WASHINGTON, June 7 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) gave a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday morning regarding legislation that would expand U.S. sanctions against Iran. See below for a full transcript.
"Mr. President, I am strongly supportive of adding sanctions against Russia to the bill that is scheduled to come up this afternoon. Russia, as I think we all know, actively worked to influence our 2016 presidential election and continues to try and destabilize democracies around the world, including our own, and that is unacceptable.
"At the same time, I have serious concerns about the sanctions on Iran contained in this bill. As we have heard from former Obama administration officials, including Secretary Kerry and Ambassador Sherman, these measures could undermine the joint comprehensive plan of action, the very important nuclear agreement signed in 2015 between the United States, our P5-plus partners and Iran.
"But above and beyond that, let us be aware and cognizant that earlier today the people of Iran suffered a horrific terror attack in their capital, Tehran, in which 12 people were killed and many more were injured. The Islamic State has claimed credit for this attack.
"Mr. President, at a time when tensions are extremely high in that part of the world, our goal must be to find ways to bring people together to reduce tensions rather than to exacerbate this very painful and dangerous situation. Let us also remember that the leaders of Iran immediately expressed condolences for the September 11 attacks against the United States and that hundreds of Iranians held a candlelight vigil.
"Mr. President, it seems to me to be the right thing to do that on a day when Iran has been attacked by ISIS, by terrorism, now is not the time to go forward with legislation calling for sanctions against Iran. I would respectfully request that we delay our vote on this bill until next week. Let us tell the people of Iran that while we have serious disagreements with them on a number of issues, that today when they are mourning, when they are dealing with the shock of a terrorist attack, today is not the day to go forward with this piece of legislation.
"With, I yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum."