Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee attacked the Biden administration for lifting sanctions last week on three former Iranian officials and two companies, which had been involved in the Iranian petrochemical trade. The delisting, the State Department said, followed a “verified change in status or behavior.”
The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website, which has a copy of a June 17 Congressional letter to the state, accused the government of giving in to Iranian demands for sanctions relief “as part of a set of concessions intended to appease Iranian officials “in Vienna talks to relaunch the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal with world powers, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
In the latter case, Republicans led by Claudia Tenney accuse Biden officials of lying and demand that they “shed light on any internal plan aimed at providing Iran with billions of dollars in sanctions relief.” They say Secretary of State Antony Blinken broke his promise to give lawmakers advance notification of any sanctions lifting.
Tenney was a strong supporter of President Donald Trump when he pulled out of the JCPOA in 2018, after which Iran extended its nuclear program beyond the limits of the JCPOA. The US government regularly sanctions individuals and groups, including under presidential decrees, and sometimes revokes such designations if their behavior changes.
The letter from the Republicans demands to know why Blinken did not notify members of Congress “in advance of this high profile radiation,” including appearances before House and Senate committees on June 7 and 8. the Palestinian group Hamas, and points out that Tehran enriches 60 percent uranium in violation of the JCPOA.