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tv   House Foreign Affairs Hearing on Iran Policy  CSPAN  January 15, 2020 3:39am-6:59am EST

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>> the house will vote on impeachment managers during wednesday's house session, sending the articles against president trump to the senate. senatesis week, the will swear in chief justice john roberts, the presiding officer for the trial. senators will take an oath as jurors. on tuesday, the senate will vote on the rules for the trial and then the trial itself will begin. follow all of our coverage on c-span.org. >> former state department and national security officials testified on the trump administration's iran policy. secretary of state mike pompeo declined an invitation to testify on the decision to kill soleimani.
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the committee chair threatened to subpoena secretary pompeo in order to obtain information on the u.s. drone strike. >> before i begin, i want to get -- i want to make the big announcement. happy birthday. >> i am 35 years once again. >> me too. we had here today to examine trump administration policy towards iran. welcome to members of the public and the press as well. we had hoped to hear from secretary pompeo today as well. he announced he would instill -- he would instead be in california. that is unfortunate. i do not think there is a member of the committee does not want
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to hear from mr. pompeo and the american people. this committee will conduct oversight on this issue, one way or or another. i recognize myself for an opening statement. under the trump administration, we have seen tension. it seemed we were on the brink of war. iran bears much of the blame for this escalation. believe the destabilizing behavior strengthens them. it is what we expect from iran. u.s. does not behave that way. we do not play on their turf. you do not emulate your adversary. you use your powers judiciously to try to change behavior while seeking to avert conflict and
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bloodshed. that is why the killing of soleimani was such a shock, not because he was a good guy, just the opposite. he had the blood of many americans on his hand. better off without him, but killing him was a massive escalation. those who view him as a martyr have already seen his death as retribution. americans have been threatened with kidnapping and iranian missiles have struck bases where americans are stationed. many uniform have been deployed to the music -- to the region. we rely on that partnership in the fight against isis. moment, but for the the administration and iranian have taken a step back, but we have to ask why it was worth
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turning december up to a boil. that is where things get confusing. at first the administration said there was an imminent threat. an imminentof threat, the president has authority under article two of the constitution to protect americans. nobody doubts that. bad things in the past and was plotting for the future. they went back to an imminent threat, but we did not know when or where it would take place. waso not even know it imminent. next, an embassy was going to be attacked. it is widely reported there would be another failed strike on a different official in yemen. what was the excuse?
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the post 9/11 authorization or the 2002 war authorization could .ossibly be contorted into finally, the administration was heavy with a 2002 law that authorized a war against saddam hussein. was there any legal basis for this strike that took us to the brink of open hostilities with iran? let me say right now that i will not tolerate any member of this committee making an accusation against other members of this body, even in a general sense. we are all patriotic americans and democrats and republicans alike. the american people do not want to go to war with iran.
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as we've reaffirmed on the house floor last week, we are asking these questions because they are vested in the congress. if we allow any administration to carry out strikes like these, to risk plunging us into war without scrutiny, we might as well cross out article one, section eight. i wanted secretary pompeo here today because i think the administration is not being straight with the country or the congress. washer you thought the deal , we need toor not, take back the constitutional powers. i hope you'll join me and saying that we need answers, on the record, in an open setting, so the american people can know the truth. we will not be deterred from our oversight efforts.
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demanding that they produce information on a legal basis and a range of other topics. i will make those letters part of the record of this hearing. can shedr witnesses light on these topics as well. i will recognize each of you to make an opening statement. if secretary pompeo is not going to cooperate, we will consider very strongly taking other actions in the future, including subpoenas. i recognize each of you to make an opening statement. >> thank you for holding this important hearing. i will not rip -- repeat the rip -- repeat the arguments i made, other to -- other than to say that the world is safer without solemani on the
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battlefield. that is something that you and i both agree on. a friend of mine said that he was a lawful, military objective and that no further authorization was necessary. obamae with the former administration cabinet member. i talked to him extensively about the strike. they conducted thousands of them. and i wish democrats would join in praising the president as republicans -- as they did when osama bin laden was killed. know that my colleagues on the other side are also relieved that the threat has been eliminated, but they may not be able to say so as much publicly.
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i wish that they were willing to recognize that the administration made the right decision in taking out solemani. i am glad that we are finally exerting our jurisdiction, under article one. was a mastermind of terror in the middle east for over two decades. designated as a terrorist by president obama and responsible for the deaths of over 600 american and wounded thousands more. iran attacked six commercial ships. orchestrated 11 attacks on u.s. forces in iraq, killing american. solemani ordered an attack on our embassy in baghdad and the damage was extensive, as shown
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in these pictures. we are lucky that no personnel was hurt or taken hostage. the administration struck solemani because he was actively plotting to take big action that would put dozens, if not hundreds of u.s. lives at risk. the administration would have been culpably negligent if they had not acted. what if the president had not acted and more americans were killed and attack directed by solemani? what would critics have said then? i believe the president has shown great strength regarding iran. other presidents would have struck after the embassy was attacked.
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how many embassies need to be attacked before we respond? he has told me personally that he does not want war with iran. he wants to de-escalate, not escalate. he has been clear on his stance with iran. iran needs to stop its nuclear program, stop developing nuclear missiles, stop supporting proxies. and stop oppressing its own people and act as a responsible, normal nation, as a nation word on the world stage. the iranian people are briefly protesting the conduct of this despite it regime. protesters across iran are furious because the regime shut
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down the commercial airliner just last week, killing 176 innocent people, many of whom were iranian. the regime did not even admit to doing it for three days. they intentionally lied to their own people and to the world. we are receiving video footage depicting the violence against protesters. these are human rights violations. the iranian olympic gold medalist announced she was defecting from my man because of the hypocrisy, lies, injustice. a tv anchor resigned after more than 13 years, saying, it was hard for me to believe that the killing of my countrymen -- i apologize to lying to you on tv for 13 years. regime withheld
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protests, shutting down the internet and killing 1500 of their own citizens. people. with the presidentthank the loudly and clearly defending the rights of the iranian people and urging the regime not to use violence against them. i would like to close by focusing on iraq. responsible for violence against protesters must be held accountable, including for the killing of two journalists this weekend. .e stand with the iraqi people we will always support freedom, wherever it is. with that, mr. chairman, i want to thank the witnesses, i look forward to their testimony, and i yield back.
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>> i will now introduce our witnesses. the president of the council on foreign relations. he previously served as an in and the george w. bush director of policy planning, and various positions of defense and state departments during the carter and reagan administrations. he was a coordinator for policy towards the future of envoy toan and u.s. --thern ireland -- northern northern ireland peace talks. a nonresident senior fellow at the brookings institute and a principal. during the last administration he served as assistant to the
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president and national security advisor. she served as a deputy director of the central intelligence advisor toand legal the security council, in addition to other senior legal positions. is ann hadley international strategic firm. of the u.s.chair institute of an executive vice chair of the board of the atlantic council. he served for four years as assistant to the president for national security affairs from 2005 to 2009. he was the assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor, serving under condoleezza rice.
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he previously served on the national security council staff from 1989e department to 1993. i think our witnesses for joining us. your testimony will be made part of the record. i will recognize you each for five minutes. we will begin with dr. haas. >> thank you and good morning. let me say that recent events that we are discussing today did not take place in a vacuum. they can only be understood in the backdrop of history, in particular, recent history. i would highlight the american decision in 2018 to exit the and thelear agreement
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decision to introduce significant sanctions against iran. they constituted a form of economic warfare. iran was not in a position to therefore tond conclude that they needed to be removed. it is important to point out that the u.s. did not provide a diplomatic alternative to iran when imposed these sanctions. this was the context in which the targeted killing of soleimani took place. this event needs to be assessed from two vantage points. justified to been attack if he was involved in mounting an attack that was imminent.
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supporting these criteria that were met with evidence, it should be. oft took was in action choice rather than necessity? i fear that it will lead to an open-ended conflict between the toolsnd iran with many and few red lines will be observed. the president tweeted yesterday that the question of eminence does not really matter. i would respectfully disagree. it is essential to the concept of preemption, which is treated as a legitimate form of self-defense. preventive attacks are something very different. they are mounted against a gathering threat, rather than an eminent one. it would be one on which conflict was present -- prevalent. is no doubt that the
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chairman said mr. soleimani had blood on his hands and was a force for instability in the region, but just because he was evil and just because killing him may have been legally justifiable does not make it wise. other andre were better ways to reestablish deterrence with iran. secondly, the killing interrupted what i believe were andul political dynamics thirdly, u.s. iraqi ties were deeply strained. we have been forced to send more forces to the region rather than making them available elsewhere. challenges,rldwide i do not believe it is in our strategic interests to have a new war in the middle east and iran has already announced plans jcpoa, which with
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will shrink the window it needs to build a nuclear weapon, if it decides to do so. it will present the u.s. and israel with difficult and potentially costly choices. i am confident that many of you will disagree with part or all of my assessment, but however we got here, we are where we are. let me say a few things about where we are, what we can expect and me a few policy recommendations. man is not standing down. takell continue to military action against the u.s. and secondly, president trump was cleared. this stance is welcome, but is insufficient.
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denied a newo be -- year nuclear capability. there is the danger at some point but it would move to put together a force and present the world with a faded complete. it would be more than enough to persuade it neighbors to do the same. ach a scenario would be humanitarian nightmare. the jcpoa was intended to lessen the on secessionist -- to such a scenario. we can discuss the strengths and weaknesses in detail. let me say one thing that i know will come up about it. i understand they did not constrain legal activities. arms control cannot be expected to accomplish everything. if we insist that it do so, it
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will accomplish nothing. pushing back against what iran is doing in the region? that is something that we must do for ourselves. perfect at the expense of the impossible. let me make a few recommendations. the u.s. should work closely with its allies to put together the outlines of a new agreement. presenting iran with a new deal. it would establish longer-term in exchange for sanctions relief. any suchshould approve agreement to remove the concern that he could be easily outdone by any president and such initiatives should emerge from consultations with allies.
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it.s less effective for this proposal should be specific and articulated in public. the reason it should be talked about publicly is we should the government in tehran to explain to the people why it rejects a fair proposal that would reduce sanctions and raise the standard of living for all iranians, just so we can pursue national surety goals. i guess the backdrop of sanctions, create a good context for such a sincere public initiative. that wealso understand have brought about a dangerous situation, in which iran is slowly but utterly breaking out of the constraints of the accord. it will reduce the time it needs. it is essential that iran understand the limits for what
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we are prepared to tolerate. it should be communicated to wem and with the allies should repair our relationship with iraq. we do not want to open them to greater influence, nor do we want to see a threat of sanctions. so too should the threats remain absent. will be forcedce to spend its time protecting it self and will be unable to partner with iraqi forces against terrorists. point made one other about accepting political reality. regime change in iran is unlikely.
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the assessment one day proves wrong, there is no way of knowing that it will prove wrong. regime change cannot be the basis of u.s. strategy. it is beyond our capacity to engineer. even when regime change happens, it is not nearly a what we do need is a strategy for dealing with the iran that exists, and policies consistent with that strategy. our objective should be to behavior, to notion -- to negotiate an outcome of the nuclear and missile realms acceptable to both entries, and through our actions in the region to lead iran to conclude it will fail if it tries to destabilize the middle east. thank you for this opportunity to appear here today. miss haynes.l:
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thanks for inviting me. i am honored. chairman engel: can you move the -- mike closer? >> yes. during my time in government, our goals were to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and to counter iran's destabilizing behavior from its growing ballistic missile arsenal to its use of proxies to human rights abuses at home, all while avoiding a war. these are still the right goals in my view. they are not dissimilar to those articulated by the current administration. approacherned that the being taken, including the targeted killing of qassem soleimani and iraq is not one that wealth serves these goals. a fundamental pillar of u.s.-iran policy was the jcpoa,
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at the center of our efforts because we realized a nuclear-armed iran would make broader challenges harder to address. while not perfect, the jcpoa cut af iranian pathways to nuclear bomb in constrained its nuclear program. the jcpoa was never intended to stand alone, but it was seen as part of a wider strategy to reduce iran's destabilizing influence, strengthen voices of those pushing back against the iranian government's threatening policies, and engage iran diplomatically to avoid inadvertent escalation, while putting pressure on the iranian unacceptablenge behavior at home and abroad. walking away from the j copa gas from the jcpoa and oppose a sanctions on iran, the result has been iran conducted
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increasingly provocative actions in the gulf and read -- in the and -- in the gulf restarted its suspended nuclear program. u.s. allies are instead concerned with what they perceive to be unpredictable and escalatory behavior on the part of both countries, and have focused their efforts on trying to de-escalate the situation. meanwhile, withdrawal from the jcpoa strengthened hard-line voices in iran. we are without hope for another deal that would restrict iran's nuclear program, let alone other destabilizing activity. -- as it did in the lead up to the jcpoa, affected the jcpoa, affected the political calculus associated with making a deal. no iranian analyst will tell you sanctions are likely to have a meaningful impact on the regime. this is because the availability
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of resources for foreign proxies are relatively small as a budget line item and has never been a serious constraint on iran's regional interference. to avoid disrupting the deal, the jcpoa was a constraint on aggressive behavior by the iranian regime against the u.s. iran responded to the maximum pressure campaign with steps intended to pressure the u.s., including targeting american assets directly and through proxies. but instead of carefully managing the escalation by responding with proportionate actions intended to push back on such aggressive behavior by iran, to de-escalate, the president seemingly stepped back engage in aided to targeted killing of the most iranian commander
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without consultation with our allies and coalition partners. ismany noted, soleimani responsible for the killing of many americans, but the question is not whether soleimani deserved his fate. the question is whether it served u.s. interests and made us safer. the administration argued it was taken in self-defense to disrupt imminent attacks on was necessary to stave -- to save lives. comment by the secretary of defense sunday appear to contradict that action and it appears the action was taken to iranians.sage to the if that is the case, our partners and allies will view it as a violation of international law. action would predictably be perceived by iran as an effective declaration of war by the u.s. directly following the strike,
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we sent thousands of additional troops to the region to defend our people and assets, in light of an ongoing spots to the therebyof soleimani, putting more americans in harm's way. we brought the fight against standstill,rtual nato suspending its mission on the ground in iraq, and the ejection of our troops from the country. we have lost standing in the region. and iran announced it will move further away from the deal by restarting additional elements of its nuclear program, and the u.s. is more isolated than ever. given where we are today, we desperately need to invest in diplomatic efforts, ideally with our allies to reduce tensions and identify a path forward for negotiations while promoting a stable order that better serves security, human rights and civic engagement to provide hope for a way forward that does not an eggs verbally lead, as we are in opposition, to a scenario in
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which the administration finds itself facing the choice the jcpoa was intended to avoid. that is a choice of either letting iran obtain a nuclear weapon or bombing iran, and thus launching what could easily become a full-scale regional war the u.s. finds itself dragged into, having forgotten the lessons of our past. let me thank all of you for your work on these issues and efforts to promote american security and prosperity. thank you.gel: mr. hadley. can you pull your microphone closer, please? thank you. i have lost my testimony skills. [laughter] thank you for the opportunity to appear today. to provide context, i would like brieflye to describe
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the underlying dynamic that led to the confrontation between the u.s. and iran in iraq. in the fall of last year, iranians demonstrated across their country in large numbers, protesting the ineffectivness of their government. iranian consulates in iraq were burned and demonstrates called for iran to leave iraq, chanting out out, iran. beginning last october, and iranian-backed militia began a series of attacks on iraqi military bases hosting u.s. forces. hezbollah would not have acted without the authority of iranian authorities in general and qassem soleimani in particular.
