I fully agree with Secretary of State Rice who expressed today that the Iranian people deserve a future that embraces human rights, freedom, stability, and prosperity. Indeed, we have hoped for decades that Iran's leadership would choose a course to make this possible.

However, time after time, the regime in Tehran has defied the world's demands that it abandon it nuclear ambitions, even heralding its successful production of enriched uranium only a few months ago.

Iran has been one of the chief threats to global peace and to the region's stability. As such, it would be a miracle welcomed the world over if it turned away from this destructive course, abandoned the development of potentially dangerous weapons, and were able to join with us and our allies in good faith negotiations with the goal of becoming a force of stability in the region rather than one of destruction.

It should be added, however, that should the U.S. consent to sit at the negotiating table with Iran, only to find that Ahmadinejad's rogue regime persists in its current course, then it will be indisputable that we have exhausted every diplomatic possibility and that threats posed by Iran can only be dealt with by the severest penalties, including but not limited to, international isolation and sanctions of consequence.