A bipartisan group of 26 senators wrote to President Joe Biden, urging him to pursue stronger deterrence of Iran nuclear program.
They cautioned against an ineffective agreement and expressed concerns about the discussions on Iran’s nuclear program.
The letter was written before recent revelations of talks between the United States and Iran. AIPAC promoted it during a lobbying mission earlier this month. A small number of Democratic lawmakers who were in favor of the nuclear deal in 2015 and Biden’s earlier attempts to rejoin it are among its signatories, indicating that Biden cannot necessarily expect widespread Democratic support for a new agreement.
The letter states, “Congress stands united behind the long-held bipartisan position that Iran must never be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon.” Your administration must continue to support Congressional efforts to combat Iran’s nuclear program and reject a pact that fails to protect our nation’s most vital interests. We urge you to take concrete steps to stop Iran’s destabilizing activities and stop the regime from continuing to pursue this evil goal.
Biden is urged in the letter to increase U.S. deterrence, which seems to go against rumors that the administration will ease or enforce sanctions against the regime in response to a freeze on its nuclear enrichment. Critics accuse the administration of trying to avoid congressional oversight of a new deal with Iran.
“We must intensify our efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability. The letter continues, “We must make Iran understand, without ambiguity, that further advances in its nuclear program will be met with unified international action.”
The People’s Republic of China cannot be excused for accelerating Iran’s destabilizing behavior, and Iran cannot proceed with its nuclear program with impunity. We urge you to retake this deterrent stance and lead to bolster the international community’s resolve.
Sens. penned the letter. James Lankford (R-OK) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Sens from the Democratic Party joined them. Gary Peters (D-MI), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Michael Bennet (D-CO) are all members of the Democratic Party.
Peters, Blumenthal, Hassan, Warnock, Kelly, Wyden, and Bennet, among others, were notable for their support of the original Iran deal or efforts to rejoin it earlier in Biden’s term. Padilla, who was not a member of the Senate at the time of the original agreement in 2015, does not appear to have made any public statements regarding his thoughts on the initial deal or his efforts to reenter it.
Senate Republicans Additionally, Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mike Crapo (R-ID), John Boozman (R-AR), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Rick Scott (R-FL), Mike Braun (R-IN), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), John Kennedy (R-LA), John Hoeven (R The letter was also signed by Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema.
In addition, lawmakers urged Biden to secure commitments from European allies to lift United Nations sanctions against Iran if the regime surpasses the 90% threshold for weapons-grade enrichment.
The letter states, “Such a move would squeeze Iran’s revenue sources and serve notice that Iran cannot continue to benefit from international sanctions relief while progressing towards the development of a nuclear weapon.”