A bipartisan group of U.S. House of Representatives, including members Florida delegation, signed a letter directed to President Biden urging him to consult with Congress before signing on or agreeing to any nuclear deal with Iran.
Rep. Charlie Crist, who is running against Gov. Ron DeSantis, Rep. Val Demings, seeking to replace Sen. Marco Rubio, Rep. Lois Frankel, and Rep. Darren Soto were among those who joined Rep. Josh Gottheimer in penning the letter.
Interestingly, two of the most prominent Democrat Jewish members of Congress, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Rep. Ted Deutch, did not sign the letter.
The representatives expressed deep concerns about specific provisions of the potential nuclear agreement with Iran. They recognized that Iran continues its role as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and further addressed growing concerns about Tehran’s role in partnering with Russia.
The letter calls provisions allowing non-US individuals to conduct business with non-sanctioned Iranian persons an irresponsible move. Many of those non-sanctioned Iranians conduct business with sanctioned individuals, creating a perilous loophole that could promote and support the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) and undermine U.S. efforts to combat terrorism worldwide.
“While we commend you for refusing to remove the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) — one of our most powerful tools used to compel state sponsors of terror to change — the aforementioned reported provision creates a troubling precedent. We are concerned that it could significantly dilute the effectiveness of terrorism-related sanctions on the IRGC, Iran’s paramilitary terror arm and provides the organization with a pathway for sanctions evasion,” stated the letter. “If the regime in Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, has proven anything, it’s that it can’t be trusted. The IRGC has directly, or through its proxies, including Hezbollah, Hamas, Ansar Allah (Houthis), Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and scores of Shiite militias in Iraq, killed hundreds of Americans, and attacked our bases and our allies in the region.”
The strongly worded letter asserts that the United States cannot trust Iran. It underscores the importance of disengaging the Russia-Iranian alliance and holding the Islamic state accountable for its role in sponsoring terror plots.
The Justice Department recently uncovered a foiled Iranian-sponsored plot to assassinate former National Security Advisor to President Trump John Bolton, as well as plans to murder Iranian-American dissidents on American soil.
The letter concludes with an urgent request that the administration not enter any nuclear deal with Iran before transparently releasing the agreement’s full text with Congress and consulting key stakeholders.
As tensions with Iran remain high, the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA) reported just yesterday that the IRGC attempted to steal a U.S. maritime drone. JINSA’s policy experts also urged the Biden Administration to recognize the “pattern of Iranian aggression that will only exacerbate if the U.S. fails to respond with force and instead continues to negotiate a nuclear deal.” It further pushes the administration to recognize the nuclear deal has failed and move forward with “consistent and forceful military action alongside its regional partners to deter Iranian aggression.”
Mossad Chief Barak Ravid was reportedly scheduled to visit Washington this week for closed-door meetings regarding the Iran Nuclear Deal with key members of Congress. It is unknown if this letter comes as a result of any meetings with Ravid.
Florida Rep. Ted Deutch traveled to Israel with Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid in August to discuss Israeli security objectives amid Iranian aggression.
Prime Minister Lapid will likely meet with President Biden in September to discuss the adversarial effect a nuclear deal would have on the State of Israel.