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Group of House Lawmakers, Mostly Democratic, ‘Deeply Concerned’ About Prospective Iran Deal

“We are deeply concerned about multiple provisions that reportedly may be contained in the final language of any agreement with the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism”.
Complexities in international talks concerning re-entry into a nuclear deal with Iran. Credit: Stuart Miles/Shutterstock.
Complexities in international talks concerning re-entry into a nuclear deal with Iran. Credit: Stuart Miles/Shutterstock.

A group of U.S. House members wrote a letter to President Joe Biden on Thursday expressing their concerns about the administration’s efforts to revive the Iran Nuclear Deal.

Consisting of 34 Democrats and 16 Republicans, the group of 50 lawmakers highlighted alleged provisions that would appear in a revived nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic.

“We are deeply concerned about multiple provisions that reportedly may be contained in the final language of any agreement with the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism,” they wrote.

Biden has worked to reinstate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran Nuclear Deal, that former President Barack Obama negotiated in 2015 and from which Donald Trump withdrew in 2018.

Some analysts have argued that the administration does not merely seek to revive the JCPOA, but to secure a more favorable deal for Tehran.

The lawmakers pointed to an alleged provision that would exempt certain Iranian business partners from sanctions.

“Non-U.S. persons doing business with Iranian persons that are not on the [U.S. sanctions list] will not be exposed to sanctions merely as a result of those Iranian persons engaging in separate transactions involving Iranian persons on the [U.S. sanctions list] (including Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), its officials, or its subsidiaries or affiliates),” reads the draft deal, per the letter.

“While we commend you for refusing to remove the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) — one of our most powerful tools used to compel state sponsors of terror to change — the aforementioned reported provision creates a troubling precedent,” they wrote.

“We are concerned that it could significantly dilute the effectiveness of terrorism-related sanctions on the IRGC, Iran’s paramilitary terror arm and provides the organization with a pathway for sanctions evasion,” the lawmakers asserted.

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