US Republican senators say they won’t support Iran nuclear deal | Political news
Republican lawmakers oppose, but do not have the power to block, a deal with Tehran sought by US President Joe Biden.
Forty-nine of 50 Republicans in the US Senate have announced they will not support a new nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, underscoring their party’s opposition to attempts to revive a 2015 deal as multilateral talks on nuclear could collapse.
In a statement on Monday, Republican senators pledged to do everything in their power to reverse a deal that does not “completely block” Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon, limit its missile program ballistic weapons and “confronts Iran’s support for terrorism”.
The United States has been negotiating indirectly with Iran in Vienna for months to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which saw Iran reduce its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions against its economy. .
Former President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the deal in 2018 and Washington has applied a “maximum pressure” sanctions campaign against Tehran. In response, Iran stepped up its nuclear program, including uranium enrichment.
Efforts to strike a new deal have been left in limbo after a last-minute request from Russia – now at odds with the West over its invasion of Ukraine – forced world powers involved in the negotiations to suspend talks indefinitely despite a largely completed deal. text.
US lawmaker Rand Paul was the only Senate Republican not to sign Monday’s statement. In an emailed statement, he said: “To condemn an agreement that is not yet formulated is to condemn diplomacy itself, it is not a very thoughtful position.”
No Republican in Congress supported the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the so-called “P5+1” countries, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, the United Kingdom, the Russia, China and France – plus Germany. A handful of Democrats also opposed it.
US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said over the weekend that Biden administration officials believe a deal is close and “we would like all parties – including Russia, which has indicated that she had concerns – put an end to that”.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran rose after Iran launched missiles that landed on the US consulate in the Kurdish city of Erbil in northern Iraq.
“We are very concerned about what Iran is doing, but imagine these Iranians with a nuclear weapon,” Sherman said on Fox News.
“We need to take this off the table so that we can address their malicious behavior in the Middle East, and we will do all of the above, but we need to get that deal done first. And it’s not closed yet.
The Iran Nuclear Deal Review Act of 2015 gives Congress the right to review a deal, but lawmakers are unlikely to be able to kill a deal after failing to do so in 2015 when Republicans controlled Congress.
Democrats now hold narrow majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate and are unlikely to turn on Biden in sufficient numbers to stop a major initiative like an Iran deal.
Nevertheless, the Republican opposition assures that Congress cannot adopt any nuclear deal with Iran as a permanent treaty, which requires a two-thirds favorable vote, making it vulnerable to abandonment by a future Republican president. .
A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Monday that Washington must decide whether to strike a deal.
US Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland told the Senate last week that Russia was trying to ‘raise the bar’ by linking negotiations with Iran to Moscow’s demands in Ukraine, but the US was rejecting that . “We’re not playing ‘Let’s make a deal,'” Nuland told a Senate hearing.