The Biden administration’s efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal is facing growing skepticism in Congress from both Democrats and Republicans.
Lawmakers in both parties say they have been left largely in the dark about what a new agreement with Iran might look like, and they fear it will be significantly weaker than the deal former President Obama cut in 2015 because the United States has lost time and leverage.
There are also doubts whether it is currently a good time to negotiate a new agreement when U.S. relations with Russia and China, two signatories to the original Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), are at a multiyear low.
There are concerns that a new deal could wind up steering billions of dollars to Russia as it would allow the country’s president, Vladimir Putin, to continue doing nuclear energy business with Iran.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said he doesn’t know enough about the details of the emerging deal to say whether it will be strong enough for him to support.
He was one of four Democrats who voted against the first agreement in 2015, along with Sen. Ben Cardin (Md.), Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.).