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H. Con. Res. 90, H. Con. Res. 320, H. Res. 578,

H. Res. 658 and H.R. 282

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MARCH 15, 2006

Serial No. 109–161

Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations

Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.house.gov/internationalrelations


HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois, Chairman

  Vice Chairman
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
DARRELL ISSA, California
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JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
MARK GREEN, Wisconsin
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
J. GRESHAM BARRETT, South Carolina
TED POE, Texas

TOM LANTOS, California
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
BRAD SHERMAN, California
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
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BARBARA LEE, California
ADAM B. SCHIFF, California
DIANE E. WATSON, California
ADAM SMITH, Washington

THOMAS E. MOONEY, SR., Staff Director/General Counsel
ROBERT R. KING, Democratic Staff Director
DANIEL FREEMAN, Counsel/Parliamentarian
JEAN CARROLL, Full Committee Hearing Coordinator



    H. Con. Res. 90, Conveying the sympathy of Congress to the families of the young women murdered in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico, and encouraging increased United States involvement in bringing an end to these crimes
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    H. Con. Res. 320, Calling on the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to immediately and unconditionally release Dr. Pham Hong Son and other political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, and other purposes
Amendment to H. Con. Res. 320 offered by the Honorable Christopher H. Smith, a Representative in Congress from the State of New Jersey and Vice Chairman, Committee on International Relations

    H. Res. 578, Concerning the Government of Romania's ban on intercountry adoptions and the welfare of orphaned or abandoned children in Romania

    H. Res. 658, Supporting the goals and ideals of World Water Day

    H.R. 282, To hold the current regime in Iran accountable for its threatening behavior and to support a transition to democracy in Iran
Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 282 offered by the Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Representative in Congress from the State of Florida, and the Honorable Tom Lantos, a Representative in Congress from the State of California


The Honorable Christopher H. Smith:
Prepared statement on H. Con. Res. 320
Prepared statement on H. Res. 578

    The Honorable Darrell Issa, a Representative in Congress from the State of California: Prepared statement on H.R. 282
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    The Honorable Russ Carnahan, a Representative in Congress from the State of Missouri: Prepared statement on H.R. 282



House of Representatives,
Committee on International Relations,
Washington, DC.

    The Committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:40 a.m. in Room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Henry J. Hyde (Chairman of the Committee) presiding.

    Chairman HYDE. The business meeting of the Committee will come to order. We have several noncontroversial bills on the agenda. It is the intention of the Chair to consider these measures en bloc and by unanimous consent authorize the Chair to seek consideration of the bills under suspension of the rules.

    All Members are given leave to insert remarks on the measures into the record should they choose to do so. Accordingly, without objection the Chairman is authorized to seek consideration of the following bills under suspension of the rules and the amendments to those measures, which the Members have before them, shall be deemed adopted: H.Con.Res. 90, Conveying the sympathy of Congress to the families of the young women murdered in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico; H.Con.Res. 320, Calling on the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to immediately and unconditionally release prisoners of conscience as amended; H.Res. 578, Concerning the Government of Romania's ban on intercountry adoptions and the welfare of orphaned or abandoned children in Romania; H.Res. 658, Supporting the goals and ideals of World Water Day.
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    [The information referred to follows:]

[Note: Image(s) not available in this format. See PDF version of this file.]

    Chairman HYDE. Pursuant to notice, I call up the bill H.R. 282, The Iran Freedom Support Act, and move its favorable recommendation to the House.

    Without objection, the bill will be considered as read, open for amendment at any point, and the amendment in the nature of a substitute which the Members have before them will be considered as read and be considered as the original text for purposes of amendment.

    [The information referred to follows:]

[Note: Image(s) not available in this format. See PDF version of this file.]

    Chairman HYDE. The Chair recognizes to strike the last word, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen.

    Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Thank you so much, Mr. Chairman. I understand that we have a series of votes beginning at 11:15, so I will keep my remarks brief.

    This bill, as you know, has gathered a lot of support in a bipartisan way. We have 352 co-sponsors, and I would like to point out, Mr. Chairman, that it has been a delight for my office to have worked with you, Chairman Hyde, with Ranking Member Lantos, with my Middle East Ranking Member, Mr. Ackerman, and that this has been a bipartisan bill. We have nothing but good words and praises for the Chairman in the way that he has handled this bill.
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    We have been able to incorporate a substitute as an amendment that already includes some of the Members' concerns. We have included Mr. Royce's amendment, Mr. Sherman, Mr. Blumenauer, Ms. Lee and Ms. Watson, so we will be presenting the amendment in the nature of a substitute which includes those provisions, and we have also been able to work on another standalone amendment with Mr. Sherman, and I thank them for their cooperative spirit.

    I would like to point out some special guests that we have with us, former hostages from the Iranian crisis. They were held in captivity 444 days, and I would like to say their names and have them stand up.

    Richard Morefield; Martin Graves, who is the son of John Graves; Steve Kirtley and his wife, Kate; Don Cooke; Ambassador John Limbert and his wife, Parvaneh. Thank you. Thank you so much for your courage.


    Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. It is in their spirit that we are presenting this bill, as well as presenting it as an effective tool to use regarding the Iranians' nuclear ambition, which presents a true threat to our national security.

