McCaul Sends Letter to President Biden Urging Engagement with Congress on Iran Deal NegotiationsPress Release
Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul (TX-10) sent a letter today to President Biden expressing concerns over the lack of recent engagement with Congress regarding a new Iran nuclear deal.
The full text of the letter can be found here and below.
President Joseph R. Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Biden,
I write to express my strong concerns that, as your administration reaches the conclusion of over 16 months of negotiations on a new Iran nuclear deal, Congress is not being properly updated on the proposals being set forth. Moreover, a White House official recently made concerning comments, published in Politico, indicating that the administration does not plan to offer another briefing to Members of Congress unless a deal is reached. This directly contradicts Secretary Antony Blinken’s testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on March 10, 2021, where he said, “We’re determined to consult on the takeoff, not on the landing, across the board. But, yes, particularly when it comes to Iran.”
Members of Congress have expressed wide-ranging concerns regarding the national security implications of nuclear negotiations, including with respect to the Iranian regime’s chilling assassination plots against American citizens on U.S. soil. As you know, Congress must review any agreement that is reached, pursuant to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA). It is completely unreasonable for this administration to think that a review could be favorable without a robust history of engagement with Congress, to include an increased tempo of briefings as negotiations reach their purported end game. The lack of recent engagement with Congress is even more shocking given that Iran’s parliament was reportedly briefed on August 17. The only logical conclusion to draw is that Iran’s negotiators are pleased with the outcome of negotiations, while U.S. negotiators are still determining how to make further compromises and best sell a bad deal to the American people.
I urge you to provide a series of briefings to Congress, as soon as possible and lasting through the conclusion of the statutorily required INARA review process. As the elected representatives of the American people, it is vital Congress have a clear view over how any agreement with Iran does or does not address the full scope of Iran’s malign activities. This remains the case regardless of what position you ultimately adopt with respect to the European Union’s latest draft proposal.
Thank you for your urgent attention to this matter.