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Biden Admin Prepared to Lift Sanctions on Iran’s Top Terrorism Financers, Senator Says

Sen. Toomey demands internal documents about Biden's plan to lift sanctions

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• June 15, 2021 3:05 pm

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The Biden administration is prepared to lift sanctions on the Iranian regime's primary vehicles for terrorism financing, according to the ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, which is investigating Treasury Department efforts to waive these crippling measures.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.), whose committee has jurisdiction over the Treasury Department, is demanding the Biden administration turn over internal documents related to its impending decision to dismantle the toughest sanctions campaign in U.S. history.

Toomey suspects the administration will lift sanctions on Iran's central bank and its national oil company, both of which were sanctioned by the Trump administration for acting as the primary funders of Tehran's global terrorism operation. As negotiations with Iran in Vienna continue this week, Toomey and other leading Republicans are stepping up efforts to block the Biden administration from granting Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief. GOP foreign policy leaders say they are seeing signs that President Joe Biden will waive sanctions that even the Obama administration pushed to keep in place.

"I am particularly troubled by reports that the administration is preparing to lift restrictions on significant economic entities, including the Central Bank of Iran and the National Iranian Oil Company," Toomey wrote in a June 10 letter to the Treasury Department in which he demands that the agency produce scores of documents related to future sanctions relief. "These firms were designated as terrorism-supporting entities following a 2017 law mandating terrorism sanctions on IRGC agents and affiliates."

Like other congressional committees investigating the Biden administration's closed-door negotiations with Iran, Toomey's committee is questioning claims by U.S. diplomats that sanctions relief will not fund Iran's regional terror operations.

"Even former President Obama did not lift terrorism designations when signing the [original 2015 nuclear deal]," Toomey wrote. "Meanwhile, since the beginning of the Biden administration, U.S. sanctions have been flagrantly violated by America's strategic rival China, which has imported a record amount of Iranian oil."

After the original nuclear accord was signed, Iran went on a military spending spree, laying waste to claims by the Obama administration that the sanctions relief would be spent helping the Iranian people.

Toomey says the Biden administration is repeating the same mistake and will go further in the scope and scale of sanctions relief.

The senator demands the Biden administration provide his committee with all internal analyses about the financial "implications of providing billions of dollars in sanctions relief to the IRGC-controlled regime in Iran, including but not limited to, any analyses that have led the administration to conclude that lifting sanctions on Iran-affiliated terrorist entities furthers U.S. national interests."

He also wants all records detailing how exactly the Biden administration will ensure Iran does not build a nuclear weapon and expand its military infrastructure, including the country's ballistic missile program.

"Iran's hostility towards the United States has only increased since President Biden took office, but his administration appears poised to give billions of dollars in sanctions relief to the world's foremost sponsor of terrorism," Toomey told the Washington Free Beacon. "Tehran is refusing to explain the existence of nuclear material it hid during the original Iran nuclear talks in 2015, and the International Atomic Energy Agency warns that it's now impossible to confirm the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program. Make no mistake: Capitulating to Iran's ongoing aggression and nuclear blackmail will only encourage further malign behavior."

Published under: Iran, Pat Toomey