Ranking Member Crapo Statement at Banking Committee Hearing on Iran Sanctions
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ranking Member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, today delivered the following remarks during a Banking Committee hearing entitled "Iran Sanctions: Ensuring Robust Enforcement, and Assessing Next Steps":
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Ten days from now, Iranians will vote in an election stage-managed by the ruling Guardian Council for a president who, once selected, is destined to continue the longstanding policies of the Ayatollah and the powers in Tehran.
This is a regime that sustains itself through widespread human rights abuses and is dedicated to an illegal nuclear weapons program, threats against Israel, Hezbollah support for the Syrian regime and the spread of global terror.
Nothing is more critical than preventing Iran from making good on its intentions to obtain a nuclear weapon, and ending the regime's systemic human rights abuses and ability to project terror.
Since our last hearing in October 2011, increasing pressure has challenged the Iranian regime through implementation and enforcement of the sanctions statutes produced in this committee, presidential executive orders, and the efforts of Senators Kirk and Menendez in the previous two Defense Authorization Acts, which targeted the Central Bank of Iran's export role and expanded sanctions over new sectors of the Iranian economy.
Also since that time, 50 percent of Iran's crude oil exports and over 7 percent of its petrochemical exports have declined-nearly $5 billion a month in lost revenue to the Government of Iran.
The impact of sanctions on Iran's economy is significant.
Due to lost energy revenues, its relative isolation from the world's financial system, and its own variety of economic mismanagement, Iran is running its largest budget deficit in nearly 15 years.
The value of the Rial, Iran's currency, has declined by more than two-thirds, and Iran puts its own rate of inflation at 31 percent, while others maintain it is double that in real terms.
Clearly, sanctions make it more and more difficult for the Iranian regime to earn revenue from petroleum sales or to conduct international financial transactions.
Each passing month shows important results obtained through sanctions. Yet, the Iranian regime is still able to fund nuclear enrichment in ways that bear no relationship to a peaceful program.
The Iranian regime still poses an existential threat to Israel, acts as a menace in the region, and is one of the more serious threats to the national security interests of the United States and its allies.
Thus, sanctions may still be too narrowly tailored, have gaps in implementation or be unduly hampered by evasive and deceptive practices that must be closed.
We can no longer abide an Iran that continues to amass or otherwise access financial resources to pursue one of the most destabilizing nuclear programs in the world.
The resolve of the United States and its partners must remain strong and be ready to implement a series of increasingly stricter sanctions that push the Iranian regime to change its nuclear enrichment calculus.
The chiefs of the U.S. Iran sanctions authorities are here to report on the progress and difficulties with implementation and enforcement of the U.S. multi-lateral sanctions programs.
I look forward to working with the members of our Committee and particularly the Chairman as we evaluate the best way forward to further constrict Iran's access to funds, revenues, materials and technologies in an effort to change the regime's international behaviors and terminate any nuclear weaponization efforts.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.