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Gentlemen, we thank you for coming and we thank you for listening to our first set of questions to the distinguished undersecretary of State. Each of you have been with us before and we appreciate your coming today.
Let me suggest, first of all, that all of your statements will be made part of the record, so you need not ask for permission that that be done. And, if possible, if you could summarize your statements in five minutes or so, that will allow for more questioning and dialogue with the panel and with senators.
And so I will ask you to proceed, if you can, in that fashion in the order I introduced you, which would be Mr. Luers first and Mr. Hadian and Dr. Cordesman and Mr. Einhorn.
President and CEO,
United Nations Association of the United States
MR. LUERS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'm pleased to be back. And I'm particularly pleased to see you in the chair. I've long had a great respect for your work, and I think you --
SEN. BIDEN: Now, wait a minute. (Laughter.) Wait a minute. I like you, too.
MR. LUERS: Coming to you, Joe. (Laughs.) But I think your decision to have these hearings is very important, and I welcome them. I also have had a lot of conversations with your two colleagues and have a great respect for both of them, including Senator Biden --
SEN. BIDEN: Thank you.
MR. LUERS: -- (with?) his former chairmanship.
I will be brief. The first thing I'd like to say is that I am not an Iranian expert, as the three of you know. And my credentials come today from the fact that I have led a series of discussions we've been holding in a European country with Iranians over the last year. And they've been regular discussions. We've had four-plus meetings.
On the U.S. side, there have been former diplomats, former government officials, and, in fact, a number of people who are real experts on Persian and on Iran. So it's a nonpartisan group, I think. And I would welcome you, Senator, or Senator Hagel, to join any of the senators to come to these meetings. I think you'd find them enlightening. And you'll be more than welcome.
I thought I'd do three things: Summarize some of the attitudes that I think would be helpful for this hearing, outline a few particular problems that might be resolved, and then come to a few recommendations.
First, on their attitudes, one of the major blocks, it seems to me, from what we hear, to movement from the Iranian side on policy is that, no matter what the issue, whether it's Iraq, nuclear, Hezbollah, or a whole range of bilateral issues having to do with U.S.-Iranian relations, the blockage comes from the fact that they believe that the United States is not interested in changed policies but changed regime.
And until they are satisfied that there is a decision on the part of the United States to work with this government in some form, it's going to be difficult for them to find ways to cede on some of the issues that are very important to us.
Having said that, I think it's important to say that the Iranians also are concerned about their own country -- the stagnation, the inability to resolve problems and all the things we know about, and yet nobody that I've talked to on the Iranian side or in the intelligence community in this country believes this country is about to implode. We're going to be dealing with it for a long time as it transforms itself. We've got to decide how to do that.
The second thing is I think important to say that the Iranians that we have talked to over the last year feel more confident about themselves and their stature in the world community than they have when we began the discussions.
Much of it has to do with the fact that the United States eliminated their two principal enemies, the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. And they find themselves also possibly getting a two-fer. We eliminate Saddam Hussein and the Taliban, and we so tie ourselves down that we can no longer be a threat to them. That's at least under consideration in their thinking. Nonetheless, there is the concern about U.S. intentions.
On the nuclear issues, I think what I would say principally is that I agree with Bob Einhorn. Bob has been a very professional and really quite brilliant participant in our discussions, and he has essentially led the discourse we've had on nuclear questions. And I think he will be far more eloquent on the subject than I can be, and you've read his testimony; you have his testimony.
I would say one thing, however. On the subject of nuclear, if we follow your line, Mr. Chairman, as laid out in the Los Angeles Times -- and there's strong argument for it -- it seems to me it has to be structured in the context of an overall strategy.
If we end up, as you hint at the end of that article, that we may have to resort to military force, it seems to me that doing that out of the context of everything else we want from Iran or we would like to achieve in the region, it could carry us in the wrong direction. So a very firm strategy in which we don't abide by the IAEA-Western European beginnings of this new discussion could make it very difficult for us to even have a strategy.
On Iraq, I think it's clear that the Iranians, over and over again, have indicated a desire to have official discussions with the United States. They were broken off last summer by the U.S. government over concerns that al Qaeda terrorists might have been involved in the action against U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia.
And I think it was a mistake to have broken them off, and it's going to be difficult to reinstate them. But, whatever we learn from the Iranians about Iraq, we will learn more than we know now. We have no discussions with them about the most critical element in U.S. policy that we've had in the last 20 years. And they have this neighborhood -- they live on the border, they're deeply involved. And for us not to probe officially, consistently, and directly what their intentions are, what they know, how they'll work with us, I think is a grave mistake, and a deeply flawed policy.
The one particular aspect of this, it seems to me important to say -- you've already talked about how the Iranians do have -- and Secretary Armitage, in his really quite excellent presentation, did discuss all the commonalities of U.S.-Iranian policies within Iraq. One of the things that I'd like to go further on is the question that was posed by Senator Feingold on the MEK-al Qaeda relationship. We have heard that the U.S. proposed to Iran last March, before the war, that there be a linkage of some sort between the discussions about MEK and our handling of MEK, and Iranian handling of al Qaeda. Whether that's true or not, that's at least what we hear from the Iranians.
The fact is there became a link, and the Iranians thought there was one. And in the final meetings that they had that were held in Geneva in June, before they were broken off by the U.S., I understand that there was some specific discussions of what the Iranians would do that would be more forthcoming with regard to al Qaeda. And following that, the -- we took actions against the MEK, but up to very recently, there are continuing reports in Iran -- in Iraq -- that the Defense Department is continuing to associate with the MEK, and whether this is Iranian misinformation, or whether it's a device to forgo this presumed arrangement to be better behaved on al Qaeda, they believe, I think, that there is continuing Defense Department interest in using -- holding the MEK in abeyance as the potential for undermining the Iranian government. Now, I think that has to be addressed in some form.
We're also persuaded that the Iranians, if we have direct discussions with them, would be at least explain what they've done to those over 2,000 al Qaeda representatives that they have reported to the U.N. they have managed. We strongly believe that discussions in some form would be possible in this area. We have recommended that it be -- we'll -- I'll get to that in a minute.
