Sheryl Saperia from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies testified:
Even a nuclear-capable Iran, [distinguished] from a nuclear-armed Iran, is extremely dangerous. Nuclear weapons capability could form a protective shield around the Iranian regime and further embolden it to continue and intensify its nefarious activities, such as assassination attempts of foreign government officials, support of terrorist groups around the world, meddling in other countries to foment violence and civil unrest, propping up repressive regimes like Assad's Syria, translating into action its vitriolic hatred of and threats against Israel, and state-sanctioned arrests, beatings, detentions, kidnappings, torture, and ever-increasing executions of its own citizens, including Iranians who also hold Canadian citizenship.
According to Mark Dubowitz from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the limited scope of application of Canada's sanctions is a point of weakness that should be corrected. More specifically, he argued that, "In Canada, the sanctions do not put non-Canadians to a fundamental choice between doing business in Canada and doing business in Iran."
In light of Iran's resistance to inspections of its nuclear facilities, the Committee heard a great deal of testimony from witnesses about the timing and effectiveness of possible military action against Iran to destroy these facilities and any potential nuclear capability that may be developing. According to Mark Dubowitz from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, "if sanctions do not work and do not work quickly, the possibility of military strikes is very real." He emphasised: "time is running out. The sanctions clock has been ticking too slowly, the nuclear clock has been ticking too quickly, and the military option clock is coming potentially closer to midnight." The same witness continued in the context of the two countries - Israel and the United States - most likely to take military action and the different timelines each is following. More specifically, if Iranian officials are making the nuclear facilities invulnerable to a strike as is believed to be the case, the window for Israel to take military action is closing, thereby increasing its reliance on the United States with a stronger capability against such fortifications and on its will to take such action. Another witness was dismissive of timelines, noting, "There has been a history of setting dates -- by this point the Iranians will be beyond our ability to stop them. These dates have come and gone several times in this drama over the course of several years."