    I know that the Chairman has been very kind in working with us throughout this process, and I would also like to point out the great leadership of our staff director on the Middle East Subcommittee, Yleem Poblete. Thank you, Dr. Poblete, for all of your help.

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    With that, Mr. Chairman, it has been 25 years since our hostages were released, and Iran has yet to pay for this first act of terrorism, so it is in their name and the many names of victims of the Iranian aggression that we offer for consideration H.Res. 282.

    With that I yield back, Mr. Chairman.

    Chairman HYDE. I thank the gentlelady.

    Mr. Lantos?

    Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this markup, and I want to pay tribute at the outset to my good friend from Florida, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, for her leadership on this most important legislation. I also want to note special mention of staff on both sides of the aisle, who have done extraordinary work.

    Mr. Chairman, the single, most important action that we will take today is to ensure that the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act is not—and I repeat, is not—extended. Libya no longer needs to be subject to such punitive measures. It is our full partner in the global goal of controlling the spread of nuclear weapons.

    In December 2004, Libya took a bold and courageous step. It pledged to relieve itself of weapons of mass destruction. I was in Tripoli a few weeks after Col. Kadafi's announcement. I urged him to follow through with his public pledge, and then Libya loaded all the weapons onto American ships. All the Libyan weapons, together with all the detailed plans and programs, are now under lock and key in Tennessee.
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    As a result, the legislation before the Committee removes all references to Libya from the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act. ILSA is dead, Mr. Chairman, and the Iran Sanctions Act will rise in its place.

    The weight of American sanctions will now be focused solely on Iran because the mullahs in Tehran continue to pursue their nuclear ambitions. The message to Tehran is simple. Follow the Libya model, and we in Congress are prepared to open a new and much happier chapter in United States-Iranian relations.

    Mr. Chairman, the Iran Freedom Support Act will dramatically ratchet up the economic pressure on Tehran to abandon its headlong pursuit of nuclear weapons. If we fail to use both our economic and our diplomatic tools, the world will face a nightmare that knows no end, a dysthetic and dictatorial regime avidly supporting terrorism, exploiting the ultimate weapon of terror.

    This bill has the single-minded goal of persuading the international community to deprive Iran of the financial resources it is currently using to fund its nuclear program. It is naive to expect that we can convince Iran to end its nuclear program voluntarily based on reason. We can only hope to inflict such severe economic pain on Tehran that would starve the Iranian leadership of the resources they need to fund a costly nuclear program.

    Some argue that our legislation will undermine our relations with European allies who invest in Iran that would also help lead an important diplomatic effort to bring the Iran nuclear issue to the UN Security Council. That argument, Mr. Chairman, is a pure and simple misreading of the contents of our bill.
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    Our legislation is intended to reinforce diplomacy with economics. We ask our allies to do what the United States did over a decade ago. Divest from Iran's energy sector, the cash cow of the Ayatollah's nuclear exploration.

    At the same time, our legislation will not put the President in a straightjacket. If a truly verifiable deal to eliminate Iran's nuclear program can be negotiated, the President may waive implementation of this law.

    Mr. Chairman, let me be clear on one point. The Congress will no longer tolerate lax enforcement of American sanctions against Iran. For over a decade, both Democratic and Republican Administrations have refused to implement the ILSA sanctions we do have in place. Meanwhile, Iran's nuclear program has marched forward at a rapid pace.

    The legislation before the Committee will extend the Iran Sanctions Act indefinitely and dramatically boost congressional oversight over its implementation. Either the Administration will fully enforce the law or it will have to justify to Congress why strong action against Iran is not taken. Ignoring the law will no longer be an option.

    I commend the Administration for finally convincing the International Atomic Energy Agency to send this Iran file to the UN Security Council. I hope the Security Council will act expeditiously.

    In fact, I would be delighted if our legislation does nothing more than reinforce sanctions passed by the Security Council, but we cannot count on that. We must not shirk our responsibility to employ every means at our disposal to defeat Iran's deadly nuclear ambition.
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    Mr. Chairman, I strongly support this bill, and for the sake of staving off looming long-term nuclear terrorist threat I urge all of my colleagues to do so as well.

    Thank you.

    Chairman HYDE. Thank you, Mr. Lantos.

    In finding the proliferations of weapons of mass destruction, we are confronting instruments with no purpose beyond the efficient, near instantaneous elimination of human life. There is nothing more frightening than the prospect of such weapons in the possession of Iran.

    At various points in the past and continuing until this day, it has been important to reduce Iran's resources to limit its ability to invest in weapons of mass destruction. That was the primary goal of the original Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996.

    Today, however, oil such is over $60 per barrel, and Iran is awash in oil money. New actions to discourage investment will not immediately impact the level of resources available to the regime. The world must directly focus on stopping the Iranian arms program and deterring its regime and not merely on depriving that regime of money.

    To successfully deter the Iranian regime, the opposition must truly be global. By threatening tough sanctions not against Iran, but against third parties who invest in Iran's petroleum industry, H.R. 282 targets our allies.
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    The approach is divisive, and understandably our allies have resisted. Rather than alienating our allies, we must work with them to confront a universal threat. Recently the Administration has made great strides on the diplomatic front. Restraint in moving this legislation has allowed the Administration to work toward achieving a crucial mass of nations to confront Iran.

