September 10, 2015
Today, ahead of the Senate's vote of disapproval on the President's deal with Iran, Senator Ben Sasse visited Iran's abandoned embassy and explained his continued opposition to the administration's deal. Video and a transcript of the Senator's remarks are found below.
"I am standing here on Embassy Row. Right behind me is the Iranian Embassy to the United States, which was abandoned April 7, 1980.
"I spent all day sitting on the floor of the U.S. Senate yesterday, listening to my colleagues debate the technicalities of the President’s Iranian nuclear deal. It was a lawyerly argument, and there are arguments all over the map. I obviously think it is a terrible deal.
"But I think what the American people get – that Washington D.C. does not understand – is that the technicalities of this deal are not the central question. The central question is 'why was this embassy abandoned April 7, 1980?'
"It is because in 1979 there was an Iranian revolution in Tehran, and the mullahs that came to power are theocratic hardliners that believe they have a divine mandate. Their divine mandate is to export Sharia law and tyranny across the Middle East, across North Africa, and beyond.
"The tyrants that rule Iran today believe they have a divine mandate to annihilate Israel. For 36 years we have had a bipartisan consensus in this country that the world’s largest state sponsor of terror should never be allowed to become a nuclear threshold state.
"Sadly, the administration has abandoned that 35 years of bipartisan consensus in the last 18 months in the fanciful, imaginary dream that they are going to transform the theocratic hardliners that rule that country into moderates that will no longer oppress religious minorities, women, and homosexuals within their country, that will no longer try to spread destabilization and fund terrorism across their region and across the globe.
"The American people are more serious than Washington D.C. The American people aspire to a day when this embassy is reopened – not with these theocratic mullahs, but when this embassy is reopened and when some flag is raised over this embassy of a nation that is led by people who believe in human flourishing and the dignity of their own people and who repudiate the goal of annihilating Israel and spreading their Sharia law across the Middle East.
"I’m grateful that the American people are more serious than Washington D.C. Thanks for listening."