AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement on the recently released International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report:
"The new IAEA report is the latest indicator that the regime in Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons capability. Evidence that this includes work on a nuclear warhead design is particularly alarming - and again puts the lie to Tehran's claim that its nuclear program is for peaceful, energy-related purposes.
"President Obama's policy on Iran, based on outreach and limited sanctions, has failed. This administration has labored under the misconception that Iran's nuclear program could be negotiated away. But the plain truth revealed in the IAEA report is that despite years of negotiations, Tehran's relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons continues.
"A nuclear-armed Iran would pose grave threats to not only American interests abroad, but also to our security at home. Iranian misconduct has met with little if any response from the Obama administration, and has included targeting Americans in Iraq and throughout the Middle East, supporting terrorist groups, threatening our allies, and even plotting to assassinate a foreign ambassador in Washington, D.C.
"This activity will only increase if Tehran obtains a nuclear weapon and feels it has impunity to act as it pleases.
"Working with our allies, the U.S. should act to prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons capability. We must revisit the options President Obama has taken off the table, including tough sanctions on the Iranian Central Bank. And to protect the vital U.S. interests at stake, a responsible commander in chief must be prepared in a worst-case scenario to use military force to destroy key Iranian nuclear sites.
"The U.S. should also act with renewed vigor to support those seeking freedom in Syria, Iran's critical Arab ally, as well in Iran itself, where millions were repressed in 2009 when President Obama tragically ignored the Green Movement to pursue the folly of engagement. Our policy toward the Iranian regime should be based not on hope or on steps that have failed repeatedly, but on thwarting this dangerous regime that pursues nuclear weapons as we help the Iranian people choose their own destiny. Unlike President Obama's failed approach, this would be a realistic and principled policy to keep America safe."