    That delay, a measure of extraordinary diplomacy on the part of the Administration, and the wise and helpful flexibility and understanding shown by the gentlelady from Florida, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, who chaired the Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia, and the gentleman from California, Mr. Lantos, the Ranking Democratic Member of the Committee, have brought us very far indeed.

    For example, the President will now have a practicable waiver of the imposition of sanctions on enterprises which have invested in the Iranian petroleum industry. He will be able to exercise that waiver if, for example, the government of the enterprise in question cooperates in our efforts to coerce Iran to give up its nuclear arsenal.

    As modified, and perhaps with future modifications as the legislation process continues and with proper enforcement by the Administration, H.R. 282 can become a powerful tool to prevent Iran's development of weapons of mass destruction. That is why I will support H.R. 282, albeit it with some small reservations.

    Again, I applaud the energy and determination of the bill's sponsors, and I thank them for their careful consideration of our input.
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    Mr. Sherman of California is recognized.

    Mr. SHERMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I do have some general comments. I would like to make them in striking the last word.

    Before I do that, I have a modification of the amendment in the nature of a substitute at the desk, and I ask that it be adopted. It is a technical two-word change designed to define the word, ''parent corporation.''

    If the clerk will read the amendment?

    Chairman HYDE. Without objection, the amendments are agreed to.

    Mr. Sherman?

    Mr. SHERMAN. Thank you. I would like to strike the last word and make some general comments.

    Chairman HYDE. For 5 minutes.

    Mr. SHERMAN. Thank you. This bill is an important first step using the economic and diplomatic power of the United States both to create a circumstance where the Iranian people will benefit if their country abandons its nuclear programs and to inform the Iranian people how the nuclear program imposed upon them by their government is harming their economy.
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    I compliment the author not only for the wisdom in bringing this bill, but for the wisdom she showed in dealing with several of my proposed amendments. Two of those amendments I will not propose here today, but will work with the author to have made in order by the Rules Committee for consideration on the Floor. This will eliminate any question about the jurisdiction of this Committee.

    The first of these would ban imports to the United States from Iran. We do not import oil from Iran. We just import stuff that we do not need and they could not sell anywhere else. Second, we would require that we oppose WTO membership for Iran. Both of those amendments would apply so long as Iran is permitted the nuclear weapons.

    A third amendment that I hope the Rules Committee will make an order, and I know with the persuasiveness of the gentlelady from Florida they will, to add to the sanctions that the President is allowed to impose on oil companies investing in Iran a capital market sanction so that such companies, if the President so determined, could not seek capital in the United States capital markets.

    We will have report language in this bill, thanks to the gentlelady from Florida, urging a more aggressive approach and a government-to-government approach on urging that the World Bank be prevented from making further loans to Iran so long as it is developing nuclear weapons, and the bill base text already contains important technical language that would allow our democracy programs for Iran to use the equipment that they need notwithstanding the fact that this equipment could not be exported to Iran in a regular commercial transaction.

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    Finally, the text of the bill as put forward will end the practice of subsidiaries of United States companies doing business in and with Iran. As Mr. Lantos indicates, it would be the Iran Sanctions Act imposing sanctions on foreign companies doing business in the oil sector in Iran. We certainly need to impose requirements on our own companies and their subsidiaries.

    We should not have, and under this bill we will not have, a circumstance where the managerial skill, the intellectual property, the know-how, the capital and the products of the United States can reach Iran through foreign subsidiaries.

    Finally, Mr. Chairman, I was going to propose an amendment to this bill simply stating that the Algiers Accords are void. I have been convinced that including that section in this bill at this time would imperil the entire bill.

    I look forward to working with others on this Committee to get such a statement made by the Congress of the United States, but in separate legislation.

    I yield back.

    Chairman HYDE. Mr. Royce?

    Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    First I would like to commend the gentlewoman and Ranking Member for the laser focus that they have shown on Iran. As has been said, the prospect of Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism, acquiring nuclear weapons is not only a grave threat to our security; it is a grave threat to the security of others as well.
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    I appreciate the author's incorporation of an amendment that I had concerning Article IV of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. We need to start pushing back on this notion that Iran and other countries have the right to the full nuclear fuel cycle under the NPT, leaving them steps away from possessing nuclear weapons.

    I am pleased to see also that the section of this bill seeking to designate one democratic opposition organization as what might be perceived as the lead democratic organization has been dropped in the language.

    I think it is very important that while this bill promotes democracy we do nothing to be seen as anointing a particular organization as our organization. That would not help the organization that we designated and, more importantly, it would run the risk of alienating the Iranian people that we are trying to help.

    It is a fine line between supporting democracy in general terms, which I enthusiastically support, and being seen as promoting the interests of particular democratics, which is not our business and could very well be counterproductive, so it is good that that is not in the bill.

    Regarding democracy, it is important that we appreciate that while it is an inherent bid when coupled with individual liberties, our main policy goal is still keeping Iran from obtaining weapons of mass destruction and ending its sponsorship of terrorism.

