GOP Senators Demand Congressional Say in Iran Nuclear Deal

Almost 30 GOP senators sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Monday demanding congressional oversight in any reentry in the Iran nuclear agreement, Politico reports.

Twenty-seven Republicans signed onto the letter, drafted by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, according to the report. The senators say they will try to block any action by the White House if the Senate is not consulted.

Pointing to statutory obligations to allow the Senate to advise, the letter states that “we are committed to using the full range of options and leverage available to United States Senators to ensure that you meet those obligations, and that the implementation of any agreement will be severely if not terminally hampered if you do not.

“[W]e reiterate our view that any agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear program is of such gravity for U.S. national security that by definition it is a treaty requiring Senate advice and consent,” the letter continues. “Furthermore, genuinely robust nuclear agreement with Iran would be compelling enough to secure assent from two-thirds of the Senate — and the only reason not to present it for a resolution of ratification is that it is too weak to pass muster.”

The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 notes that the president must send Congress “the text of the agreement and all related materials and annexes” within five days of making a deal and at least 60 senators must vote to remain in the deal.

In 2018, then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the pact and reimposed tough economic sanctions on Iran, prompting the Islamic Republic to begin pulling back from its commitments under the deal and step up its nuclear activity.

The Trump administration argued that Iran had been violating the conditions of the agreement all along, and that the Obama administration and other signatories had been foolish to sign the deal and give the Iranian government cash in the first place.

Republicans argue that reentry requires Senate approval, while backers of the agreement say it requires only the president, just as when Trump, a Republican, withdrew in 2018.

Information from AFP was used in this report.

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