Iran General NewsUS Congress Mounts Pressure on Khamenei and Rouhani

US Congress Mounts Pressure on Khamenei and Rouhani

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Recent news suggests that developments in the United States are rapidly turning against Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani.

Michael McCaul, ranking Member of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee and Josh Gottheimer, a Democratic representative of Congress from New Jersey, sent a bipartisan letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken. They asked the US Administration to use leverage to achieve a better and comprehensive agreement with Iran, including access to all Iranian nuclear sites by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The letter also pointed to some of the clauses of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal known as the JCPOA which from the view of lawmakers must be corrected. Also, Iran’s recent violation of the JCPOA was reminded in this letter.

The bipartisan letter’s signatories included a total of 12 Republicans and 12 Democrats.

The JCPOA did not block Iran’s nuclear program

These lawmakers also wrote: ‘We believe the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the P5+1 and Iran did not sufficiently ensure Iran could never obtain a nuclear weapon.

“In return for temporary limits on aspects of Iran’s nuclear program, this agreement allowed Iran access to billions of dollars in sanctions relief which it has continued to use to advance its ballistic missile program and expand its support for terrorism.

“We urge you to work with our allies and consult with Congress in a bipartisan and bicameral fashion to outline a better, comprehensive deal with Iran that would block its path to a nuclear weapon and blunt its global malign activities.”

Iran’s government, the most important terror supporter

They added: “Going forward, the administration should make use of existing leverage to sharpen the choices available to Tehran. The world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism must be held accountable for its nuclear enrichment and undermining regional peace and stability.”

The Congress members further wrote: “In recent years, Iran directly attacked U.S. troops in Iraq, injuring more than 100 servicemembers. In addition, Iran damaged oil tankers in the Gulf, fired cruise missiles against our allies, and maintained its support of terrorist groups dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Iran has not ceased its destructive behavior since the implementation of the JCPOA. We believe a better deal will improve security in the region.”

Many clauses in the JCPOA should be improved

The letter added: “There are numerous provisions of the JCPOA that should be improved. Most notably, various “sunset clauses” could result in Iran rushing to obtain a nuclear weapon once the deal expires. Absent any changes, the agreement would have less than five years before Iran is able to ramp up its nuclear program to industrial scale. Iran has committed other concerning violations of the JCPOA. Iran has abandoned commitments regarding research and development of centrifuges.

Iran’s ballistic missiles should be included in a new agreement

About the regime’s missile program, the letter added: “Additionally, the JCPOA did not address Iran’s non-nuclear issues including its robust arsenal of ballistic missiles and other malign and destabilizing activities.

Iran’s malign activities are a subject of concern

About the regime’s malign activities in the region as well as its human rights violations inside the country, the letter added: “Iran continues to transfer weapons to terrorist groups and proxies, engage in illicit and deceptive financial practices, and commit gross human rights abuses and violations, including taking of U.S. and other foreign citizen hostages.”

It concludes that, “The world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism must be held accountable for its nuclear enrichment and undermining regional peace and stability. We appreciate the steps you have already taken to do so by ordering a targeted military strike against a facility used by Iran-backed militia groups in eastern Syria, following escalating attacks on U.S. and coalition personnel in Iraq. We share the goal of preventing a nuclear armed Iran, inhibiting its ballistic missiles capabilities, and ending Iran’s threats to the United States and our regional allies, including Israel.”

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