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i believe it was intended to shift the issue from iranian influence to the issue of u.s. force presence, to ultimately get u.s. forces thrown out of iraq. butcampaign escalated -- what was the alternative? the united states could not just stand by while military and diplomatic personnel were attacked and killed. the u.s. administration clearly believed that striking soleimani was so significant politically and militarily that it would cause iran to abandon its u.s. campaign against u.s. troops and diplomats in iraq. the problem was that the strike occurred in iraq. fear of becoming a central
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battleground in a military confrontation between the u.s. and iran is being used justify calls for the expulsion of u.s. forces from iraq. but a u.s. withdrawal would only kata hezbollah and jeopardize the fight against isis, a terrible outcome for the united states and iraq. to keep u.s. forces in iraq, iraqi authorities will have to manage the domestic political fallout of the strike on soleimani. the u.s. administration and congress can help by making public statements affirming that america respects the sovereignty and independence of iraq, that u.s. forces are in iraq to train iraqi forces and help them protect iraqi people from a resurgent isis, that the u.s. will coordinate with the iraqi government on matters involving and so. troop presence,
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long as u.s. troops and diplomats in iraq are not threatened, america's confrontation with iran will not be played out on iraqi territory, and that the united states supports the aspirations of the iraqi people for a government that can meet their needs and expectations and is free of corruption, sectarianism and outside influence. after iran's recent missile attacks in retaliation for the strike on soleimani, both iran and the u.s. appear to have stood down militarily. despite tough, uncompromising statements, both sides have said want to avoid war and left the door open for negotiations per neither iran nor the u.s. appears positioned or inclined to mount a diplomatic initiative, so that role must be played by third parties. european countries that participated in the jcpoa nuclear deal, american regional allies and russian president vladimir putin are all potential candidates.
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iran's current policy is going nowhere. we cannot sanctions imposed by the u.s. administration could reignite massive public demonstrations that iran put down last fall with brutal force. the past have in been pragmatic when their hold on power was threatened. mayver grudgingly, they decide negotiations are the least bad option. for its part, the administration says its goal is to begin negotiations to address iranian ballistic missile and regional activities. now may be the time to give diplomacy a chance. chairman engel: thank you, mr. hadley. committee has received a lot of conflicting information about the killing of general received, but have not any evidence showing this strike or any other strike was necessary to prevent an imminent attack.
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a -- let alone an attack on four u.s. embassies, as the president disclaiming. the secretary of defense says he doesn't have evidence of that's overseas either. as someone with significant experience on security matters like this, does it make sense that a military airstrike would be planned and carried out if the secretary of defense was unclear why it was needed? does it make any sense to you that if this strike was indeed necessary, to save four embassies from attack, administration officials would have left this out of their official justification? and shouldn't we have heard about a variety of demonstrable steps at those embassies to prepare for an attack? what you make of these claims by the president? chairman.ou, i think the number of conflicting comments being made
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by senior administration officials about whether there was in fact any threat, and the degree of the threat, are really concerning. access to have classified information i don't have access to. i can't tell you whether there is some story there that provides a basis for the action that was taken. but what is in the public realm --s not add up to eminence at up to imminence as i have applied it as a lawyer and policymaker. and i think it is important when you take an action like this to be as transparent and have as consistent a message coming out of the government about why it is we felt it was absolutely necessary to take this action. and that is true not just from a legal matter, but really a policy perspective, which is to say our allies and partners are watching us and trying to
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understand why it is we took this action, why we thought it was absolutely necessary. us,as been noted by all of it has iraq wondering why that is. and we would not have had legal basis for taking an action against soleimani in iraq without their consent without it inent threat, and they want to know what that threat is, and nothing said so far back that up. i won'tsaid before, mourn the loss of qassem soleimani. he was a bad guy and had the blood of thousands on his hands, fueled the many civil war and imprisoned the people of lebanon through iran's support of has bala -- supportive has ezbollah. me wasncerned
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predictable consequences. you outlined several consequences of the withdrawal of the nuclear deal, including a possible u.s. troop departure from iraq. let me ask you this. what should the trump administration to do -- administration do to de-escalate regional tensions? at work at the administration do to ease tensions with iran and move toward diplomacy? >> thank you, sir. there is something of an opportunity now for diplomacy. ended his statement saying, this was the time. the sanctions have had much more of an effect than people have predicted. i have done several books on and igs -- on sanctions underestimated what unilateral sanctions in this regard could accomplish. i think also the ukrainian air alreadyhas built on
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discontent within iran, the sense that the government there is putting too much into guns and not enough into butter. up to now, we haven't given the iranians a diplomatic option. speech inpompeo's 2018 had all the features of an official grand bargain. i took it as a nonstarter. to me it was tantamount to regime change or capitulation. what i think we ought to do, and could have done conceivably if we had stayed in jcpoa, which would have been to get an extension of the so-called sunset provision, but that is over for now, so i think we ought to go public with a modified agreement, and we can nuclearf constraints on activity, centrifuges and enriched uranium are open-ended or for three or four decades or what have you. we can decide whether to bring missiles into it, which i would do. and i think we ought to talk
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about the degree of explicit sanctions relief that would accrue to iran if they would sign up to that kind of agreement. and i think we would find the allies would support us. today's newspapers indeed have stories about the allies being concerned about iran's breakout from the jcpoa. so i think we would have significant multilateral backing there, and ig think even the russians and chinese would be attracted to something that would be diplomatic and change the momentum. the time is right to put forward an initiative. is an interesting latede in iranian in the 1980's. the then supreme leader excepted an outcome to the iran-iraq war that he said he would never accept, but he said, this is like poison to me, but the supreme leader accepted it
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because he thought it was essential at the time to save the 1979 revolution. and it is just possible that we are approaching a moment in iranian history where the sanctions are having sufficient impact, where there might be a greater willingness on the part of the iranian authorities to compromise, particularly with pressure from the street. i could be wrong, i don't know, but i would test it. we will learn a lot about this iranian government and the current context of whether there is the possibility of a deal. if not, we deal with consequences about how we deal with nuclear, missile and regional programs. but let's put out a diplomatic initiative that might be accepted. if not, at least it will be clarified. : since theber mccall maximum pressure campaign was launched, we have seen a more .rovocative iran
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since last october, mr. hadley ,alked about mounting strikes one against a u.s. drone. i remember being at the white house debating what the response should be, many in the room believed there should be a response, that that is all the iranians would understand, that the surface to air missile sites should be hit. and yet the president didn't do that, he showed great restraint and decided not to respond, and he got some criticism for doing that. and as months went on, strikes continued to mount, culminating , and attack on our embassy at some point in the killing of an american, and i think a response is necessary when our embassy is attacked. the final tipping point before the president made this decision
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and i agree, mr. chairman, it could be clearer and we could declassify more of this to put it out in the open with the american people, not jeopardizing assets on the 's isd, but soleimani traveling to damascus and lebanon and ending up in baghdad meeting with his number-two guy. the redline is an american being killed, so soleimani, he is seeing this, he is meeting in baghdad, he is flying to tehran to meet with the ayatollah, in my judgment to get the green light to start the operation. some say days, some say weeks, regardless of the timing, the had done, if he nothing of the scenario played out where hundreds of americans were killed at our embassy and our bases and possibly another 1979, were diplomats are taken hostage, then what? mr. hadley, can you answer the
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question of the significance of the strike on soleimani, and whether that provides any deterrent to the iranians? the think that is administration's hope. i think the run-up is very much as you described. meanst know what imminent in any context, but we were in the middle of a pattern of escalating attack on american personnel, diplomatic and military, and it sounds imminent enough to meet to justify a strike. i think the purpose was to try fromter the iranians continuing up this escalatory ladder that was going to put more american men and women and iraqis at risk. that is what they tried to do. the statements secretary pompeo made thereafter, that if there was escalation by the iranians,
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even targets in iran were not off the table, was again an effort to try to reestablish deterrence, prevent this from and -- andto war, open the door for a negotiating track with -- which the administration has said they are open to. i think that is one of the things that joins all three witnesses here, that that is what we hope is the next step here. we think there is an opportunity, and we ought to take advantage of it. that wasember mccaul: my next question. i think all of you agree with the pivot, if you will. the response from iran was a face-saving measure in my judgment, no casualties.
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i see this as a window of opportunity now to exercise diplomacy. and you talked about nato as well. , whatthe three of you would this diplomacy look like moving forward? >> primarily it is actually putting forward what the administration would be interested in reaching a deal on. that is a critical aspect of the next step. the present has described what they put on the table as a nonstarter. there has to be a process that you need, to start to pull them in in order to do this. can i saw -- can i also respond to your earlier point? i don't think anybody thinks we
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should not have responded at all to iran. the real concern is the way this response was done. in some respects, the stepping back and encouraged them to do more, instead of a response early on. and then, when there was a response, it was so escalatory it created a situation that makes it more challenging to go down this road now, then it was before. ranking member mccaul: the chairman and i agree the world is safer without this man. he was a mastermind of terror. he killed a lot of americans and wounded soldiers, like the man in front of me who doesn't have any legs anymore. i don't have any sympathy for the man. chairman engel: mr. sherman. mr. pompeo'se: absence today is the loudest testimony. it speaks volumes. it shows the secretary of state cannot make -- cannot defend the decision-making process that led us to this point.
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cannot defend the process that --arently led the president the president did not hear from experts on what effect this would have on policy. heardntly the president from no experts on the politics of europe, the economics or politics of iran or iraq, and apparently the president did not hear from any experts on shiite islam on what the effect would be on creating a martyr in front 's a people whose religion foundational event was the martyrdom of hussein 1300 years ago. the secretary of state cannot defend a process in which lindsey graham is given advanced notice on a golf course, but the group of eight congressional
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leaders, a group that has never leaked, is not given advance notice. he can't defend a process where a disdainful tweet is tweeted by the president as official notice that he may take future military action. he cannot defend a process in told in aress is not classified briefing that four embassies were targeted, but he is free to tell a rally in toledo. the only defense there might be that he might have been lying in toledo. so the secretary's failure to come here speaks quite loudly about a presidential decision-making process that was shallow, simplistic and disdainful. effect of this attack was to undermine our support in iraq,
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and to strengthen the regime in to continueow it its policies, notwithstanding our sanctions. but then, an intervening and unpredicted event occurred. we helped the regime by creating one martyr. 176regime just created martyrs. ukraine air 752 was shot down, and now the regime has arrested a few people. we don't know whom, or at least i don't know whom. they will try to focus on some enlisted man who pushed a button, with only 10 seconds to make a decision. what they will try not to focus on was the ministerial-level alteron not to ground or civilian air traffic, knowing that they had put their air defense system on hair-trigger alert, and i know they will
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focus on the decision by top regime officials to lie to the iranian people when they knew the truth. i will ask any witness, but hadley, and ir. know we were talking about this more authoritarian regime might have lied to its people longer, but i think it is clear to the world the plan they had was to lie, and then there was just too much evidence in the hands of ukrainians and others. to lie to thesion lyingn people, and keep at the highest levels of the uranian government -- at the highest levels of the iranian government? >> i don't think we know how this sorted out.
