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Congress Warns Biden Against Concluding Nuclear Deal with Iran

Congress Warns Biden Against Concluding Nuclear Deal with Iran

Saturday, 19 March, 2022 - 09:15
Republican Senator Ted Cruz, one of the fiercest critics of Biden's Iran policy. (AP)

Several Congressmen warned US President Joe Biden against concluding a nuclear deal with Tehran.

Republican Senator Ted Cruz accused US President Joe Biden of becoming the world's top funder of terrorism.

"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," Cruz tweeted.

Cruz's statement reflects the anger among the Republicans and some Democrats, over the possibility of reaching an agreement with Iran, despite their repeated warnings.

The opposition against a deal with Iran escalated dramatically with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in light of the US administration's reliance on Russia in the Vienna negotiations and the possibility of Moscow obtaining exemptions from sanctions as a result of reaching an agreement with Tehran.

Cruz and other Republican lawmakers had previously described this step as a "complete surrender to Putin," considering that the Russian president is the winner of returning to the nuclear agreement with Iran.

Also, the Biden administration is considering removing the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) from the list of terrorism in return for Iran's return to the nuclear agreement. The move sparked a wave of criticism from bipartisan representatives.

Jim Risch, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he strongly opposes delisting the IRGC.

"The IRGC is responsible for numerous attacks on US forces and interests and openly sponsors dangerous terrorist proxies that threaten the region. Any argument to the contrary is false," he said.

Democrats in the House of Representatives sent a letter to the White House warning against delisting the Corps, saying Iran's nuclear program and activities are not limited to the Middle East through Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad, but extend to the rest of the world.

A recent statement by the commander of Central Command, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, supported those requests. He told the Senate Armed Services Committee members on Tuesday that the IRGC is a terrorist organization.

The Republicans put forward several draft bills in Congress, the latest of which prevents the US administration from lifting any sanctions imposed on countries and entities that cooperate with Iran in its nuclear program.

Cruz said the "Biden administration is dismantling sanctions and is aching to secure a new agreement with the Iranian regime that is even weaker than the original catastrophic Obama-Iran nuclear deal."

The Biden administration notified the Congress that it was giving Iran and its international partners, including Russia, a waiver for seven civil nuclear activities, which Tehran uses to build its nuclear program.

Cruz fought to rescind those waivers, and the Trump administration did so in 2019 and 2020.

"The Biden administration is so committed to their deal that they are willing to make Iran a nuclear client for Putin, including work that amounts to a $10 billion subsidy for his war machine."

"That's why I've introduced legislation to stop the Biden administration from issuing civil-nuclear waivers allowing Russia to build up Iran's nuclear program," said the Senator.

He warned that the Iranian regime uses these civil nuclear waivers to build up the nuclear program with the "express intention of eventually developing nuclear weapons to inflict destruction on America and our allies."

Furthermore, 49 of the 50 Republicans at the Senate told Biden, democrats, and the international community that an Iran agreement without broad congressional support would not survive.

"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."

They warned that if the administration agrees to a deal that fails to achieve these objectives or makes achieving them more complex, Republicans will do everything 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."

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