Sen. Cruz: "We Need to Revoke Every Single One of the Civilian Nuclear Waivers" Allowing Iran to Build up Its Nuclear Program

July 9, 2019

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today delivered remarks at the Christians United for Israel 2019 Summit. There, he called on the Trump administration to revoke the civil-nuclear waivers issued by the State Department that allow Iran to build up its nuclear program, including at its Fordow centrifuge bunker, which was dug out of the side of a mountain to build nuclear weapons. He also discussed several victories that have enhanced the U.S.-Israel relationship, including the passage of his bipartisan bill imposing sanctions on the use of human shields, his push to reinforce Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and his bipartisan Cruz-Kaine antisemitism resolution which passed unanimously in the Senate.

"The very same week that we opened our embassy, the United States government withdrew from the disastrous Iran Nuclear deal," Sen. Cruz said. "That was the single most important national security decision the president has made. That, much like the embassy, was a battle within the administration. Both State and Defense, everyone who didn't want to move the embassy made the same argument, ‘We've got to stay in this deal, we've got to continue sending billions of dollars to the Ayatollah Khamenei while he chants ‘Death to America' and ‘Death to Israel.' You know, if history teaches us anything, it is that if someone tells you they want to kill you, believe them.

"Now I'll tell you once we withdrew, this is where the details matter, we withdrew from the deal but there were a series of waivers the administration put in place that kept significant components of the deal in place. In particular, there were oil waivers and there were so called civilian nuclear waivers. Well I've been making the case for months that we should revoke both. On the oil waivers, we were allowing the Ayatollah to sell over a million barrels of oil a day and that revenue was fueling the regime, the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Well I am happy to tell you just in the last couple of months the administration did the right thing and revoked the oil waivers and the Ayatollah can't sell his oil anymore.

"As for the civilian nuclear waivers, there are a total of seven. We had a partial success, they revoked two of the seven that was a step in the right direction. I am grateful for that. There are still five in place. Including, we right now have in place today, a waiver allowing the Ayatollah to conduct research at the Fordow Nuclear Bunker. This is a bunker built into the side of a mountain in Iran designed to develop nuclear weapons to try to murder all of us. And our State Department has a waiver in place that says ‘oh go ahead and do research there in that nuclear bunker built into the side of a mountain.' Well Iran is now declaring their intentions to enrich uranium and to break their side of the deal. There are two things that I think are critically important to do. Which are number one I think we need to revoke every single one of the civilian nuclear waivers. That decision is teed up right now so I encourage you to echo the importance of revoking the civilian nuclear waivers."

"And number two, I believe in response to Iran's latest actions we need to invoke what are called the snapback sanctions under the Iran deal, which means at the United Nations that would force the rest of the world to impose sanctions as well. Under the terms of the deal, if Iran breaks their side, if they enrich uranium beyond the thresholds, the sanctions were supposed to snapback. Now, I'll tell you the Europeans don't want to do it. And this more broadly, I ask for your prayers and for your advocacy. Right now the pressure on the president is enormous, the pressure from Europe. Europe believes it stands to make a lot of money by doing business with Iran. And if that means the Ayatollah gets billions of dollars to develop nuclear weapons that could murder millions of people across the globe, well that's the cost of doing business."