Fifty House Republicans and Democrats are calling on President Joe Biden to exhibit full transparency with Congress regarding the rumored plan of U.S. officials reviving the so-called Iran nuclear deal — before any papers are signed.
In a Thursday letter to Biden, co-authored by Reps. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., and Andrew Garbarino, R-N.Y., the lawmakers requested the White House share the text of any potential nuclear agreements involving Iran with congressional members.
They are concerned that certain provisions in a revised nuclear pact could result in weakening U.S. sanctions on Iran that "are meant to target funding" of terrorist activities, according to the letter.
Only four countries make up the State Department's "sponsors of terror" list — Cuba, Syria, North Korea and Iran; and according to reports, President Biden initially refused Iran's demands of removing the terrorist designation as a stipulation of nuclear talks.
The Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action pact from 2015 (JCPOA), was created under then-President Barack Obama. In it, Iran agreed to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium and also cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98%.
In return, the Iranian leaders reportedly collected $150 billion from other countries, including the United States. A few years later, then-President Donald Trump rescinded the Iran nuclear deal.
On Thursday, French President Emanuel Macron said he hoped the JCPOA would be "concluded in the next few days."
That statement came on the heels of White House national security spokesman John Kirby's comments that the Biden administration was waiting to hear from Iranian and European Union officials regarding the proposed nuclear pact.
"We still remain hopeful that we can get a reimplementation of the JCPOA," Kirby said Wednesday. "We do believe we're closer now than we have been in certain recent weeks and months, due in large part to Iran being willing to drop some of their demands that were not related to the deal at all."
Democrats who criticize a rebirth of the Iran nuclear deal say it does little to stop Iran from building or acquiring a nuclear weapon.
"The aforementioned reported provision creates a troubling precedent," the lawmakers wrote. "We are concerned that it could significantly dilute the effectiveness of terrorism-related sanctions on the [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps], Iran's paramilitary terror arm and provides the organization with a pathway for sanctions evasion."
In July, former national security adviser John Bolton told Newsmax that diplomacy wouldn't be the answer to defusing Iran's nuclear capabilities.
Iran ''can still be stopped, but somebody's going to have to [physically] do it. And it won't come from [reviving] the failed Iran nuclear deal," Bolton said while appearing "The Record With Greta Van Susteren."
The original Iran nnclear deal was an expensive lesson for U.S. officials, Bolton said, since Iran apparently didn't adhere to the terms of the agreement.
Iran's nuclear program, "as we know it, is extremely vulnerable," said Bolton, when brainstorming ways to vanquish the country's means for uranium enrichment and then converting the uranium to a gaslike state.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid seemingly agreed with that rationale, recently characterizing the prospective Iran nuclear pact as a "bad deal."
"The countries of the West draw a red line, the Iranians ignore it, and the red line moves," Lapid said last week, according to The Associated Press.
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