|By PR Newswire||
|January 31, 2014 01:38 AM EST||
WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following statement was issued by the OIAC:
Retired Marine Corps General James Jones, former commandant of the Marine Corps, Supreme Allied Commander Europe and President Obama's first National Security Advisor, warned of the dangers posed by a nuclear-armed Iran.
"We are at a crossroads in our history," he told senior Senate staffers at a forum in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. "The threat of an Iranian nuclear program is very serious…there's no reason to think that if they acquired the [nuclear weapons] capability, they wouldn't export it to non-state actors like Hezbollah."
The bipartisan briefing was held a day after Mr. Obama in his annual State of the Union speech threatened to veto any bill Congress passes to increase economic sanctions on Iran. The House has passed a new sanctions bill, and the Senate is developing a veto-proof majority for its own bill.
Also speaking at the briefing was former Ambassador Robert G. Joseph, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security under the G.W. Bush Administration, who cautioned that President Obama's deal with Iran puts the United States on a "path to failure."
"We've seen this movie over and over, and the ending never changes," he added, warning that the deal was likely to fall apart and further tarnish America's reputation among traditional U.S. allies in the Middle East, who fear that a nuclear-armed Iran would further destabilize the region.
Mr. Joseph underscored that the six-month deal, which went into effect in January, fails to require Iran to dismantle its nuclear facilities, which has enriched uranium to near weapons-grade levels.
Former Vermont Governor, Howard Dean (D), went further by challenging the Administration to resettle the 2,900 Iranian dissidents, members of the opposition Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), trapped in Iraq in the U.S. citing their "protected persons" status and their suffering under several recent deadly attacks by the increasingly pro-Iranian government in Baghdad. "We need to stand up to the mullahs! This is not the time to exercise cynicism. This is the time to exercise nobility," and "recognize them as refugees and take them into the United States tomorrow."
Ambassador Marc Ginsberg, who served as the U.S. envoy to Morocco under President Clinton, warned the White House against being wooed by the "charm offensive" waged by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, saying the delay in resettling a number of Liberty residents in the United States as refugees had cost lives.
General Jones described the "systematic massacre," of MEK member is Iraq as "not tolerable." Where else is more deserving for the dissidents to go than America, he asked?
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