Finally, on Hezbollah and al Qaeda, the Hezbollah issue is huge. It's -- it is the terrorist organization with probably the largest reach of any in the world. It is not as active as al Qaeda, but it certainly is more broadly reach -- reaching. And as one develops a strategy towards Iran that makes some sense for us and for U.S. interests, one has to relate that to how we develop a strategy towards Hezbollah. A strategy towards Hezbollah like the one we have toward al Qaeda will not work. There has to be an effort to try to -- plus the fact that Hezbollah does have a dimension to it that al Qaeda does not have, which is their political and social work in Lebanon.
I've talked about al Qaeda -- finally, let me go to the recommendations. We have several recommendations. First, get a strategy on how to handle Iran that will allow us to associate the multiple questions, the problems we have with -- with Iran, in a context. Obviously, I am an engaging person, and I want to see us engaged with Iran. And it seems to me that over time that is the only strategy. The alternative strategy of taking it piece by piece will result in us falling into a trap that will define the rest of our strategy, which I think is a mistake.
Secondly, the confrontation approach, as Senator Biden said, seems to me can take us nowhere right now. The likelihood of us undertaking a military -- ultimately military strategy, begun by sanctions perhaps, is not high, given our involvement with Iraq.
We recommend now that there be a strong support for the IAEA and Western European involvement. And when the discussions begin with the Western Europeans, we should be involved in those discussions, but we should try to encourage as much as possible the Iranians to pursue a course that will have their suspension of enrichment and processing be a long-term suspension. It could go on indefinitely.
Secondly, we believe that we need to set up an environment in which to discuss with Iran the issue of Iraq. We think that environment could be the five permanent members of the Security Council plus the United States and Iran. The issue would come up about the other neighboring states, but we think this is an appropriate setting. The secretary-general could arrange for that.
In that discussion, we believe there should be a return to the issue of al Qaeda, and some assurances given, firm assurances given and demonstrated that the MEK will be completely disassociated from U.S. interests. We believe that small steps should be begun with -- in other aspects, which have already been mentioned by most of you. Congressional exchanges should be pursued. We think there's still that opportunity. We know some of you are for it. And I recommend that we begin planning for a U.S. Interest Section in the Swiss Embassy in Tehran. I happen to have negotiated that U.S. Interest Section in Havana when I was acting assistant secretary for inter- American affairs, and I don't believe there was any suggestion at the time that it reflected an approval of that government.
We must have access to that society. How do you democratize? I've said here that democracy is most infectious when it is related to human contact, and that's what we must have. Information alone over the radio is not enough.
Mr. Chairman, that's all I have to say right now.
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you very much, sir. Dr. Hadian.
Professor, Columbia University
MR. HADIAN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And I wish also to express that this is a very good idea to have the hearing about Iran and I think that's very timely. Also, I wish to mention that I have been benefitted by being educated here tremendously in U.S. And, in fact, Senator Alexander was the president of my university, the University of Tennessee, at the time at which I was graduated, and that's an honor and privilege, in fact, for me.
There are a number of points which I would like to discuss. Of course, I've extensively elaborated on them in my paper, but briefly I would like to mention the ones which I consider are very timely and important.
First of all, unfortunately, I would like to characterize the relationship between U.S. and Iran predominantly as a mutual failure since the revolution. And, I hope we change the course, we change the (program ?) and try to go for a much better relationship, which is -- which in the best interest of both countries and very much a possibility.
To me, the cold war, Iran-U.S. cold war is over. We are neighbors. We are, for all practical purposes in fact, neighbors. Iran is facing U.S. in Afghanistan, is facing U.S. in its -- west of Iran in Iraq, and also in south in the Persian Gulf. For all practical purposes, we are neighbors, and I believe we just cannot continue any further to have a sort of a cold war. Either we have a choice of confrontation or reconciliation, which my argument would be basically we are much better off to go for the reconciliation rather than confrontation, which I am not sure would serve any one of our countries' interests.
There are a number of important common interests, which I'll just mention them, but I am not going to elaborate on them. We have a huge interest in Afghanistan -- narco-terrorism there, terrorism, and the problem of refugees for Iran. Also, having a stable and a strong government in Kabul is in itself, an interest of both Iran and the United States.
In Pakistan, we have both, in fact, a very important interest there to see a not failed government there. Extremism is on the rise there, and Pakistan is a nuclear power, and Pakistan is our neighbor. Plus, to see a prosperous and stable Pakistan I believe in the interest of both countries again.
The same thing with Azerbaijan. In fact, the coming to power of now President Aliev, and not an unresolved dispute with Armenia there, and the possibility of instability there, and having a large minority of Azeris in Iran have to see a stable Azerbaijan again is interest -- is an interest of both of our countries.
In the Persian Gulf, the same thing, it is very important to have a safe and stable Persian Gulf, particularly the safe passage of oil.
And the next issue is Iraq. On Iraq, I would like to elaborate more. I would emphasize a little bit on the issue of the nuclear programs in Iran, on Iraq, and the idea of regime change. These are the three points which I would like to elaborate a little bit more.
In regard to WMDs, or basically the nuclear weapons, I would like to say that you have to be a little bit considerate of the domestic situation in Iran. We have five major views in Iran which are debating with one another. The first view, which would not be fundamentally different from American view, is -- are those who would argue that Iran, in fact, even need not to have nuclear energy and we do not need to acquire extensive knowledge of -- extensive nuclear knowledge and technology. The powerful Deputy Speaker of the Iranian parliament, -- (name inaudible) -- in fact has supported this view. He is a very important reformist as well. But this is a very (teeny ?) minority view.
The second view is the view that Iran is entitled to have, in fact, nuclear energy and also acquire nuclear technology, and nuclear knowledge. In fact, the very point that Iran signed the NPT is because their access to these technologies. Many people who support this view, in fact, 500 students from Sharif University, which is the most important, prestigious engineering school in Iran -- incidentally, the same type of students which had protested against the Iranian government and which have been welcomed by many here. The same students have publicly stated, they have published a statement in support of having access to nuclear knowledge and nuclear technology. And in fact they have called those who -- if the government officials want to prevent Iran for such access, they have called them -- this is a traitor.
The third group is a group which would say we have to have access, not different from the second one, but they argue against, in fact, nuclear weapons. They would say that would not increase and enhance Iran's national security environment. That it that would lead to a sort of arms race in the region, and that would not -- that would not serve Iran's best interests. This is a third group.