    At our Committee's hearing last week one of the witnesses testified the nuclear threat is inseparable from the nature of the regime. If there were a fully elected democratic government in Tehran, he said, instead of the self-selecting tyranny of the mullahs, we would not feel such a sense of urgency about the nuclear program or about an effective American policy toward Iran.
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    Well, we probably would not feel the sense of urgency, but again we should not lose sight of the fact that we do not want to see any Iranian Government with nuclear weapons which would violate the NPT.

    Lastly, the Administration has expressed not unreasonable concerns about the sanctions in this legislation. It has written Members that the sanctions would create tensions with countries whose help we need in dealing with Iran and shift away from Iran's actions and spotlight differences between us and our allies.

    It has been said that there are no good options when confronting Iran, and that is true, but the worst of the worst option is probably going it alone. We should try to avoid that predicament, Mr. Chairman, if we can.

    I thank you very much, and I will yield back, Mr. Chairman.

    Chairman HYDE. Mr. Blumenauer?

    Mr. BLUMENAUER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    I, too, express my appreciation to the Subcommittee Chair and Ranking Member of the Full Committee not only for their laser-like focus on this issue, but willingness to listen to accommodate, and I appreciate—in fact, Mr. Chairman, I share some of your feelings that the bill I think is moving forward in a way that is going to be more helpful for everybody as a result of the hard work, and I appreciate it.
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    I do have an amendment at the desk that I was going to offer up, but in the spirit of accommodation I would just speak to the notion about striking the sunset provision for sanctions. I think it was wise to have it originally in the Iran-Libya sanctions bill.

    We have a habit here, in part because we are the only major country in the world that does not have a sanctions policy, of kind of forgetting how we got to places. We do not have reality checks. We do not know when we have won or when we have lost. I hope the day will come when our great democracy, like our allies and many of the people we do not care much for, actually has a coherent, consistent policy for imposing sanctions.

    I will come back to that at another time and perhaps offer an amendment, but I do not want to impede the work today.

    There has been reference to the fact that the desires of some people in Congress have not been reflected by behaviors of past Administrations. These are Administrations that were hardline or softer, Republican and Democratic, and I think they are in fact practicing the art of diplomacy.

    This is not an easy situation. We saw on the front page of yesterday's Post how things can backfire and where some of the democratic forces that are at work in Iran are trying to change things fear that they may be undercut by some of the perceptions of American activity.

    I just left a meeting with the President and Board Chair of Mercy Corps, which has done amazing work around the world. Many Members of this Committee are familiar with their work. They have had the plug pulled on being able to provide humanitarian assistance in Iraq in the area around the earthquake. They cannot go forward, although they were doing great work, and I think all of us would feel that this is the sort of person-to-person humanitarian aid that can help strengthen the bonds between our two countries.
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    They do not have a viable alternative going forward. They certainly, under the current climate, could not go forward under the guise of somehow they are doing democratic work or trying to undercut the Government of Iran. It would not be safe for them, and it would be counterproductive for us.

    The Chairman, I think, appropriately noted that the tradeoffs in gains in leverage over Iran contained in this bill, if they are to be achieved, are likely to have substantial impact on our efforts with our allies who are ultimately going to be key. They have more leverage than we do.

    We do not have leverage any more. We have sort of drawn the line. We are firm and resolute. It is going to be these other countries that are going to help us, and they are our allies, and they are going to be key to slowing or denying Iran's access to nuclear capability.

    I continue to be concerned that this legislation is not optimal in terms of achieving that goal. I appreciate the hard work that is done. I appreciate the goal that I think we are all united behind, and I hope that as this works its way through the process that we will be able to continue this discussion to refine it in a way that actually does not undercut our efforts, be they humanitarian or diplomatic, and that we all can look forward to a day when there is a nuclear-free Iran.

    Mr. BERMAN. Would the gentleman yield?

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    Mr. BLUMENAUER. I yield back.

    Mr. BERMAN. Would the gentleman yield?

    Mr. BLUMENAUER. Yes, if I may.

    Mr. BERMAN. I am unclear. What is there about the provisions of this bill or the substitute that prohibits the delivery of humanitarian earthquake relief assistance?

    Mr. BLUMENAUER. I was referring to our existing policy. Treasury did not grant an extension to Mercy Corps under existing law to continue——

    Mr. BERMAN. Under our embargo that was imposed by executive order after the hostage taking?

    Mr. BLUMENAUER. In the existing policy, yes.

    Mr. SHERMAN. If the gentleman would yield? Will the gentleman yield?

    Mr. BLUMENAUER. Sure.

    Mr. SHERMAN. This bill, thanks to the author, now includes language that is designed to deal with that very purpose. That is to say State Department grantees working on State Department and USAID projects will be allowed to buy a cell phone at Staples and take it with them to an earthquake situation in Iran.
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    There was an unintended consequence of our sanctions that has prevented us from providing the most effective possible democracy in earthquake aid to Iran, and this bill would solve the problem.

    Mr. BERMAN. Would the gentleman yield further?

    Mr. BLUMENAUER. Sure.

