WASHINGTON – As the Vienna talks between the US and Iran are underway, a group of 85 Republican lawmakers introduced on Wednesday the “Maximum Pressure Act,” a bill that aimed to keep the Trump administration policy towards Iran. The bill was introduced by House Republican Study Committee chairman Rep. Jim Banks (Indiana). Former secretary of state Mike Pompeo attended the event as well.
“Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. It seeks ‘death to America’ and the destruction of the State of Israel,” the text reads.
According to the bill, “the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [Iran nuclear deal] negotiated by former president Barack Obama was fatally flawed, did not eliminate Iran’s pathway to nuclear weapons, and allowed Iran to retain and refine its nuclear weapons capability.The verification and compliance mechanisms of the failed Iran nuclear deal were weak and insufficient. The failed Iran nuclear agreement did nothing to address Iran’s continued development of ballistic and cruise missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads.”
The text also mentions the Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign: “Due to the maximum pressure campaign, Hezbollah terrorists and Iranian backed militias were denied resources and were forced to cut salaries of their fighters. During the maximum pressure campaign, the United States was able to achieve the release of two hostages in Iran, Xiyue Wang and Michael White, without lifting sanctions or transferring cash to Iran.”
If signed into law, it would be the US policy “to deny Iran all paths to a nuclear weapon and intercontinental ballistic missiles capability, including by permanently, verifiably and irreversibly eliminating its capabilities related to enrichment.”The Republican Jewish Coalition praised the bill. RJC national chairman Norm Coleman said in a statement: “To address the Iranian threat in all its dimensions, we need a much better deal than the failed JCPOA that the Biden administration is trying to revive. The Maximum Pressure Act is based on the key insight that the only way the dangerous Tehran regime will end its pursuit of nuclear-weapons capability and its other malign activities is if the US is relentless and resolute in using every tool at our disposal to force compliance with international norms and treaty obligations.”
“House Republicans are stepping up to put the brakes on the Biden administration’s rush to rejoin the dangerous 2015 Iran nuclear deal,” RJC executive director Matt Brooks added. “The Maximum Pressure Act reinforces the highly successful Trump administration policy of strong sanctions that severely hindered the Iranian regime’s ability to pursue nuclear weapons and the missiles to carry them, as well as its support of terrorism around the world and its human right abuses at home. We support this effort to hold Iran accountable for its actions and to make the 12 demands on Iran laid out by former secretary of state Mike Pompeo in May 2018 the benchmark for US policy toward Iran.”