Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, thank you for the opportunity to address you on what is probably the most vexing and complicated diplomatic challenge that the United States currently confronts. The stakes could hardly be higher. If the United States fails to achieve a diplomatic outcome that provides the international community with sufficient confidence that Iran is no longer pursuing a nuclear weapons capability, the results are likely to be dire. In the already volatile Middle East, the logical consequences of diplomatic failure are either an extended military conflict or a nuclear arms race, or both.
Secretary of State Rice’s offer to engage in direct negotiations with the government of Iran, if it suspends uranium enrichment, and recent hints from chief negotiator Ali Larijani that Iran might be prepared to do so, create a faint ray of hope for diplomacy. But I fear that it is an illusion.
The reasons for pessimism are clear enough by now.
[Trump] didn't say one word about Ukraine and he had to be briefed on this stuff. The only person to say that the United States says the annexation of Crimea wasn't legal and disagrees with Russia was the president of Russia. The overall contrast [with Trump's criticisms of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Theresa May, and the EU earlier in the trip] coupled with Trump's inability to say Russia had done anything to contribute to the downturn of US-Russia relations, either way it's scary. Either he forgot there's a problem or he wasn't willing. He would have had no problem listing his grievances against Germany, but against Putin, he's not capable of saying anything.