    Mr. BERMAN. I am truly unclear. At one point I thought we legislated an exemption for food and medicine to all economic embargoes, including the one we by executive order unilaterally imposed on Iran not through ILSA and not through the amendments through ILSA, now known as ISA.

    Am I wrong about that? I am confused about the ability to provide medicines after an earthquake. I thought that that was all exempted from the U.S. economic embargo laws.

    Mr. BLUMENAUER. I would be happy to supply to you, Mr. Berman, and to the Committee the information from Mercy Corps about the ruling from Treasury and the basis under which it was extended that has stopped their activities there now.

    I think it may be that they had a broader exemption for the activities they were involved with. I do not know. I would be happy to track that down and provide it to you.

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    Chairman HYDE. The gentleman's time has expired.

    Mr. Ackerman from New York?

    Mr. ACKERMAN. I do not seek time, Mr. Chairman.

    Chairman HYDE. If there are no further amendments, the question——

    Ms. Lee of California?

    Ms. LEE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will be very brief. Let me just thank my friend, the Chair of the Subcommittee, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, also yourself and our Ranking Member and Mr. Berman and our staff for working together. We have been working with you for the last year I think to clarify certain provisions of this legislation.

    For many years I have been involved in and have had a deep concern for nuclear nonproliferation efforts. The reduction and elimination of nuclear weapons is essential for global peace and security. This bill certainly moves in that direction in seeking a nuclear free world.

    The amendments that I offered, which were included, and I want to thank the co-authors of this legislation again because I think it will make it clear that in no way does this bill constitute an authorization to use military force against Iran, nor will the funds be used in democracy promotion to destabilize activities in Iran.
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    Equally important, Mr. Chairman, we must ensure that any funds we authorize in this legislation are not channeled to democracy-promotion organizations who may in turn bankroll covert action against Iran, and so I am pleased that while that provision is not included in the bill, it is included in the Committee report of these proceedings.

    I hope these important provisions will be maintained as this legislation proceeds through this legislative process. As a strong and long-time advocate, as I said earlier, for nonproliferation, Mr. Chairman, I think that we should certainly today be doing something about Iran's misguided program of nuclear proliferation.

    The question is how we must act and to clarify to the Administration our intent in authorizing through this legislation. I must say, Mr. Chairman, that I remain deeply concerned that the Bush Administration is gradually building up a case for another preemptive strike, this time against Iran.

    I do not believe that we can be well served by another military venture in the Middle East, and neither will the cause of nonproliferation. I wanted to make certain that this bill in no way implied that we were paving the way for yet another military venture by our Government.

    Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time, and I want to thank you once again and Ms. Ros-Lehtinen for her efforts and for allowing our staff, and I think their negotiations were very tough, but they were forthright with a lot of integrity, and we were able to work out the arrangements and the provisions that I just enunciated.
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    Again, I yield the balance of my time.

    Chairman HYDE. Mr. Rohrabacher of California?

    Mr. ROHRABACHER. First and foremost I would like to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your leadership and the leadership of Mr. Lantos on a matter of utmost importance to the future security of the United States and the peace of the world. I would also like to thank Ms. Ros-Lehtinen and Brad Sherman for the wonderful things that he has done in pushing this issue.

    I think that we are long overdue for action to be taken against the mullah regime in Iran, and let me just note that I do not think that we have anything to apologize for for the President of the United States committing himself to battling terrorists like in al-Qaeda and regimes like the mullah dictatorship in Iran.

    We can be very proud that our country under the leadership of this President is confronting those evils, because if we do not confront those evils they will come back and hurt us in the long run as we saw on 9/11.

    Let me note that although this legislation has nothing to do with covert operations against Iran, I think Iran would be a fine target for us to have covert operations in order to help the people there restore that country to a democratic process so a truly democratic Iran would not be as threatening to the world and threatening to that region and threatening to the people of the United States as is an Iran that is controlled by religious fanatics that suppress democracy in their own country.
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    I am very grateful for your leadership, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Lantos, Mr. Sherman, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, in taking this great step forward. Thank you very much. That is all I have to say.

    Chairman HYDE. Thank you, Mr. Rohrabacher.

    I wonder if Mr. Wexler and Ms. Watson would restrain themselves briefly while we vote this bill out. We have a reporting majority. Then we will come back to you and indulge whatever you have to say, okay? Thank you.

    The question occurs on the amendment in the nature of a substitute as amended.

    All those in favor say aye.

    [Chorus of ayes.]

    Chairman HYDE. Opposed, nay?

    [No response.]

    Chairman HYDE. The ayes have it, and the amendment is agreed to.

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    The question occurs on the motion to report the bill favorably as amended. All those in favor——

    Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Chairman, on that I request a recorded vote.

    Chairman HYDE. The gentleman requested a recorded vote. The clerk will read the role.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Leach?

    Mr. LEACH. No.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Leach votes no.

    Mr. Smith of New Jersey?


    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Smith of New Jersey votes yes.

    Mr. Burton?

    Mr. BURTON. Yes.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Burton votes yes.
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    Mr. Gallegly?

    Mr. GALLEGLY. Aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Gallegly votes yes.

    Ms. Ros-Lehtinen?

    Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Yes.

