Prepared Statement by Senator Mike Johanns Before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs: Minimizing Potential Threats from Iran: Assessing Economic Sanctions and Other U.S. Policy Options

July 30, 2009

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Related Country: 

  • Iran

The Obama Administration came into office promising to extend its hand to nations that it felt had been unnecessarily threatened and bullied under the previous administration. In March, the President made a direct address to the Iranian nation, in which he sought to offer the Iranian government legitimacy as an equal partner in constructive negotiations over its nuclear program. 

His intention was commendable. I too am extremely hopeful that the current diplomatic process can produce a solution. I am thus proud to be an original cosponsor of S. 908, the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act. I understand that the President needs a great deal of flexibility to manage these highly delicate negotiations. I absolutely do not want to have the US face yet another crisis in the Middle East. But at the end of the day, we in the US do not dictate the pace of events. Nor, I believe, do our allies and partners in the “P five plus one” group negotiating 
with Iran.