And the fourth group is the one which would say that we have to have nuclear weapons capability. And they would link it -- the first three should -- do not link the nuclear technology to security, but the fourth group would link it to the security issues. One of -- I mean, there are two major parts in this fourth group. One would argue for the fuel -- I mean, even if the fuel is being somehow provided for us, they would like some sort of assurances that somehow those countries who were providing the fuel, nuclear fuel for Iran, is not going to be persuaded by one power or another to stop -- to stop providing Iran's nuclear fuel.
Thus, they are somewhat concerned about that. That's a security issue, but different kinds of security issue. But this is another major portion of them which would think that because of Iran's national environment, because of Iran's vulnerability, because chemical weapons have been used against Iran, we need to have nuclear capability, and that would be very much a deterring factor for Iran, and that would provide a sort of a deterrence. Many people would support this view, too. And the fifth view is the one which is supportive of having, in fact, withdrawing from the NPT and going altogether for having the weapons.
The first and the last view are among the minorities, but there are a lot of supporters for the other three. I believe the international community in general and U.S. in particular, is much better off rather than emphasizing the first position, emphasizing the second position, recognizing Iran's right to access to knowledge and technology, and energy technology, but also addressing the concerns of -- legitimate concerns of the fourth group, which is the security and fuel. Through a sort of assurances for the fuel, and a sort of exploring idea of a hard insecurity issues being perceive by the supporters of that group can be addressed and can be provided for. That's the -- I believe that's the only way which you can convince a determined nation not to follow the path for nuclear weapons. If Pakistan, 30 years ago, with limited -- with limited resources could develop nuclear weapons because they were determined, for sure the Iranians, if they are determined, if they are being confronted with possibly -- there are people, I mean, who would argue that we have to follow the other way.
Since my time is over,I would like to -- I wanted to discuss about Iraq and about the regime change, but probably have to stop here and in the question and answer I will try to do that.
SEN. LUGAR: Well, thank you very much, Dr. Hadian. Your views, of course, are in the statement, and this will be available to members and for the record, but perhaps we will be able to get back to it in the questioning. So, Dr. Cordesman.
Arleigh A. Burke Chair,
Strategy Center for Strategic & International Studies
MR. CORDESMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for the opportunity of testifying here. Like the other witnesses, I feel this is a very important subject to cover. I would like to only touch on a few issues in my testimony.
And let me begin by saying that I agree with the previous witnesses, that Iran is a country where we have some real options and possibilities. However, I may be less optimistic about internal developments in Iran. I have sat through quite a number of informal discussions with Iranians and Iranian officials. I am struck by the fact that over the years I do not see that those who I would regard as moderates or the supporters of President Khatami are more confident. I think there is great concern about the tensions within Iran on the part of many of those that I have dealt with. I am very uncertain as to whether Iran is prepared for full, formal dialogue with the United States today. It may be, but time and again Iranians have privately said that until the issues and tensions between the various factions in Iran are resolved, there are many things we might do to move towards and informal dialogue, but they are not prepared to confront the issues of a formal dialogue.
I, too, like Deputy Secretary Armitage, served in Iran in the early '70s. I, too, watched the Shah engage in a nuclear program. And I watched the Shah lie about it. And I watched reports emerge in the U.S. of imports of technology ranging from laser isotope separation technology to other weapons oriented technologies that bore no resemblance to the peaceful nuclear program. I do not believe necessarily that getting Iran to stop an overt program will really stop its nuclear program, and I think we can count on Iran to try to obfuscate and lie about that.
Now, Mr. Chairman, you talked about super inspections. I'm not sure what those really are. I'm not sure that it is easy to do more than UNSCOM and UNMOVIC did, and they obviously failed. They could not characterize the effort. I think we are learning that there are deep problems in the U.S. intelligence effort and in our coverage of proliferation. Iraq is only a case example, and I would hope at some point either the Senate Intelligence Committee or this committee fully examines our capability to characterize proliferation.
But let me suggest, I do not technically believe that we will ever be able to determine whether Iraq pursues a research -- Iran pursues a research and development strategy as distinguished from an overt production of fissile material. Looking at the IAEA reports, I believe they could conceal efforts in the development of reactor technology and that they could create a mature centrifuge capability far more sophisticated than the one they have in terms of centrifuge design, that they could proceed with many aspects of nuclear weapons design, and that no amount of inspection or intelligence coverage could with confidence detect that effort if it was dispersed and concealed and did not go into advanced development.
I would also note that this is a country that has stated it has chemical weapons, and which may well have biological weapons, and that the focus on one form of proliferation may be dangerous, particularly when it is far from clear to me what threat long-range conventional missiles pose with conventional warheads, except as psychological weapons. And the shahab frankly has to have a motive other than dropping a thousand kilograms of high explosives as an area weapon on an enemy.
Having said that, I do agree that we should move toward dialogue and towards discussion. I would also have to reinforce a point that has been made in this hearing. I was in Iran when the MEK murdered American officials. One of the people I was working with, Colonel Louis Hawkins, was shot down in front of his family by the MEK. I have followed their actions over the years. They are a sophisticated lobbying body with many democratic fronts. They also were a tool of Iraq, a cult of their leaders, and they pursued a policy of murdering assassination against Iranian officials, which is well documented in the State Department reports. I do not believe this is a movement we can tolerate or encourage.
I would also have to say that whatever we do, we should stay as far away from the Shah's son as possible. I saw little redeeming about his imperial majesty when I was in Iran. If the bunyads (sp) are corrupt today, I can remember my wife at the time going to something supposedly supported by the Palavi Foundation, and finding out the Palavi Foundation took the money and kept it, and it was the wives of American and British diplomats who kept the orphanage going with their money. This is not in any sense the successor regime that is needed in Iran.
Now, let me make a few final points about recommendations. We must not forget that whatever we do we have to maintain a strong military position in the Gulf to contain Iran. It is one of the ironies, I think, of our action in Iraq that it has not altered the need for containment, and possibly not even altered the level of containment that is required.
I would also say that, frankly, labeling Iran as the leading nation supporting terrorism, or part of an axis of evil, is the worst possible way to influence the Iranian people. If we have things about -- to say about terrorism, identify specific actions, identify specific groups, and seek specific goals. I think our rhetoric on Iran illustrates a broad problem in American policy. We speak in terms of domestic politics to American audiences in ways which undermine our credibility in Iran, in the Middle East, in Europe, and in the rest of the world.
