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Politics House GOP warns Biden against lifting sanctions on Iran

00:06  24 february  2021
00:06  24 february  2021 Source:   thehill.com

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  Detained Americans Fast Facts Read CNN's Fast Facts about recent cases of foreign governments detaining US citizens. For information about missing Americans, see Robert Levinson Fast Facts or POW/MIA in Iraq and Afghanistan Fast Facts. © CNN Kenneth Bae spoke to CNN's Will Ripley on September 1, 2014. Currently Detained AmericansChina Kai Li September 2016 - Kai Li, a naturalised US citizen born in China, is detained while visiting relatives in Shanghai.July 2018 - He is sentenced to ten years in prison for espionage following a secret trial held in August 2017.

House Republicans are warning President Biden against lifting any sanctions against Iran as the administration reengages in negotiations with the country over its nuclear program.

Joe Biden, Hassan Rouhani are posing for a picture: House GOP warns Biden against lifting sanctions on Iran © Getty Images House GOP warns Biden against lifting sanctions on Iran

The Biden administration said last week that it would accept an invitation from the European Union to talk with Iran and the five other signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal that former President Trump withdrew from in 2018.

But the news from the administration has triggered alarm with Republicans on the House Homeland Security committee who worry easing sanctions will hurt U.S. leverage.

Biden is squandering the leverage on Iran that Trump stockpiled

  Biden is squandering the leverage on Iran that Trump stockpiled The administration’s strategy for getting Iran to play ball clearly involves making upfront concessions to Tehran for nothing in return.Twice since then, rockets have been fired at positions affiliated with the U.S. presence in Iraq: a military base on Saturday and at the area around the U.S. Embassy complex in Baghdad on Monday. These strikes are not new. Since May 2019, Iran-backed militias have been behind at least 83 such strikes on U.S. positions, a damning pattern consistent with almost two decades of Iran-linked attacks against the U.S. in Iraq.

"Regime demands for sanctions relief as a prerequisite for the Administration's proposed bilateral negotiations are not made in good faith," lawmakers wrote in a letter spearheaded by Chairman John Katko (R-N.Y.).

"The United States must apply immense pressure to the Iranian regime and cannot afford to be perceived as weak or wavering on these important national security threats. Appeasement will not effectuate change."

The letter comes as the Biden administration also last week contacted the United Nations to rescind a September effort from former President Donald Trump to reimpose sanctions on Iran.

"Lifting sanctions will only serve to back the United States into an inescapable corner and removes any power we hold in our attempts to normalize Iranian and United States relations," the lawmakers wrote.

Iran's New Nuclear 'Understanding' with World Atomic Agency Explained

  Iran's New Nuclear 'Understanding' with World Atomic Agency Explained "What we have is a technical understanding that provides some breathing space for the political actors to find a political solution," Laura Rockwood, who authored the Additional Protocol being abandoned by Iran, told a press call attended by Newsweek.While the details of the new compromise remain murky, Laura Rockwood, director of the One Earth Future think tank's Open Nuclear Network program and the principal author of the document that served as the basis of the IAEA's Model Additional Protocol, explained on Monday how this could move could potentially save the accord by giving a temporary off-ramp to rising tensions surrounding the deal.

The members of the committee were not the only ones to warn Biden on Tuesday.

Speaking during a virtual event with the Reagan Institute, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) also rejected moves by the Biden administration to engage with Iran in an effort to rejoin the Obama-era nuclear deal.

Cheney called for maintaining the "maximum pressure" campaign of sanctions instituted during the Trump administration.

"The Iranian nuclear deal remains the single worst agreement the United States has ever entered into," she said in her opening remarks. "We were right to withdraw and turn to a policy of maximum pressure with sanctions against the regime. Any effort by the Biden administration to return to the deal would be a mistake, and would signal to Iran that nuclear blackmail is effective."

Laura Kelly contributed.

Washington urges Iran to submit to nuclear control .
© Supplied by Le Point Iran, United States, nuclear L es United States urged on Monday February 22 the Iran to submit " completely "to the control of its nuclear activities by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), after the temporary agreement reached between the Agency and Tehran. The spokesman for American diplomacy Ned Price praised the mission to Tehran of the IAEA Director General, Rafael Grossi, "while reiterating the call to Iran to fully respect its commitments in this area.

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