Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R) criticized the Biden administration’s policy toward Iran, accusing them of essentially re-entering the 2015 Iran nuclear deal—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—that former President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from.
Appearing on Thursday’s episode of “The Sara Carter Show” podcast, the Tennessee Republican was asked about what’s going on in the Senate to prevent the Biden administration from lifting sanctions on Iran amid multilateral talks, in Vienna, about its nuclear program.
What the administration is “seeking to do, is to revive the Iran nuclear deal. And we know what happened with that—we all remember the pallets of cash, and being flown over to Iran,” Blackburn charged, to host Sara Carter. “And as you said, that is money that goes into proxy wars. Iran is also trying to up the enrichment level on uranium that they are enriching—not using this for nuclear power, but using this for weaponry.”
“So we believe that with the Iran nuclear deal during the Obama years, they [the Obama administration] found a way to circumvent Congress on this,” she continued. “It should be treated as a treaty. And […] we’re forcing the issue, with this coming to the Senate.”
Asked if she’ll have enough support to pass this, Blackburn replied, “We certainly are going to try, and we will not know until we try. I think there are people on each side of the aisle that now in hindsight—looking at that Iran nuclear deal—realize that this should have been treated as a treaty.”
Later in the interview, the senator expressed her fears about the potential consequences of lifting sanctions on the authoritarian state.
“It is horrifying to think that they [the Biden administration] could reposition themselves to the point that they would […] lift sanctions and give Iran the power to operate, the power to enrich uranium,” she said. “And Sara, as you have heard me say, the new Axis of Evil—Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea—you have to look at the neighborhood that these guys are playing in. And you have to realize who their buddies are. These are not people that wish us well.”
“So we ought not to do anything that is going to help them move forward. We should be holding them to account,” Blackburn added. “And this is why we’re saying this, ‘If you’re trying to do something with Iran, you have to bring it to the Senate. It has to withstand […] an up-or-down vote in the Senate.'”
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.
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White House admits Iran ‘few weeks or less’ from nuclear breakout; quickly blame Trump
Naturally, the Biden Administration quickly attempted to blame former President Trump for Iran’s most recent nuclear development. It’s not surprising the White House made a desperate attempt to deflect, as Press Secretary Jen Psaki was forced to admit Iran’s “breakout period” for a nuclear weapon “is down from about a year…to just a few weeks or less.”
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed Iran’s “breakout” time was “down to a matter of weeks.” The Times of Israel notes that the breakout period refers to the amount of time “it will take Iran to amass enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon, if its chooses to do so.”
The Times of Israel notes that a distinction must be made: “having enough nuclear material for a bomb is not he same as having the capabilities to build the core of the weapon and to attach it to the warhead of a missile, which would likely take more time.”
Psaki told reporters at Tuesday’s press conference that Iran’s nuclear development “definitely worries us.”
“If we go back, under the Iran nuclear deal, Iran’s nuclear program was tightly constrained,” she said. “Since the Trump administration ceased US participation in the deal, Iran has rapidly accelerated its nuclear program.”
“That is a direct impact of pulling out of the nuclear deal, making us less safe, giving us less visibility, and it’s one of the reasons we pursued a diplomatic path again,” Psaki said.
Psaki’s comments are laughable, considering Iran has never given any proof of abiding by any deal. The 2015 nuclear deal gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for guarantees it would not develop a nuclear weapon.
As the Times of Israel writes, curbing its nuclear weapons development is something Iran “has always denied wanting to do.” In 2018, knowing full well that Iran had zero intention of abiding by the deal, President Trump unilaterally withdrew from the accord and reimposed sanctions against Iran.
Ever since Biden took office, one of the first things his administration did was begin negotiations with Iran via intermediaries in Vienna. The talks have gone nowhere.
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