aught to be to our responsibility as reflected in the budget overall. i think we can and should be doing more. i this i we handicap ourselves. i think we are behaving to some degree for the richest nation on the face of the planet. we are choosing to behave more like, you know, a country that actually doesn't have resources available to it. it's a question of what choice do we want it make and we are where we are. we had to canibalize. and for the richest country on
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the face of the planet, to effect things more and we see a frustration on the part of our people that our world is in turmoil and we are not responding prol properly here or there and a reflection of that is resources pep and sometimes it policy judgments, i understand that. but a lot of it is driven by the resource allocation. with respect to israel and the mou, we will -- we're working on it now. we're in negotiations. we have never ever put any of israel's security needs or challenges on the table with respect to other dishes between us. israel's security comes first and foremost. president obama i think is unprecedentedly addressed those concerns with iron dome, with assistance, with our efforts in
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global institutions to not see israel singled out. and we will continue to do what is necessary to provide israel and all of the assistance necessary so it can provide for its own security. i'm con if i didn't we will get an mou at some point in time. the sooner the better because it allows everybody to plan appropriately. >> thank you, mr. secretary. yield back. >> thank you, mr. secretary, for being here today. i'm suffering from a major head cold. so i may go easy on you today. >> good. i don't wish a cold on you, but i'll take the benefit. >> last december we passed a visa waiver program bill out of my committee. it passed overwhelmingly. it was designed to keep foreign fighters from exploiting the visa waiver program from certain countries like iraq, syria,
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sudan and iran. i was in the middle of the negotiations, i was one of the national chairmen involve and between the homeland, state department and white house, we the other was law enforcement. in the exchange between homeland security, they mentioned what we consider humanitarian, business purposes, cultural journalistic, i was in the room with the majority leader. those exceptions were rejected. dhs came back again. the final e-mail from the white house was the administration supports this legislation. my thanks to all. then finally, i spoke to the state department they did not request any additional edits. we're good with the text as
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drafted. reopening the bill requires to look at it again. yet the day after it passed, you wrote a letter to the iranian foreign minister stating that parts of this law could be waived to accommodate iranian business interest. in my judgment, having played a part in that negotiation, it was in direct contradiction with the intent and the clear definition of the statute and the law. it seams to me you're putting the interest, business interest of iran over the security interests of the united states and quite frankly either misconstruing or rewriting the very law that we passed overwhelmingly by the congress. i want to give you the opportunity to respond to that. >> i appreciate that. thank you very much. appreciate the work we've done to try to work through this. look, we respect obviously the congressional intent. we respect the purpose of this.
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we all share that goal. we have to protect the country. we have to have adequate control over who's coming into the country. and we learned obviously in the course of the k visa situation that there's more that can be done conceivably to be able to analyze and dig into background. the bottom line is this. the letter that i wrote to the iranian foreign minister was not an excuse for anything. it simply said that they were arguing that we had violated jcpoa. i wrote a letter saying no, it does not violate jcpoa. i explained and defended the law and made clear to them we were going to keep our jcpoa commitments. now, the -- what we're doing is actually following the letter of the law, but you have to --
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please, would like you to understand that our friends, our allies, french, germans, british, others, are deeply concerned about the impact of this law inadvertent on their citizens. they have dual nationals. if one of those dual nationals just travels to iran, all of a sudden, and they're in a visa waiver program and they're a very legitimate business person -- >> if i could just use my time, look, i wrote the law -- >> let me just finish -- >> i'm the author of the bill. i understand the intent of the law. we had conversations with the white house. you tried to get this business exemption written into the law. that was rejected by the leadership and the congress. and the time to have changed that was prior to the president signing it into law. once you sign it, the president signed it into law, you can't
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just go back and change -- either violate or rewrite it. >> i know the law. i marked it up on my committee. you're talking to the author of the bill. >> yes. >> that was not the intent of congress to carve out a business exemption. i understand the french and iranians and all this stuff. that was not the intent of the congress. >> look, we're not carving out a wholesale waiver intent. it's a case-by-case basis. very carefully and narrowly tailored, number one. number two, the text of the law is clear. the secretary of homeland security -- >> i agree with you. >> -- can waive the travel on dual national restrictions if he deems that it is in the law enforcement or national security interest of the country to do so. now, we believe the full and fair implementation of the law is, in fact, in our national security interest. we have a very thorough systemic -- >> i guess it depends how you define national security
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interest. i will commend that jae johnson called me to add libya, somalia and yemen to this list. and i -- >> and i concurred to that. >> -- and i commend that decision. i'm sure you're going to construe the law and your interpretation. i do think adding those three countries was a positive step. just one last question. on the designation of iran as a jurisdiction, primary money laundering concern, do you have -- are we going to keep that designation, or is there any attempt by you to lift that designation? >> we've had no such determination. i haven't contemplated it. >> do you intend to consider additional measures to provide economic relief to iran to lift any other designations? >> none at this point in time that i know of. >> okay. i appreciate that.
