In an almost unheard of display of bipartisanship in today’s political climate, a large group of Republican And Democratic lawmakers signed a letter demanding that President Biden share the text of a proposed new nuclear deal with Iran his administration is working on.
The letter was crafted by Reps. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., and Andrew Garbarino, R-N.Y., and expressed concerns about reports that the deal will rule out secondary sanctions on non-Americans doing business with the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, urging the Biden administration to consult with Congress before acting.
“Concerns include weakening the effectiveness of terrorism-related sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and allowing Russia to have a role in Iran’s nuclear capabilities, Gottheimer said in a press release.
The letter was signed by 50 members of Congress, 34 Democrats and 16 Republicans.
“We are writing to respectfully request that your Administration provide Congress with the full text of any proposal to rejoin the Iran nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), including any side agreements, and consult with Congress prior to reentering that agreement,” the letter begins, before citing a “troubling precedent” being set by reports that “non-U.S. persons” doing business with Iran will not be subjected to secondary sanctions.
“We are concerned that it could significantly dilute the effectiveness of terrorism-related sanctions on the IRGC, Iran’s paramilitary terror arm and provides the organization with a pathway for sanctions evasion,” the lawmakers wrote. “If the regime in Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, has proven anything, it’s that it can’t be trusted. The IRGC has directly, or through its proxies, including Hezbollah, Hamas, Ansar Allah (Houthis), Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and scores of Shiite militias in Iraq, killed hundreds of Americans, and attacked our bases and our allies in the region.”
The missive details the expected consequences of the nuclear deal with Iran that is said to be in its final stages.
“Strengthened with an estimated one trillion dollars in sanctions relief over a decade, Iran and the IRGC would be an enormous danger to Americans at home and abroad, and to our allies,” the letter said. “Additionally, it has been reported that under this proposed deal, Russia will be the de facto judge of compliance and the keeper of Iran’s enriched uranium, without any oversight mechanisms by the United States or our European partners. Therefore, we urge you not to return to any deal with Iran prior to releasing the full text of the agreement and any side agreements to Congress, to provide us with an in-depth briefing on the matter, and to consult with all key stakeholders.”
The bipartisan group “strongly” urged the administration “not to permit Russia to be the recipient of Iran’s enriched uranium nor to have the right to conduct nuclear work with the Islamic Republic, including a $10 billion contract to expand Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.”
“We should not let war criminal Vladimir Putin be the guarantor of the deal or the keeper of massive amounts of Iran’s enriched uranium,” they said. “Iran supports the illegal war in Ukraine and has been supplying Russia with drones used to kill Ukrainians.”
The lawmakers call attention to an emerging Iran, Russia, and China axis, as well as the Iran-sponsored terror plots to assassinate former U.S. officials and Iranian-American dissidents on American soil, saying “this is no time to remove, suspend, or dilute U.S. terrorism sanctions on Iran or the IRGC.”
“Therefore, we urge you not to return to any deal with Iran prior to releasing the full text of the agreement and any side agreements to Congress, to provide us with an in-depth briefing on the matter, and to consult with all key stakeholders,” the letter concluded. “We must address the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, stand strong against terrorists, and protect American values and our allies.”
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