US President Joe Biden delivers his inauguration speech on January 20, 2021. (AP)

May 14, 2021

US Republicans on Thursday stepped up calls on President Joe Biden to end talks to return to a nuclear agreement with Iran.

In a letter to Biden, Republican senators said that any sanctions relief would let Iran step up funding for Hamas.

“We call on you to immediately end negotiations with Iran, and make clear that sanctions relief will not be provided,” said the letter led by Senator Marco Rubio and signed by all but six Senate Republicans.

“Doing so would demonstrate a firm commitment to our closest ally in the region and to our own security interests.”

They also pointed to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who “controls” Iran’s negotiating team in Vienna, while Tehran supports terrorism in the world.

Republican senators detailed the attacks by Palestinian terrorist groups – more than 1,000 missiles fired at Israel in the past few days.

“This includes the first missiles aimed at Jerusalem since 2014,” they reminded the president.

“The United States engaging in active negotiations with Iran and potentially providing billions of dollars in sanctions relief will no doubt contribute to Iran’s support of Hamas and other terrorist organizations who attack Americans and our allies,” the Senators wrote.

“In the wake of Hamas’ recent attacks on Israel, the United States should take all necessary measures to hold Tehran accountable and not ease sanctions on Iran under any circumstances,” they wrote.

In the same context, a group of US senators sent a letter to the international business community, warning companies against resuming trade with Iran if the Biden administration removes sanctions on Tehran to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal.

“Your member companies may see this potential removal of US sanctions on Iran as a lucrative opportunity. Trust us, they should not,” the letter read.

“If US sanctions on Iran were temporarily lifted and these firms decided to re-enter the Iranian market, they would be investing in ventures doomed to fail.

Any agreement that does not receive the broad and bipartisan support of Congress will not survive if a Republican is elected president in 2024. “Any sanctions relief will also be severely limited if Republicans win back majorities in Congress in 2022,” the group stressed.

Asharq Al-Awsat

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.