June 18,2008

Baucus Statement at Iran Sanctions Markup

Opening Statement of Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.)
Regarding a Markup of Iran Sanctions Legislation

Abigail Adams said, “Great necessities call forth great leaders.”

Today, we are faced with a great necessity. We must act to ensure that Iran does not
continue its uranium enrichment program. We must act to prevent Iran from developing
a nuclear weapon.

To meet this necessity, America must lead. We must lead our allies in efforts to address
the grave threat that Iran poses to the security of not only America, but our friends and
allies around the world.

To fulfill this purpose, today we consider an original bill, the Iran Sanctions Act of 2008.

This bill builds on legislation on which this Committee held a hearing on April 8. Many
Senators on this Committee have strongly supported legislation to tighten sanctions on
Iran. I applaud their efforts, and look forward to reporting the bill before us out of this

And as is usually the case, the mark before us today is a cooperative effort, which I offer
on behalf of Senator Grassley and myself.

The Iran Sanctions Act of 2008 would deter the Iranian government from producing a
nuclear weapon by strengthening U.S. sanctions on Iran. It would expand our trade ban,
tighten financial sanctions, and ensure that U.S. companies comply with our sanctions

But it would not punish the Iranian people. Rather, it would authorize money to allow
Iranian youth to come to America and witness firsthand the fruits of a peaceful

And the bill would not punish our friends and allies. Rather, it would recognize that we
must join with other countries in a global effort to ensure a nuclear-free Iran.

This bill strikes the right balance. It would address the great necessity of halting Iran’s
nuclear ambitions. And it would pave the way for American leadership in addressing this
urgent global challenge. I invite my Colleagues to expeditiously approve the Iran
Sanctions Act of 2008 this morning.

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