Last week, the Biden administration gave Iran what it wanted. Without consulting Congress, the administration lifted sanctions on multiple former Iranian officials and businesses, thereby relaxing U.S. pressure on the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.
Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee weren’t amused. On the contrary, they continue to assert that the administration chose not to consult Congress about the lifted sanctions in order to intentionally bypass legislative oversight. These Republicans are now demanding an explanation.
The State Department announced the sanctions were lifted “as a result of a verified change in status or behavior on the part of the sanctioned parties” and that “[t]hese actions demonstrate [America’s] commitment to lifting sanctions in the event of a change in status or behavior by sanctioned persons.” The Treasury Department echoed this announcement. Meanwhile, the State Department imposed new sanctions on “an Iranian-backed supply network” to the Houthi terrorists in Yemen.
While the Biden administration contends that the lifted sanctions are unrelated to continued negotiations with the Iranian regime in Vienna, Rep. Claudia Tenney and some of her colleagues say the Biden administration is lying. They demand that the State Department share its internal plans.
Tenney and some colleagues on the House Foreign Affairs Committee are so concerned by the Biden administration’s handling of U.S.-Iran relations that they initiated a congressional review on Thursday. The Washington Free Beacon notes this review “could unearth evidence [that] the State Department lifted sanctions as part of a package of concessions meant to appease Iranian officials, as U.S. diplomats negotiate a revamped nuclear agreement with Tehran.”
The Washington Free Beacon proceeds to write that the Biden administration is struggling to productively negotiate with Tehran, leading to potentially desperate measures: “While senior Biden administration officials initially vowed to keep [the Trump administration’s] sanctions in place until Iran agreed to a stricter nuclear agreement, the administration has moved in recent months to relax pressure to keep Iran at the bargaining table.” Moreover, “Talks in Vienna have largely stalled over Iran’s refusal to roll back portions of its nuclear program.”
In the congressional correspondence obtained exclusively by
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