Senators Lankford, Perdue Introduce Bill to Hold Iran Accountable for Illicit Behavior

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and David Perdue (R-GA) today introduced the JCPOA Enforcement Transparency Act, which would increase oversight of the Joint Commission, a committee created under the Iran Nuclear Deal to monitor implementation, and call on the U.S. representative to the Commission to oppose further exemptions for Iran.

The Institute for Science and International Studies recently issued a report claiming that some of Iran’s nuclear facilities and stocks were not in compliance with President Obama’s original Iran deal restrictions when the deal was implemented. Additionally, the Institute notes that the Joint Commission may have secretly issued exemptions to Iran.

“The fact that the Obama Administration altered Iran’s nuclear-related obligations just days before sanctions on Iran were lifted is yet another sign that this deal is not what America believed it was,” said Lankford. “We discovered over the past several weeks that President Obama sent $1.7 billion in cash to Iran, which was used as leverage to secure the release of Americans held hostage in Iran, and now we know the President also made it easier for Iran to comply with its obligations. The bill that Senator Perdue and I wrote will shed more light on the Administration’s clandestine dealings with the Islamic Republic. Every American’s name was signed implicitly onto the Nuclear Deal when President Obama agreed to legitimize Iran’s nuclear program in July 2015, so every American is entitled to the details of this deal.”

“From its inception, I have been working to stop President Obama’s dangerous nuclear deal with Iran,” said Perdue. “The United States should be punishing Iran for its illicit behavior, not rewarding Iran with an economic boost of billions of dollars. Unfortunately, with the help of a majority of Senate Democrats, President Obama was able to move forward with his nuclear deal. Nine months later, we have learned the Joint Commission charged with overseeing the implementation of the nuclear deal issued waivers to Iran in order to make them compliant—essentially allowing Iran to break the rules before the deal had even gone into effect. This is inexcusable. What will it to take for the Obama Administration to hold Iran truly accountable, and show the belligerent nation enough is enough?”

JCPOA stands for Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and is sometimes referred to as the Iran Nuclear Deal.

The JCPOA Enforcement Transparency Act requires:

  • Justification: The Obama Administration must update congressional committees on why the U.S. representative to the Joint Commission deemed it appropriate to grant any waivers to Iran on nuclear requirements, and provide justification for any future decisions of the Commission.
  • Transparency: Requires the Obama Administration to make public the decision-making process for the Joint Commission, and subsequent enforcement bodies created by the deal.
  • Limitations: Expresses a sense of the Senate that the U.S. representative to the Joint Commission should oppose further exemptions for Iran under the nuclear deal, and the workings of the Joint Commission should proceed in an open and transparent manner.

On September 8, Senator Lankford sent a letter to President Obama to seek answers about the $1.7 billion in cash payments to Iran. Lankford asked the President to deliver on his promise of greater transparency for the American people by answering thirteen pointed questions about the details of how the money was transferred to Iran, whether the cash has ended up financing Iran’s military or terrorist ambitions, and the process behind granting Iran exemptions to its’ nuclear obligations. A response was requested by September 19. On July 14, Lankford and Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) introduced the Judgment Fund Transparency and Terrorism Financing Prevention Act, a bill to provide transparency and accountability for questionable taxpayer-funded payments to foreign nations, like Iran.