I would say that, as we deal with Iran, I have to endorse what Senator Biden said very strongly about the need for as much informal dialogue as possible. I would also endorse the point that we had a semi-official dialogue with Iran and we broke it off in dealing with Afghanistan and Iraq. That was a mistake. It served no interest of our own, not only in dealing with Iran, but those two countries.
I would be cautious, however, about the nature of European cooperation. I have had many discussions with Europeans and many have criticized their own approach to the problem as well as ours. Perhaps one of the best statements about critical dialogue was that we have a tendency to be all dialogue and not critical. If we are going to rely on Europe to deal with the problem of nuclear weapons in Iran, it is one that is going to require intense pressure.
Let me also say that this committee should, as it moves forward, also reconsider the sanctions policy we have. I thought the current legislation that led to ILSA was stupid in terms of the original proposal. I thought it was stupid when it was passed, and I think it is stupid now. Its net effect essentially is not to alter proliferation with a military build-up.
It is to ensure that American business and American commerce cannot work with the Iranians, to create barriers to contact with people who are moderate Iranians. And the end result, frankly, is precisely what we do not need, to reinforce the views of extremists and hardliners.
If we need sanctions, it lies in dual-use technology and military limits on arms. The sanctions we have today are precisely the sanctions we do not need.
And finally, in terms of the Arab-Israeli issue, if we are ever to reach a modus vivendi with Iran, if we are to get them to stop support of Hamas or the Hezbollah, we have to demonstrate not that we have tilted against Israel but that we have an unremitting support for a peace process so strong and convincing that every possible effort is being made, regardless of delays, problems and reversals.
If the United States cannot demonstrate it is doing that, I frankly do not know how we go to the Arab world and Iran and say, "Stop supporting Hamas, Hezbollah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad."
SEN. LUGAR: Thank you, Dr. Cordesman. And we appreciate, as always, your testimony and your suggestions. Dr. Einhorn.
Senior Advisor, International Security Program Center for
Strategic and International Studies
MR. EINHORN: Mr. Chairman, thanks for the opportunity to appear before the committee. In your earlier remarks, you talked about the agreement that was reached last week between Iran and the three foreign ministers. I won't repeat the elements of that agreement.
I think the Europeans deserve a lot of credit for skillful diplomacy. But this agreement last week wouldn't have been possible without a U.S.-led campaign of diplomatic pressure that gave Iran a stark choice between cooperating or being brought before the U.N. Security Council.
Last week's agreement was potentially a very useful step. But its value is going to depend on how well it's implemented. A key question would be how broadly the suspension of enrichment and processing activities is defined.
If, for example, it's defined as covering only enrichment operations, it will not be very meaningful. But if it also covers such enrichment-related activities as the construction of enrichment plants, the manufacture of centrifuge machines, the processing of enrichment feed stock, then the suspension could put a very significant brake on Iran's fissile material production plans.
Importantly, the declaration written last week in Teheran does not excuse Iran from meeting the requirements of the resolution passed by the IAEA board last month. If Iran did not meet those requirements, it will face very strong pressures at the November board meeting for a finding of non-compliance and for sending the matter to the U.N. Security Council.
There may be some interest in finding Iran in non-compliance and sending the matter to New York even if Iran does show good faith in moving the IAEA's demands and the requirements of last week's declaration. The rationale for doing that would be that Iran has committed past safeguards violations and that the IAEA statute requires that any such violations be sent to the Security Council.
But if Iran actively cooperates, it would be a mistake, in my view, to make a finding of non-compliance in November. Sending the matter to New York would undermine support for further cooperation in Teheran, where the decision to suspend enrichment and sign the additional protocol has come under very strong criticism from hardliners.
If Iran genuinely cooperates with the new agreement, its past violations can and should be reported to the Security Council, but at a later date. There is precedent for that, and I could explain later.
Mr. Chairman, at best, last week's agreement in Teheran is only a temporary arrangement. Before long, it would have to be replaced by a more durable solution to the problem. Under such a solution, Iran should be required permanently to forswear nuclear fuel-cycle capabilities, especially enrichment and reprocessing.
Existing facilities and facilities under construction would have to be dismantled. In exchange, Iran would receive a multilateral guarantee that as long as it complies with its various non- proliferation commitments, it would be able to purchase fuel-cycle services, including the supply of fresh reactor fuel, and the take- back and storage of spent fuel for any power reactors that it decided to build.
The U.S., Europeans and Russians might join together in offering such a guarantee. The combination of a ban on fuel-cycle activities and the additional protocol would provide confidence that Iran was not engaged in clandestine fissile material production.
While some would prefer that Iran not even be allowed to possess nuclear power reactors, a ban on power reactors, in my view, is neither achievable nor necessary. The risks associated with large safeguarded nuclear power reactors are manageable. This is a controversial point, and we can explore this later.
The multilateral fuel services guarantee would address the Iranian concern that they would be vulnerable to fuel-supply cutoffs. But it wouldn't address their main reason for pursuing nuclear weapons, and that is their national security.
The ouster of Saddam Hussein has eliminated one major threat to Iran. But now Iran's principal security preoccupation is the United States and the fear that the Bush administration may be intending to undermine the regime. As long as this perception exists, it will be very hard to get Iran to give up its nuclear weapons capability altogether.
Ending the long-standing estrangement between the U.S. and Iran may therefore be a necessary condition for getting Iran to move beyond the interim arrangements that are now taking shape and to accept a permanent solution to the nuclear problem.
For this and other reasons, the U.S. and Iran should begin a step-by-step engagement process in which the two countries can raise a range of issues of concern to them and explore whether a modus vivendi between them is really possible. Such an engagement process would provide the most promising context for ending
Iran's nuclear-weapons program.
Mr. Chairman, we don't know whether last week's agreement was an indication that Iran may now be prepared to abandon its nuclear ambitions or whether it was simply a tactical maneuver aimed at dividing us from the Europeans and dodging U.N. sanctions. Or perhaps a deeply-divided Iran is simply keeping its options open.
It would be naive for us to act on the assumption that Iran has already decided to throw in the towel on its nuclear weapons program. But it would also be a mistake to assume that an Iranian nuclear- weapons capability is inevitable.
In the period ahead, we must do everything possible, working with the Europeans, the Russians and the IAEA, to bring Iranian leaders to the conclusion that continuing their efforts to acquire nuclear weapons is too risky, too subject to detection, too damaging to Iran's reputation and broader national interests.
