Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is seeking to resume the “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran, leading Republican efforts to maintain sanctions against Tehran in Congress as President Joe Biden’s administration works to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.
In a press conference outside the Capitol building on Wednesday, Republicans, with prominent support from Pompeo, unveiled “The Max Pressure Act” bill that seeks to reinstate Trump’s policy towards the Iranian regime.
The former Secretary of State praised the strategy adopted by the Trump administration towards Tehran, when he led efforts to impose more than 1,500 US sanctions on the country.
The legislation, which was introduced by Jim Banks, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, has 83 co-sponsors and stands in opposition to the Biden administration’s efforts to rejoin the nuclear deal with Iran that former President Donald Trump withdrew from in 2018.
“The United States, our ally Israel, and the world are safer,” Pompeo said at the press conference, stressing that Trump’s maximum pressure campaign and crushing sanctions have prevented the Iranians from obtaining the resources they need to build a nuclear weapon or support terrorism around the world.
He also warned that returning to the “failed nuclear agreement” would be very costly.
“I’m here in my status as a private citizen. As a private citizen, I care deeply that Iran never has a nuclear weapon and when I saw this legislation forming, I talked to Congressman [Jim] Banks. I said I wanted to be part of making sure that this is successful,” he said.
Banks, for his part, said: “In the first 100 days, President Biden has exhibited a troubling pattern. He’s talked a big game, while returning to the same Obama era weakness that emboldened our adversaries and made American families less safe.”
He continued: “His administration seems ready to abandon the Trump administration’s successful maximum pressure campaign and reenter the failed Iran deal, again, by circumventing Congress just as President Obama did. That’s why we’re here today to communicate to the Biden administration that we will fight to maintain sanctions on Iran and show our adversaries that if Joe Biden temporarily lifts sanctions, we will re-impose them later.”