The Biden administration, determined, it seems, to continue appeasing the Iranian regime—according to the U.S. State Department the leading state sponsor of terrorism—keeps trying to revive former President Barack Obama’s 2015 “nuclear deal” enabling Iran’s mullahs to legitimately have as many nuclear weapons as they like.
Evading congressional oversight, the Biden administration reached a deal in which Washington agreed to pay $6 billion dollars and release a handful of Iranian nationals serving prison sentences in the United States in exchange for the release of five Iranian-Americans imprisoned in Iran. The sum comes to more than a billion dollars per head—possibly the largest hostage ransom in America’s history—and that makes every American on foreign soil a juicy mark.
The deal, cut behind closed doors, not only excluded Congress; it also seems to have “zero benefit” for the United States and keeps the American people and U.S. regional allies in the dark—even though they are likely to be the most directly affected by it.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, GOP Conference chair Elise Stefanik and House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Michael McCaul accused President Joe Biden on Aug. 21 of breaking a 2015 law, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA) by secretly negotiating and reaching a nuclear “understanding” with the Iranian regime alongside a hostage release deal.
“Taken together,” they wrote, “this strongly suggests your Administration has contemporaneously brokered a $6 billion prisoner deal and a nuclear understanding with the regime that are inextricably linked.”
On Aug. 15, U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also wrote Biden a letter warning him about the congressional review required for any nuclear deal with the regime of Iran:
“I urge the Administration to remember that U.S. law requires that any agreement, arrangement, or understanding with Iran needs to be submitted to Congress pursuant to INARA,” he wrote.
He also posted a tweet stating: “If President Biden finalized a nuclear understanding w/ Iran simultaneously with a $6B hostage deal, continuing to keep Congress in the dark violates US law. @SteveScalise, @RepStefanik, and I will use all tools at our disposal to bring transparency & accountability to Americans.”
“Within five days after reaching an agreement with Iran regarding Iran’s nuclear program, to transmit to Congress: the text of the agreement and all related materials and annexes; a related verification assessment report of the Secretary of State; a certification that the agreement includes the appropriate terms, conditions, and duration of the agreement’s requirements concerning Iran’s nuclear activities, and provisions describing any sanctions to be waived, suspended, or otherwise reduced by the United States and any other nation or entity, including the United Nations.”
As former White House security official Richard Goldberg wrote on Aug. 15, “That the White House announced this deal during the August congressional recess was no coincidence.”
“Emergency hearings cannot be held. Resolutions of disapproval cannot be fast-tracked. President Biden has successfully evaded the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which requires him to notify Congress of any agreement with Iran related to its nuclear program before lifting sanctions,” said Goldberg.
More alarmingly, billions more apparently await the mullahs. According to Goldberg:
“At least $16 billion has now been made available to Iran without any congressional input—and more might be on the way. Another $6.7 billion is reportedly moving to Iran via the International Monetary Fund Special Drawing Rights … and reportedly … another $3 billion of regime assets frozen in Tokyo. India and China.”
How could the Biden administration keep the American people and allies such as Israel in the dark when Iran’s ruling mullahs have made it clear that a top priority is to attack the United States, eradicate the Jewish state and “wipe Israel off the map”?
“This great movement that we are witnessing today in the form of protests is a symbol of the solidarity of the Muslim people that will lead to the destruction of the Zionist regime.”
The Biden administration’s endless preference for the openly expansionist, terrorist-supporting, citizen-murdering regime of Iran puts U.S. national security, the lives of our allies worldwide and the lives of the American people at risk.
Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.