Good morning, Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Menendez and Senators. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss with you the status of negotiations related to Iran’s nuclear program.
It is appropriate that we are gathered here today for what will be this committee’s first hearing this year and its first hearing under the new 114th Congress to discuss Iran’s nuclear program. The challenge posed by Iran’s nuclear program has long been one of our country’s foremost national security priorities, and it has been a primary focus of both the Congress and the Administration. The international community shares our serious concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. Together with our partners in the P5+1 and the EU we have been unified in pursuing a comprehensive solution that lays these concerns to rest – consistent with the President’s firm commitment to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
It was with that challenge in mind that Secretary Kerry and our lead negotiator Under Secretary Sherman traveled to Geneva last week as part of our latest efforts to reach a long-term comprehensive plan of action with Iran that would verifiably ensure Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful going forward.