You see a page from the old site of Iran International that is no longer updated. Visit to view the new site.

Republicans Attack Reported Biden Plan For Reviving Iran Nuclear Deal

A reported plan to ease United States sanctions in return for Iran reversing steps in its nuclear program has been slammed by Congressional members of the Republican Party, even though Tehran had already rejected it.

Politico magazine on March 29 suggested the Biden administration was weighing up an offer to remove some sanctions against Iran in return for Tehran reducing uranium enrichment, including the 20-percent enrichment begun in January. Iran’s United Nations delegation immediately tweeted a rejection of the reported offer, repeating that Iran expected Washington to lift all sanctions and return to Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which President Donald Trump left in 2018.

The Free Beacon, a conservative news outlet, has surveyed a number of Congressional Republicans united in condemning what they saw as secret diplomacy by Biden officials.

"This is a scandal," said Jim Banks, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. "Why is the Biden team giving in to Iran’s nuclear blackmail and rewarding the regime with sanctions relief for its enrichment of uranium by 20 percent?”

Andy Barr, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the reported plan was “troubling and bewildering,” and a “decision” that would “threaten American and Israeli national security…and reward the largest state sponsor of terrorism with billions of dollars for them to reinvest in military weaponry and proxies to kill American service-members and our allies abroad.”

Lifting Sanctions Bad Policy

Bryan Steil, also of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that “lifting sanctions on the Iranian regime in order to return to the failed Iran Nuclear Deal” was “bad policy” while “lifting sanctions to get them to the negotiating table is even worse."

Republicans who oppose the 2015 nuclear deal - the JCPOA, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - and support draconian sanctions introduced by Trump after quitting the deal in 2018 have taken a lead in letters to Biden from both houses of Congress arguing that Trump’s maximum pressure should be continued to coerce Iran into a range of concessions including ending uranium enrichment, scrapping its missile program and breaking links with regional allies including Palestinian groups.

House Republicans have also demanded the State Department provide in-depth information on reported talks with South Korea allegedly ‘allowing’ Iran to access $1 billion in frozen assets.

President Joe Biden made an election commitment to revive the JCPOA but his administration’s efforts appeared quickly to reach an impasse. Washington has demanded Iran first reverse steps in its nuclear program beyond JCPOA limits, while Tehran says the US should first end sanctions and return to the JCPOA. Calls for an agreement on sequencing from IAEA chief Rafael Mariano Grossi have yet to produce results.

Change Of Approach in Tehran?

The Free Beacon quoted a senior Biden official that the administration was exploring options for “a series of initial, mutual steps” for JCPOA revival. Reuters on Tuesday [March 30] quoted a US official that while Washington was unclear as to Iran’s stance, officials detected a change of approach in Tehran.  "What we had heard was that they were interested first in a series of initial steps, and so we were exchanging ideas," the official said. "It sounds from what we are hearing publicly now, and through other means, that they may be ... not interested in (discussing) initial steps but in a road map for return to full compliance…we are happy to talk about it.”

European officials told Reuters that this conclusion had been reached largely through indirect US-Iranian contacts through the Europeans. The remaining signatories in December stated that both Iran and the US should renew the JCPOA – but while the Biden administration has largely left ‘maximum pressure’ intact, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who holds last word on strategic matters, has insisted Tehran is in no hurry.

Critics of the JCPOA have also highlighted a failure from Acting Assistant Secretary Lisa Peterson to immediately answer a reporter’s question on a State Department 2020 human-rights country report estimating numbers killed in Iran’s 2019 unrest at 300, down from 1500 in the 2019 report. In a tweet, Jason Brodsky, former policy director of United Against Nuclear Iran and currently Senior Analyst at Iran International was one of those pointing out the unexplained discrepancy.  

Iran in Brief
City officials in Iran's capital Tehran are planning to put locks on large waste containers in the streets to prevent garbage pickers from accessing waste.More
The Biden Administration has confirmed to the US Congress that sanction imposed by its predecessor on Iran have drastically reduced Iran's trade with the world.More
The UK government said on Sept 20 that Britain would "not rest" until all its dual nationals being held in Iran were returned home.More
President Ebrahim Raisi’s vice president in women’s affairs has refused to support an age limit in child marriage, a controversial issue in Iran.More
In first news about detained Iranian dissident rap singer Toomaj, Iran International has learned that was arrested by the intelligence ministry.More