US senators on Tuesday heard confidential briefings on Iran by Biden administration officials after months of a pause in nuclear talks with Tehran.

Although no detailed reports are yet available, scant information shows that Republican senators sharply criticized the administration for lack of a new policy on Iran and what some said was lack of effective sanctions enforcement.

Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) released a brief statement saying that after six months since President Joe Biden declared the 2015 nuclear accord, the JCPOA “dead” the US “is no closer to a more comprehensive Iran policy. Strategic ambiguity on Iran policy only serves to embolden the regime and push our partners closer to China.”

Biden administration’s indirect negotiations with Iran to revive the agreement, abandoned by former President Donald Trump in 2018, reached a deadlock last September. Since then, senior US officials have repeatedly said that they are no longer focused on the JCPOA.

President Biden was heard saying in November 2020 that the JCPOA is dead, but the administration has continued to emphasize its commitment to a diplomatic solution.

Sen. Risch went on to say that “As Iran continues to illegally seize vessels, target Americans in the region, and support its terror proxies and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Americans deserve a policy that is more than a failed nuclear negotiation.”

Iran appears to have been emboldened by a Chinese-brokered deal to restore relations with Saudi Arabia after years of regional isolation. It has openly taken credit for supporting Palestinian and other militant groups for their attacks on Israel in April and May and has seized two commercial vessels in the Persian Gulf region in recent weeks.

The Saudi-Iranian agreement was seen as empowerment of China in the Middle East and a sign of waning US influence in the region.

Israeli officials have been urging more military and economic pressure on the Islamic Republic, but the Biden administration appears to be reluctant to get entangles in a new conflict, as it is focused on the war in Ukraine and the Taiwan crisis.

Politico quoted a Senate Democratic aide Monday that there has been progress in indirect nuclear talks with Iran, but so far, there is no indication that this was part of the briefing in the Senate.

Republicans have long been demanding a more forceful approach by the administration toward Iran, including a vigorous enforcement of key sanctions,

Senator Lindsey Graham criticized the fact that Iran’s oil illicit oil exports to China are increasing and the Biden administration does little to enforce third-party penalties on those who buy Iranian crude.

Titre Aval
IITV News (12) - DC
Talk Show with Sima Sabet

Share your story

Send your Videos and Photos to us