Forty-nine Republican Senators told Democrat President Joe Biden on Monday that they will not support reviving the controversial Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, because it will weaken the sanctions and limitations that have been placed on Iran’s nuclear program.
“According to press reports, the Biden Administration may soon conclude an agreement with Iran to provide substantial sanctions relief in exchange for merely short-term limitations on Iran’s nuclear program,” the Senators wrote. “By every indication, the Biden Administration appears to have given away the store. The administration appears to have agreed to lift sanctions that were not even placed on Iran for its nuclear activities in the first place, but instead because of its ongoing support for terrorism and its gross abuses of human rights. The nuclear limitations in this new deal appear to be significantly less restrictive than the 2015 nuclear deal, which was itself too weak, and will sharply undermine U.S. leverage to secure an actually ‘longer and stronger’ deal. What is more, the deal appears likely to deepen Iran’s financial and security relationship with Moscow and Beijing, including through arms sales.”
The letter said that the Biden administration has refused to submit a new Iran nuclear deal to the Senate to be ratified as a treaty, which they said was required by statute based on conditions that were passed on a bipartisan basis in response to the 2015 deal.
“Republicans have made it clear: We would be willing and eager to support an Iran policy that completely blocks Iran’s path to a nuclear weapons capability, constrains Iran’s ballistic missile program, and confronts Iran’s support for terrorism. But if the administration agrees to a deal that fails to achieve these objectives or makes achieving them more difficult, Republicans will do everything in our power to reverse it. Unless Iran ceases its support for terrorism, we will oppose removing and seek to reimpose any terrorism-related sanctions. And we will force the Senate to vote on any administration effort to do so,” the letter concluded. “We strongly urge the administration, our Democrat colleagues, and the international community to learn the lessons of the very recent past. A major agreement that does not have strong bipartisan support in Congress will not survive.”
The letter was signed by U.S. Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee; U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate minority leader; U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), Senate minority whip; U.S. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), chairman of the Senate Republican Conference; U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee; U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), vice chairman of the Senate Republican Conference; U.S. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee; U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence; U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee; U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee; U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee; U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.); U.S. Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.); U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.); U.S. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.); U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.); U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.); U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine); U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas); U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.); U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.); U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas); U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.); U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.); U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.); U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa); U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.); U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.); U.S. Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.); U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.); U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.); U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.); U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.); U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah); U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.); U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.); U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.); U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska); U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah); U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.); U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.); U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.); U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.); U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska); U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.); U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.); U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.); and U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.).