Two members of a bipartisan congressional panel emphasized the need for Congress to reemphasize the America’s “credible military threat” to Iran to prevent that country’s development of a nuclear weapon.

“To ensure the best possible conditions for reaching a diplomatic settlement, the United States must exert the utmost pressure on Iran’s leadership,” said former senator Chuck Robb, a Democrat, in his opening statement to the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday morning.

Robb recognized efforts by President Barack Obama’s administration to find diplomatic resolutions to the threat of a nuclear Iran, but noted, “Iran has refused to negotiate in good faith.”

“We have to have the resolve to act, if necessary, or our ability to protect our allies, much less our own interest in the region and around the world will be dramatically reduced,” Robb said. “Iran must believe in its heart that the United States will use military action.”

Robb and co-panelist Republican Stephen Rademaker, both of the Bipartisan Policy Center, said they hoped that Congress and the president have a better understanding of how the actions and words of the United States can influence Iran to halt its nuclear weapons development.

“[We want] to give the president some cover…in making clear, unequivocal statements that if the red line is crossed that we will take action, so that there’s no doubt in the minds of whoever would be responsible for making the decision in Iran at a given time that we are prepared and willing to pull the trigger,” Robb told THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

Rademaker reminded the committee of Iran’s actions in the run-up to the war in Iraq, when the former country, along with Libya, abandoned nuclear weapons. For Iran, however, the suspension was only temporary.

“The last time that the Iranian regime felt there was a credible military threat, Iran gave up its uranium enrichment,” Rademaker said. “Once they stopped believing that the U.S. would conduct serious military action against them, they ended their suspension of uranium enrichment and never returned.”

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