House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney will introduce legislation mandating full dismantling of the Iran nuclear deal. The legislation bars the US administration from granting sanctions waivers to the Iranian government.
If passed, the law would prevent the White House from extending any "nuclear" waivers to Russia, Britain, France, Germany and China.
Speaking to reporters, Cheney said that waivers have helped Iran legalize nuclear infrastructure, and paved the way for Tehran to continue to work on sensitive nuclear activities with the help of China and Russia.
“These 'civil nuclear' waivers legitimize Iran's illicit nuclear infrastructure and help sustain President Obama's disastrous nuclear deal,” Cheney told reporters.
“Congress is determined to support President Donald Trump's rightful exit from that deal and his successful maximum pressure campaign against Tehran," she added, referencing the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran. Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018.
Her new push comes after reports surfaced of the Trump administration's plan to issue waivers to sanctions allowing Russian, Chinese, and European companies to continue work at Iranian nuclear facilities to make it more difficult for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.
Members of Congress, especially Republicans, complain of what they call the conflicting signals the administration is sending about Iran. Critics say the White House is backtracking on its policy of maximum pressure on Tehran in exchange for maintaining a path to diplomacy.
As Cheney is stepping up efforts in to pass the bill, which has so far received significant backing from lawmakers, senators are working on a similar bill that seeks to scrap waivers completely.
Iran hawks in the Senate, led by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), are developing the upper chamber’s version of the legislation, according to the publication.
"This is disappointing and another lost opportunity to tear up the catastrophic Obama-Iran nuclear deal once and for all," Cruz and Graham said in a joint statement.