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2006 Ron Paul 48:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to claim my 5 minutes at this time.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 minutes.
There was no objection.
2006 Ron Paul 48:2
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I am encouraged by recent news that the administration has offered to put an end to our 26-year-old policy of refusing to speak with the Iranians. While this is a positive move, I am still concerned about the preconditions set by the administration before it will agree to begin talks.
2006 Ron Paul 48:3
Unfortunately, the main U.S. precondition is that the Iranians abandon their uranium enrichment program. But this is exactly what the negotiations are meant to discuss. How can a meaningful dialogue take place when one side demands that the other side abandon its position before the talks begin?
2006 Ron Paul 48:4
Is this offer designed to fail so as to clear the way for military action while being able to claim that diplomacy was attempted? If the administration wishes to avoid this perception, it would be wiser to abandon preconditions and simply agree to talk to Iran.
2006 Ron Paul 48:5
By demanding that Iran give up its uranium enrichment program, the United States is unilaterally changing the terms of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. We must remember that Iran has never been found in violation of the Nonproliferation Treaty. U.N. inspectors have been in Iran for years, and International Atomic Energy Agency Director ElBaradei has repeatedly reported that he can find no indication of diversion of source or special nuclear material to a military purpose.
2006 Ron Paul 48:6
As a signatory of the Nonproliferation Treaty, Iran has, according to the treaty, the inalienable right to the development, research and production of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination.
2006 Ron Paul 48:7
Yet, the United States is demanding that Iran give up that right even though, after years of monitoring, Iran has never been found to have diverted nuclear material from peaceful to military use.
2006 Ron Paul 48:8
As my colleagues are well aware, I am strongly opposed to the United Nations and our participation in that organization. Every Congress I introduce a bill to get us out of the U.N., but I also recognize problems with our demanding to have it both ways. On one hand, we pretend to abide by the U.N. and international laws, such as when Congress cited the U.N. on numerous occasions in its resolution authorizing the President to initiate war against Iraq. On the other hand, we feel free to completely ignore the terms of treaties, and even unilaterally demand a change in the terms of the treaties without hesitation. This leads to an increasing perception around the world that we are no longer an honest broker, that we are not to be trusted. Is this the message we want to send at this critical time?
2006 Ron Paul 48:9
So some may argue that it does not matter whether the U.S. operates under double standards. We are the lone superpower, and we can do as we wish, they argue. But this is a problem of the rule of law. Are we a Nation that respects the rule of law? What example does it set for the rest of the world, including rising powers like China and Russia, when we change the rules of the game whenever we see it? Wont this come back to haunt us?
2006 Ron Paul 48:10
We need to remember that decisionmaking power under Irans Government is not entirely concentrated in the President. We are all familiar with the inflammatory rhetoric of President Ahmadinejad, but there are others, government bodies in Iran, that are more moderate and eager for dialogue. We have already spent hundreds of billions of dollars on a war in the Middle East. We cannot afford to continue on the path of conflict over dialogue and peaceful resolution. Unnecessarily threatening Iran is not in the interest of the United States and is not in the interest of world peace.
2006 Ron Paul 48:11
I am worried about pre-conditions that may well be designed to ensure that the talks fail before they start. Let us remember how high the stakes are and urge the administration to choose dialogue over military conflict.