    Ms. RUSH. Ms. Ros-Lehtinen votes yes.

    Mr. Rohrabacher?


    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Rohrabacher votes yes.

    Mr. Royce?

    Mr. ROYCE. Aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Royce votes yes.

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    Mr. King?

    [No response.]

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Chabot?

    Mr. CHABOT. Aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Chabot votes yes.

    Mr. Tancredo?

    Mr. TANCREDO. Aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Tancredo votes yes.

    Mr. Paul?

    Mr. PAUL. No.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Paul votes no.

    Mr. Issa?

    Mr. ISSA. Aye.
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    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Issa votes yes.

    Mr. Flake?

    [No response.]

    Ms. RUSH. Mrs. Davis?

    Mrs. DAVIS. Aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Mrs. Davis votes yes.

    Mr. Green?

    Mr. GREEN. Aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Green votes yes.

    Mr. Weller?

    Mr. WELLER. Aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Weller votes yes.

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    Mr. Pence?

    [No response.]

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. McCotter?

    Mr. MCCOTTER. Aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. McCotter votes yes.

    Ms. Harris?

    [No response.]

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Wilson?

    [No response.]

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Boozman?

    Mr. BOOZMAN. Aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Boozman votes yes.

    Mr. Barrett?
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    Mr. BARRETT. Aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Barrett votes yes.

    Mr. Mack?

    Mr. MACK. Aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Mack votes yes.

    Mr. Fortenberry?


    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Fortenberry votes yes.

    Mr. McCaul?

    [No response.]

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Poe?

    Mr. POE. Aye.

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    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Poe votes yes.

    Mr. Lantos?

    Mr. LANTOS. Aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Lantos votes yes.

    Mr. Berman?

    Mr. BERMAN. Aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Berman votes yes.

    Mr. Ackerman?

    Mr. ACKERMAN. Aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Ackerman votes yes.

    Mr. Faleomavaega?

    [No response.]

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Payne?
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    [No response.]

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Brown?

    [No response.]

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Sherman?

    Mr. SHERMAN. Aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Sherman votes yes.

    Mr. Wexler?

    Mr. WEXLER. Aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Wexler votes yes.

    Mr. Engel?

    [No response.]

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Delahunt?

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    Mr. DELAHUNT. Yes.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Delahunt votes yes.

    Mr. Meeks?

    [No response.]

    Ms. RUSH. Ms. Lee?

    Ms. LEE. Aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Ms. Lee votes yes.

    Mr. Crowley?

    [No response.]

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Blumenauer?


    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Blumenauer votes no.

    Ms. Berkley?
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    Ms. BERKLEY. Aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Ms. Berkley votes yes.

    Ms. Napolitano?

    Ms. NAPOLITANO. Aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Ms. Napolitano votes yes.

    Mr. Schiff?

    Mr. SCHIFF. Aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Schiff votes yes.

    Ms. Watson?

    Ms. WATSON. Aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Ms. Watson votes yes.

    Mr. Smith of Washington?

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    [No response.]

    Ms. RUSH. Ms. McCollum?

    [No response.]

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Chandler?

    Mr. CHANDLER. Aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Chandler votes yes.

    Mr. Cardoza?

    [No response.]

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Carnahan?

    Mr. CARNAHAN. Mr. Carnahan votes yes.

    Chairman Hyde?

    Chairman HYDE. Yes.

    Ms. RUSH. Chairman Hyde votes yes.
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    Chairman HYDE. Mr. Crowley of New York?

    Mr. CROWLEY. Was I recorded?

    Ms. RUSH. He is not recorded.

    Mr. CROWLEY. I vote aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Crowley votes yes.

    Chairman HYDE. Mr. Pence of Indiana?

    Mr. PENCE. Aye.

    Ms. RUSH. Mr. Pence votes yes.

    Chairman HYDE. What is the report? Are there any more?

    Ms. RUSH. On this vote there are 34 yeses and three noes.

    Chairman HYDE. The motion is agreed to.

    Mr. Brown?

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    Mr. BROWN OF OHIO. I would vote yes.

    Chairman HYDE. Without objection, Mr. Brown's yes vote may be included in the rollcall.

    The ayes have it. The motion to report is favorably adopted. Without objection, the staff is directed to make any technical and conforming changes, and the Chair recognizes Mr. Wexler for 5 minutes.

    Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Chairman, may I ask unanimous consent that the two gentlemen who just entered the room be allowed to cast their votes? I ask unanimous consent, Mr. Chairman.

    Chairman HYDE. Without objection, we will do it.

    Mr. Meeks?

    Mr. MEEKS. Aye.

    Mr. LANTOS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Chairman HYDE. The clerk will announce the rollcall again, the totals.

    Ms. RUSH. On this vote there are 37 yeses and three noes.
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    Chairman HYDE. The motion is agreed to.

    Mr. Wexler?

    Mr. WEXLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will be brief. At this point I, too, would like to congratulate Ms. Ros-Lehtinen and Mr. Lantos, Mr. Berman and others for what is a very important achievement.

    I think it is important to note particularly for those that have expressed some reservation. We do nothing in a vacuum. This bill passes this Committee in the context of the Administration engaging in the most exhaustive and arguably successful diplomatic effort since the first Gulf War.

