Lankford, Cornyn, T. Scott, and Former Secretary of State Stress Need for US Sanctions on Iran As Biden Renegotiates Iran Nuclear Deal

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) was joined by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Tim Scott (R-SC) to introduce the Iran Sanctions Preservation Act. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also expressed his support for the measure.

The legislation requires that the US maintain current sanctions targeting Iran’s oil industry, financial sector, and supporters of terrorism until Iran suspends all of its destabilizing terrorist activities. The bill would ensure sanctions remain in place until strict conditions are met by Tehran to suspend both its nuclear program and support for terrorism. The bill also expresses support for the people of Iran, who are the greatest victims of the regime’s destabilizing activities.

“Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, remains a significant national security threat to the US and to our ally, Israel,” said Lankford. “President Biden and his envoys continue to negotiate with Iran, even while the Iranian regime is obviously supporting terrorism, most recently backing Hamas against Israel. I am very concerned by the Administration’s attempt to separate the concerns about Iran’s nuclear ambitions from our concerns about Iran’s flagrant support for terrorism; they are both a part of Tehran’s strategy of destabilization. Focusing only on the nuclear threat and ignoring Iran’s support for terrorism will lead to more chaos in the Middle East, not less. Congress must act to preserve the ‘maximum pressure’ approach and prevent the Biden Administration’s strategy of appeasement. 

“The United States cannot ignore Iran’s role in worldwide terror and proxy wars at the expense of its own people and our allies in the Middle East,” said Cornyn. “By ensuring the current sanctions against Iran will continue, this legislation would address both Iran’s nuclear threat and its support for terrorism, unlike the Iran Nuclear Deal.”

“The world has seen the atrocities perpetrated by the Iranian regime time and time again, yet President Biden is willing to stake global stability on Tehran’s word. Unfortunately, words are meaningless without action. To re-enter the flawed Iran Deal as it currently stands would be to turn a blind eye to all who suffer from the Ayatollah’s state-sponsored terrorism. The Iranian people—and the people of the world—deserve better,” said Scott.

“President Trump’s Maximum Pressure policy and crushing sanctions denied the Iranians the resources they needed to support building a nuclear weapon or to support terrorism around the globe. America and our ally, Israel and the world are safer because of the sanctions on Iran. I’m proud to support the legislation Senator Lankford and his colleagues are introducing to ensure we stick to the US sanctions on Iran and never allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon and stop its terrorist activities,” said former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The Biden Administration is currently in talks with the Iranian regime on a pathway to re-enter the Iran Nuclear Deal negotiated by the Obama Administration, which did not address Iran’s support for terrorism or end its nuclear program. President Trump withdrew from this bad deal in 2018 and instead imposed “maximum pressure” sanctions that have devastated Iran’s oil industry, depriving the regime of revenue to support terrorism. Earlier this month, Lankford joined his colleagues in a letter to President Biden to stand with Israel and withdraw from its negotiations with Iran in the wake of attacks from Gaza. Lankford also penned a letter to the international business community warning them against resuming business with Iran. Lankford spoke at a recent press conference about the ways Iran continues to influence terrorism in the region, as the Hamas attacks in Israel raged. Last week, Lankford recorded a podcast with former US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, on Israel, Iran, and the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

The legislation is supported by the Republican Jewish Coalition.