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which is a very powerful force in the iranian government, was going to take the fall for this because it was there forces that essentially shotdown the airplane -- down the airplane. and it is a natural human reaction to lie and deny when you have been caught in a bad action. and i think that was their reaction. would not the: supreme leader have known within 24 hours of the downing of the plane that in fact iranian forces brought it down? >> i don't know. i can't answer that. chairman engel: does anyone here know who the iranian have arrested so far -- who the iranians have arrested so far? >> my time is expired. news, theng to abc
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chairman of the joint chiefs general mark milley said the attack that killed a u.s. civilian contractor and wounded several u.s. and iraqi forces was intended to kill, soleimani kill, andani -- to soleimani approved it. the ranking member set a moment ago, not to act would have been negligent. former homeland security secretary jeh johnson said soleimani was a lawful, military objective. mr. hadley, you said the u.s. could not just stand by way -- while its personnel were attacked and killed. , soleimani is directly responsible for killing 600 americans and disabling thousands more, responsive -- responsible for death and injury of civilians in the region.
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he was a mass murderer. he orchestrated 11 attacks on u.s. troops in iraq and the last 11 months. one ofone of your colleagues sat according to the council on foreign relations, no president, we are talking about president obama, used drone strikes more than president obama, who ordered 542 drone strikes, people,more than 3700 including civilians. they were not as high a target, they were not a mass murderer of the caliber and degrading inluence that soleimani had the region and in his own country. killedople were protesting, demanding democracy, demanding change, they sold -- they showed them no mercy. he showed them no mercy. let me ask a question in regards to the money claimed by iran as
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, result of the iranian american den european nuclear arms deal. i asked the secretary in july 2015, how much are we talking about? was 100 billion dollars, the new york times suggested 100 billion dollars, he said it was $115 billion theoretically but probably closer to $58 billion, $59 billion. we don't have a clear sense of that, but it is a lot of money if that is how much it was. my question is, how much money did iran actually get? how much of that was deployed to fund terrorism, including the purchase of weapons, to pay the forceroops, the quds which has massively expanded its operation. personally benefit
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when all that money was sent on pallets? who got that money? where did it go? many of my colleagues have asked that question. -- it fund errors him terrorism. when he answered the question, weretary lew, he said don't have any money going to malign purposes. to give such massive amounts of money to mass murderers, terrorists, it is unconscionable. so how much? can anybody speak to that with any kind of clarity? idea that billions of dollars that came out of the deal were then used to launch ballistic missiles or to fund irgc, it is patently untrue.
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theesentative: so none of money has been used for that? >> let me finish my answer. in return for a verifiable hall to iran's nuclear program, the united states and our partners provided relief from nuclear sanctions to iran. even senior trump administration officials conceded the vast majority of iran's unfrozen funds, funds that were there is that we had frozen at they were then able to access, went to domestic requirements, including debt servicing. height more, even at the of international sanctions, rgc andamply funded the i his proxies, so it is not the case iran needed unfrozen funds to sustain their activities. the irgc has a relatively small budget and built hezbollah. : how much of the
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money was diverted to buy weapons from russia? >> i don't know. the point is, they could conduct those activities without this money. representative: more money means more of it. >> let me say a couple of things. if you get money, it could be used for whatever purpose you want. you werethe funds talking about, all of them were iranian. i would like to focus on the first thing you said, because you opened up something that hasn't been talked about in the narrow debate of imminence. wasn't met, or is the president said, imminence doesn't matter, than the only rationale for what the united states did is either prevention, and that is open-ended, or it is retaliation for what soleimani had done in the past. if we are talking about justifying the use of american military force for either
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prevention or for retaliation, that is basically cold war. war.sically called that is why we fight wars, we want to prevent things or we want to retaliate. imminence is prevention. under the u.n. charter gives you the right event to support tory self-defense. it is special, you hit a missile when it is about to be launched, you had an airplane when it is about to take off, to do retaliation prevention is a big step rate i am not saying it is wrong, i am saying it is a big step. nuclearwas developing a weapons program and we said, we have to stop it, it is the kind of thing israel did against iraq and syria. those were preventive strikes. it is a big step we have to think about. aumf, werstand the
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don't have authority at the moment to carry out preventive -- representative: jeh johnson said soleimani was a lawful military objective. you don't agree? >> i don't agree. he is an agent of a state, of a country. state, of a country. if he were simply working for a terrorist organization, we have all the authority we want. but as an official of the iranian who was using terror-like tactics -- representative: he was designated a terrorist by the obama administration. >> i question the validity. he was an agent of a state. i am not saying it is right or wrong, i am saying it is a big step that we need to think about. we may want to do it, we may not want to do it, that the idea to use military force to prevent tour retaliate against -- prevent or retaliate against
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iranian officials is a big step for the united states and is something this committee in congress more broadly onto comp template the pros and because of doing it. thank you.gel: it is false to compare the legality of strikes against al qaeda and osama bin laden with the killing of iranian officials, because congress specifically authorized strikes against al qaeda after 9/11. we never authorized strikes against iran, and to say otherwise is not factually correct. mr. meeks. thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you dr. haass. clearly the administration initially thought they did not to do theuthority to do the strike, other than utilizing the fact that there was an imminent threat.
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they thought they had other avenues with which to justify, and over the first couple of days they did it -- they said they did it because it was an imminent threat. and then the president said he thought four embassies were threatened. when you talk about the assassination of general soleimani, it was not to stop attackinent iranian against the united states peered nothing i have seen and classified settings or otherwise has shown me one shred of support for the initial claim that there was some threat. informationcting and excellent nations coming it ishe administration, particularly striking that secretary pompeo is not here today to speak directly to this committee. over and over again, we see from the trump administration a clear
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disregard for congressional oversight responsibilities as an equal branch of government. and with this escalation of hostilities in the middle east, we see other consistent strategy,no conflicting stories and downright lies. i have disagreed with actions of previous administrations when it came to acts of military aggression that set us on a course for war, but i have to say this. toleast they showed up produce a case. this administration does not even have the guts to make the case for what it did, whether it was preemptive, preventive, defensive or simply retaliation. congress must have the facts surrounding this assassination. our men and women in uniform deserve the facts. the american people deserve the facts. congress demands those facts in the face of those hostile actions by the president of the united states.
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president trump may have infatuation for, as we have seen during the course of his office, dictators and authoritarian governments, but we have neither of those in the u.s., and congress and the american people must get answers. arelist of actions that legally and strategically questionable continues to pileup in this administration, and yet they refused to provide clear and honest answers. pulling out of the jcpoa, no strategy. abandoning the kurds, no strategy. the specific benefit of assassinating soleimani, no strategy. suggesting the u.s. would destroy cultural sites in iran, no strategy. denying iran's foreign minister a visa to go to the u.n., no strategy. suggesting we will punish iraq if it follows through on expelling our military, no strategy. we need answers. were u.s. embassies in jeopardy of attack or not?
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what do the american people need to know about talks with iran facilitated by switzerland? what happened in yemen? and what happens now if by this strike we have taken attention away from the strike against isis? the focus has shifted, at least for now. and then i hear the president is now saying that nato should be more involved, there were questions of whether or not he informed our nato allies before the strike, what he was going to do or why he was going to do it, we don't know, but going to our allies after the fact seems to me to be questionable. i would like to know from your estimation, what specific role could and should nato play with respect to the middle east, given the u.s. withdrawal from the jcpoa? and what parameters are necessary before the alliance
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considers additional operations in the region and are working collectively as one? >> thank you, sir. as a first step, it is not nato but it involves several european members of nato, i think would jcpoa, whatt on the i call 2.0, some future initiative, and also discuss how we would respond in terms of sanctions to a gradual iranian breakout to the 2015 agreement. that ought to be a u.s.-european undertaking. we also ought to be dealing with saudi arabia and others about the possibility iran will undertake other military actions
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. i don't want to see a repeat of the sort of thing we saw when saudi oil installations were attacked. i think that erodes deterrence. formally,f nato more this is an obvious out-of-area mission, and the question is whether it is protecting oil traffic. one can imagine certain efforts to protect certain countries in the region. and i think we have a much better chance of getting nato to do something like this, if it were done in a larger context. -- fort is pretty gas critical the president's action to take out soleimani. this president's aggressiono iranian
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has been very restrained, whether it was shooting down our drone or attacks on international shipping or their overall general aggression in the region. this president has not taken significant military action. even in this case, it was very targeted, decisive, justified, i would argue long overdue when one considers how much lead, american blood and others that this monster had on his hands. and its good he is dead is good there wasn't significant collateral damage. this president showed great responsibility, and i think we should be proud of the action he took. there aresaid, ongoing protests now,
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accelerated protests really, because of the airliner being shot down by the iranians. the previous administration got some criticism when, during the green movement, when people were protesting and they were put down most viciously and aggressively by the iranian government at the time, and there should have been a more significant american response, then the government uses that against people that are protesting and say, you are in cahoots with americans, so there is an argument on both sides, but the protesting is ongoing now, and i think certainly most of us would like to support that. interested, since we have a distinguished panel of experts here, is the best way for us and our allies to support
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these protesters. because the president's beef is with the mullahs and the government that suppresses these people, not the iranian people. we are on the side of the iranian people. what can we do to assist them? >> it is a very good question. it is tricky, because one thing authoritarian regimes do when there are demonstrations against them is to blame them on outside powers. so anything we will say will be used as evidence that, ah hah, the americans are behind these demonstrations, and to try to discredit them. that being said, i think the administration is right. prior administrations have made it clear we are on the side of the iranian people for a government that is more accountable, that is paying attention to their needs, that provides their prosperity, security and a brighter future for them.
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we ought to be very clear about that, and at the same time disparaging them by, the government, by saying, instead of operations in syria, lebanon, iraq, the iranian government ought to be taking care of people at home. we ought to make that clear. and the third thing we ought to make clear, and a think we can and hopefully get other countries to join us, there is no justification for a government to use a lethal force against peaceful demonstrators. that is a general principle we all should subscribe with, and hopefully that will deter iranian authorities from further crackdown against their own people as they demonstrate against the incompetence of their own government. >> i fully agree with what mr. hadley said, and would say on that last point that i think one of the things the administration could easily be doing now is working with partners and allies
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to reinforce that message to create deterrence on that point. another thing i believe the administration could do to support the iranian people is to lift the ban on visas. s to comecommon iranian to the u.s. is critical for us in developing those relationships and promoting an understanding better the iranian people and giving them a voice on these issues. >> i agree with all the statements by my colleague sarah. withld think that, again, an initiative that specifically promised sanctions relief that would help the iranian people if there government would change its ways, i think that needs to be in public. that would help. it would also help if we are content -- are consistent. opportunistic for the united states to simply
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single out repression in iran. last i checked, it is going on and a lot of other countries. there has been a democratic recession over the last decade and a half. and if we stand up with the iranian people and it is part of a consistent policy, it will be taken much more that this is not regime change by another name. if we stand up and are more critical about what the chinese are doing, what the russians are doing, what is happening in the philippines, saudi arabia, there are too many places these days. but if we stand up and make it clear this is part of a larger policy that we stand for people's rights everywhere, that will be much better received within iran. we appreciate: the esteemed experts here today, but it is shameful the secretary of state is not before us to answer the questions of the american people. this administration may disregard congress as a coequal branch of government. they may ignore congressional
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authority to authorize the use of military force, but i would remind the secretary we are the elected representatives of the american people. the president has given more information to fox news than members of congress. but with each new piece of information, the story gets more and more confusing. inflicting explanations from the white house, state department and defense department should give all americans pause, not pause as to whether soleimani was a bad man who deserved his fate. he was and he's did -- he was and he did. but pause to ask the question whether this action makes us safer today. and the question of whether we can believe the president in the context of our national security. it is beyond defensive that some, including the president of the united states, suggest that by asking for verification of intelligence after a significant military escalation, somehow members of congress, who swore an oath to this country, are defending the man responsible
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for the deaths of hundreds of americans. we have a solemn duty to know that if we are sending american men and women into harm's way, we are doing so because it is the only way to preserve our national security. solemn duty as elected representatives, and i cannot understand why anyone is surprised that we might want to ask some questions when such an abrupt and escalatory action is taken. my record on this committee, going after iran's malign activities and support of terrorism speaks for itself, as does the chairman and many others who have spent decades working the iranian regime from obtaining a nuclear weapon, spreading terrorism and destabilizing the region and violating human rights. and our colleagues on the other of the aisle understand that i that, and i am
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sure none of them would suggest any of us here is on the side of terrorists. today is of us committed to strengthening our national security. members of congress know that, knows that, and they ought to act accordingly, in word, action and on twitter. dr., as you have said, we are where we are now, soleimani is dead and the house has spoken in the president's authority to start a war with iran. that doesn't change the fact iran still has ballistic missiles and still provides proxies with weapons and still could resume its march to nuclear weapons, and still violates the rights of protesters. in october, the ban on conventional weapons sales to iran is going to expire. so in the absence of any international coalition or
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negotiations, what steps can be taken to address these threats? and what do we make of the europeans's decision to trigger the dispute mechanism in the jcpoa to hold iran to its commitments? >> the news about the europeans is very good news. it suggests we are not alone. concerned about iran's nuclear behavior, missiles and regional behavior is widespread. the jcpoa was a collective effort. it is not too late to revive multilateralism. that is serious. all of us worked with the iranians on this issue, and they were not dragged along kicking and screaming, they were in many cases ahead of us. so we have real partners dealing with iran, and i think that would be tremendous support for some type of initiative that extendedthe jcpoa end
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some of the constraints on iran, in exchange for a degree of sanctions relief. i think there would be a lot of openness to that idea. what we were talking about a minute ago, tremendous concern about human rights in the political situation in iran, so i think we will find we are knocking on an open door, and some type of collective effort. the other thing you heard from all three of us is the importance of repairing the u.s.-iraqi relationship. think about it. goal was tomani's drive the u.s. out of iraq. we wanthe world would to facilitate his success after his death? we ought to make sure that doesn't happen. steve hadley gave a lot of good ideas about ways we could signal, almost help the iraqi government manage iraqi
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politics. we could also look at creative things. when i was in the pentagon years ago when we were building central command, we looked at the idea of presence without stationing. there are ways to have a regular force presence without or is being permanent. this may help the iraqi government manage the politics without a serious diminution of our capabilities. it may be impossible to go back exactly where we were with iraq, that it has to be a priority of the u.s. not to allow iran really make, to put it bluntly, to finlandize iraq. it need not happen and we don't want to see groups like isis start up again and resume their business. we made so much progress in iraq, whatever you thought of the 2003 war, we made a lot of progress there. to throw it away over this seems self-defeating and counterproductive. we need to get on it.
