Rep. Adriano Espaillat Remarks During House Foreign Affairs Hearing on U.S. Policy Toward a Turbulent Middle East

April 19, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) presented the following statement during today’s House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing to address the U.S. policy toward a turbulent Middle East.

Watch video of today’s hearing:

Below are remarks by Rep. Espaillat as prepared for delivery during today’s hearing:


House Foreign Affairs Committee

Full Committee Hearing on U.S. Policy Toward a Turbulent Middle East

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, DC

April 18, 2018


“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


“It remains an essential axiom of U.S. interest to have Iran not obtain a nuclear weapon, and the president continues to suggest terminating the Iran nuclear deal; It is necessary to maintain and strengthen it to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and so we can further build upon diplomatic efforts to combat Iran’s nuclear programs and aggressive actions.


“Iran’s malicious action are not just confined to nuclear weapons, supports Houthi rebels in Yemen and poses a threat to the stability of that region and the continuation of this war has led to one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world. The U.S. has continued to aid Saudi Arabia in this conflict, despite the heavy civilian casualties, contributed by all sides in the conflict.


“I wanted to ask the first question regarding the JCPOA and the issues with the sunset provision. I know that the ballistic missile program and the human right abuse issues are critical. Do you see the disagreements surviving passed May 2018, Ambassador? Where do you see the JCPOA; do you see it surviving? Or do you feel that the sunset provision is some sort of line in the sand that will derail the entire agreement?


“And where do you see our allies? Do they feel confident that in fact, perhaps tackling the ballistic issue or the human rights issue without the having concrete agreement on the sunset, is that enough for them? Are they with us all the way on this or are they half stepping us?


“On the second issue of Yemen, Ambassador, the Obama administration reduced the number of U.S. servicemen there helping the coalition due to the concerns that I stipulated earlier – the humanitarian crisis that this coalition and others have helped create. Has this assessment changed under the current administration and if so, what is the justification for such change?


“And so why is the administration so far away from reaching the 45,000-person cap on refugees? If we have this issue of, not just in Yemen, but across the region, with so many refugees, why I have we not carried our own load as some of the European countries have done?


“Thank you, thank you Ambassador. Thank you, Chairman.”

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First elected to Congress in 2016, Rep. Adriano Espaillat is serving his first term in Congress where he serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and the House Select Committee on Small Business.  He is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and serves in a leadership role as CHC Freshman Representative to the Democratic Caucus. He is also chairman of the CHC Task Force for Transportation, Infrastructure and Housing.  Rep. Espaillat’s Congressional District includes Harlem, East Harlem, northern Manhattan and the north-west Bronx. To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at

Media inquiries: Candace Randle Person at