Continued pressure will be essential, but pressure is not going to be enough. A crucial incentive for Iran is likely to be the prospect of a new and more promising relationship with the United States. Indeed, U.S. willingness to explore such a relationship with Iran may be the key to resolving the nuclear issue.
Thank you, Chairman.
SEN. LUGAR: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Einhorn. Let me suggest that we have questioning of maybe five minutes each for the moment. And I'll call other senators if they appear or reappear.
Let me just start the questioning by saying that I agree with you, Dr. Cordesman, that the super-inspector idea that I suggested really may not be possible. And the basic question you have asked with regard to our intelligence, in terms of non-proliferation questions, is a very serious one here in the Iranian case, but obviously as we are having public discussion about intelligence in Iraq and in North Korea, or elsewhere.
So ultimately this may be a question that can never be resolved. On the other hand, I'm curious as to whether there are any parallels (in our nation?) between the North Korean and Iranian situation. I don't want to stretch that possibility. The North Koreans apparently have declared that they are not only working on nuclear weapons, but they may actually have produced one or two.
And the world questions whether they do or don't have these. Once again, a very grave intelligence problem. It's come on an issue that's that difficult. In Iran, no one is making a claim that they've produced anything to date. The claims on our part are that they have an intent to do that, and we've been sort of tracing from the shah onward some type of national enterprise in that regard.
Shouldn't our objective as a nation now be working with as many other nations as we can? In the case of North Korea, five others have been identified. Perhaps a good many could be identified with regard to Iran to have what might be a non-aggression pact or a non- aggression piece of paper in which we simply assure North Korea and assure Iran we don't intend to overthrow the regime, don't intend to attack you, if, in fact, you stop the nuclear program. At least that apparently is the intent of North Korea, and they may or may not be prepared to do that.
And to take Dr. Cordesman's point with regard to Iran, it may be equally valid in North Korea. How will we know in some cases? What
I'm just curious. With regard to Iran, perhaps you have been employing softer language here. Rather than having a six-member group sort of huddling around Iran, the suggestion is dialogue of various sorts, informal but constant, at many levels, of a thought that somehow or other that relationship might work to one, if not a friendship, at least to a much greater mutual respect and maybe mutual involvement. Does anyone want to have a comment about sort of overall policy? First of all, Dr. Luers and then Dr. Cordesman.
MR. LUERS: I would -- two things on that, Mr. Chairman. First, in our discussions with the Iranians we've been talking to on that subject, we hear from some of them that a connection of a sort of non- aggression agreement, a la Korea, with Iran would not be appropriate because they maintain officially they have no intention of getting nuclear weapons.
Therefore, if we linked, in a public or direct way, such a non- aggression pact, it would suggest that their nuclear capacity is only for the purpose of national security.
On the other hand, the second point I'd make is that, as a result of the agreement that was reached with the West Europeans, there will not only be the IAEA process, which will be undertaken right now, but there will be meetings between the three Western Europeans and Iran on an overall look at the region, on the overall look at this nuclear question.
My understanding is the Iranians would agree to have the United States participate in those meetings. In that context, there could be a discussion of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East, which has been discussed quite a bit. I'm sure Mr. Cordesman knows much more about that than I do. But the fact is, that will be the context in which such a thing might come up.
But the Iranians at this stage refuse, unlike the Koreans, to say they have an intention of having nuclear weapons.
SEN. LUGAR: Dr. Cordesman.
MR. CORDESMAN: I think that, Senator, you raise one of the most critical issues in non-proliferation, that compellance by itself will never succeed. You have to remove or ease the motive to proliferate.
Bob Einhorn raised, I think, the critical issue, that if you can control the fuel cycle, you greatly limit the ability of the country to proliferate. And even today, folded centrifuge systems are going to be relatively large and visible. And while laser isotope separation presents a different problem, it is far from clear that countries in the near term can actually develop that technology.
I think that if you can couple changes in motive with looking at the most overt acts -- and these are the fuel cycle, the testing of a nuclear weapon and the deployment of vehicles designed to carry weapons of mass destruction, like long-range missiles, particularly systems which make no military sense unless they have weapons of mass destruction -- then you can address the most visible signs.
But I think we need to be honest, and perhaps this is an area where the committee might wish to seek a classified response. With today's technology, it is becoming easier and easier to develop relatively sophisticated nuclear-weapons designs without overtesting.
Basic laser research for laser isotope separation is, at least in my opinion, undetectable. And moving it forward to the possibility of industrial-scale development would probably also be undetectable. Advances in centrifuge design, I think, could be dispersed and concealed and brought to the point of a breakout capability in ways I do not believe we can detect.
As long as these realities exist, you can't really talk about preventing proliferation. What you can talk about is altering the path in intensity of proliferation, and that's a different thing.
SEN. LUGAR: I thank you. I might --
SEN. LEAHY (?): (Off mike.)
SEN. LUGAR: Let me just carry on for a moment. The dilemma here in terms of our foreign policy is that the president has often talked about the intersection of weapons of mass destruction with terrorism. On the one hand, we have discussed with regard to Iran today that they're a state sponsor of terrorism.
Now, the suggestion is perhaps if the conduct of Israel and the Palestinians and the road map and what have you worked out, this might be less intensive and less-developed; on the other hand, maybe not. It appears, although some testimony is that the terrorism is part of the current regime, it's not the same sort of thing as during the shah's days, as Savak, the secret service was, but not overt terrorism, like it proceeds now.
So this poses quite a dilemma. As you point out, Dr. Cordesman, if even some program moving almost to the point of breakout is undetectable, ultimately -- and that may be true, and we ought to be looking at much more -- and the terrorism is still there, we are on the horns of a dilemma perpetually. The answer to that, I think you suggested, or someone, we'd better keep a lot of military forces in the area because they might have to come into action.
That then leads the Iranians to feel that, in fact, we are after them and we want to overturn their regime. How do we finally sort out some sort of a situation here in which there is even a minimum of mutual trust, people moving downhill from the nuclear -- and, of course, Dr. Hadian has said, after all, the self-respect of Iranians is that, by golly, if they want to have nuclear weapons, nuclear power, all the rest of it, that's their given right, or at least the power part of it, even if you have all sorts of other resources. And who are we to determine they shouldn't be doing that sort of thing?
I'm just trying to come to grips in my own mind's eye with how we divine some degree of American security out of all of this without, at the same time, having everybody out of sorts perpetually, no possibility of moving on except in these informal contacts in which we sort of keep in touch, sort of looking for better days?
