Washington, D.C. – Today House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) delivered the following statement on the conference report to H.R. 2194, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act:


“I rise in strong support of H.R. 2194, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010, and to congratulate my good friend Howard Berman on this accomplishment.


“H.R. 2194 is a good bill, and I urge my colleagues to support it.  In my capacity as the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, I am very familiar with the potential threat posed by the Iranian nuclear weapons program to the United States and our allies.  An Iran armed with nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them, and governed by fanatics, would pose a grave threat to the United States, our troops in the region, and our allies, particularly Israel.


“That is why it is so important we pass this bill.  This Administration has taken significant steps to dissuade Iran from heading down the path of developing nuclear weapons.  President Obama pushed sanctions through the UN Security Council and developed a new missile defense program in Europe to show the Iranian government that their weapon programs cannot harm us, only themselves. 


“The Administration has made significant strides, but Congress can help these efforts.  H.R. 2194 would sanction those companies that sell technology, services, or know-how to help Iran develop its energy sector.  It would lock out of the U.S. market any bank that deals with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, the nuclear program, or terrorism.  And it imposes penalties on those foreign entities which provide Iran with ability to stifle freedom of speech.


“These are real sanctions, targeted in the right way, to hopefully head off a real threat.  Sanctions are our best hope of dissuading Iran from developing nuclear weapons.  We have reached out to them and tried to deal with them diplomatically, but they refused to deal openly and honestly.  Sanctions are the right steps to take at this time, and I encourage all of my colleagues to vote in favor of H.R. 2194.”