Only days after missiles launched from Iran rained down around a U.S. diplomatic compound in Iraq, the Biden administration indicated that it is on the brink of re-entering the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran brokered by then-President Barack Obama.
“There has been significant progress and we are close to a possible deal,” a State Department spokesman told Newsweek. “These are complex negotiations, and we are still working through a number of difficult issues.”
At one point, Russia, which is a party to the agreement, threatened to sink any attempt by the Biden administration to cozy up to Iran over Ukraine-related sanctions, but The Associated Press reported Thursday that after the administration’s efforts to soothe Russian concerns, that is no longer considered a barrier to the U.S. returning to the deal.
This is absolutely insane. Just to be clear, this is the US telling the Russians they can evade sanctions by working with Iran so long as they get Iran to sign on nearly any dotted line. https://t.co/Rxoz1NFnsN
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) March 15, 2022
“It is likely to make Joe Biden the No. 1 funder of terrorism in the world,” said Cruz, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world,” the senator said. “They deliberately target American citizens for murder. And Joe Biden, for whatever reason, is eager to fund terrorists trying to murder Americans.”
Cruz said that if the administration brings the agreement to the Senate for approval, “I think we could see a host of tools employed by multiple senators to stop this deal.”
“We still don’t know the specifics of the deal, but everything we hear keeps getting worse and worse by the day,” he said. “At this point, it is complete surrender to the ayatollah. It is complete surrender to Russia and Putin.”
The senator said America’s enemies know that “the best way to get billions of dollars from Joe Biden is to carry out a campaign of murder targeting Americans and our allies.”
Biden is committed to a new deal with Iran that will pour hundreds of billions of dollars into the terrorist regime. Let’s be clear about what that means.
Biden is about to become, literally, the number 1 funder of terrorism in the world. https://t.co/XhoDVYAIU9
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 18, 2022
Iran has sought language that binds future presidents to the agreement, something Biden is happy to include but Cruz and other Republicans oppose.
“Joe Biden and the ayatollah know that whatever terrible deal they put in writing will be ripped to shreds on the very first day of the next Republican administration, which I believe will be January 20, 2025, regardless of who the Republican president is,” the senator said. “Biden and the ayatollah know it.”
Although the Senate is split 50-50 and the Biden administration has used Vice President Kamala Harris as a tie-breaking vote on legislation that requires a simple majority, Senate Republicans could make it difficult for Democrats to pass legislation that would allow the deal to move forward if it requires 60 votes to clear the Senate.
National Review said that as the Biden administration seeks to become friendly with Iran, it also could seek to remove the designation of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization.
The report said the administration is likely to list sanctions on multiple individuals as part of returning to the agreement.
Although House Republicans lack any levers of direct power to block any Iranian deal, 50 House members have stated their opposition to a new deal with Iran, according to Fox News.
After today’s House Armed Services Committee hearing on national security challenges in the Middle East, I’m even more convinced that the latest iteration of the failed JCPOA will, as @AmbHerzog told me yesterday, “put Iran and Israel on a collision course.” pic.twitter.com/aEO3zFJ9fx
— Rep. Elaine Luria (@RepElaineLuria) March 17, 2022
“A renewed JCPOA would increase the risk of a nuclear Iran, enrich terrorists and destabilize the entire region. All that aside, the process in Vienna would be a deal-breaker for any normal administration,” Republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Banks said, referring to the treaty by the acronym for its formal name — the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
“Just days ago, Iranian terrorists threatened to kill American citizens on U.S. soil and the Iranian government openly took credit for a missile attack near the U.S. consulate in Iraq,” the Indiana Republican said.
Today I introduced a resolution condemning the Biden admin’s attempt to re-enter the failed, Obama-era Iran nuclear deal.
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) March 17, 2022
“Let’s be clear: Joe Biden isn’t just negotiating with terrorists, he’s sending terrorists billions in sanctions relief.”
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