    I think it is highly relevant. Nick Burns, Under Secretary Burns, discussed it in great detail when he came before the Committee last week; the extraordinary effort that the Administration is going to on a multinational level to engage the entire world in the effort to thwarting the Iranian nuclear program.

    The Administration's effort is midstream. They will have difficulty at times in continuing to bring along Russia and China and others. I view this bill as working in cooperation with the Administration's diplomatic efforts, and I think that the Administration, rather than continuing to try to move the bill in a manner that they are more comfortable with at this point would be wisest to appreciate the very excellent diplomatic effort that they are engaging in and use this bill as a part of their diplomatic effort in a positive way so that they can increase the opportunity to bring in countries like Indonesia and others that have been neutral and use this as an opportunity to increase their ability to make the multinational effort successful.
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    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Chairman HYDE. Thank you, Mr. Wexler.

    So that we might close the meeting on the highest possible note, the Chair is pleased to recognize Ms. Watson.

    Ms. WATSON. Thank you so much, Mr. Chairman. I want to commend the author, the sponsor and the co-sponsor for working in a diplomatic way so this could be a bipartisan effort. It also is based on an effective model of Libya.

    I just want to also commend all of those who dropped any reference to Libya, but that model should go forward and be used as we try to build an alliance here.

    I also want to thank our Ranking Member for agreeing to sponsor a CODEL and having a letter drafted again to ask a CODEL to go to Libya to help the Libyan women be free participants in building a new democracy.

    I would hope that we could extend it, Mr. Chairman, beyond just Members and get some experts with us on that CODEL, so a letter has been developed based on the Libya response to our efforts.

    I would like to commend the entire Committee of IR for their support in our efforts to impose democracy, but not in a military way.
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    Thank you so very much, Mr. Chairman.

    Chairman HYDE. Thank you, Ms. Watson.

    The Committee stands adjourned.

    [Whereupon, at 11:28 a.m. the Committee was adjourned.]


Material Submitted for the Hearing Record


H. CON. RES. 320

    There has been a tremendous amount of publicity lately about Internet dissidents in China, but I would like to bring to your attention the case of Dr. Pham Hong Son from Vietnam.

    In March, 2002, police arrested Dr. Son. He had translated an article from the website of the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam, titled ''What is Democracy,'' and sent it to his friends and senior Vietnamese officials. In addition, he had written an open letter, published on the Internet, protesting the fact that his house had been searched illegally and his computer and documents confiscated.
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    Dr. Son was charged with espionage by the government, which accused him of ''collecting and dispatching news and documents for a foreign country to be used against the Socialist State of Vietnam.'' After a closed trial and a closed appeal, from which Western reporters and diplomats from Europe, the United States, and Canada were barred, Dr. Son was sentenced to five years, plus an additional three years of house arrest.

    Dr. Son's case has been highlighted by the US Department of State's Human Rights for Vietnam repeatedly, Human Rights Watch, Reporters without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and Amnesty International.

    I went to Vietnam last December, and met with Dr. Son's extraordinary and courageous wife, Vu Thuy Ha, who continues to campaign for her husband's freedom despite constant surveillance and harassment, which I personally witnessed. I knew that I could not let this brave woman battle alone. I met with many other political and religious activists, some of whom are under house arrest, like Father Ly and Thich Quang Do, of the Unified Church of Vietnam, and with the relatives of a number of prisoners of conscience. They need, and appreciate, our continued support.

    Less than a day after the unanimous subcommittee mark-up, plainclothes officers detained two well-known Internet writers, including Do Nam Hai, whom I met with in Vietnam and who is mentioned in our resolution. They were at a public Internet café*COM003*. The police took pictures of the sites they were viewing, which included the banned Web site of the Free Vietnam Alliance democracy group. The police also forced Hai to open his personal e-mail account and printed about 30 of his sent messages. The two writers were interrogated for six hours at the café and later at a police station in Hanoi. Both were released from police custody the same day.
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    This sort of persecution will obviously not go away by itself. But tyranny hates and fears public exposure, and we need to keep attention focused on Vietnam's continuing violation of the rights it says it grants its people.

    Vietnam is at a critical crossroads: it wants to expand its burgeoning trade relations with the United States, and seeks to join the WTO. There will be no better time to convince Vietnam of the seriousness of our human rights concerns, and their centrality in any relation with the U.S. The European Parliament has already passed a resolution calling for Vietnam to release all prisoners of conscience, allow democracy and political pluralism, and ensure the human rights for Vietnam's Montagnards, and it is appropriate that we do the same.

    Also I would note that I am offering an amendment which makes clear to the Government of Vietnam that adherence to the rule of law and respect for freedom of the press will be important factors in American consideration of Vietnam's accession to the World Trade Organization.

H. RES. 578

    H.Res. 578 expresses deep disappointment that the Romanian Government has instituted a virtual ban on intercountry adoptions with serious implications for the well-being of orphaned or abandoned children. Last September, I chaired a Helsinki Commission hearing that explored these issues in depth.

