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A group of House Republicans wrote to President Biden warning against another nuclear deal with Iran, saying such a deal without lawmakers’ approval would “meet the same fate” as former President Barack Obama’s deal with the country.
“If you forge an agreement with the Supreme Leader of Iran without formal Congressional approval, it will be temporary and non-binding and will meet the same fate as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” reads a letter to Biden signed by nearly 200 House Republicans Wednesday.
The GOP lawmakers were referring to the controversial 2015 agreement with Iran orchestrated by Obama, which was later abandoned by former President Donald Trump.
Biden campaigned on the promise to resurrect the deal, with the administration saying last week that it believes it has until the end of February to salvage the work of the previous agreement.
But the Republican lawmakers took issue with some of Iran’s demands, noting that the country has asked for a “guarantee” that the U.S. will no longer place sanctions on the country as long as they adhere to the terms of the agreement.
The lawmakers made clear that unlike the deal struck by the Obama administration, any agreement will have to gain the approval of Congress.
“We feel compelled to remind you that you do not have the power to provide any such ‘guarantee,'” the letter said. “We will demand that any such agreement be submitted to Congress pursuant to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, and we will use the law’s 30-day review period to warn our colleagues, the American public and the private sector about any dangers and flaws of such an agreement.”
The letter argues that any move to lift sanctions against Iran should not be made “without first verifying they have fully accounted for all past and present undeclared nuclear activities, fully dismantled their enrichment and reprocessing-related infrastructure and capabilities.”
The letter also argues against trusting Iran, noting that its leadership “brutally represses, persecutes, tortures, and murders its own people.”
“We hope to see the day where all U.S. sanctions on Iran can be lifted, when the U.S. and Iran can enjoy normalized relations, and when the people of Iran have a government that respects human dignity,” the letter concludes. “But that day will not come if you provide sanctions relief that will fuel the regime’s corruption and incompetence at the expense of the Iranian people.”