U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, joined Senator Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) in an effort that would enable Congress to approve—or block—any effort by the administration to suspend or terminate U.S. sanctions against the Iranian regime.
“Returning to the old ways of Obama-era foreign policy, or just simply trying to do the opposite of the previous administration for the sake of political interests, is the wrong answer for the safety of the American people. Iran – a state sponsor of terrorism that continues to be a serious threat – may want relief from the sanctions that have served a serious blow to their economy, but Congress must have a say before any action is taken to lift these sanctions,” said Senator Ernst, the first female combat veteran in the U.S. Senate.
Even as the Iranian regime continues to support terrorism, regional militancy, missile proliferation, cyber-attacks, and other forms of aggression—including rocket attacks by Iran-backed militias targeting U.S. forces in Iraq—the Biden Administration last week indicated that it wants to negotiate with Tehran to relieve sanctions on the Iranian regime and reenter the flawed nuclear deal.
The Iran Sanctions Relief Review Act of 2021 builds on the precedent of a 2017 bipartisan law that empowers Congress to vote to support or block Russian sanctions relief, and applies identical congressional review procedure to any future Iran sanctions relief. In effect, the legislation would prevent the administration from rolling back sanctions in exchange for advancing negotiations or reentering the deal without first securing strong congressional support.