Former Senator Charles Robb, co-chair of BPC’s Task Force on Iran, and BPC Foreign Policy Project Advisor Stephen Rademaker, testified before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday to explain the Iranian nuclear threat and the option of using credible, visible preparations for military action to stop Iran’s nuclear development as a last resort.
In their testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, Senator Robb and Mr. Rademaker stressed the need for the United States to couple effective sanctions with visible, credible preparations for a military option to demonstrate to Iran its seriousness on this issue and force Iran to negotiate in good faith. As Mr. Rademaker noted in his testimony, “when it comes to credibly demonstrating that, if all else fails, force will be used if necessary to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability, we believe U.S. policy has fallen short.” Senator Robb stated that U.S. credibility is key: “if there is an assurance that the United States will follow through on its statements, the likelihood of proliferation goes down, the likelihood that Iran will challenge us goes down, and the likelihood for a peace resolution goes up. Sometimes the best preparations, combined with a demonstrated willingness to follow through, is sufficient to keep kinetic conflict from occurring in first place.”
In their testimony and in response to Congressional questions, Senator Robb and Mr. Rademaker highlighted military readiness steps that the United States can take, such as: augmenting the U.S. Fifth Fleet’s capacity in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, prepositioning military supplies in key staging areas, and ensuring high-level Administration officials adhere to a stronger declaratory policy and messaging strategy emphasizing U.S. resolve to prevent a nuclear-capable Iran.
Senator Robb and Mr. Rademaker stressed that the Iranians must conclude that their current path towards nuclear weapons capability is untenable. The task force members believe that taking these important military readiness steps, coupled with the sanctions Congress and the international community have already implemented, offer the best hope for a peaceful resolution of Iran’s nuclear challenge. Senator Robb said “we want to continue to increase the pressure, to continue to tighten the noose, so that they will ultimately conclude that it’s in their long term best interest to adopt a different course of action.”
Congressional leaders have been clear that the United States will not tolerate a nuclear-capable Iran. Over the past five years in four comprehensive reports, BPC’s Task Force on Iran has advocated a triple-track strategy that simultaneously pursues diplomacy, tough sanctions and a visible and credible military option. BPC believes this strategy would demonstrate American resolve, fulfill President Obama’s pledge to use “all elements of American power” to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and offer the best hope for achieving a peaceful resolution of this accelerating crisis.