Republicans introduce legislation to block sanction waivers for Iran

The bill seeks to revoke waivers for civil nuclear projects with Iran that were established under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal/

A man holds up a sign as he and several thousand other protestors demonstrate during a rally opposing the nuclear deal with Iran in Times Square (photo credit: REUTERS)
A man holds up a sign as he and several thousand other protestors demonstrate during a rally opposing the nuclear deal with Iran in Times Square
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON - Republicans in both the House of Representatives and Senate introduced on Friday legislation that would formally void some critical parts of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. According to a joint statement of the group – some 22 members of the House, spearheaded by Rep. Liz Cheney, and Senators Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and others, decided to introduce the legislation "in response to the Trump administration's repeated issuance of waivers for civil nuclear projects contemplated by the deal."
The bill seeks to revoke waivers for civil nuclear projects with Iran that were established under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The waivers were recently renewed by the State Department on November 1, which make these projects immune from US sanctions.
This bill specifically revokes a waiver for the Fordow facility, a military bunker that Iran built deep inside a mountain, the group said in a statement. "As seen in the nuclear archive uncovered by Israel, Tehran intended to produce weapons-grade uranium at Fordow for one to two nuclear weapons per year. Iran is already violating the deal by enriching uranium at this facility. The bill also revokes a waiver for the Arak facility and a waiver for the transfer into Iran of enriched uranium for the Tehran Research reactor."
"Congress is determined to support President Trump's successful maximum pressure campaign and ensure the disastrous nuclear deal is completely dismantled," Rep. Cheney said. "The US must revoke waivers for 'civil nuclear' projects established by President Obama's nuclear deal. These waivers legitimize Iran's illicit nuclear infrastructure—even as the regime continues on a path of nuclear escalation at sites like the Fordow bunker, where Iran recently resumed uranium enrichment."
"Iran is exploiting the civil-nuclear waivers from the Obama-Iran deal, which the Trump administration has continued to issue, to build up their nuclear program and buy time until the nuclear deal expires, leaving them with a full-blown unlimited civilian nuclear program," Sen. Cruz said. "The Trump administration has continued to issue these waivers despite a continuing campaign of nuclear escalation and extortion by Iran. Just this month, Iran began injecting uranium gas into centrifuges at the Fordow nuclear bunker, a nuclear weapons facility they dug out of the side of a mountain. Enough is enough. Now is the time to end the deal once and for all. I urge Congress to expeditiously take up our legislation, end these waivers, and hold Iran accountable."
"President Trump should immediately end the issuance of civil nuclear waivers that allow Iran to build its nuclear program," Sen. Graham said. "Iran is now openly violating the nuclear deal and stockpiling dangerous nuclear material. My colleagues and I will continue to advance legislation to reverse this misguided decision."