A group of more than 40 US senators and members of Congress Thursday took a step toward trying to prevent President Joe Biden from lifting sanctions on Iran.
Biden and members of the administration have made no secret about their intentions of rejoining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was signed when Biden was vice president under Barack Obama in 2015.
During former President Donald Trump’s four-year term, he withdrew the US from the deal and imposed crushing economic sanctions on Tehran.
Biden has withdrawn the US claim that “snapback” sanctions were put into effect as a result of Iran’s violations of the JCPOA. He has also lifted travel restrictions on Iranian diplomats at the UN and revoked the terrorist designation of Iran-backed militias and these non-state actors' leaders.
However, critics of Biden’s softer approach are urging him to use the sanctions that have choked the Iranian regime as leverage.
The now-defunct JCPOA failed to engage any of Washington’s regional allies during negotiations, and it did not address Iran’s proxies around the world as well as its ballistic missile program.
On Thursday, US Senator Tom Cotton and Congressman Mike Gallagher introduced the resolution, which had the signature of 44 other members on Capitol Hill.
“The United States must maintain sanctions on the Iranian regime until it abandons its nuclear ambitions and ends its support for violence and terror around the region,” a statement released by the signees said.
The US must maintain sanctions on the Iranian regime until it abandons its nuclear ambitions and ends its support for violence and terror. Iran took advantage of weak policies during the Obama Administration, and @POTUS must not repeat those same mistakes.https://t.co/0bHLzwCzr5— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) February 25, 2021
“Iran took advantage of weak policies during the Obama Administration, and President Biden must not repeat those same mistakes,” the statement read.
Last week, the US expressed its willingness to sit down with Iran to discuss the nuclear deal after the European Union extended the invite to Tehran.
Iran has so far given Biden and his administration the cold shoulder. But on Wednesday, State Department Spokesman Ned Price said the US was waiting, “but our patience is not unlimited.”