Hoeven Statement on Prime Minister Netanyahu's Address to Congress

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address regarding Iran to a joint session of Congress. Hoeven is a cosponsor of S. 269, which would place tough sanctions on Iran if it refuses to reach an agreement with the United States about its nuclear program.

“The best way to deter Iran from developing a nuclear weapon is by maintaining strong economic sanctions. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today made the same case to a joint session of Congress. Because of the sanctions we and our European partners imposed on Iran in 2011, the country has literally paid a significant price for its intransigence on the nuclear issue. Its oil production has been cut in half, and its economy has shrunk by 5 percent. At this critical point in negotiations with them, we should not be relaxing sanctions; we should be strengthening them, for our security and that of our allies.

“Since its inception, Israel and the United States have shared a common set of values, including a respect for democratic rule. As the sole democracy in a neighborhood of authoritarian governments, Israel is our closest natural ally. Prime Minister Netanyahu speaks the language of freedom with us.”

In 2012, Hoeven met in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Netanyahu and other high ranking Israeli leaders to discuss mutual security issues, including efforts to deter Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and strategies to increase U.S. and Israeli energy independence, specifically by reducing or eliminating their dependence on Middle Eastern oil. He also met with the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority to discuss the status of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.