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July 4, 2019 9:38 am

Republican Senators Call on Trump Administration to Increase Pressure on Iran

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Sen. Tom Cotton speaks at the Hudson Institute counterterrorism conference in Washington, DC. Photo: Screenshot. – US Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called on the Trump administration on Tuesday to increase pressure on Iran.

“We write to urge you to increase pressure on Iran’s nuclear program, in the aftermath of Iran publicly violating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) by stockpiling more than 300 kg of low-enriched uranium and threatening further violations within weeks,” stated the letter, which was in response to International Atomic Energy Agency announcing on Monday that Iran has exceeded the uranium enrichment limit under the 2015 nuclear deal.

“Regime officials have signaled they intend to creep towards a nuclear weapon, while demanding concessions and promising to ‘reverse’ their violations if their demands are met. We urge you to reject their nuclear blackmail,” continued the letter.

The senators also urged for the administration to end temporary waivers to permit countries part of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal to conduct civil nuclear projects with the regime, but with limits.

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The waivers—extended to 90 days, down from the 180 days previously granted—were issued in May and allow the signees to continue conducting nonproliferation work at the Bushehr, Arak and Fordow nuclear facilities.

The waivers are expected to be reviewed in August.

“The Iranians have now changed the nuclear status quo and are trying to create a new normal of minor violations that will enable their creep toward a nuclear weapon,” stated the letter. “We urge you to end these waivers.”

Finally, the senators asked the administration to enact the snapback sanctions under UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which adopted the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

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