Freshman NC Dem Bucks Biden on Iran Deal

Rep. Manning: JCPOA is 'outdated'

A staff member removes the Iranian flag from the stage after a group picture with foreign ministers and representatives during the Iran nuclear talks at the Vienna International Center in Vienna
February 25, 2021

A freshman Democratic representative bucked the Biden administration and party line by denouncing the prospect of rejoining the Iran deal in a Wednesday interview.

Rep. Kathy Manning (D., N.C.), who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told the Times of Israel that the Biden administration should reconsider their plan to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal, pointing to the nation's refusal to abide by its terms and calling it "outdated."

"I don’t believe it makes sense to get back into the [JCPOA] 1.0," Manning said. "There needs to be some rethinking about it, and I’m hoping that the [Foreign Affairs] Committee will study the current situation and be able to express to the Biden administration what we think should be taken into consideration before reentering the deal."

The Biden administration has considered reentering the nuclear agreement with Tehran. Last week, administration officials signaled willingness to begin talks after discussions with European allies, who were critical of the Trump administration's maximum pressure campaign and use of snapback sanctions.

Staff from the Biden team may have been planning on starting talks with Iran as early as 2017. Reports this week indicate that top advisers such as Iran envoy Robert Malley and climate czar John Kerry engaged in backchannel talks with Iranian foreign ministers throughout the Trump administration.

Manning joins a chorus of mostly Republican opposition to restarting talks with Iran. This week alone, Republicans slammed the Biden administration in a letter stating their ardent opposition to renegotiating a nuclear deal with Iran, and called out the administration for misleading the public. Biden officials told reporters that special envoy Malley had met with several members of Republican leadership to alleviate their concerns about engaging with Iran, but a Washington Free Beacon report concluded that no meeting between Malley and congressional Republicans had ever happened.