    Since 1989, the world has known that tens of thousands of underfed, neglected children are living in institutions throughout Romania. Between 1990 and 2004, more than 8,000 of these children found permanent families in the United States and thousands more joined families in Western Europe and elsewhere. Sadly, Romania's child abandonment rate hasn't changed significantly in 30 years. Today, approximately 80,000 children still live either in institutions or in non-permanent settings such as ''foster care.''
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    In the context of Romania's accession to the European Union, unsubstantiated allegations have been made about the qualifications and motives of those who adopt internationally and the fate of adopted children. As the European Parliament's rapporteur for Romania, Baroness Emma Nicholson equated intercountry adoption with child trafficking for pedophiles and slavery rings and pressured Romania to prohibit intercountry adoptions. Rather than focusing on what is really in the best interests of the child, Romanian policy makers acquiesced to Lady Nicholson by adopting a law in 2004 that prohibits intercountry adoption except by biological grandparents.

    When this ban was enacted there were 211 pending cases in which children had been matched with adoptive parents in the United States; approximately a thousand more had been matched with parents in Western Europe, Israel or Australia. Each of these cases involves a prospective family who has proven their good faith by waiting for years for these children. Many cases involve children who will not be domestically adopted due to their special medical needs or societal prejudices. In at least 3 cases, children are already living in the United States with their prospective adoptive parents while receiving life-saving medical treatment. Each was abandoned at birth and was legally adoptable until Romania's new law took effect.

    There are positive indications that Baroness Nicholson's monopoly over this issue is finally facing opposition. On December 15, while debating a resolution on Romania, the European Parliament rejected the Baroness' proposed amendments addressing child protection and adoption. At the same time, the MEPs approved an amendment urging Romania to act ''with the goal of allowing inter-country adoptions to take place, where justified and appropriate,'' in the pending cases. On March 8, the Bucharest Daily News quoted the current rapporteur, Pierre Moscovici, as stating that he and Emma Nicholson ''notably differ on the issue of international adoptions of Romanian children.'' I applaud the European Parliament for standing up for these voiceless children.
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    Passage of H. Res. 578 will put the Congress on record

 supporting the Romanian Government's stated desire to improve the standard of care and well-being of children;

 urging the Government to complete the processing of the intercountry adoption cases which were pending when the ban was enacted;

 urging the Government to decrease barriers to adoption, both domestically and intercountry;

 urging the State Department and USAID to work with Romania to achieve these ends; and

 requesting that the EU and its member States not impede Romania's efforts to place orphaned or abandoned children in permanent homes.

    Someday, I hope, child abandonment in Romania will be just a painful memory. And someday the country will have the capacity to care for all the children in need. But right now there is a great need for both foreign and domestic adoptions to find the permanent, caring families that all children deserve. Because the Romanian Government's current laws and policies do not reflect this principle, I strongly urge my colleagues to support this resolution.


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H.R. 282

    Mr. Chairman, thank you for convening this mark-up today on H.R. 282 the Iran Freedom Support Act. The Iranian regime continues to violate the human rights of its own citizens, it plays a destabilizing role in nations throughout the Middle East and it has refused to abandon its rogue efforts to acquire nuclear weapons.

    The Iranian regime must hear a clear message that its behavior is unacceptable and unless it abandons its clear violations of international law, consequences will follow. The United States has worked closely with our allies in Europe, south Asia, and other part of the world to address Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. We have worked with a broad coalition to confront Iran for its failure to meet its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. While we have had success in building this coalition and convincing the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran's violations merit the attention of the UN Security Council, we have not yet succeeded in convincing Iran to end its pursuit of the capability to produce nuclear weapons.

    In addition to its pursuit of nuclear weapons capability, Iran continues to play a negative role in areas of concern to the United States and the international community. Iranian support for terrorist organizations and activities has exacerbated the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, harmed the sovereignty and ongoing democratization of Lebanon, and threatens the international community's efforts to build a free Iraq and the safety and lives of Americans working and fighting to achieve it.

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    Mr. Chairman, now is the time for the House to approve additional sanctions on Iran for the administration to use a tool as it continues to address this pressing threat. I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this important legislation to raise pressure on Iran to end its threatening behavior.



    Chairman Hyde, Ranking Member Lantos, and subcommittee leaders, thank you for the work leading to this hearing and markup on H.R. 282, The Iran Freedom Support Act. I am pleased by the strong recognition of the need for Congress to address the imminent situation in Iran.

    It is time that the international community, with leadership by this Congress, directly address the increasingly volatile situation in Iran. We have known the potential deleterious effects of international inaction in this type of situation. The regional security in the middle east cannot be further compromised by an Iranian loose cannon. Its attitude toward Israel, the United Nations, and the rest of the world is unacceptable.

    There is no doubt that Iran is on a mission to rebuild its nuclear weapons, and use that capability to wreak havoc and destruction on Israel and others throughout the world. Without action, we are going to continue to allow Iran to be a safe-harbor for terrorists, see its economy further deteriorate, and see the middle east further destabilize.
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    This bill should include the necessary tools for the US to help prevent Iran from pursuing nuclear and other weapons programs, deny them the resources they need to support terrorism, and stop them from oppressing the Iranian people. This bill should accomplish these goals without unduly tying the hands of the US government.

    Again, thank you for holding this hearing and markup.