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Iran nuclear deal

Senators introduce bill banning US taxpayer funds from being spent for Iran deal

“The bill would prohibit the provision of taxpayer dollars to advance a nuclear agreement with Iran until the Iranian regime terminates its ties with the Chinese Communist Party and terrorist groups like Hamas,” a statement from Republican Senator Marco Rubio read.

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Several Republican senators introduced a bill that would forbid US taxpayer funds from being spent for a nuclear deal with Iran until Tehran fulfilled a number of different conditions.

“The bill would prohibit the provision of taxpayer dollars to advance a nuclear agreement with Iran until the Iranian regime terminates its ties with the Chinese Communist Party and terrorist groups like Hamas,” a statement from Senator Marco Rubio read.

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The Iran China Accountability Act was introduced by Rubio and Senator Marsha Blackburn. It would require any nuclear agreement to be ratified by a two-thirds vote in the Senate and would ban using taxpayer funds for a nuclear deal until Iran halted all arrangements, including security and military partnerships, with China. The bill also states that Iran would need to cut off all ties and transfers of cash to Iranian proxy forces, including Hamas. Tehran would need to verify the destruction of all chemical weapons, materials and infrastructures.

Rubio and Blackburn’s bill also said US taxpayer funds couldn’t be used for the deal until China ceased the incarceration of Uyghur Muslims.

While the Biden administration has been adamant about reviving the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and Western powers, negotiations have hit an impasse due to Iran’s demand that Washington removes the IRGC from its terror blacklist.

In addition, the Trump administration has been blamed by many current White House and State Department officials for making it difficult to lift some sanctions that were imposed after the former US president withdrew from the deal.

“A renewed nuclear deal with Iran would not only benefit the regime in Tehran, it would similarly reward and enrich the Chinese Communist Party,” Rubio said. ”We cannot allow the Biden Administration to continue making concessions to dictators in return for empty promises. It is dangerous and anti-American.”

For her part, Senator Marsha Blackburn, who introduced the bill with Rubio, said the “Obama-Biden Iran Deal” was always a failure. “The Biden Administration should not re-enter a deal that legitimizes the Iranian regime — especially while they continue to fund terrorism, endorse Communist China’s dangerous government, and facilitate genocide,” she said in the statement on Rubio’s website.

Republicans have been vocal critics of the deal and opposed all efforts to reach a similar one. But Democrats have also become increasingly against the agreement.

Senator Marco Rubio gives a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, Feb. 25, 2022. (Reuters)
Senator Marco Rubio gives a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, Feb. 25, 2022. (Reuters)

The Senate passed two non-binding motions last month, which showed the broad bipartisan agreement on opposing the Biden administration’s efforts on the Iran nuclear deal.

One motion stated that any nuclear deal with Iran needed to address Iran’s support for terrorist groups in the region and ensure that the IRGC remains designated as a terrorist organization.

US Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley had reportedly floated the idea to Iran in return for them pledging not to target current or former US officials as a way of revenge for the slaying of former Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

A separate motion, which garnered Democrat support, was passed with an overwhelming 86-12 vote. That motion, submitted by Senator Ted Cruz, spoke of the need to maintain terrorism-related sanctions on Iran to limit its cooperation with China.

“This legislation will stop taxpayer dollars from enabling the Biden White House to back this corrupt regime,” Blackburn said of the latest bill introduced by her and Rubio.

Read more: CENTCOM chief hits out at Iran, says US committed to Middle East partners

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