JERUSALEM—Though Tehran is resisting the notion of agreeing to any update to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and continuing to engage in terrorist activity throughout the Middle East, the Biden administration is feverishly trying to get a new nuclear deal anyway.
Yet, support in Washington for a so-called JCPOA 2.0 that doesn’t deal comprehensively with the numerous threats posed by Tehran is slipping away.
“A majority of senators, including 16 Democrats, voted on Wednesday night in favor of a non-binding Senate measure that opposes entering into an Iran deal addressing only the regime’s nuclear program as well as the removal of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ terrorism designation,” reports the Jewish Insider. “The final vote on the measure was 62 to 33.”
“Wednesday’s vote came on a motion introduced by Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), as part of the Senate’s consideration of the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) aimed at countering China,” JI noted.
“The motion instructs the senators negotiating the final bill with the House to ‘insist’ that the legislation include language requiring any nuclear weapons agreement with Iran to include provisions ‘addressing the full range of Iran’s destabilizing activities,’ including missiles, terrorism and sanctions evasion; does not lift any sanctions on the IRGC; and does not revoke the IRGC’s terror designation.”
The 16 Democrats and Independents who voted for the measure include:
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH)
Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ)
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)
Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)
Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV)
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)
Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT)
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Sen. Angus King (I-ME)
Less noticed but very important is Sen. Lankford’s concern that China is buying and stockpiling Iranian oil to pour money into Tehran’s coffers, in defiance of international sanctions.
In remarks on the Senate floor, Lankford emphasized the importance of not turning a blind eye to China’s malfeasance.
We're about to go to conference on what we're affectionately just calling the ‘China bill.’ But this bill [as currently written] does not address China's practice of purchasing and stockpiling sanctioned Iranian oil to the black market.
The procurement spike by China directly correlated with the spike in terrorist activities by Iran and its proxies in the Middle East. Iran is laundering these petroleum products and illicitly transferring the oil at sea to Iranian tankers in foreign-flagged vessels.
Three-quarters of this oil is ultimately exported to China which purchased 310 million barrels of oil from Iran last year.
All this is happening while Iran is actually negotiating directly with Iran on our behalf in Vienna.
This particular Motion to Instruct [introduced by Lankford to correct the current bill] goes straight at this illicit activity from Iran that's facilitating the terror activities and also addresses the designation that Iran is asking if they're going to negotiate with the Biden Administration on the Iran nuclear deal, Iran is specifically asking that they get a lift of the Foreign Terrorist Organization on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. That is the group that was attacking our troops in Iraq and facilitating their death. We need to address this and take it off the table so that Iran does not get by with this and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps does not.
I urge a yes vote on my Motion to Instruct.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.