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Edwards votes to sanction Iran

Rep. Donna Edwards voted Tuesday to impose sanctions on Iran aimed at derailing the nation's reported efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. The vote was being closely watched by some in the local Jewish community, given the flap Edwards has found herself in over her record on Israel.

Edwards gave a one-minute floor speech on the bill and entered an additional statement into the Congressional record. Her full remarks, provided by her office, are below:

"Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank Chairman Berman (D-CA) for yielding and I rise today disappointed I am here to support the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act. I am disappointed because it is the extraordinary lack of cooperation and duplicity on the part of the leadership in Iran that brings us to this point. Though I share many of the concerns expressed by the opposition, like many, I was hopeful at the beginning of this year and this new President and Administration that we would approach Iran differently and that the leaders in Iran would respond likewise. Sadly, the response of the Iranian leadership, particularly following their flawed elections, has been anything but forthcoming and cooperative. They thwarted the international community and rebuffed a viable plan for transfer of low-grade uranium and materials for a true civilian nuclear capacity. They led the world community along in the belief that they were negotiating fairly and with integrity, and instead they are pursuing enrichment. This posture on the part of the Iranian government is both unfortunate and misguided - attempting to test President Obama's resolve and commitment to transparency, deterrence, and accountability. It is my hope that our actions today will enable additional leverage for President Obama and his team within the governing, multilateral institutions and negotiating countries. I think the Iranian leadership has to understand that the United States is both serious about engagement and accountability."

Statement entered into the Congressional record:

"Mr. Speaker, I have been impressed by the determination of the Iranian people to demand more from their government and for themselves. We should leave them to that purpose without interference. I understand that there are those who are concerned about unilateral actions by this Congress--I share that concern--nonetheless it is my fervent hope that President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, and Ambassador Rice will now take this one body's action and garner the support of the international community lest the full body act unilaterally and with finality, thus squandering an opportunity for Iran's leaders to demonstrate to the Iranian people and the world that they are prepared to join the community of nations in peace and in support of nuclear nonproliferation."

By Jonathan Mummolo  |  December 15, 2009; 5:25 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , Jonathan Mummolo , Montgomery County  
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