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Rubio Demands Sanctions Vote on Iran

5:01 PM, Feb 26, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Marco Rubio delivered a speech on Iran on the Senate floor and called on Congress to take action:

"I think that this opposition to additional sanctions is part of a pattern of flawed foreign policy decisions on behalf of this administration. One that’s largely been built on the false assumption that our problems in the world were caused by an America that was too engaged, too involved, too opinionated, was providing too much leadership and direction, when the fact the opposite now is true," said Rubio.

“Many of the conflicts that are happening around the world today are the result of the chaos left behind by this administration’s unclear foreign policy. Many of our allies now openly question — and I can tell you from my travels, privately, strongly question — whether America’s assurances remain viable and whether we can continue to be relied upon in the agreements we’ve made in the past to provide collective security for ourselves and our allies. And when you leave a vacuum, it’s going to be filled. And what it’s being filled by right now are some of the most tyrannical governments on the planet. Look what’s happened with Moscow over the last five years. Moscow viewed the whole reset strategy of the United States under this President not as an opportunity to engage us, but as an opportunity to try to get an upper hand on us.

“Look what’s happened in the Asian Pacific region, where the Chinese regional ambitions to drive the U.S. out have grown exponentially, as have their capabilities. Meanwhile our partners in the region, while they welcome the rhetoric of a pivot, quite frankly, question whether we’ll have the capability to carry it out. And certainly in the Middle East, an incoherent foreign policy with regards to Syria, left open a space in Syria, ungoverned space, where foreign jihadists have poured into that country and have now basically converted entire parts of Syria as the premier operational space for global jihadists to train and operate.

“And now Iran. The situation in Iran, to use a colloquial term, is freaking out all the other countries in that region who have no illusions about who Iran truly is. They know exactly who these people are and they are baffled how the most powerful and informed government on the planet doesn’t realize what they realized a long time ago: That you’re not dealing with a responsible government here in Iran. You are dealing with a nation that openly supports terrorism as a tool of statecraft. That openly has shown their indications that they want to develop a nuclear weapons capability so they can become untouchable and the dominant power in that region. And if we don’t impose additional sanctions, if we don’t put in place a mechanism for additional sanctions to take place, I submit to you, by the time this negotiation that’s going on with the Iranians reaches an end point, it will become irrelevant because by that point in time, even if you wanted to impose more sanctions, it will be impossible to do because so many other countries will have now reengaged with commercial transactions with Iran.

“You’re not going to be able to put this genie back in the bottle, and the genie is already halfway out. So I hope we will take this more seriously. But at a minimum, I would ask this: Why can’t we vote on it? If we’re wrong, debate us on it. But why can’t we vote on it? Since when has the Senate become a place run by one person on a matter of this importance and magnitude? Since when has the Senate become controlled by one person’s opinion? Are you telling me that the people of Florida that I represent do not deserve the right to be represented and heard as much as the people of Nevada or any other state here? Are you saying that on an issue of this importance, one individual should have the power to basically say, ‘We will have no debate,’ when 59 members of this body, in a place where it’s tough to get 51 votes on anything, have expressed a strong opinion that they favor this? 

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