Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, released the following statement in response to the public announcement this morning by President Obama, British Prime Minister Brown and French President Sarkozy that Iran has been building a covert uranium enrichment facility near Qom for several years.
“The revelations that Iran has been hiding a nuclear facility from the International Atomic Energy Agency and the world community should be a wake-up call to all those who have previously allowed themselves to ignore Iran’s deception and irresponsible behavior.
Iran’s failure to disclose this facility, until the U.S. and European leaders shined a global spotlight on its existence, reinforces long-held American suspicions that Iran’s nuclear intentions are anything but benign.
“I join President Obama in calling for Iran to immediately and fully cooperate with IAEA investigation of this facility.
I also whole-heartedly agree with Prime Minister Brown, who noted that the international community has no choice but to draw a line in the sand for Iran.
I will be among those watching closely on October 1 when Iran meets with the U.S. and international community to discuss its nuclear program.
If Iran continues its belligerence and fails to demonstrate honest, significant action, we must respond with meaningful sanctions.”