A US House of Representative subcommittee will hold a hearing next week to examine the Biden administration’s secret dealings with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs of the House Oversight Committee will hold the hearing titled “A Dangerous Strategy: Examining the Biden Administration’s Failures on Iran.” The session will examine “how the Biden administration has repeatedly engaged in secret negotiations with Iran, ignoring the emerging threats arising from Iran and its proxies.” 

The hearing on September 13 “will also look at ways the Biden administration has fallen short in assisting Americans trapped abroad and circumstances around dismissals of high-level officials.”

This appears to be the first full-fledged examination of the administration’s Iran policy after several revelations since late in June that have worried many observers and the Iranian American community.

In late June, Iran International first reported that President Joe Biden’s envoy for Iran, Robert Mallay was put on unpaid leave after his security clearance was suspended and the case was being examined by the FBI. To date, the administration has remained silent about what the underlying reasons were for Malley’s suspension, while other officials continued to hold secret talks with Iran with the mediation of Oman and Qatar.

President Joe Biden’s envoy for Iran, Robert Mallay

In August, it was announced that the United States had agreed to unblock $6 billion of Iranian funds frozen at South Korean banks, weeks after it allowed Iraq to unfreeze $2.7 billion.

At the same time, it was announced that Iran had released five American hostages form prison into house arrest pending the full release of its funds before they would presumably be allowed to leave the country.

Critics accused the administration of paying outright ransom for the hostages, while the deal still left two more prisoners behind.

The media have also reported that the Biden team is secretly negotiating with Iran over a partial, unofficial understanding to reduce Tehran’s high-level uranium enrichment. The UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says that Iran has accumulated more than 120 kilograms of uranium enriched to 60 percent, which can be easily purified further to reach 90-percent, enough for up to five nuclear bombs. However, the pace of the enrichment has slowed down in recent weeks, giving credence to reports of a secret deal with Washington.

According to a 2015 INARA law, any administration trying to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran should keep Congress informed, which has the right to review the deal.

With the release of Tehran’s blocked funds and reports of more secret talks, Republicans in Congress began accusing the administration of potentially violating the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (INARA).

The Subcommittee on National Security is headed by Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.). At this point, details about the hearing and potential participants are not clear. 

In announcing the hearing Rep. Grothman said in a statement, “The Biden administration’s foreign policy decisions regarding Iran continue to defy logic and are actively making Americans less safe at home and abroad. Despite promises, the Biden administration has failed to deliver transparency throughout negotiations…” 

The Subcommittee Chairman went on to say, “The Iranian regime poses a great threat to American foreign interests and stability in the Middle East region and this hearing is a great opportunity to examine all these issues and provide Americans at home with what the Biden administration refuses to: transparency and answers.”

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