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the chair now recognizes brad sherman of california. >> as to your bill, you point out that most isis fighters go into turkey where perhaps their passports are stamped and then they sneak into isis-controlled areas, where isis has a shoddy record of stamping passports, and we may have to look at every europe passport stamped in turkey that would obviously be an issue -- >> actually what is now an issue is daesh's ability to actually produce phony passports -- >> that -- that would be another issue. mr. secretary, i've got so many issues. most of them i think you'll choose to respond for the record. first on the budget. this committee has urged and voted that you spend a million and a half dollars broadcasting
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in the language to reach a huge part of southern pakistan in the sindi language. now the request for additional $35 million dollars for broadcasting efforts. if we get you a substantial increase, maybe not the full 35 million, but the first additional dollars will be to broadcast in the language of southern pakistan -- >> i think it's worth 35 million, congressman. >> it only takes $1.5 million. the rest is for whatever else you choose to spend the money on. i want to compliment your general counsel in karachi for looking into the assassination of anwar lagari, who was a protector of sindi culture. as to working against isis, during world war ii, we had bombing rules of engagement. led to the death of 75,000.
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because we were serious. general de gaulle never urged us not to bomb an electric facility because it would inconvenience french civilians. he never asked dwight eisenhower not to hit a tanker truck because the civilian might be driving it. yet, i'm told in bombing isis, we will not hit a moving truck and we will not hit electric power lines because not only do we not want to kill any civilians, even those working for isis, but we don't want to inconvenience those living under isis. it is a major inconvenience, living without electricity. iran. north korea provided the nuclear technology that was used at al kabar, which the israelis destroyed in syria a few years ago. now north korea has a dozen nuclear weapons. that's about what they need. perhaps the next one goes on ebay. not quite that flippantly but
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you get the point. i spoke to the chinese foreign minister yesterday. i will urge you to urge him, as i did, that china prevent any nonstop flight over its territory from north korea to tehran. such a nonstop flight could easily export one or several nuclear weapons. if, on the other hand, that flight stops for fuel, as of course it should, if china requires, they will -- i'm sure the chinese will take a look at what's on the plane. it's natural that you're here defending the nuclear deal. i didn't vote for it but there are very good aspects of that deal. but i'm concerned that the administration now is just in a roll of defending iran, as if any comment about iran is an attack on the deal. i would -- during rouhani's tenure, we've seen a lot more executions in iran, and i hope that you would personally issue a statement condemning iran's
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violation of human rights, particularly when they kill people for the so-called crime of waging war on god. you mention -- as to the missile sanctions, you indicate we sanctioned a few companies. we sanctioned a few individuals. those companies don't do business in the united states. those individuals do not want to visit disneyland. and i hope that you would sanction the iranian government for its violation with sanctions that actually affect the iranian economy. otherwise, to say certain individuals who have no intention of coming to the united states, will not be allowed in the united states, indicates an acceptance of iranian violations. and under the u.n. security council resolution 2231, russia can't sell fighter planes to iran unless the security council specifically approves that.


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