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Iran nuclear deal

Biden administration will respond to Congress after threat to thwart new Iran deal

“The Administration will carefully consider the facts and circumstances of any US return to the JCPOA to determine the legal implications,” the State Department official told Al Arabiya English.

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A State Department official said Wednesday that the Biden administration would issue a response to members of Congress after 33 Republican lawmakers warned that they would “severely” hamper any new nuclear deal with Iran.

Republican Senator Ted Cruz and other senior Republicans said that Congress would need to review and vote on any new deal between Washington and Western powers and Tehran.

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“We are aware of the letter. The Administration will provide a response to the members of Congress,” a State Department spokesperson told Al Arabiya English.

Following the US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran has sought guarantees that the same thing will not happen if a new US administration comes to power or Republicans take control of Congress later this year.

In their letter, the Republican senators said a nuclear deal with Iran would be a treaty and would need the approval of two-thirds of the Senate due to its “gravity for US national security.”

But the State Department official said that US President Joe Biden believed a bipartisan approach to Iran was the “strongest way to safeguard US interests for the long-term.” The official added that administration officials had reached out at “all levels” to members of Congress and their staff to discuss its approach to Iran.

“The Administration will carefully consider the facts and circumstances of any US return to the JCPOA to determine the legal implications,” the official said.

Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley has briefed members of Congress this week for the first time since taking on the role nearly a year ago.

Malley spoke to lawmakers virtually this week as he is in Vienna for reportedly the final touches on reaching a deal with Iran.

“Special Envoy Malley remains deeply committed to continued close engagement with Congress in a bipartisan manner as Iran policy continues to develop. He and his staff continue to hold routine briefings with Members and their staff, and they remain available and committed to doing so,” the State Department official said Wednesday.

Read more: Biden’s CENTCOM chief pick says sanctions relief for Iran risks support for terrorism

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