MR. CORDESMAN: Senator, could I just make two quick points? First, my own dialogue or discussion with Iranians do not indicate that the presence we have in the Gulf, assuming we are out of Iraq, is by itself something that they cannot live with. I think it is something they'd like to get rid of, but they can accept it and expect it.
The problem lies in rhetoric which talks about regime change and preemption, which is not backed by dialogue, compromise or efforts to move forward. That we can change.
But the second thing that bothers me a little is that, because a nation supports groups we don't like, it somehow is going to be a high risk in terms of the transfer of weapons of mass destruction.
I think the problem is, in many ways, different and more serious. Terrorist groups already know how to make crude chemical weapons. Fourth-generation technology will ease the burden with time. The proliferation of biotechnology, the components for biological weapons, additional knowledge of genetic engineering is not an urgent or immediate threat, but the anthrax problems we saw in the U.S. showed that the advanced technology for building anthrax already exists, and no terrorist movement is not going to be able to build crude biological weapons. It doesn't need Iran or anyone else. Radiological weapons are probably not very effective, but all you need to do is buy the agent. So the idea that weapons of mass destruction can be kept out of terrorist hands, or that it takes a state sponsor to provide these weapons to terrorists is one for which I can see no technological base.
SEN. LUGAR: Dr. Hadian?
MR. HADIAN: I wish to make a couple of points. First of all, with regard to North Korea and Iran, there are a number of differences, important differences. First of all, as I said, there are differences of opinion. There are different groups, there is a public opinion, which makes it much harder in fact on what should be done.
And also although from the outside the decision-making process because of many institutions, many informal networks, many individuals are involved, may seem very chaotic, but in fact usually important decisions are very much consensually made, and you can trust those decisions that have been basically made consensually.
But in regard to terrorism and its link with -- Iran's link with the terrorism, I very much agree with Dr. Cordesman also that we have to distinguish between different kinds of terrorism. Just putting Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestine Islamic Jihad and al Qaeda as one category, calling them terrorism and prescribing some policies for containing them, I believe is not going to work. Each one of these organizations is very different. In fact, Iran can play a very important, constructive role in dealing with or in fighting terrorism.
I would make the terrorism, at least for the sake of our discussion, in two main categories: ideologically-oriented terrorism and politically-oriented terrorism. Ideologically-oriented terrorism, which is much harder to fight for it -- I mean, is the al Qaeda type. They are performing a duty or task. Either they are not very much concerned about the consequences of their acts, unlike the politically-oriented terrorism which is like an extension of politics -- there is a cost-benefit analysis at the center of that activity. In other words, you can deal much easier with the politically-oriented terrorism than dealing with ideologically-oriented terrorism.
To me, Iran can be really helpful in dealing with the second one, with the second kind or with the ideological one. In fact, dealing with it or fighting with terrorism you need an alternative ideology to fight that. For fighting with Islamic radicalism you need a reformist Islam to fight with it. You have to deconstruct the main tenets of that ideology. And Iran is very much well equipped, because of the experience of radicalism, we are well equipped to fight with that kind of terrorism. And in fact that's an area which is a common interest of both Iran and the U.S. to explore. And Iran really can support the U.S. in its fight with ideologically-oriented terrorism. Well, of course with the political as well, but I would describe that a little bit later.
SEN. LUGAR: Let me just pass over for a moment Mr. Luers, because I want Senator Biden and Senator Nelson to come into this. And we may get back. Senator Biden.
SEN. BIDEN: Well, gentlemen, first of all, thanks for the testimony. And there is a thread of agreement that runs through what all of you have said, which is basically that, to use an old term that no longer has much meaning, we have to engage more here. And but let me be the devil's advocate for a minute here. First of all, to the best of my knowledge, none of you have met with any Iranians, nor have I -- I have -- but none of us met with any Iranians that make any decisions, that have the power to make any decisions. Is that correct? Have any of you met with anyone, in any of the meetings you have had, with anyone who you think has the ability to effect events in Tehran?
MR. HADIAN: Of course --
SEN. BIDEN: Can you -- well, I'm curious. I just want to know whether you have.
MR. HADIAN: Oh, yes. I mean, for sure. I mean, I believe I can say that a number of my colleagues have been involved with a number of the people who can make the decisions.
MR. CORDESMAN: I think, senator, that if I may say, one of the problems here is a number of times people are encouraged to have informal dialogue with Iranian officials, but they are also encouraged not to discuss it in any way. So we have a --
SEN. BIDEN: I understand that. But, look, I've been doing this for 31 years like you --
MR. CORDESMAN: I think some senior Iranian officials have talked to Americans outside the United States.
SEN. BIDEN: Yes, I have talked with senior Iranian officials outside the United States as well. But the bottom line is those very senior Iranian officials are people who are -- can have influence in the margins if events begin to move in the direction they can impact on. But I have yet to -- at any rate --
MR. CORDESMAN: I think your point is well taken --
SEN. BIDEN: I'm not saying it as a critic -- I'm just trying to get a sense as to, you know, we use phrases, all of us, all of us -- and we had a briefing with the CIA beforehand, and the CIA uses phrases that I find imprecise. And so I just want to make sure there's a sense of, you know, the type of person to whom we are speaking.
The second point I want to make is that being the devil's advocate again, I view this in terms of sort of priorities with the Iranians. Obviously a long-term and important priority is our hope, expectation, desire and resolve not to have Iran as a possessor of nuclear weapons, particularly with the delivery capacity at a long range. But no one that I have spoken to indicates that that is a realistic possibility within the very near term, meaning the next year, several years. I have not found anyone who has told me that. That does not mean that is not an incredibly important concern.
My concern in the meantime is as our relationship with Iran, if our relationship with Iran continue to deteriorate -- there's an awful lot of things that can happen in the near term, which are of incredible consequence to us, starting with Iraq, moving to Afghanistan, impacting upon our relationships indirectly with Europe, with whom we have a very tenuous relationship now at best even with our NATO allies. And so I am wondering whether or not that instead of insisting that -- not instead of -- that we should -- shouldn't we be pushing and cooperating -- not pushing -- encouraging the Europeans to continue their dialogue and agreements with the Iranians relative to the IEAE and inspections, but move more rapidly on trying to figure out whether or not there is a common ground we can find with the Iranians, U.S.-Iranian dialogue, on very specific, immediate and serious concerns? And that it seems to me that capacity and reality in terms of nuclear weapons -- we all have been doing this a long time, some of you with greater expertise than me and others on this committee -- but the idea that we can eliminate the capacity of Iran to acquire nuclear weapons sometime in the future is extremely doubtful.