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wilson: laste week, senator joe lieberman, democrat, provided an op-ed, and i quote, president trump's order to take out soleimani was correct. no american can dispute organized a network that wreak havoc in the middle east. during the iraq war, soleimani oversaw three camps in iran that rained fighters who have killed more than 600 american troops. the claim president trump had no authority to order this attack without congressional approval untenablepproval is and practically senseless. acting quickly to eliminate a threat to the u.s. is inherent.
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democrats should stand together against iran and dangerous like soleimani. end of quote. joe lieberman really tells the truth in mr. hadley, i am grateful you cited the murder of norway's homamid. he was an iraqi happen american contractor killed two weeks ago, -- icfornian killed positives coming. and mr. hadley, it is encouraging to see that our european allies are changing their policies on sanctioning of iranian authoritarians. what progress do you see in that regard?
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thet is interesting that europeans, that is france, germany and the u.k., indicated that they were going to go to the united nations to raise the issue of iranian noncompliance, and potentially start a process that would involve the springing back of the sanctions that were relieved as part of the jcpoa nuclear deal. how far that will go, we don't know. you know, the europeans are try -- trying without joining the administration's policy of maximum pressure are nonetheless trying to preserve that nuclear agreement and to try to keep iran abiding by its terms. and i think that one of the dramas that this committee will want to keep an eye on going forward is if iran does continue its gradual progression to no
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longer observe the limits of that agreement and the time between now and when it can get the nuclear material necessary to make a nuclear weapon reduces from a year to months and maybe weeks, there will be calls for a military action by the united states. there will be calls, i think, within israel. and it is one of the issues, i think, that this committee needs to think about in advance. you're entitled to information about past actions. i think the committee has an opportunity to do some deliberations about what is the framework that should be in place in the event that iran moves in that direction. >> i appreciate raising the threats to israel. we know that it's iran that has placed tens of thousands of rockets with hezbollah and lebanon to challenge and
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threaten the people of israel. they placed tens of thousands of rockets in gaza with hamas to threaten the people of israel. what role would soleimani have played in supporting these terrorist organizations? dr. hadley: soleimani was a government official in the government of iran, that is true. he was also the mastermind of these terrorist militias that iran supported. and he was behind the creation of hezbollah, which was one of his great -- he would say one of his great creations. a presence in southern lebanon that poses a real danger to lebanon. to israel. so he was more than a government official. he was really the master mind of one of the most successful terrorist operations there has ever been. and i think there's very little question that as a matter of defense he got his just desserts. >> and it seems inconceivable to me to hear that there should be
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an immunity for persons because they are a leader of the world's number one sponsor of terrorism. they should be a target. the president acted correctly, protecting american families, protecting iraqi families. but american families first. >> thank you you. mr. connelly. >> thank you to the panel. thank you for your with wonderful work on the council. >> thank you for your dues. >> what's that? >> thank you for your due. [laughter] >> make sure i'm current, will you? my good friend from south carolina, if we follow his logic, we'll be assassinating lots of bad people all over the world because apparently that's all we need. if they're bad people and they're responsible or can be tied to the deaths of americans or allied citizens, it's wild west. we go out and kill them. by the way, without a howdy-doo from congress or any inherent -- coherent rationalization to
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congress or the american people and the consequences be damned. let's not even talk about the consequences. sometimes somebody can be a bad actor that in an ideal world we might want to take out but we have to look at consequences of doing so, none of which happened in this case. that's why we're having this hearing. i understand that wanting to justify or defend the president's actions we might get carried away a little bit, but i don't know, dr. haass, if you want to comment. i'm one of these people who looks at the fact that article one in the constitution is about the powers of congress. and it's article one, not article eight for a reason. the right of the constitution, -- writers of the constitution, our founders felt that war and peace was in congress' hands, not commander in chief. the commander in chief follows only after congress acts on matters of war and peace. in the modern world we've advocated that power time and
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time again because we like having it both ways. that doesn't mean that the president gets unfettered power to make these kinds of decisions without consultation with congress. is that a fair statement, do you think, dr. haas? -- haass? but i'm close me to it. there's fundamental between taking out a member of a terrorist organization and take out an individual who is an official of a nation state who happens to use terrorist organizations to promote what the state sees as its agenda. i'm not saying it's necessarily wrong. i'm saying it's a big step. we have crossed a line here. so i think one thing this committee needs to think about is when it looks at aumfs, none is on the books that allow us to do this as best i understand. i think it's a legitimate question to say do we need to think about aumf where iran -- toward iran that would deal
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with this set where iran would use military force to promote its ends and also the one that steve hadley and i have talked about, the gathering threat on the iranian nuclear side. just say we do get intelligence that iran say week or month away. rep. connolly: let me interrupt you there. i listened to dr. hadley with great interest. i don't think his analysis is wrong about after the fact. what dr. hadley, at least in this set of remarks, did not mention was who ripped up the jcpoa? it wasn't iran. it was president donald j. trump. and that did not make the world safer. it made it more dangerous. it meant we lost all leverage over iran, other than sanctions, and they had nothing left to lose. how can we surprised that they are now deciding, based on the economic pain they're experiencing, because we reimposed sanctions, that they're going to use the one big lever they've got, namely the nuclear development program,
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which is exactly the outcome i thought we and the israeli government wanted to avoid. dr. haass: i don't think we can be surprised. as i said in my statement, we practiced economic warfare. they can't respond symmetrically. so they respond asymmetrically with the only kind of warfare they provide. again, coming back to this committee, i don't think war powers is something that solves this question. i do think the front door of aums, for whatever range we're thinking about for iran, is a subject worthy of your -- rep. connolly: final question because i'm going to run out of time. the assertion has made here that the world is a safer place without soleimani in it, it's been said many times. what about the other side of that coin? what about the fact that by assassinating soleimani, perhaps, unwittingly, we have made the world a more dangerous place, not only for americans but for the region. dr. haass: again as i said, no one mourns his departure, but the question of whether we are safer, i myself have concluded
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that we are not, that this was not a wise course of action. and i thought there were better ways to restore deterrence if that was one of our goals, rather than opening up the kind of scenario i fear we may have opened up here. rep. connolly: and just in terms of timing, and then i'll end, mr. chairman. while we're claiming it's a safer world with soleimani not in it, we evacuated iraq for all americans. we gave a direction to all american civilians in iraq to leave the country. is that correct? dr. haass: i don't know the details of the state department warning, sir. i just don't know the explicit nature of who was advised. rep. connolly: right after it happened the state department urged all americans, civilians, to leave iraq immediately, whether by air or by land, and put americans in the region on high alert. so much i yield back.
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>> thank you, mr. connolly. mr. perry? rep. perry: thank you mr. , chairman. anybody on the panel believe that iran is seeking a peaceful nuclear program for which to general rate power, medical devices, etc.? anybody on the panel believe that? hello? dr. haass: if you want a verbal answer my short answer is no. i think they want to keep the option of having a military program very much alive. rep. perry: any reason to have a heavy water reactor and enrich plutonium if you are going to have a civilian nuclear program? any reason at all? yes, ma'am. ms. haines: i have the same view that dr. haass presented. is there a difference between what you're describing, a peaceful program, with which no
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one believes iran is doing this for peaceful reasons, medical isotopes or things along those lines, versus a decision to actually pursue a nuclear weapon, which is the space we're in right now and we've been trying to manage, in effect. rep. perry: mr. hadley? dr. hadley: we know from intelligence that up until 2003, iran had a covert nuclear weapon program and covert military-run enrichment capability to feed that program, and that they gave it up in 2003 when, after the u.s. invasion in iraq. they thought they were next. and it raises this point that iran has responded to threat ss -- threats to the regime, to change its policy. i think that's what you saw when they gave up their formal nuclear weapon program in 2003 and i think they have continued in infrastructure that's
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-- that gives them the option. and they have kept that alive. rep. perry: do any of you know what's happening in the nuclear program in the military installations and sites that are not inspected by any outside or international agency? none of you know? they could be ready right now for as much as you know, right? they could be ready right now. you can't say they're not, right? we don't think they are, but you can't say they're not. my point is that they're doing this and they're going to do this. and over the course of much of my lifetime, we sat back and watched them do this, and hoped they would stop. right? i don't know if any of you have read the warning to the west, but we don't like confrontation. we hope that it will just be copesetic if we talk to them and be nice. but they are not going to be nice. they have no plans to be. we are fools to believe anything
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other than that. i know my good friend from virginia said that, "well, it is a new thing for america to go around killing people that we disagree with and don't like." i know he's not here. i am fascinated by the fact that there were 526 counter terrorism strikes under the last administration. you know we heard in the committee about that? the human cry. article one, article two, the presidential powers. who does he think he is? you know what we heard? we heard nothing. we were killing terrorists and thank god we were killing terrorists. people in this body, people in this building, people in this town sent people to war knowing this guy walking around kaukt -- around conducting strikes on americans and killing people and innocent people and combatant americans, etc., and did
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nothing. did nothing. the people in this building and the people in this town should be ashamed of themselves. they should be -- it is despicable and unthinkable to me. this president finally did it. there is a ray of sunshine for the world. this guy is a murdering terrorist. what about the consequences? everybody is saying well, we are escalating. do you folks know the last two months, 24 separate attacks on america or america's interests november/december of 2019. wake up everybody? what will it take? how many more lives americans have to leave iraq because soleimani was killed. oh, you can stay and take your chances. you can do that. this is absurd. this hearing is absurd and the subject is absurd. and quite honestly the comments from many of the people in this place have never put on the boots and carried their weapons and defended their country.
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we have put people lives at risk knowing so well -- full well that they should not be there because we did not give a damn to do the right thing to protect them. i yield back. >> miss bass. rep. bass: thank you very much mr. chair. i want to focus my questions on our relationship with iraq. dr. haass, you did begin to respond to that, i want to ask other witnesses if they would as well given what has happened, what is our current state of relationship with iraq? sure, i can only respond obviously based on the information i see in the news and it clearly the strike had an enormous impact on relationship of iraq. i rock has come out and -- iraq has come out and indicated they did not provide consent for this particular strike.
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it had brought parliament to a point where they passed a vote calling for the u.s. forces to leave. we have seen the prime minister indicated that they want delegation to talk about, leaving. this is in many respects exactly what soleimani wanted. as a consequence we are now in a position where it will be likely that it is unsustainable for us to have the presence that we have. i hope that's not true. i hope we can get through this period with them and their domestic politics don't erupt in a way that makes it impossible to stay. rep. bass: i would like to ask your thoughts, mr. hadley on what it would mean if we left. when i saw the protests attack -- protests in the attack on our embassy, i was really shocked. i have been there to the end zone, i went with my colleague on the other side of the isle chavet, and.
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knowing how fortified that area was to see it penetrated the way it was. the iraqi territory just said have at it. i don't know how that could have happened without it. why did they do that? what are the implications if our troops were for sale? -- were forced out? dr. hadley: as i tried to indicate in many testimony, it would be a disaster for iraq and the united states and iraqis would undermine their sovereignty and compromise their ability to deal with isis and open the door to more influence. i am not pessimistic about this. i think it is a political problem for the government in that parliamentary vote. as i understand, all the zuni and kurdish represented state away, clearly do not want to see u.s. forces pulled out. there are demonstrations returning in iraq today and shea
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on the street and they're focused once again on iranian influence. i think if we can buy some time and make this kind of statement that would help the prime minister to deal with the problem politically and start a process of consultation. we can talk about what is the proper mission and configuration and role of u.s. forces now that isis has been forced out and yet is also organizing to return. i think we can change the mission configuration of the forces, make sure we are partnering closely with iraqis and keep a significant force there. i think it is in the interest of the united states and interest of iraq. thinking: dr. haass, of isis and what happened in iraq and also syria and the fact
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that we pulled out of syria and i don't know the status of the isis soldier that were in prison and given iraq and syria, what are your thoughts of a resurgence of isis isis? -- of isis? dr. haass: well, i think it is highly likely, whatever else turkey is, it is not a full partner in this effort. it is not a priority or in some cases for the government and a lot of these people in syria unlike iraq came from around the world. iraqi -- iraqis, in many cases, were much more local. i assume to some extent there is a real danger of reconstitution. will it go back to the way it was? hopefully not. a lot of things have to happen. rep. bass: what is about some of the soldiers going back to europe? dr. haass: oh, again, i think that in large part depends on turkey's behavior. turkey often use the flow of operation and recruits coming to
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the region and people coming back. you have to assume that a certain number will get back europe. this is a permanent challenge to put it bluntly for european security. i don't see it ever disappearing. rep. bass: thank you, i yield back. >> thank you. rep. yoho: thank you, mr. chairman, i appreciate you are holding this hearing. i want to bring back the title of this hearing from sanctions to soleimani strike to escalation. i read here by soleimani, some of the facts you are asked about, most of these are already known. he was iran's most powerful general, he joined the revolutionary guard 1979 during -- in 1979 during the crisis which i remember very well. he rose to their top leader quickly. commander of the iran cut force, responsible for revolution guards foreign operations. he also considered a nemesis to
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-- was considered a nemesis to the u.s. and middle east with american officials blaming him for the deaths and maiming of thousands of american soldier in the regional allies. david patraeus described him as a truly evil figure. before his death, soleimani was called a living martyr of the revolution by iran's supreme leader. he was already considered a martyr for the cause. we just sent him to his rightful place. he did occasionally interfere in iran's domestic policy. dr. haass, you talked about how iran, citizens rose up in 2009, let me tell you about this guy. in july 1999, soleimani cosigned a letter warning the president muhammad that the revolutionary guard would put down the protest if he did not. he's a bad player.
