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Sens. Cruz, Johnson, Colleagues Introduce Iran Nuclear Treaty Act to Place Constitutional Check on Iran Deal

June 11, 2021

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with 21 of their Republican colleagues today introduced the Iran Nuclear Treaty Act. This bill will give the American people a proper constitutional check by requiring that the president submit to Congress any renewed nuclear deal with Iran as a treaty. The Iran Nuclear Treaty Act would strengthen the role Congress plays by ensuring the advice and consent of the Senate is taken into account for a new nuclear agreement, as well as prevent waiving, suspending, reducing or limiting the application of sanctions on Iran before the Senate has concurred.

Co-sponsors of this bill include Sens. James Risch (R-Idaho), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), and Steve Daines (R-Mont.).

Read the full text of the bill here.

Upon introduction, Sen. Cruz said:

"The Biden administration knows their reckless rush to dismantle sanctions on Iran is unjustifiable, so instead of being transparent and working with Congress, the Administration has chosen instead to freeze out Congress. In the process, the Administration is eroding the Senate's constitutional authority to advice and consent to treaties by signaling that it will not submit the disastrous Iran nuclear deal to the Senate, just like the Obama administration, because they knew it faced majority bipartisan opposition. I urge my colleagues to remedy the harm done to the balance of powers and join me and Sen. Johnson in urging President Biden to submit the JCPOA to Congress."

Sen. Johnson said:

"President Reagan was right when he said you achieve peace through strength. Unfortunately, our adversaries understand the Biden administration will chart the same weak and disastrous course as President Obama. It's clear the Biden administration is in the business of appeasing adversaries like Russia, state sponsors of terrorism like Iran, and Iran's terrorist proxies like Hamas. Instead of addressing the threats these actors pose, the administration will coddle the Iranian regime and ignore its malign activity throughout the region. Any potential agreement with Iran involves risks that affect our entire nation. It is critical to the security of America and to world peace that any deal Biden negotiates with Iran be deemed a treaty requiring approval by the U.S. Senate."

Sen. Risch said:

"The Iranian regime presents a significant and enduring challenge to United States' national security interests. While negotiators gather in Vienna, Iran continues to develop ballistic missiles, attacks American troops and diplomats in Iraq, funds Hamas' attacks against Israel, facilitates Houthi aggression in Yemen, and enables the Assad regime's continued atrocities in Syria. The path to a lasting Iran policy that best serves the needs of the American people must pass through the Senate for its consent and ratification."

Sen. Crapo said:

"The 2015 JCPOA was poorly-negotiated and failed to permanently end Iran's nuclear program or address its malign influence and terrorist proxies in the Middle East. Iran's influence continues to prop up global terrorist groups that are a direct threat to the United States and its regional allies. The American people widely disproved of the agreement, and Congress was never consulted on ways to strengthen our nation's side of the deal, which gave the Iranian regime a green light to continue its nuclear arms race and financial support of violent activities across the globe. Congress must be able to provide advice and consent on any similar agreements."

Sen. Marshall said:

"Repeating Obama-era efforts to lift sanctions on Iran and rejoin the disastrous Iran Nuclear Deal without approval from Congress will give a free pass to the world's leading state-sponsor of terrorism for their recent attacks their proxies have waged against Israel. President Biden should work with Congress to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its action and immediately end negotiations with Iran. Sanctions relief will only contribute to more terror attacks against America and its allies, as well as the continued development of Iran's nuclear program."

Sen. Lummis said:

"President Obama's and President Biden's efforts to unilaterally enact a treaty allowing Iran to enrich uranium is not only dangerous for Iran's neighbors, but for the U.S., as well. Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. Any actions we take to address its nuclear ambitions should have the approval of the U.S. Senate, just like any other treaty."

Sen. Hoeven said:

"Iran must not be allowed to realize its nuclear ambitions, as it remains one of the largest sponsors of terrorism and represents an existential threat to our close ally Israel. Our legislation would ensure any new agreement with Iran is subject to Senate review, a critical step in maintaining the pressure needed to hold the Iranian regime accountable and protect our allies."

Sen. Rick Scott said:

"Every day that Biden continues his feeble attempts to re-enter the failed Iran nuclear deal, American national security suffers. Iran is clearly our adversary and can't be trusted. This legislation puts American interests first by mandating that President Biden receives the approval of the Senate before taking any action related to the disastrous Iran nuclear deal."

Sen. Lee said:

"The executive branch should not be allowed to dangerously and unconstitutionally circumvent the Senate's treaty ratification process and make substantial shifts in U.S. policy with major adversaries, including in the case of JCPOA or any successor agreement with Iran. Sen. Johnson's bill makes a strong statement that the JCPOA, any successor agreement, or any actions on sanction relief with Iran constitute a treaty and therefore must come to the Senate for ratification, reasserting the Senate's rightful powers."

Sen. Hyde-Smith added:

"If President Biden's short-changed defense budget is any indication of his approach to our national security, then the Senate must assert its constitutional advice and consent duty when it comes to dealing with Iran and its nuclear ambitions. This legislation would ensure this administration cannot unilaterally renew the disastrous Obama-Iran Nuclear Deal, which just furthered Iran's destructive influence over its adversaries and our allies."

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