But we do know and we would be aware of when the tipping point comes, when we'll be left with a very, very stark decision to have to make, if they're moving from capacity to the reality of acquiring and producing a nuclear weapon. That is much more likely to be made available to us and knowledgeable to us, and we'll have a very difficult decision, as the Iranians will have a very difficult decision at that moment. But it seems to me that rests upon our ability to impact that outcome, moving from capacity to reality, depends upon our relationships with the rest of the world at the time; that if we have further fractured our relationships with our NATO allies and with the European Community and with the Security Council and with Russia, and with China, et cetera, as we seem wont to do, we will have much less leverage in determining or impacting upon that decision if that point is reached in terms of moving capacity to possession of nuclear weapons. So for me I put a much higher opinion at the moment -- the next days, weeks and months -- in trying to get in the same page with regard to Iran as the Europeans are, as the Russians are, as the Security Council may be, in order to be able to get to what I think is the most immediate urgent need, and that is to somehow work on what all of you have said, and that is if you look at the commonality of interests here, relative to their neighbors, relative to their long-term future and security, it's not at all inconsistent with U.S. interests, that obviously to have a non- threatening and stable regime in Iraq and in Afghanistan is as much in our interests as it is in Iran's interests. Obviously having a stable and not teetering and/or radicalized Pakistan is as much in the interests of Iran as it is in the interests of the United States of America, and so on.
So what do we do near-term to get beyond the point where we are literally at this point unable or unwilling to discuss very specific things where there's a common interest? Should we be sitting down? Should we have, as I raised about a year ago in a hearing when some of you were here, should we be talking and should we have talked to in advanced, and should we be talking now very specifically with the Iranians about our plans in Iraq? Specifically, not generically. Should we be prepared to give assurances relative to us, our presence in Iraq? And, similarly, with regard to our plans and the commitments we may be prepared to make with regard to Afghanistan? Should that discussion be taking place, or does that pollute the possibility of getting other things going? Is there any one thing -- this is -- is there any one thing that would make any of you suggest that we should not be talking one on one with the Iranian government on anything if it would have happened? I.e., if they failed to be more accountable about the al Qaeda, and if they failed to -- if they continue to support Hezbollah, if they continue to support jihad? Is that a reason in and of itself that we should not be talking with them about everything? Or does there need to be this grand sort of negotiation to take place before we discuss anything?
MR. EINHORN: Senator, I think we should sit down and talk to them. I don't think that we should focus on one particular area of misbehavior that we are concerned with today, and use that as the reason why we shouldn't sit down. If we have a kind of dialogue, it shouldn't be designed to come up with megadeal in the near term. That's going to be too complex, too politically difficult for either side to do. Imagine entering into negotiation, whose objective over the next six months was to resolve all of these issues as a package. It just wouldn't happen. So we should begin bilaterally to sit down with the Iranians quite informally and to deal, to talk about the range of common interests. And we've identified --
SEN. BIDEN: Politically, Bob, you've been in this deal before. Politically, would this administration be able to in terms of international as well as domestic opinion, and I know that's not your, quote, "brief," but you've been there -- would this administration be able to politically initiate a high-level contact with the Iranians to discuss specifically the circumstances and the future -- the circumstances on the ground and the future of Iraq? Politically, would that be able to be done?
MR. EINHORN: Yeah, I am sure politically that would be sustainable. Earlier in the administration there were discussions. They were in a multilateral context in Bonn over the future of Afghanistan. The cooperation between the U.S. and the Iranian delegations was very good during that period. Now we have a clear, common interest in talking about the future of Iraq, and our respective interests in Iraq. I can't imagine that this would not be politically sustainable for this administration.
MR. LUERS: Let me make a different point. When we've suggested that to the government on that issue --
SEN. BIDEN: I'm sorry, when you --
MR. LUERS: When we have suggested to the U.S. government that we undertake discussions directly with Iranians on Iraq, the answer was no, because we believe in democracy. And the point being that by discussing directly with the Iraqis we risk providing legitimacy to a government that is illegitimate.
SEN. BIDEN: I guess we're going to stop talking with China then, right?
MR. LUERS: Well, this is my -- well, that -- but you asked a question, Do I think it's possible? I think the only thing that is possible is some multilateral environment in which we are part of a group in which the United States and Iranian representatives go off to the water cooler and talk in this international environment about problems we have in common. That's worked -- as Bob has said, that's worked in the past. But as far as I know, it's only worked in a multilateral environment. And that's what Secretary Armitage said, and it seems to me that's what -- the limit to what this government right now would be able to do.
SEN. BIDEN: Able or willing?
MR. LUERS: Willing. And I agree with, as you know, virtually everything you've said on how important it is, and you too, senator. In your outline you said, asking questions, we are going to have a military in that area for a long time -- and I agree with Mr. Cordesman on that. There's no question about it. It's going to look like our involvement with NATO. We are going to be the only big force there though for a very long time. And the fact that we don't even know anything about Iran except through technical means and occasional conversations is unacceptable. We have to have -- I mean, Mr. Cordesman and the others are the last remaining Iranian specialists we have. They were there during the shah. We need a whole new generation of people who have lived in Iran, who work there, who understand the country and can reflect the reality. And we are not dealing with realities today. We are dealing with reflections.
SEN. LUGAR: I am going to recognize Senator Nelson. At this point I have to offer parenthetically, as Senator Biden has mentioned his history with Iran, mine is more limited, but I went with Secretary Blumenthal on the last mission to see the shah, and we did see the shah -- a very unpleasant meeting -- saw Savak, saw lots of people in those days -- and stayed in the Embassy which was taken over fairly shortly thereafter. But that's then, this is now, and the need for engagement was true even then, and that was why that extraordinary mission was undertaken.
SEN. NELSON: Mr. Chairman, I will be brief. And since I'm the clean-up hitter, let me just offer some --
SEN. BIDEN: Florida clean-up hitters have done very well, unfortunately, lately.
SEN. NELSON: Yes, sir, we have. Just offer some observations here.