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nobody is disputing that. i want to pivot over to jcpoa. we were here when that was negotiated. i remember very clearly john carry saying no deal is better than a bad deal. i applaud donald trump for pulling out of that. how binding was jcpoa in your opinion? dr. haass: it was binding because the president and the united states entered into a unilaterally with our allies. rep. yoho: was it signed by anybody? dr. haass: physically signed. it was signed by the secretary of state. he represents the united states. rep. yoho: it was never voted on. if i don't sign an agreement to buy a house, it wasn't binding. dr. haass: i disagree with you, sir. when the secretary of state of the united states speaking for the president entering an -- enters into an international agreement, like it or not, that's speaking for the united states.
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rep. yoho: did our senate signed it? pass it? dr. haass: yes. all sorts of things are passed -- that's a legitimate question about whether we move away from the two branches working together in terms of international agreement. rep. yoho: i have to take my time back. it was a bad deal and president trump did well. the release of the money, john kerry, sat here and we said was was that money going to go into the hands of terrorist groups? he said more than likely, yes, it would. he sat right here and said that. i think we can speak loudly today and see the results of that. lot aboutking a imminent threat. is it iran capturing our navy personnel in january of two a 16? was that an imminent threat? his of the attacks on the oil tankers in the strait of hormuz, is that an imminent threat?
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what about hezbollah? what about the rebels taking out the pipelines or firing at u.s. naval ships? what about the killing of u.s. citizens and injuring four other service members? when is an imminent threat imminent? do we wait for the next one, oh, maybe the next one will be imminent. president trump did the right thing. the other thing we don't talk about is the other terrorist that gotten -- that had gotten taken out. he orchestrated attack on u.s. and french emphasis in 1993. it is time somebody take these people out. go back to bill clinton, the book by robert patterson, he was offered osama bin laden over 10 times. he refused to capture or eliminate him. the question is when 9/11 happened, had to bill clinton done his job, what would happen if president trump did not do
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his job? what would happen if president obama remove soleimani when they had the opportunity? would we have our servicemen and women killed? the question about was this the right thing or not. leadership is tough. harry truman says if you can't stand the smoke, get out of the kitchen. president trump did what he had to do and this country is safe. i think the world a safer -- the world is safer and they're going to look at americans and say, thank you for your leadership. i yield back. >> thank you. mr. keating. rep. keating: the people that i represent have one question, are we less safe now than we were before? and i think this is an important hearing because i think to answer to that question is much more fundamental than dealing in the killing of soleimani. are we safer with a maximum pressure campaign we have? that campaign has not been
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successful. i think that's clear. part of the reason, may be the major reason is no diplomatic arm attached to that. there are no intermediaries there. the idea is beat them to submission capitulation and , dictate any response of negotiations. that is perceived no other way by the iranians than a regime change. are we safer with the results that affected our military? we moved more and deployed more troops away from our area and away from dealing with the threat of isis. are we safer as we move our limited naval access through -- assets through that region, take them away from south china sea and other parts of the world. safer with, are we this go it alone strategy we have? that is not just a minor thing. that's something we have that
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that's something we have that our enemies don't have. an historical coalition with our allies. that's a huge difference maker. maybe the biggest, i believe. and what has happened here? we don't give them notice, that's not the killing of soleimani. that's of the troops withtrawl in syria. our allies had troops on the ground uninformed until according to the hearing we had recently, maybe hours that we were going to pull out of there. the inf treaty, delay in ukraine in terms of military asset there and the ttp, you can go on and on. we are not consulting with our coalition. we are turning our back making unilateral actions and saying you better get in line. we are not safer because of that. we pulled out of the jcpo unilaterally. and then, using our own economic powers, putting pressure on our own allies. talking with them in
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an agreement that we joined in together. so, if we are going to have an answer to our we less safer now, i am glad we are talking about these fundamental issues and not getting caught up, a cycle of escalation where there is a shoot from the hip kind of action and a policy filler after that and telling everyone in congress and everyone in america and everyone that's our allies, well, you better get in line and have a cycle of escalation and having that danger. where the only alternative is militarily. can you talk about the bigger picture here and how these actions make us less safe and less alternatives going forward? continue in action where we are dealing with individual incidents. we have to take this further. i will make a short
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comment. i think one of the structural and strategic advantages this country enjoys, and it has been one of the reasons we have been as unsuccessful as we have been since world war ii, is our network of alliances. russia,ke china, unlike soviet union, we have real allies. that allows us to leverage our capabilities. it worked tremendously in the gulf war and has helped keep the peace in asia. obviously in europe. it is demonstrated to be effective, i think we ought to revive it wherever we can and deal with the issues we are talking about. i also think -- it is not the subject of today, but the only way we can again with global challenges is collectively the nature of these challenges doesn't allow any country to
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effectively contend with them. i don't think you will get a lot of argument about the structural advantage or the case, if you well, from collective action. my understanding is from brian hook who i'm sure has testified before this committee, that in the opening days of the administration, they had the view that the nuclear agreement was inadequate inadequate because they did not close the door on iran getting a nuclear weapon and the prior administration did not address ballistic missiles or iranian activity in the region. that brian was designated to try to work with the european allies to come up with a common approach to address those three things was unable to do so. the administration adopted a strategy to try to address these issues. we don't know whether it is going to work at this point. we are in midcourse.
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my understanding is that they continue to talk to our european allies about these issues and the nuclear issues. if we get a negotiation started which i think is the thing we need to do to keep those from escalating further. my time is up. >> i was asked by the administration to get involved when we were discussing this with our european allies to see if we could get them on board. i have been talking to our allies personally and the chances of them walking away from this was when i told them zero. that, do you know what their response was? what's your contingent plan then? they said, well, we are working on it. that's the problem. they act impulsively, well, we are working on it. it is well and good to say we have the discussions. believe me, i was privy to a lot of that. i yield back. >> thank you. mr. kinsinger. rep. kinzinger: a couple of
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points you know, i hear a lot of the safer questions and makes good headlines. i want to say first off, military, the military's prime job is not to be safe. it is to keep the american people safe. the military as an end state and if the end state is avoid using military. we don't necessarily need one at that point except for a defense force. that gets thrown around a lot. i have been clear and consistent since i would have been in congress. i supported the administration going into libya. i said that did not need to come into congress. i can't say that for everybody. i think what's clear and i would love if on every one of these
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strikes the administration would come to congress and we could have a debate and there would be an open and revealing plans and opportunities. what is clear is that when this strike happened on day one, on moment one, the second the news came out, i and many of my friends on the other side of the immediately opposed what happened. i daresay that a lot of people were out making comments didn't even know mr. soleimani's name until he was killed. we look at what that kind of knee-jerk reaction is. the follow-up of this will escalate into world war iii. we heard that on more than one occasion. obviously there is no world war iii right now. i want to look at the history of how we got to this point anyway. so, the other thing people say is well now they're fwoing -- they are going to attack through the proxies. i ask, what's new? and 2009, i20 -- was in iraq, i flew isr's, we operated against both surgeons is in iraq.
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but also against iranian influence in iraq. many of my colleagues here did the same thing. they killed 600 of my fellow men and women in uniform. they have been using their proxies ever since. i remember under the prior administration when we were talking about the isis fight, the concern was when isis was defeated that the iranian proxy would turn against the american presence and iraq. this is not a new response. and so what i would argue if you look over the years of history of iran and history of soleimani, it was nothing but attacks and provocations in the -- against the united states of america. many of us on both sides of the aisle were upset with the administration for not responding to, they say drone attacks, it is the equivalent of the economic damage of 10-f 15. many of us were upset of the -- upset with the administration's lack of response against the saudi's oil fields. and then when the response
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finally comes, the first time the u.s. has taken action against iran in response to the many provocations from iran, they target the one man that's responsible for these provocations and not 100 people that are working a fuel service to the missile site because it would not be escalatory. in the -- and then the response was we are escalating. then we see this unfortunate tragic shootdown of the airliner. many of my colleagues here started claiming it was a response because of the united states escalation. they in essence blamed the shootdown of the airliner, we would not be here if it was not for the united states. i would remind you that when we killed soleimani, the iranians chose to escalate by attacking our bases in iraq and in full expectation of a response by the u.s. president, they had their air defense system on high alert. that's when that happened. did that response come from the united states? no. the president showed great
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restraint to not respond. i don't know if i would have made the rate -- the same decision but i think he made the right decision. we hear a lot about impulsive action and without thinking things through. and just briefly on the jcpoa, i am not going to begin the argument of billions of dollars given to iran or whether it is their asset or nuance or whatever, it is academic argument. is prior to the jcpoa, iran was a player of the region but not a huge one. i know that on the heels of signing the jcpoa, the government of yemen was over thrown and a civil war was started thereby iranian proxies. by the way, they sent not one dollar of humanitarian aid to yemen. i know syria, the presence of iranians in syria showed up immediately after the jcpoa. maybe it was the money or maybe because it was they felt untouchable. when you look at regional behavior, that's essential to
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curtail. i would argue that the destruction and killing of soleimani, all the doomsday scenarios but my friends have predicted, have not come true yet. they may. that's not a result of the united states. that's going to be the result of discrimination decisions. i had questions but i don't have time. i thank all the witnesses for being here and spending time today and your expertise. i yield back. >> thank you. mr. barrow. rep. bera: thank you to the witnesses for your years of service to our country. i would like to first start by -- the area i represent, our hearts go out to his family and it is important for us to protect our citizens and our men and women around the world.
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with that, it is unfortunate that we are seeing such partisan dialogue here. none of us think soleimani was a good guy. was a us agree good guy. all of us agree that he has bordered proxies that had the intent to disrupt the middle east. and moving us away. i think the frustration that many of us have and i would hope folks on the republican side of the aisle feel the same way is the decision-making process. we have had a joint decision-making and i think mr. hadley, you and i chatted about that decision process where you do bring in dissenting opinion. unless there is imminent threat. the administration has not been able to explain to what you say the threat was and in fact it does not appear that there was
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at this particular moment in time that they had to act spontaneously. it serves our country to actually go through that methodical process and understand the consequences of our actions. we may still take those actions but if the administration and congress around the same page, -- congress are on the same page, it does projects strengths as oppose to the lack of strength and cohesion. i think that has what many of us on the democratic side and i would hope the republican side frustrated with this administration. maybe ms. haynes or mr. hadley, both the bush administration and obama administration had discussions about removing mr. soleimani and came to a different discussion. a jointe decision-making process that took place in both the administration's that you can talk about? they waived the consequences of these actions, is that correct, and came to a different conclusion? >> congressman, that's a good
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question, i am going to answer based on my own imperfect recollection. i do not remember the issue of taking out soleimani. i know the general have said in january of 2007, he was monitoring the convoy which he believed soleimani was present and he contemplated taking him out at that point in time and decided not to do so. again, my colleagues mercedes -- colleagues may disagree. i am not aware if that had came into the white house before or during that decision. it was an operational decision. canid not have so far as i recall, formal consideration. rep. bera: and in the obama administration? ms. haines: thank you, congressman. in the obama administration, and
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again, also with my personal recollection, there was not a particular decision teed up in the formal process whether we should take action or not in a particular scenario but certainly the question of soleimani was much discussed and the irgc was much discussed and so on. in general, the consequences of an action like that as you say would have to go through an enormous process and certainly was one that we were thinking of what are the pros and cons, you have the ability to do it is not enough. i think the question is whether or not it is a wise decision. rep. bera: if i can play off of that, how the iranians, had their ballistic missiles landed and killed multiple american troops, we would have been compelled to counter a response. ms. haines: absolutely. rep. bera: there was a possibility i've an iranian counter response. while i am happy we found ourselves in a place where dialogue is possible and
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de-escalation is empty -- is possible, it was entirely possible a different outcome could have happened. and many of us as we saw missiles in the air and the tapes of these missiles were waiting to understand what actually happened. many of us and american people were concerned we are about to go into another war. is that accurate? is that how you felt as you are watching? ms. haines: yes, absolutely. i don't think any of us question whether or not a response is appropriate. the question is how do you design the response to be best fit within the strategy that you are dealing with and keep the american people safe more generally? that's the question that i suspect many people have concern about with respect to this strike. rep. bera: again, as a final statement, our country is better served when the administration and congress are working together, having dialogue. even if we disagree, we candace -- we can disagree behind closed
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doors. but when we step out there, especially if we are on a path to war or confrontation, we are better served if we are working together and there is dialogue between the administration and congress and that did not happen in this case. ms. haines: fully agree. >> thank you. >> thank you mr. chair. it is important to note the decision to strike soleimani was a product of a joint decision making process. i want to thank all the witnesses who are here. we have a lot of service represented, national security advisor's, cia, and state. and i want to thank all of you for your distinguished service to our country. the intelligence community, dod, state department concluded there was an eminent threat. do any of the witnesses here dispute the conclusions of all these different agencies? >> two things. >> i do not. casehave not seen a clear
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that there was not and i'm not seeing a clear threat that everyone sees there was an imminent threat. i will just say that. i have not seen anything that would allow me to judge that there was. rep. zeldin: you are disputing the positions of intel dod and state? dr. haass: the short answer is i have not seen evidence published. i can't confirm it or support it because i have not seen the evidence. rep. zeldin: have you seen the irgc statement put out after the killing of custom soleimani -- of qassem soleimani? ms. haines: i'm not sure which one you are referring to. rep. zeldin:8 there was a statement after the killing of soleimani. does anybody speak farsi? answer to that question. the irgc did put out a statement. this church are? -- mr. chair? >> without objection. rep. zeldin: the irgc statement, i mentioned it on the floor during debate last week as well as through social media and
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i am going to do it again this other interviews. -- during this hearing. the statement after the killing of soleimani says, soleimani was in iraq when he was killed to confront americans. so if for anyone who has the position there is not a shred of evidence that it is imminent threat, let's start with the irgc's own words of why qassem soleimani was in iraq. he was there for a confrontation with americans. open-source information is enough to determine it was legitimate to take out qassem soleimani. a designated carrot -- terrorist who was running a organization that's sanctioned by the united states, the eu and the united nations, he had killed over 600 u.s. troops and wounded thousands more. we just had the embassy attack right before that strike. we had the killings and wounding of americans just before that strike. in my opinion, when i hear
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someone -- some of my colleagues including the speaker say it was disproportionate to take out qassem soleimani, i asked the question, at what point is it proportionate? how many more americans would have to be killed in order for it to be proportioned and how many thousands more troops would have to be wounded in order for it to be proportionate? i would also note in correcting the record, i don't know if anyone has an answer, call it a rhetorical question, but at what point would -- i don't know -- do any of you have the position that it was disproportionate? ms. haines: i think there are a number of things you just said. one is just to be clear because i think sometimes it gets said publicly, the fact that you are a designated terrorist for purposes of sanctions does not provide authority to take action, lethal action certainly against that individual. there is sort of a domestic legal analysis and international
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analysis that has to occur. as a member of congress, you get concerned about whether or not congress needed to authorize the action essential. rep. zeldin: i have a limited amount of time. let me ask you a follow-up question. did president obama have the authority to conduct the drone libyas in 2011 in targeting qaddafi? rep. zeldin: yes -- ms. haines: yes. the department of justice have over the years concluded that the president has the authority and the power to take action under the constitution where there is an important national interest to protect for the united states without congressional authorization but you provide a war powers report, if you remain in hostility for 60 days and then congress has to authorize it. you bring your forces home. rep. zeldin: i appreciate that. it is also important to know that president obama, the obama administration, their legal justification was under the show -- the a umf.
