The Biden administration is obstructing more than a dozen congressional investigations into its diplomacy with Iran and its efforts to unwind sanctions on the hardline regime, according to a year-long foreign policy evaluation conducted by Republican leaders in the House.
The Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus in Congress, disclosed on Thursday that it has sent over a dozen letters to the Biden administration asking for information on the lack of sanctions enforcement in the last year with no satisfactory response. The administration is stonewalling these investigations as it works to keep Republican lawmakers in the dark about the status of negotiations and economic sanctions on Tehran, according to the lawmakers.
One year into President Joe Biden's administration, "Iran is richer, stronger, and closer to a nuclear weapon" than ever before, the RSC concludes in its latest foreign policy assessment, which awards Biden a failing grade for allowing Iran to greatly expand its atomic weapons program. An advance copy of the RSC's investigation, led by Chairman Jim Banks (R., Ind.), was provided exclusively to the Washington Free Beacon. The report exposes how the Biden administration has repeatedly broken its promise to enforce U.S. sanctions as it pursues diplomacy with Iran's anti-American regime.
"It is clear that the Biden administration, while not technically lifting many of President Trump's sanctions on Iran, is tacitly providing sanctions relief through lack of enforcement, to coax the Iranians to re-enter the failed Iran nuclear deal," according to the Republican report card. "Unfortunately, such a tactic only hardened Iran's will to stall in negotiations and step-up provocation." This includes sponsoring terror attacks during the past year on U.S. outposts and allies in the Middle East.
In compiling the report, Republican leaders held meetings with former high-level national security officials and think tank analysts. The officials helped the RSC detail how the administration has relaxed pressure on Iran and helped the regime claw back from the brink of financial collapse.
When former president Donald Trump left office following the toughest four years of sanctions on Iran in recent history, the country had just $4 billion in accessible cash reserves. One year later, Iran's foreign currency reserves have increased by 750 percent, congressional leaders determined. Tehran's illicit oil trade with China, Russia, Syria, Venezuela, and other malign regimes also increased by more than 40 percent during 2021, the Free Beacon first reported this month.
"Despite repeatedly stating that no sanctions relief would be provided to Iran until Iran returned to the failed Iran nuclear agreement, the Biden administration has reneged on that promise by not vigorously enforcing existing penalties, and, in some cases, abusing waiver and license authorities directly benefiting the Iranian regime and its affiliates," the report states.
As negotiations drag into their second year amid increasing Iranian demands for cash, the regime has implemented "a series of nuclear moves that experts consider 'irreversible' in terms of the knowledge needed to move closer to a nuclear weapons threshold capability." Iran is now enriching uranium, the key component in a bomb, to the unprecedented level of 60 percent purity, which is close to weapons-grade material. This has coincided with a massive rise in the production of uranium metal, another fissile material.
Since Biden took office and made reentering the 2015 nuclear deal a chief priority, Tehran has also blocked international nuclear inspectors from accessing its most contested sites, including military compounds known to house its weapons program. The Biden administration, Republican leaders say, "failed to have the back of these nuclear inspectors as Tehran increasingly diminished monitoring, limited access, and harassed female inspectors." None of these provocations resulted in punitive measures from the Biden administration.
The United States' concessions to Iran have been met with increased violence.
Throughout 2021, Iranian-backed terror groups launched a flurry of regional attacks, including a high-profile assassination attempt on Iraq's prime minister. The Houthi rebels in Yemen, which are armed and directed by Tehran, also doubled their drone attacks in Saudi Arabia last year after the Biden administration removed the group from the U.S. designated terrorist list. Tehran also continued to seize ships in the Persian Gulf and increased rocket attacks on U.S. positions in Syria.
"Biden's policy of maximum concessions," the Republican leaders say, "has only made Iran more aggressive in the region."