"Well, Chairman Kerry and Senator Lugar and members of the committee, thank you for calling several hearings on the new START treaty and for this invitation to appear before you. We deeply appreciate your commitment to this critical issue. And I think both the Chairman and the Ranking Member’s opening statements made very clear what is at stake and how we must proceed in the consideration of this treaty in an expeditious manner.
It is a pleasure to testify along with Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, because we share a strong belief that the new START Treaty will make our country more secure. This treaty also reflects our growing cooperation with Russia on matters of mutual interest and it will aid us in advancing our broader nonproliferation agenda. To that end, we have been working closely with our P-5+1 partners for several weeks on the draft of a new sanctions resolution on Iran. And today, I am pleased to announce to this committee we have reached agreement on a strong draft with the cooperation of both Russia and China. We plan to circulate that draft resolution to the entire Security Council today.
And let me say, Mr. Chairman, that I think this announcement is as convincing an answer to the efforts undertaken in Tehran over the last few days as any we could provide. There are a number of unanswered questions regarding the announcement coming from Tehran, and although we acknowledge the sincere efforts of both Turkey and Brazil to find a solution regarding Iran’s standoff with the international community over its nuclear program, the P-5+1, which consists, of course, of Russia, China, the United States, the UK, France, and Germany, along with the High Representative of the EU, are proceeding to rally the international community on behalf of a strong sanctions resolution that will, in our view, send an unmistakable message about what is expected from Iran."
# # #