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ms. haines: no. rep. zeldin: ma'am, i am sure, i have a limited amount of time. i will be happy to talk to you offline or show you any product with my limited time. to the iranian protesters who are out there right now who want prosperity, stability, freedom, a better way of life, there are many here who are watching in the congress, in the united states, wishing them the best, wanting a better future with visions and hopes for their nations, for those protesters out there right now in search of , a better future, we are watching and praying and wish it works out in the best for you and want to be supportive, however is appropriate. i yield back. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. take you, witnesses, for being here. mr. chairman, i want to express my disappointment that secretary of state mike pompeo is not here today to answer substance
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-- substantive questions that we have regarding this particular issue. he's here where he comes every year for budget issues. as i am sure he'll be coming around a couple of months. we have been very supportive of increasing the budget for the state department, in fact while facing dramatic cuts, we have bipartisan effort to ensure the state department continues to be funded robustly. i want to say that although i was not here when the jcpoa was adopted, i recognize that in fact it was not fully strong document but it was a good beginning. it did not have anything regard regarding fighting or showing iran of some bad actors in the world stepping away from ballistic missile program.
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it was a start. what i hear from the inspector that they comply with most of the provision of that or if not all of the provision. my question to you individually and this is a yes or no question, whether or not you feel you gather enough information or evidence that you feel iran complied with the provisions established by the jcpoa? do you feel they are compliant? >> based on anything -- everything i have read, the international inspectors made the case that iran is in compliance. ms. haines: yes, same. dr. hadley: so far as i know, yes. rep. espallat: do you feel that , our allies in the region, are safer now today than they were after the signing
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of the agreement? our allies are safer -- rep. espallat: our regent -- the region and our allies in the region. now than it was after the signing of the agreement? dr. haass: in terms of the nuclear threat from iran? rep. espallat: in general. dr. haass: in general, i would say the region has continued to deteriorate. most of the country and people of the middle east are less safe than they were five years ago for a host of reasons. i have nothing to add. are less safeey overwhelmingly because of iran's destabilizing activities. rep. espallat: do you think the deterioration of iran to some degree had some connection with this administration ripping up the agreement of the jcpoa? think, as ino, i
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think one of the member said, they are destabilizing activities were ongoing before the jcpoa and if anything, they stepped up after the jcpoa long before president trump decided to withdraw in 2018. rep. espallat: let me just say that in fact there was a good start. i am not arguing that things could not have gotten better. including that aspect. it was a great start to rip it up so to go to ground zero and start again. throwing our allies under the bus, we assemble one of the most impressive coalitions of foreign government to fully bag this agreement and we walked out on them and we threw them under the bus. i don't think we'll be able to assemble them again for any significant operation. do you think we can assemble them again, mr. haass?
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dr. haass: i think so and i hope so. i am not nearly as pessimistic as you are. reports suggest that allies are not walking away to work together. to contend with that. let me say in 30 seconds very quickly. i think it is possible to have doubts about the jcpoa to see it in some way as it is flawed and at the same time to be critical of the administration for having exited it unilaterally. i think it is possible to manage it both simultaneously. ms. haines: i think the one thing i would like to add is on a rare moment of disagreement, ia really do believe that iran's destabilizing activities increased measurably after president trump withdrew from the agreement and began to exercise his maximum pressure campaign and because there really was not that diplomatic offramp and this was a way for iran to respond. >> want to conclude by saying that i am cautiously optimistic. thank you. >> thank you.
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mast: thank you, mr. chairman. i think there has been three fundamental questions that have been posed by many on both sides. was it wise, was it imminent, and was it a choice? i want to talk about all of those three things. maybe in a euphemism or compares him. -- comparison. i look at soleimani as a terrorist machine gun nest. he's been spraying rounds at the u.s. for many years on many different fronts. so if i look at him like a terrorist machine gun nest and i ask myself number one, is it a choice to take that nest out? this is something i have specific experience with on the theaters of war. yes, it is a choice to take it out, all day long. it is not really a choice when you consider that you leave that there and walk around it and ignore it that somebody is going
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to come across that nest eventually and they're going to get shot at. you want to ask, is it wise? i think it probably always defies conventional wisdom to go out there and attack a machine gun nest. but that does not mean it does not have to be done. and then you want to ask is it imminent? just because this machine gun nest may take a moment to reload, that does not mean it is not an imminent threat. it just got done firing rounds over at our embassy. over the last number of years, they have been working to attack our service members time and time again. just because it was taking a reload, that did not mean it was an imminent threat because it was not literally pushing the button on something. i want to ask a question that some people might call this rhetorical. i'm not going to ask it as rhetorical. there are a number of my colleagues still remaining here. i am more than willing to yield to my of my colleagues that want
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to answer this question. if you walk out this hallway and you take a right and another right, you are going to come to several beautiful walls that have the names of our fallen service members on the war on terror. i would ask kananican any of you -- can any of you provide me one name on that wall that does not justify killing soleimani? i got two minutes and 30 seconds. i will be more than happy to sit here and wait. somebody provide me the name on the wall that does not justice -- justify his killing. >> gentlemen may continue. rep. mast: i am continuing, mr. chairman. i have two minutes remaining. i will sit here and wait for
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somebody to provide me with the name on that wall that did not justify the killing of soleimani . >> thank you. i think you have made your point. >> mr. chairman, i have not yielded back my time. >> you are disrupting -- rep. mast: i will not give back time. i have a minute and 45 seconds remaining of which i would like to wait for somebody to provide me with a name of somebody on the wall -- >> you are out of order. you are out of order. you are out of order, mr. mast. rep. mast: i will not give back my time. will yield aair, i minute of my time to mr. mast. >> he's got time. rep. mast: thank you, my colleague. i appreciate it.
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>> just told me when.
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>> this searcher, if i might begin? thank you for yielding me your time. although i did not yield my time back. i will know there was no response of one name offered that did not justify the killing of soleimani. chair andou, mr. thank you, mr. mast. i am grateful that you took that time because you humanize an issue of that all too often is not and having just returned from the iranian gulf, i visited with many of my colleagues sitting here now, i come to you with everybody that we met, the fact that secretary pompeo did not come to here is a disappointment.
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i say that not politically but from a governance perspective. i have appreciated today's debate and conversation. good arguments have been made on both sides. i don't want to cover the same ground. i want to talk about something that i think we have to and that is our authorizations. we have two in effect right now, the 2001, 2002. i want to ask each of you if you believe in light of the current circumstances in the middle east and the gulf region, if it is time to craft a new amf, and if so, how should we do so? what should its components be and how might we begin looking at that? dr. haass, if you might begin? the honest answer, i have not thought it completely through. i am increasingly inclined in the direction of yes.
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ones that simply deal with threats from terrorism are obviously iraq are inadequate. we have already discussed today two scenarios involving iran. one is the possibility that iran breaks out significantly from the 2015 jcpoa, and we are faced with a consequential decision, whether it is to undertake classical preventive military strike. the other is to deal with the situation where iran continues to attack its neighbors or continues to attack u.s. individual forces through using whatever set of tools and we decide it is important to retaliate. we don't need an a umf, just to be clear, where situations where immanence is in play. that is the right of self-defense. the real question is whether we would need an amf?
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i think it sends some useful messages to iran about our collective preparedness. i do not think war power is adequate. it's the wrong approach because it allows the administration to strike unilaterally and it raises question of our staying power. so i think it is counter productive. i think it would be smart if an aumf were to pass simultaneously -- it would be passed simultaneously with a new diplomatic initiative. i think they could go hand-in-hand. that's my tentative thinking. i think you raise a big question and a good one. >> miss haines. ms. haynes: i think it is a critical issue and the opportunity for congress to get more involved in shaping what the authority.
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it is critical in my view. i think as an initial matter, i think you should be replacing the 2001 aumf, i think it is time to be updated and consistent with how congress believes the administration and success of the administration should in fact prosecute that conflict. i think that the iraq aumf should be repealed. that's something that we voiced our support for in the obama administration and the president then called for. i am not aware of any military operations that have to rely on that aumf. i think this question of what should be the authorization to use military force against iran if at all is one that in many respects that seems to me that your concurrent resolution passed recently, is one that sort of lays out what you view to be the situation right now
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and does so eloquently in the context of the current crisis in iran. i would support seeing that coming to a vote and taking further action. >> 15 seconds, mr. hadley. mr. hads on attack imminent
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attack is much too narrow. >> thank you, i yield back. >> mr. fitzpatrick. mr. fitzpatrick: thank you all for your service and thank you for being here today. regarding the jcpoa, would you agree for such an agreement to work, the signatories to that agreement have to be working a good faith? mr. hoss. >> i must be missing something. is that different than any international agreement? mr. fitzpatrick i am just saying : for this one in particular. >> to quote reagan you trust , what you verify. i assume country goes into a number of agreements and some cases they want to deceive. i think there has to be adequate
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verification. i don't take anyone's words for it. >> do you believe we should assume entering in such an agreement that these signatories are acting in good faith? >> i would not assume it. verification and monitoring are essential. ms. haynes: reflecting in my agreement in the context of arm control and jcpoa is no difference. you don't trust the partner across the table from you. you are trying to construct a regime that gives you the confidence nevertheless to take certain actions to manage a threat. mr. hadley: i have nothing to add. what i am getting at here to the panel's do you believe the iranian regime tells the truth and acts in good faith? >> with this agreement they complied with it. i do not believe however in any way they gave up their long-term goal of preserving the option to develop a nuclear weapons capability. >> would that be a yes or no? >> congressman, not every
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question lends itself to yes or no. i believe they were preserving their nuclear weapons options. >> the whole construct is to avoid the situation which you have to rely on a statement from the iranian government that says we are complying. and to provide with greater insight so we can judge for ourselves whether compliance is occurring and relying on third party like the iea to tell us. >> i think because there is so little trust in the iranian regime, that's why a lot of members of congress and others thought the jcpoa was not adequate, because it did not push off or totally eliminate the option of iran to have a nuclear weapon. >> with the isolated strike that
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took out al baghdadi and soleimani, did the panel support and did you believe it was a right decision to make to conduct that raid on osama bin laden and al baghdadi, two leaders of isis? >> i would argue yes. >> these are distinguished circumstances. >> how are they distinguishable? haynes: in the context of osama bin laden, the head of a terrorist organization, we were at war with and we had in fact an authorization to use military force against, the united states took action. i don't think that was a surprise to anybody. i don't think it created a circumstances in which we were taking on a new war, for example, against a whole other nation. >> do you believe mr. soleimani is ahead of a terrorist organization?
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>> i believe soleimani supported and engage in terrorist actions and there is no question about that. i don't have any as i said in my testimony and repeated and others have as well, i think he deserved his fate, i don't think that's the issue. i don't mourn his loss. the issue is, in every circumstance when you are using the awesome military military force of the united states, you have to do so as part of a strategy. the question always occurs, is this the right target? is this the right action to be taking in this context? and i think you know as i have already identified a whole series of consequences where i undermines the overall objectives that both prior administration and this administration have. >> i have other questions but i want to yield my remaining 30 seconds to my colleague. >> i yield back. >> yield back?
