Matt Bush, FISM News
The lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael McCaul, along with 109 other House Republicans, sent a letter to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken urging the administration to pull out of Iran nuclear talks in Vienna. The letter calls the current round of negotiations with Iran “fruitless” and strongly suggested enforcing existing sanctions while urging other countries to do the same.
The 109 House Republicans who sent the letter to Blinken believe that the JCPOA is not worth consideration:
Iran is charging forward with its nuclear program, using advanced centrifuges and producing equipment for such centrifuges while stockpiling increasing quantities of uranium enriched at 20 percent and 60 percent purity…While the Administration has consistently indicated a willingness to negotiate toward a return to the JCPOA, Iran has made a return even less valuable for the P5+1 as it makes greater nuclear gains and gets closer to the deal’s sunsets.
On July 20, 2015, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was adopted as an agreement between Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States). The plan outlined certain requirements and measurements that Iran would be required to reach to show that their nuclear plan would remain “peaceful” and that no nuclear weapons would be developed.
If Iran followed the requirements outlined in the JCPOA, then the other countries would lift the heavy economic sanctions that had been placed on Iran because of their nuclear goals.
President Trump, in 2018, pulled out of the JCPOA calling the deal, according to BBC, “decaying and rotten” and said that “it was an embarrassment to him as a citizen.”
According to the BBC the former president contended that “the deal only limited Iran’s nuclear activities for a fixed period; had failed to stop the development of ballistic missiles; and had handed Iran a $100bn windfall that it used ‘as a slush fund for weapons, terror, and oppression’ across the Middle East.”
Trump and many others in America were convinced that the JCPOA did very little to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb while it did provide the country with a large amount of money. Former President Barack Obama, one of the orchestrators of the deal, called Trump’s comments and actions “misguided.”
Rob Malley, U.S. Special Envoy for Iran, told CNN “It seems very clear [Iran] is trying to build leverage by expanding their nuclear program and hoping to use that leverage to get a better deal.” Iranian officials have said that they will not revise their nuclear progress unless the U.S. lifts all sanctions immediately and guarantees that future presidents would stick to the deal. The Biden administration remains steadfast in saying that these concessions are out of the question even though they continue to work towards reinstating JCPOA.
The letter was sent to Blinken at a time when the White House, in describing a return to the JCPOA said, “it successfully kept Iran’s nuclear program in a box before the US pulled out.” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki went so far as to say, “None of the things we are looking at now — Iran’s increased capability and capacity, their aggressive actions that they have taken through proxy wars around the world — would be happening if the former president had not recklessly pulled out of the nuclear deal.”
The Republicans ended the letter by stating,
It is well past time for the Administration to end these farcical negotiations and fully enforce our existing sanctions to slash this vital source of revenue for the Iranian regime.”