Sep 23, 2022 12:14 UTC
  • Dozens of US Republican lawmakers push to stop Biden from return to Iran nuclear deal

Nearly 50 Republicans in the US Congress have renewed an effort to stop President Joe Biden’s administration from return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and removal of sanctions against Tehran.

Senator Joni Ernst and Congressman Mike Waltz, along with 25 Senate Republican and 20 House Republican co-sponsors, on Wednesday introduced an act, which would prevent the withdrawal of US sanctions on Iran until Secretary of State Antony Blinken certifies to Congress that Iran had not supported any attempts to target US citizens or Iranians living in the country for at least five years.

Ernst said in a statement that “President Biden should not provide a dime of sanctions relief” to Iran, alleging that the Biden administration continues to cozy up to the Islamic Republic in hopes of a nuclear deal.

The new bill is the latest congressional effort to prevent a return to the nuclear deal.

Earlier this month, a bipartisan group of 50 House lawmakers sent a letter to Biden, expressing opposition to Washington’s return to the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The lawmakers, 34 Democrats and 16 Republicans, referred to several points they believed should sway Washington against the agreement, and urging the Biden administration to provide Congress with the full text of any potential deal.

“We urge you not to return to any deal with Iran prior to releasing the full text of the agreement and any side agreements to Congress, to provide us with an in-depth briefing on the matter, and to consult with all key stakeholders,” the letter, led by Democratic Congressman Josh Gottheimer, read.

FM: Agreement on JCPOA revival possible if US exhibits necessary willpower

Meanwhile, Iran's foreign minister says an agreement to revive the JCPOA is still available in case the United States shows the necessary willpower.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in a meeting with his Norwegian counterpart Anniken Huitfeldt on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York on Thursday evening.

The FM highlighted that a final agreement in the Vienna talks on the removal of sanctions and revival of the JCPOA is still within reach if there was the necessary will from Washington.

“The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should act on the basis of its technical duties and responsibilities, and distance itself from political approaches and double standards regarding Iran's peaceful nuclear program,” the top diplomat said.

Amir-Abdollahian also voiced Tehran’s readiness to deepen and expand cooperation with Oslo, stressing the need for the utilization of diverse capacities that exist between the two countries.

For her part, Huitfeldt emphasized her country's willingness in faster revival of the JCPOA and further bilateral cooperation.