Republicans criticize Biden's decision to lift Iran sanctions

February 21, 2021 - 18:17

TEHRAN - Republicans are criticizing President Biden’s decision to give up on a Trump-era push to reinstate United Nations sanctions on Iran, as the administration takes a warmer tone toward Tehran, according to Fox News.

Republican Joe Wilson, the U.S. Representative for South Carolina's 2nd congressional district, noted, “This is outrageous and dangerous. Biden just legalized Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping selling arms to Iran. Why?”

"I agree Joe," responded Republican Greg Steube, U.S. Representative for Florida's 17th congressional district, who is on the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs Committees. “Why is Biden lifting UN sanctions banning Putin from selling arms to Iran? Seems to warrant an investigation,” he added. 

The reaction comes to a move by the Biden administration to change the Trump administration’s approach on the "snapback" of UN sanctions on Tehran.

The Trump administration triggered the "snapback" mechanism in August, which would restore all UN sanctions that expired under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. That move came after a failed effort by the U.S. to extend an arms embargo on Iran that was set to expire in October as part of the 2015 deal and banned the Iranian government from buying and selling arms from its allies.

However, that effort to snap back the sanctions was rejected by the UN Security Council members, which stressed the U.S. had no authority to use the mechanism since it was not part of the accord from which the U.S. had withdrawn. 
 
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rejected the UN arguments, claiming it was part of the accompanying UN resolution.

However, the Biden administration has sought to adopt a different approach to Iran and has sought to rejoin the Iran deal. As part of that, the State Department said a letter had been sent to the Council reversing the U.S. position on the snapback.

Based on UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which confirmed the 2015 nuclear deal – JCPOA – arms embargo against Iran expired on October 18, 2020.

Another Republican, Marco Rubio, the U.S. senator from Florida, described Biden’s position toward Iran as "nothing short of reckless."

In a statement, Rubio emphasized, "Not long after Iranian-backed forces attacked Americans in Iraq, President Biden is desperately trying to re-enter a failed deal and provide sanctions relief to the Iranian regime.” 
“The President must make clear … that the United States will not play into the hands of the Iranians for the next four years,” the senator underscored. 

The move by the Biden administration is one of a number of moves to reverse Trump-era foreign policy. Biden has re-entered the U.S. in the Paris climate deal and has halted the withdrawal of the U.S. from the World Health Organization (WHO).

In a speech to European leaders on Friday, Biden indicated he was seeking to turn the page on the Trump era. "I'm sending a clear message to the world, America is back, the transatlantic alliance is back and we’re not looking backward, we’re looking forward together," he said during a virtual address to the annual Munich Security Conference.

Regarding U.S. policy towards the JCPOA, he said that the U.S. stands ready to rejoin talks about reentering the 2015 multilateral Iran nuclear deal abandoned by the Trump administration. 


EE/PA

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