A delegation of Republicans in the House and Senate praised the Trump administration’s recent move to reimpose all international sanctions on Iran that were lifted as part of the landmark nuclear deal with Iran, an effort that will essentially destroy the final remnants of the accord.
Nearly 50 GOP lawmakers from both the House and Senate signed a letter sent Friday to President Donald Trump praising his decision to invoke what is known as "snapback" at the United Nations, a dispute resolution mechanism written into the original agreement that allows any member nation to trigger the reimposition of international sanctions if Iran is found to be in violation of the deal. A copy of the letter was obtained exclusively by the Washington Free Beacon.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed the U.N. order late Thursday, eliciting anger from European allies still wedded to the agreement. The move followed a failed diplomatic effort by the Trump administration to indefinitely extend an arms embargo on Iran that is set to expire in mid-October. Not a single European nation backed that effort, leading the Trump administration to invoke snapback as a means to prevent the arms embargo from lifting. If the United States had not acted, adversarial nations such as Russia and China would have been legally permitted to sell Iran billions of dollars’ worth of advanced military equipment.
The group of Republican lawmakers, led by Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) and Rep. Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.), said the snapback decision will serve as a wakeup call to European nations that have put their relationship with Iran, Russia, and China ahead of the United States.
"We will continue to invite our European allies to join us in deterring Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but it was clear that until the [nuclear deal] was terminated they would attempt to preserve the flawed accord, even in the face of blatant Iranian violations," the lawmakers wrote. "Snapback presents an explicit choice to all nations: Stand for the rule of law or violate binding [U.N. Security Council resolutions] to support a murderous regime seeking a nuclear weapons capability."
In addition to Cheney and Cornyn, the letter was signed by a who’s who of GOP lawmakers, including Sens. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), Martha McSally (R., Ariz.), and Reps. Jim Banks (R., Ind.), Joe Wilson (R., S.C.), Lee Zeldin (R., N.Y.), and Steve Scalise (R., La.), among many others.
The lawmakers said Trump’s snapback decision is necessary due to evidence that Iran has been in violation of the accord for several years now. This includes stockpiling and enriching uranium to levels needed for a nuclear weapon.
The decision kills the last remaining vestiges of the Obama administration’s nuclear deal, an outcome that many of these lawmakers have been advocating since Trump came into office.
With snapback invoked, the United States "finally puts an end to the Obama administration’s failed attempt at appeasing the Ayatollah and sends a clear message to the regime that the only way forward is to cease with its attempts to destabilize the Middle East and agree to complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization," they wrote.