I've listened very closely to what you've said, and I appreciate what you have imparted to us, and I listened very carefully to what the secretary said. And, as you heard, my comments -- I think he's one of the best in the business. But he also very carefully did not answer a number of my questions, and I did not press him purposely, because I think there is a divergence of opinion from his office and the White House. And it sounds to me -- my observations are, from what I've heard here today -- is that the United States government has engaged in exactly the wrong policy with regard to Iran, that we call them the axis of evil, we imply that we are going to invade them. We do not engage them, and we don't have any plan for assisting the Europeans if not our own economic assistance program. Now, that is what I have concluded from this. Anybody want to -- yes, Dr. Cordesman?
MR. CORDESMAN: I think, senator, I did not have an idealized picture of Iran. I think it is a nation where our relations do require pressure and the presence of a big stick. I think that we have to be in a position to keep that up. But I would have to agree with you: I think we are provided recently the wrong kinds of pressure. We have tended to demonize Iran rather than to try to influence it or to create a dialogue. We have made it into a political symbol which has weakened its moderates and strengthened its hardliners, rather than influenced and changed its behavior. And I think a lot of that is a matter of posture and rhetoric rather than things which we could not have avoided.
I do have to say, incidentally, if I may go back, it is my impression that we had not multilateral but de facto unilateral dialogue with Iran on the issue of Afghanistan. The U.S. officials met with Iran on the issue of Iraq, and were instructed to halt those negotiations before the war. And that we have been able to talk about narcotics, and that we have not been unable to discuss some of the issues that Bob raised on a bilateral basis, but that we have reinforced just the problems you mentioned at the cost of constructive dialogue and with almost universally negative results.
SEN. NELSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
SEN. LUGAR: Are there other comments? Yes?
MR. HADIAN: I have also one important point which I would like to mention, and that's in regard to the myth of regime change, because I believe probably that's the operating assumption of a number of people in the administration that somehow the regime is on the verge -- the Iranian regime is on the verge of collapse or we are in a pre- revolutionary state. To me, as a 25-year observer of the Iranian revolution, reality cannot be farther away from this myth, and in fact conservatives are in full control. They have a lot of resources at their disposal. They have an ideology which binds them together, make them committed to their cause. They have leadership. They have a lot of -- they control all the collective resources, and they have a lot of political and economic resources. And in fact if you look at what happened a few months ago in the summer, in this student demonstration, considering the population of Tehran, which is about 10 million, only probably 7,- to 8,000 participated -- not a large number, and considering the level of discontent which exists in Tehran and among the universities. And in fact the regime did not use massive force to contain them. That was relatively easy with the police. No tanks were there, no Revolutionary Guard were in the streets. So they could contain it easily. Thus conservatives are in full control.
Second, the real organizing -- (inaudible) -- both intellectually and politically for reform and change is generated from within the ruling elite itself and not from outside of the regime, notwithstanding the presence of others in the struggle for reform.
Third, in fact, the elite, both conservative and reformists, and the public at large, are quite intense, if not paranoid, about the sense of independence, and dignity of the country. So it is very important to take into consideration this sense of eliteness. In fact, it has begun more than a hundred years ago. It is very crucial that once we are, as Secretary Armitage said, of presenting the facts or promoting a provoking sort of action. Many of these TV and radio stations in Los Angeles -- they are not just displaying information or disseminating information; these are basically provocations for sort of action. And I doubt any country would allow another country from other places call people to come and take hostile action against another government. So it is very crucial once we consider how to deal with these TV stations and expatriates Iranians in Los Angeles.
Also, the fourth one: There is the real frustration in Iran and outside Iran about the pace of reform in Iran. The reality is that there have been significant and irreversible change in Iran. Frustration over -- (inaudible) -- justification or expectations should not overshadow the fact. In fact, yes, it is true we wanted much more. We expected much more and we want much more. That is there, no doubt about it. But hard to get at this very important issue. But we have not too -- these facts should not overshadow what we have already achieved in the reform movement. It is a painful, long-term process, but that would serve, I believe, Iranian interests best, and possibly the others as well.
SEN. BIDEN: Can I make one concluding point? And I'm sorry to trespass on your time so much. Iran is almost 70 million people -- 70 percent or more under the age of 30. None of you have, but those who talk about a military option -- it seems to me there is no doubt we could militarily, quote, "defeat" Iran. But what in God's name do we do next in Iran? What is there that would lead anyone to believe that there would be a coalescence of this great democratic middle that would rise up in the defeat of a military defeat. And the president is not suggesting a military defeat, but there's some who, if you read the op-ed pages and the like. Is there any reason to believe that if it wasn't us -- anyone -- somehow there was an overthrow from the outside of the Iranian government that there would be a quickly- emerging democracy in Iran?
MR. CORDESMAN: No, senator. I don't know if all of us would agree with that, but I think the problems we have in Iraq would be an order of magnitude greater were we to attempt a military venture in Iran. Not only that -- if we were to actually do that in yet another country in the face of no support from within the region or from our allies, the reputation and status of the United States as a world power would be in jeopardy for reasons that go far beyond the military problems in Iran.
MR. LUERS: Let me make one clarification on the subject to how we have negotiated in the past with Iran. It is still my understanding that even though we had off-line bilateral discussions, it was always in the context of a U.N. organized multilateral meeting. And as far as I know to your question, Senator Biden, would we -- would this government be willing to state they want direct discussions now with Iran to begin the process of engaging that country -- I don't think they'd be willing to do that. That's what you asked.
SEN. BIDEN: No, I don't think we'd be willing. I was asking the question of whether or not it would be wise --
MR. LUERS: And I think it would be wise, and I think it would be wise to do it. I also agree with Mr. Cordesman and others that this is not easy, that you can't be romantic about Iran, and that they are going to be a threat in that region for a long time, probably no matter what happens internally. But the fact that we know nothing about them and have no contact with them, we have to depend on the types of information that we have, which I think is, as Mr. Cordesman also said, is terribly flawed. I would -- I think all of us would support a recommendation from you, senator, Mr. Chairman, that the administration begin the process, however they have to do it, of engaging directly on some of these really critical issues the Iranian government.
SEN. LUGAR: Well, we appreciate that counsel, and we appreciate the testimony from each one of you. You've been generous with your time, and your thoughts have stimulated our thinking. Having said that, why the hearing is adjourned.
SEN. BIDEN: Thank you, gentlemen.