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Lifting sanctions would give Iran ‘power to enrich uranium’: Marsha Blackburn



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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.

RELATED: GOP lawmakers introduce bill pushing back on Biden’s Iran policy

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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Mental health crisis spikes among Afghan women after Taliban regained control two years ago



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The women of Afghanistan are suffering a mental health crisis since the Taliban regained power two years ago. According to a joint report from three U.N. agencies released Tuesday, approximately 70% of women experience feelings of anxiety, isolation and depression.

The numbers continue to rise, as there has already been a significant jump between April and June of this year alone, with an increase from 57%  the preceding quarter.

The report, conducted by U.N. Women, the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, interviewed women online, in-person and in group consultations as well as individual telesurveys.

592 Afghan women in 22 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces took part in the study. The Associated Press reports:

They have barred women from most areas of public life and work and banned girls from going to school beyond the sixth grade. They have prohibited Afghan women from working at local and non-governmental organizations. The ban was extended to employees of the United Nations in April.

Opportunities to study continued to shrink as community-based education by international organizations was banned and home-based schooling initiatives were regularly shut down by the de facto authorities — a term use by the U.N. for the Taliban government.

Afghanistan is the only country in the world with restrictions on female education and the rights of Afghan women and children are on the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

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