Carper Subcommittee Examines How Congress Helps the Next Presidential Administration Improve U.S. Policy on Iran

Sens. Specter & Feinstein and Foreign Policy Experts Consider U.S. Policy Alternatives on Iran

WASHINGTON – Looking ahead to a new presidential administration and issues it will face regarding Iran, Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information and International Security, today held a hearing to examinewhat the best U.S. policy options are regarding Iran – particularly in relation to Iran’s nuclear ambitions – and to solicit ideas on how Congress can help achieve a desirable outcome.

Foreign policy experts from the past four administrations, ranging back to the Reagan Administration, testified today on how to develop a more effective strategy that will ultimately prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

“Today’s hearing examines the diplomatic efforts of the Bush Administration and our nation’s strained relations with Iran since 1979, and asks: what is the smartest way forward for this administration and the next?” Sen. Carper said. “Many of us agree that it should be U.S. policy to prevent a nuclear Iran. However, several years of inadequate diplomatic efforts by the current administration and four UN Security Council Resolutions have not compelled Iran to suspend its enrichment-related activities. I believe a more vigorous diplomacy – including comprehensive talks with the Iranians that address their nuclear program and support of terrorism – might be the best option before the United States today.”

Sen. Carper, who also serves on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, specifically asked today’s witnesses to address lessons learned from previous U.S. engagement with North Korea and Libya and, specifically, to better understand how the United States can best leverage the international banking systems to compel Iran to change their behavior.

“It is also important to review what lessons can be gleaned from U.S. involvement with North Korea and Libya, and how those lessons might be applied to Iran today,” Sen. Carper said.

Sen. Carper thanked Sens. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) for coming as special witnesses to open today’s hearing and for providing their expert views on relations between the United States and Iran.