Sen. Johnson says sanctions on Iran have not been successful enough

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) said at an oversight hearing on Tuesday that sanctions on Iran have not been successful in deterring the nation from its nuclear programs.

When the senate met two weeks prior, a unanimous vote was made for a resolution with aggressive sanctions on Iran. Four new sanctions have been added in the last three years as part of efforts to deter Iran from continuing its nuclear programs.

"These measures, coupled with those imposed by the Administration, the European Union, and the UN Security Council, have had profound effects," Johnson said. "They have slowed Iran's nuclear and missile program by restricting its access to key technologies. They have crippled Iran's economy, causing its currency to plummet and inflation to skyrocket."

Despite these successes, Johnson said Iran continues its nuclear program.

"The International Atomic Energy Agency reports that sophisticated new centrifuges being installed at Fordow and Natanz will substantially expand Iran's enrichment capabilities," Johnson said. "While the P5+1 talks have at least helped show the world Iran's unwillingness to compromise, they have not yet generated results."

Johnson explained the Supreme Leader in Iran is the sole decision-maker on Iran's nuclear program. He said it does not seem the Supreme Leader will be reversing the program, despite economic pressure. Johnson ended his statement by turning the stage over to Under Secretary of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman and Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security Eric Hirschhorn.

"In their testimony and the question period, I hope they will highlight what sanctions are working, what additional measures are needed that could garner the broad support of the international community and preserve the unity of our coalition - a unity the Administration has worked very hard to preserve - and what challenges we continue to face in successfully implementing a strategy that will finally compel Iran to abandon its illicit nuclear activities," Johnson said.