Lankford, 49 Senate Republican Senators to Biden: An Iran Agreement Without Broad Congressional Support Will Not Survive

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today joined 49 Republican Senators to tell the Biden Administration they will not support the revived Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran, which, according to public reports, will weaken sanctions and lessen restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program.

According to press reports, the Biden Administration may soon conclude an agreement with Iran to provide substantial sanctions relief in exchange for merely short-term limitations on Iran’s nuclear program. 

“By every indication, the Biden Administration appears to have given away the store. The Administration appears to have agreed to lift sanctions that were not even placed on Iran for its nuclear activities in the first place, but instead because of its ongoing support for terrorism and its gross abuses of human rights. The nuclear limitations in this new deal appear to be significantly less restrictive than the 2015 nuclear deal, which was itself too weak, and will sharply undermine US leverage to secure an actually ‘longer and stronger’ deal. What is more, the deal appears likely to deepen Iran’s financial and security relationship with Moscow and Beijing, including through arms sales.

“The Administration has thus far refused to commit to submit a new Iran deal to the Senate for ratification as a treaty, as per its constitutional obligation, or for review under statutory requirements that passed on a bipartisan basis in response to the 2015 deal. Additionally, despite earlier promises to the contrary, the administration has failed to adequately consult with Congress.

“Republicans have made it clear: We would be willing and eager to support an Iran policy that completely blocks Iran’s path to a nuclear weapons capability, constrains Iran’s ballistic missile program, and confronts Iran’s support for terrorism. But if the Administration agrees to a deal that fails to achieve these objectives or makes achieving them more difficult, Republicans will do everything in our power to reverse it. Unless Iran ceases its support for terrorism, we will oppose removing and seek to reimpose any terrorism-related sanctions. And we will force the Senate to vote on any Administration effort to do so.

“We strongly urge the Administration, our Democrat colleagues, and the international community to learn the lessons of the very recent past. A major agreement that does not have strong bipartisan support in Congress will not survive.”

Lankford is the leader sponsor of the Iran Sanctions Preservation Act, which would prohibit the President from lifting sanctions on Iran’s energy industry or financial services sector unless the Iranian regime ends its nuclear program, support for terrorism, or use of ballistic missiles.

Lankford was joined in the statement by Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mitt Romney (R-UT), John Thune (R-SD), Rob Portman (R-OH), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), John Boozman (R-AR), Jim Risch (R-ID), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Jerry Moran (R-KS), John Barrasso (R-WY), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Richard Burr (R-NC), John Kennedy (R-LA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Josh Hawley (R-MO), John Cornyn (R-TX), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Tim Scott (R-SC), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), John Hoeven (R-ND), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mike Braun (R-IN), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Steve Daines (R-MT), Todd Young (R-IN), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Rick Scott (R-FL).