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gentleman yields back. ms. omar. ms. omar: thank you, chairman. thank you the panel. it is hard to be here and hear many of the questions and the testimonies that you all gave. sorry if this question have already been asked and if you have given an input to this. dr. haas, i know you have been somewhat critical of the jcpoa. your perspective is that it is too short of a term. i am wondering what should a deal look like? >> it is important to be clear of what a deal could realistically include and what it could not. longer it could include term limits, ideally open ended limits. i don't see why iran should have the right to get close to developing a nuclear weapon in
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50 years or 75 years, i prefer open ended efforts but if not that, many decades. it should include ballistic missiles. i think it should be verifiable, and i think it has to involve sanctions relief, and i think though other aspects of iranian behavior and the region should be dealt with other ways. i don't think it is realistic to build a quote on quote grand bargain that would resolve all of our concerns in iran. in my experience, all or nothing diplomacy tends to yield nothing. omar: i appreciate that answer. and so to you and the rest of the panel, i am wondering why would iran after we unilaterally left the jcpoa, assassinated soleimani, and destroyed their economy with our sanctions, and threaten to bomb their cultural sites, why would they be willing
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to enter a better deal with us at this moment? >> the reason they might is, as you know, governing is about choices. the economic sanctions are having a significant toll, they could conceivably threaten the viability of the government and the revolution. i would think that if iran is offered significant sanctions relief, that may be something they could account. they say they don't want nuclear weapons, so they ought not to change that. so i think the question is if we can present them with a choice, i would not rule out one other thing, i think we probably would need to have it voted on by congress. they would need to know that the next deal is not something that this or any president can unilaterally returned. i think they would want to have the confidence that it is truly
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embedded in the policy of the united states. >> thank you. from my perspective, i continue to hope there is an opportunity for the goshen's and diplomacy and i think we need to invest in that. i've indicated that is one of my recommendations moving forward. i think it is very unlikely we will see the trump administration capable of bringing the iranians to the table and negotiating a deal like that. , think that is a reality and as unfortunate as it is. >> i am a little bit more haynes.ic than ms. i think richard haas said it well and i subscribed to his comments. appreciate your insights
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and i think it is quite fascinating to hear that you will think critical sanctions relief package would be on the table for iran if it was to significant than part of the jcpoa. sure that is excellent. seems as if there are opportunities to negotiate and i hope that cooler heads prevail diplomacy andploy look at using many of the tools we have in our toolbox. what is happening now in the way things have escalated, it is not going to make us safer or alleviate the iconic -- economic
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burdens the citizens are facing. wagner: two weeks ago, president trump ended the brutal reign of terror they killed and anded countless americans coalition forces and threatened many more to come. i urge all americans to unite behind his defensive decision to strike one of the world's most powerful terrorists, who was organizing against americans in in defiance of resolution 2231. should not have been in damascus or beirut. for too long, tehran has been permitted to act with impunity
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against u.s. allies and personnel. i applaud the president for making our redlines clear to the iranians regime that attacking americans is never acceptable and one american lives hang in the balance, iran will be held to account. the middle east is a safer place when the united states is clear and consistent in their intentions. are iran'sree fories dependent on tehran financial material and technical assistance, and how successful has the u.s. been in preventing iran from providing significant support to the proxy groups? i'm not privy to intelligence
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anymore and haven't been for a long time on these subjects. my understanding is that the economic pressure that iran is now under has resulted in some diminishment of the resources that are available to these groups. i think, for example, nasrallah, head of hezbollah, has actually complained that he doesn't have enough resources for his activity. so i think it is having effect based on what i've read in public sources. but i don't have the kind of intelligence sources available to me that would allow me to give you a better answer to that question. >> i thank you. they've clearly gone through the $150 billion plus that were sent over by the obama administration strapped to pallets to be used for these proxies to kill people around the globe, including our american allies and assets. after the iranian regime admitted that it shot down ukrainian international airlines
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flight 752, tragically killing 176 passengers, and i know it's been discussed here at length, protests did erupt across the country. mr. hadley, how are these protests connected, do you think, to the pro-democracy, pro-economic reform demonstrations of the last few years? and do you think that this public outrage will constrain iran's foreign policy? can it be constrained? mr. hadley: it's been interesting to see how many demonstrations there have been in the last two years of people demanding accountability from their governments, ending of corruption, less sectarianism, governments that actually perform. you've seen it in algeria, in sudan, lebanon, iran iraq.
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, this is a possible thing. this is a positive thing. it is one of the sources of leverage on the iranian regime that may make them willing to come to the table and negotiate an outcome, because they put down the demonstrations in october and november, only by a fairly brutal use of force. and i think they are worried that the additional sanctions will kindle a return to those kinds of demonstrations that could threaten the regime. and a threat to the regime, as richard haas said, might bring them to the table. >> i absolutely agree and i share your bullishness on the opportunity we have at this moment in time to bring iran to the table for further negotiations, more now than ever, and these protests and the public outrage i think could really have an effect as we go forward in foreign policy and such. so there are reports that indicate that iran has worked to reduce internet connectivity near universities, hotspots, limiting the impact of these
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protests. how vulnerable is the regime to information operations, and how should the u.s. be using information to target the regime's weaknesses and empower change? mr. hadley? mr. hadley: they have cut off the internet to keep demonstrators from organizing as a part of their suppression of public demonstrations, clearly. you know, our best information operation has always been truth and trying to get it to the people in these closed societies because what is really the toxic element for them is actually truth about what's happening in the world. and i think we have not done as good a job as we should in getting truth available to people in these totalitarian or authoritarian societies. >> i agree. my time has expired. i yield back. but here is to truth and the
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iranian people. >> thank you. ms. wilde. ms. wilde: thank you, mr. chairman. good afternoon. i would like to start with a question to you, ms. haynes. recently i had the honor over the christmas week of traveling to the middle east and meeting with our troops, some of the extraordinary service members who put their lives on the line for us. and i've been thinking about those men and women an awful lot over the last few weeks. last week, the president said we must all work together toward making a deal with iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place. but then just this past sunday, he tweeted, i "couldn't care less if they, the iranians, negotiate." we in congress, unfortunately, have been given little to no information about the administration's intelligence that they allegedly had before this strike on soleimani. so my question to you is, in
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your assessment, does the president and his administration have a clear strategy to actively reduce tensions between iran and the united states and to prevent conflict? >> i think i was as encouraged as you were by the idea that they are interested in negotiating something diplomatically. i have to say, i mean, i haven't seen anything that puts together a broader strategy that would actually be likely to result in the kind of negotiations that i could imagine hopefully happening in the future. but, i mean, honestly, i don't know. i would certainly hope they do have something and hope they will share it if they do so we can all participate in understanding it and pushing forward on it. >> i take it from your response that you have no greater information than we do here in congress. and as a result, you wouldn't be able to answer my followup question of whether the united states' national security is
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stronger now than it was a few weeks ago. >> yeah, i mean, i've made a case in my testimony that it's not. but i think that the action that was taken really further undermines the objectives that at least have been articulated by this administration and are actually quite consistent with the prior administration's objectives for the region. and i think it's unfortunate that we are in the place that we are and obviously, you know, all of us need to come from here and try to make the best out of it that we possibly can. i do think we're less safe in many respects as a consequence. >> dr. haas, i would like to ask you, and first i would just like to state the obvious, i think, that while tensions between iran and the united states revolve around many issues, none of these issues are more consequential that the possibility of iran obtaining a nuclear weapon, i think we can all agree on that. in the aftermath of the strike
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on general soleimani, iran announced it would no longer abide by the jcpoa restrictions on iran's uranium research activities as well as further development that could contribute to building a nuclear weapons program. my question to you is, with this as context, has the strike made it more or less likely, or neither, that iran will ultimately be able to do develop a nuclear weapon? dr. haas: i'm not avoiding your question. i think the answer is it's too soon to know that. i think the u.s. decision to exit the jcpoa set in motion a change of events which explains where as we are. because i can't answer your question, i would say two things. one is we ought to be communicating to iran certain red lines that would be the limits to our tolerance of what they might view. -- might do.
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that would reflect our views, israel's views, arab views. we don't want iran doing certain things. secondly, i think we ought to put forward, as we discussed before, an initiative that would improve upon the jcpoa and put it forward in terms that might not be totally unattractive, conceivably even attractive to the iranian government given the circumstances they find themselves in. i want to avoid a situation where we can't answer your question. what we fear and what could actually be is that iran begins to reduce the time that would be available for intelligence agencies to discern exactly how far they are away. if we ever reach that point where we simply don't know or starts getting close to what i call the near-nuclear option, one, we will have a debate, as will israel, on whether to attempt a preemptive strike. two, saudi arabia and others will begin to have their version of national security council meetings on whether they need to follow suit and develop nuclear weapons options of their own.
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and as bad as the middle east is right now, it doesn't take a whole lot of imagination to see how much worse that middle east would be. >> so you used the term "red lines." and a few minutes ago my colleague, ms. wagner, used that same term. i just realized i'm out of time, i apologize, mr. chairman, and i withdraw the question. >> thank you. the gentleman withdraws the question. thank you. mr. watkins. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thanks to the panel for being here. a couple of comments. i want to express my full and complete support of our president. i think president trump has done an outstanding job transitioning from a strategy of appeasement to one of credible deterrence. and i also want to express support, uh, and hope that we can muster solidarity behind the iranian protesters. i spent many years working in iraq and afghanistan, and so
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aom the perspective of both former military officer and defense contractor, i think that perspective might be worth hearing. when it comes to military operations, many many things. two things they need are speed and secrecy or the ability to deliver in a clandestine nature. this body is incapable of both of those, of either of those things. and so when it comes to, if it were a just kill, i understand the importance of striking fast and striking hard. the justice of killing soleimani is without question, if you were to ask me or a number of military personnel in baghdad to strike a designated insurgent
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who is responsible for killing 600 of our brothers and sisters and they are headed down route irish, we would grab our guns and go kill them and if that's wrong, we wouldn't want to be right. and it saddens me we can't rally behind that. and over the mere fact that some of his compensation apparently came from the government of iraq, think about that. that constitutes the fact that he was an employee of a country. the world's leading sponsor of terrorism. so listen, nobody wants war, uh, particularly the american soldier because he or she needs to fight in it. but i think i speak certainly for a lot of people that i knew when i say that the world is a safer place with one less insurgent in it, and for that matter, when it comes to safety and the very nature of credible
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deterrence, when we're conducting operations, you want -- you know that they can see you. you want them to know that should anything happen to you, if they want to take the risk of striking you, then a reaper drone is going to rain hellfire down on them. and moreover, to those low ranking foot soldier insurgents throughout the world, whatever country they're in, syria or lebanon, al anbar, iraq, wherever, you want them to second-guess their choices because if we could take out your general, we could sure at hell kill you. so i would like to close on just reiterating my full and complete support of president trump and his choice to go with a credible deterrence strategy and that is in fact the strategy.
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i would like to say that i've heard soleimani being described as a martyr. a martyr is somebody willing to die at the hands of an oppressor for his or her beliefs, not a ruthless killer. i appreciate that. and again, i want to voice support for the iranian protesters. god be with them. thank you, mr. chairman. >> sorry, i yield the balance of my time to mr. zeldin. >> thank you, mr. watkins. we got rushed towards the end of my five minutes and were unable to do the important topic justice there at the end. so the obama administration had air strikes in libya in 2011 as well as after 2011. the final decisionmaking for that process for the strikes after 2011 were use of aumf targeting isil, the final decision in the air strikes in
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2011 was under article ii, correct? >> so the initial use of force in libya that i thought you were referencing was not done under an authorization to use military force. it was done under article ii, as you indicated, there was a war powers report that was provided to the congress and there was essentially a discussion with the congress on whether or not we continue to be in hostilities. and then there were, after the fall of gadhafi and further action in the context of libya, there was a shift, in a sense, of what the conflict was about and what the targets were, and effectively what we were -- the threat we were trying to address. and some of it came under the 2001 aumf not just with respect to isil, but al qaeda and other forces. >> i just wanted to make sure we were on the same page. i yield back.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to begin by expressing my disappointment that secretary pompeo is not here. with the shifting rationales the american people have been given for this strike, i think it's important that we have a public viewing and discussion about what went into this and i think on this committee we're going to have to be very -- as aggressive as necessary to make sure that we're able to perform our oversight function. and i want to thank the members of the panel for being here today. i know you probably had other things planned. we appreciate you making time. i'm worried that this action has made us less safe. but i'm also worried about the reputational damage that it's done. for years, democratic and republican presidents have urged countries to avoid cultural and historical sites in wartime. it's against, of course, the laws of war and is also morally wrong. but just last week, of course, president trump tweeted the u.s.
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may strike iranian cultural sites if iran escalated the conflict further. of course, the department of defense appeared to walk those comments back. trump's remarks were widely publicized, and of course, widely criticized as well. to each of you on the panel, i just want to ask you, how do you think the people of the middle east view those statements? how does that impact our repudiation in the region? that's reputation in the region? -- our reputation in the region? how does that undermine our ability to reach any further agreements and try to de-escalate? dr. haas, do you want to begin? >> the answer is implicit in your question, that obviously it doesn't help. i think our reputation has taken a hit several ways here. one is the mention you had, sir, of the possibility of targeting cultural sites which would also be inconsistent with what many of your colleagues have mentioned about our desire to side with the iranian people. going after cultural sites is not going to help us in that undertaking.
