Last week, on June 10, without consulting Congress, the Biden administration complied with Iran’s demands and lifted sanctions on former Iranian officials and companies. Taking the pressure off the world’s largest exporter of international terrorism. In this context, Republican congressmen demand details and explanations of the reasons that led to the measures adopted.
Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee are investigating the Biden administration and seeking explanations for lifting sanctions last week against the terrorist state of Iran without first consulting Congress, a decision they say was intended to circumvent oversight, according to The Federalist.
The Biden administration lifted sanctions on several former Iranian officials and companies as part of an effort to relax U.S. pressure as the administration negotiates a renewed nuclear deal with Tehran.
Sanctions were lifted against at least three former Iranian officials and several companies that were designated to help the Islamic Republic evade sanctions on its oil trade, according to an announcement by the Treasury and State Departments.
“The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Department of State are lifting sanctions on three former Government of Iran officials, and two companies previously involved in the purchase, acquisition, sale, transport, or marketing of Iranian petrochemical products, as a result of a verified change in status or behavior on the part of the sanctioned parties,” the State Department announced. “These actions demonstrate our commitment to lifting sanctions in the event of a change in status or behavior by sanctioned persons.”
Iran has been pressing the Biden administration since they came to the White House seeking to remove sanctions that were imposed during the administration of former President Trump.
The new administration was never very clear about its international policy or its specific policies in this regard. At first, Biden officials promised to keep these sanctions in place, but as the months went by, they relaxed their speeches and pressure until they reached the measures implemented recently, despite the fact that the talks held in Vienna last month were stalled due to Iran’s refusal to reverse its nuclear program.
Now the Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) is demanding that the State Department clarify any domestic plans to provide Iran with billions of dollars in sanctions relief. And they also criticized Secretary of State Antony Blinken for breaking his promise to notify lawmakers before any decision to lift sanctions.
“Why were committee members not made aware in advance of these high-profile delistings of Iranian targets?” 11 Republican HFAC members wrote in a Thursday letter addressed to Blinken. “Furthermore, why did you fail to inform either the House Foreign Affairs Committee or the Senate Foreign Relations Committee of this pending action when you testified before these committees on June 7 and June 8, respectively?”
The brief was spearheaded by Republican Representative Claudia Tenney, who on her Twitter account posted:
“The @StateDept said it would maintain pressure on Iran. Now the Biden Admin is prioritizing sanctions relief for the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.I led a letter to @SecBlinken demanding to know why they lied & failed to notify Congress.”
Iran to this day continues to fund terrorist groups like Hamas, who recently perpetrated a series of attacks against U.S. ally Israel sparking an international conflict in the Gaza Strip.
Iran has also recently acknowledged major advances in the production and enrichment of Uranium, a raw material used for the development of nuclear weapons. Added to this are the death threats against former President Trump by high-ranking Iranian military officials.
In this context, lifting sanctions overnight and without even notifying congressmen involved in international affairs has been taken by the Republicans as an attack on democratic institutions.