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i think also that we've hurt ourselves a little bit on not being able to publicly back up the claim of imminence. that's clearly hurt us in iraq. because it makes it much harder to justify what we did. and all this doesn't take place, shall we say, absent a context. in the entire post-2003 inability to demonstrate the wmd link to saddam. so i think what we have done is created questions about our reputation. and i think that we will pay a price for that. >> thank you, congressman. particularly for bringing this issue up, because i think from my perspective, i've found that i'm somebody who believes very strongly in international law. i spent most of my career working on international law. and i think it serves american interests in enormous ways. and to see the president tweet essentially what would be a war crime as something that we should do or could do or anything along those lines, to also talk about disproportionate
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strikes, which is also not consistent with the law of war. you know, to take a position like that is not just i think of concern to the region, but also deeply depressing, frankly, for the folks in the u.s. government who are frequently out, for example, our military, out training other militaries on what the law of war is and how it is we should respect the law of war and the kinds of issues that we deal with. and in the context of particularly targeting cultural property, which is really, it's so much more than destroying obviously the bricks and mortar that you're destroying, but it's an attack on the identity, on the memory, on the dignity of a society. and this is something that we spearheaded a lot of the international law on. and we have a convention, the hague cultural property
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convention that we are arty to. also we are a party to the protocols. it's an issue we should be promoting leadership on. i found it deeply depressing, thank. >> thank you. mr. hadley? >> i think it was a mistake. as you know, as you indicated, the department of defense began to walk it back. i think secretary pompeo said any strikes in iran would be against legal targets, which of course would rule out the cultural sites. so i think it was a mistake. and i think i would not expect to see the united states attacking cultural sites. sites. >> i think we sometimes fall into the bad habit of thinking that the words of the president of united states don't matter and we can have the debate as if those things weren't said. we know how long some of these words can echo. i think the reason the free world follows us and just bits our-- fear is because of
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values and what our system of government and values mean around the world. when we undermined that, i think we do much more than any insurgent attack can do to us. any more damage than foreign government can do to us. acknowledge an old friend. congresswoman sheila jackson lee, who was a member of this committee for many years, in olden days, so we'll welcome back sheila, good to see you. we have a vote, and what i could do is cut down everyone to three minutes to try to get in more people, if we can. so let me start with mr. guest. >> thank you, mr. chairman. dr. haas, you in your written testimony, you do a great job of outlining some of the iranian
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atrocities over the last 40 years beginning with the '79 embassy takeover, the '83 bombing of the barracks in -- 1996 tower bombings. you set forth recent aggression including attacks on shipping in the persian gulf, the launching of missiles that hit saudi oil installations, the sponsoring of militias that attacked bases in iraq, the killing of an american contractor, and the recent assault on the american embassy. you go on further to say there is no doubt that soleimani had the blood of americans on his hands and was a force of instability in the region and you actually state that soleimani was in fact, you say here, an evil person. and then you go on at the end of page 2 to talk about that the united states should have responded to recent iranian attacks such as the one carried out against saudi oil fields with attacks on iranian economic and military assets.
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what should the proper response should have been? it seems to me you are stating here that the president's use of restraint actually emboldened irani and aggression in the middle east. so what would the proper response and what response should we have taken particularly militarily? it seems to me economically that we have imposed as many sanctions as we could possibly impose and we could continue to impose sanctions from here 'til hell freezes over and have no additional benefit to those. so militarily, what response should the united states have taken after the saudi oil fields were attacked? >> two things, sir. one is, i think, we should have found an equivalent iranian economic installation, and i would have supported the idea of attacking that. two, i think it sent a very bad message to the region that we would not respond to an attack on a close partner like saudi arabia.
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i don't want to communicate the sense that they are essentially adrift and they can't count on it. thirdly, i think it raises questions for you all, it gets back to the conversation we had previously about an aumf, that would provide a context for dealing with these kinds of acts of iranian aggression. >> ms. haynes, do you agree the united states should have attacked iran militarily after their attack on the saudi oil fields? >> yes, i think there should have been a response. my view is similar to what you described of dr. haas' view and as we've been saying here, by not responding, it can encourage a response. but the issue here is taking action to manage and deter the consequences while mitigating appropriately. does that make sense? >> would both of you all then say that the president's use of
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restraint, or great use of restraint, you feel embolden in iran to continue to attack american interests in the middle east? >> it's always hard to put yourself inside their heads, but my own take on it is yes, that they thought they could act with a degree of impunity because they got in the way with shooting down a drone, attacking shipping, attacking the saudis. i would expect there were people in iran who said, we can do certain things and the chance of an american physical response are modest. >> thank you. mr. levin. let me first say, it's really interesting, it was just called to my attention that secretary pompeo doesn't have the time to come to this committee, but while we're holding this hearing he did have time to go on to fox news. >> oh, my goodness. thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. levin. >> thank you all for hanging in here with us. last weekend, national security adviser robert o'brien said the 2002 iraq war authorization gave the administration the authority to launch the strike that killed qassem soleimani.
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here is the operative text of that have authorization. the president is authorized to use the armed forces of the united states as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to, one, defend the national security of the united states against the continuing threat posed by iraq, and two, enforce all relevant u.n. security council resolutions regarding iraq. i think that language is pretty clear. and so did defense secretary esper during his senate confirmation last year. on july 16, before the senate armed services committee, the secretary told senator duckworth that the 2001 and 2002 authorizations to use military force did not allow the use of military force against iran. and yet here we are. again, the 2002 iraq war authorization allows the use of force to deal with the threat posed by iraq. not a threat necessarily in iraq or emanating from iraq, but by iraq.
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ms. haynes, do you agree this does not authorize the use of force against iran? the 2002 aumf? >> yeah, to be simple, yes, i don't think it is authorized by the 2002 aumf. and i did hear the prior statements by the administration to at least indicate that they also did not think -- >> alright. let me further ask you, if congress fails to make clear that the 2002 war authorization or the 2001, for that matter, does not apply to iran, aren't we setting a dangerous precedent? what's to stop this administration or any future administration from claiming that a war authorization for one country gives them the ok to use force against another? >> yeah, so there's -- classically, in my experience, the way that administrations would essentially look at an
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authorization to use military force, like for example the 2001 authorization to use military force, is that they would then consider if another actor, whether it be a terrorist organization as it would be in that aumf case, or in the -- aumf,f an a umf vis-a-vis another country, if that country entered into an alliance and was fighting against the united states, then there could be an extension of that authorization to another state in that circumstance. but i think, you know, obviously congress has the act to pass another joint resolution that says, in fact, that's not what we intended and we do not in fact authorize force. >> my time is up because we're running short here, but i just think it's clear that congress needs to repeal the 2001 and 2002 and then do new authorizations for any situation that we think we should go to war on. thank you. >> i agree. >> thank you. ms. spanberger.
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>> thank you so much to the witnesses. ms. haynes, it's great to see you. i have been astounding listening to some of the testimony here, the questions of my colleagues as we are talking through what should be a really foundational piece, what is congress' role in the authorization of war. i've heard a lot of debate about what happened a week ago, ten years ago, 15, 16, 20, 25, et cetera years ago. but what i want to move forward and talk about is the 2001 aumf and the 2002 aumf. and ms. haynes, i'll start with you specifically. as a followup to the questions posed by congressman phillips and congressman levin, aumf, authorization for war in iraq, to your knowledge, to restate, are there currently any operations continuing under the 2002 aumf? >> thank you, congresswoman. i can't say with certainty,
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right, what it is that the current administration is doing. what i can tell you is that in the obama administration, we conducted a significant number of military operations that seemed quite similar to what it is, frankly, that is currently being done by the trump administration against terrorist organizations such as al qaeda and associated forces and obviously against isil. and we did not believe that the 2002 aumf was necessary for us to do any of those operations, including the ones around isil, just to be utterly clear, including those in iraq. and as a consequence, we supported the repeal of the 2002 aumf, which we felt was outdated. and the president also had said that -- felt that it was time to replace the 2001 aumf. >> thank you. and there seems to be some confusion among members of this body about how the killing of osama bin laden or al baghdadi were different, from an authorization standpoint, from the killing of soleimani.
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i also think, and i will take the opportunity to restate that those of us on this side of the aisle shed no tears for soleimani, who i believe was a terrorist as classified by the u.s. government. but could you walk us through specifically how the authorizations -- what the authorizations were for the killing of osama bin laden and al baghdadi and how that may or may not be the same or different? >> yeah, so for osama bin laden, the 2001 aumf is quite clear in its authorization to use military force against -- in the case of al baghdadi, it's obviously under isil. and the theory of the obama administration, which i assume is also used by the trump administration, is that because isil had a longstanding relationship with al qaeda and osama bin laden and a variety of other factors, including the fact that they had targeted th >> authorization by congress. >> authorization by congress, absolutely. in the case of al baghdadi, it's
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obviously under isil. and the theory of the obama administration, which i assume is also used by the trump administration, is that because isil had a longstanding relationship with al qaeda and osama bin laden and a variety of other factors, including the fact that they had targeted the united states, that you could in fact authorize action against isil as well under the 2001 aumf despite the split in leadership between al qaeda and isil. >> thank you. ms. houlihan. i do have two very specific questions, one reflects on mr. kinzinger's conversation about the responsibility people in the military have to understand they won't necessarily be safe, that's their job, but we also have a responsibility in congress and with the administration to make sure we are deploying them effectively and that we are keeping them safe as keeping them as possible by using other resources and tools in the toolbox that we have such as diplomacy and humanitarian efforts. my question to you directly is, what happens now that we've sent thousands of troops into the middle east and terms of our efforts in russia or against china and the concern of great powers? >> i made the criticism the
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other day that i thought sending troops to the middle east right now lent, the phrase i used was, strategic incoherence. this administration has articulated publicly the need for much greater emphasis on great powers, the challenge they pose. and its entire bias was to dial down the american emphasis on the greater middle east. i thought they went too far on what they did in syria. this is clearly inconsistent with it. so i would think, given the administration's own lights, it would make a good deal of sense to try to stabilize things. i think that does involve, as you suggested, a greater emphasis on diplomatic tools. in the short run, though, it may now be necessary to have those troops there, because we have created -- we have, if you poke the stick in the hornet's nest, but i'm hoping this does not become the new normal, because the impact on readiness and what we have elsewhere would be i think unfortunate.
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>> and thank you. i'm sorry i don't have time to ask the rest of you, the united nations security council resolution, which expires on october 18th, what should we be doing to address the expiration of that resolution? it's the resolution that expresses the importance that iran is prohibited from exporting or purchasing any arms. this is what president trump is talking about when he says everything is set to expire and that's part of the reason why he exited the jcpoa. >> yeah, and your question is just -- >> is there anything that we can do here in this body, given that un, medicine to expire? -- that is set to expire?
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>> i think obviously you can support the administration and push them to essentially look for extensions of any restrictions that you think are appropriate. >> in what ways should our policy change if iran was able to sell and acquire combat systems as a consequence of this? in my four seconds. is amean, essentially, it preliminary matter whether you want to see if they can push out conventional arms more than they already do. we already have policies that tries to counter those issues as it is. we would want to increase depending on whether they increase their exports. >> thank you. quickly, prior to the assassination, we had protests in the streets. in iran, they had a war for over eight years, 100,000 iraqis died, 100,000 iranians died, and we were moving in a positive direction on the anti-iran feeling in iraq. now that's all swung back. what do you think these recent events, this new trajectory,
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is going to do to the iranian pro-reform movement? in the protest movement? >> it's a good question. i think iraqis have considerable nationalism. and the fact that because they're shia and iran is obviously shia, somehow there's not nationalism in iraq, i don't think that's true. my guess is also iran will overplay its hand. i think it's probably wrong to underestimate iraqi pushback against iran. again, it's also one of the reasons, i think we all agree here, 100%, that it's so important for the united states to repair its relationship with iraq, because i think that will give iraqis a basis and some confidence for pushing back against iran. i don't want iran to have a free hand inside iraq. >> we have to run for votes. >> i want to first ask very quickly unanimous consent that ms. sheila jackson lee be allowed to participate today, and i am giving her one minute.
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>> let me quickly say i have not seen any depth of support by the american people for a war with iran. i clearly believe it is important for us to explain that article 1 does say that congress declares war. it does give article ii powers of defending the nation. i do think the issue of imminent danger was and should be explained to the american people and we should be truthful about it. so i have two questions. one, do we believe that any engagement with iran prospectively is at this point hopeless? -- and some resolution is at this point hopeless? i truly believe under president obama, when we worked tirelessly for the iran nuclear agreement, that we had something that would allow us a moment to engage. and then anyone who wants to comment on this completely upside down explanation of "imminent" and the fact that there was no definitive definition or reasoning behind secretary pompeo's advice or the secretary of defense's advice to the president of the united
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states. seconds,ve got two but maybe we can give you 30 seconds. >> i don't think it's hopeless. i think it would do such things as no longer supporting regime change, making it clear that we're willing to talk. i think putting sanctions relief on the table conditionally tied to iranian behavior, against the backdrop of sanctions, i think there's a possibility. it's certainly worth pursuing. >> thank you. >> thank you. i'm going to have to adjourn. >> thank you, mr. chairman, for your courtesy. >> thank you. i want to thank our three witnesses. i've been on this committee a long time, and i think all of you are just excellent, and i really do appreciate your coming here and speaking with us today. we hope to have you back. thank you. the committee is now adjourned. >> thank you, chairman.
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