Blackburn Introduces Legislation Preventing Unilateral Deal with Murderous Iranian Regime

April 21, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) along with Senators Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) introduced legislation to curb President Biden’s ability to renegotiate the failed Iran Nuclear Deal. The legislation was led by Representative Andy Barr (R-Ky.) in the House of Representatives.

“The Obama-Biden administration bent over backwards to appease Iran and even sent a jumbo-jet filled with $400 million in pallets of cash to the murderous regime,” said Senator Blackburn. “It’s time for Biden to wake up and realize that the U.S. cannot negotiate an honest agreement with Iran because they are a fanatical, anti-American regime. No amount of negotiating or ‘indirect discussions’ can change that. My legislation will prevent Biden from circumventing the U.S. Senate to salvage the failed deal or forge a new, just as disastrous one.”

"Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism and simply must never be allowed to pursue its nuclear ambitions,” said former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Kelly Craft. “Time and again, the Iranian regime has fueled conflict and human suffering throughout the Middle East and poses a particular threat to Israel, America's most critical ally in the region. How can we trust the Iranian regime with the world’s safety and security?"

“Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of terror--it should not be allowed to have nuclear weapons,” said Senator Daines. “President Trump was right to end President Obama’s irresponsible nuclear agreement with Iran. I urge President Biden to keep America out of this terrible deal. Should he want to do otherwise, he must obtain the advice and consent of the Senate first.”

“The Iran Nuclear Deal was negotiated by the Obama administration under the misguided operating principle that any deal—even a bad deal—was better than no deal. The result was a lousy deal that offered concession after concession to the Iranian regime and failed to cut off Iran’s path to nuclear weapons,” said Senator Tillis. “The Biden Administration’s indication to reenter the deal puts American lives at stake as Iran continues to be one of the biggest state sponsors of terror around the globe. Any decision regarding this should go through Congress, and this legislation would prevent any federal funds to be used to rejoin the deal and ensure any agreement goes through the Senate for proper oversight.”

“The Iran nuclear deal remains an incredibly bad deal for the U.S. and our allies,” said Senator Rounds. “Not only do we need a stronger deal that prevents Iran from ever obtaining nuclear weapons, but we need a deal that includes the Advice and Consent of the Senate. Our legislation will make certain that no federal funds go toward rejoining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”

“The Iran nuclear deal failed to keep the regime in check,” said Senator Cramer. “If President Biden or any future administration wants to reenter an agreement with Iran, Congress should be properly consulted and involved, and our legislation would ensure that happens.”

“Right now, the Biden Administration is pushing hard to get the United States back into the failed Iran Nuclear Deal at the same time Iran is enriching its uranium and demanding sanction relief. The U.S. should absolutely not be jumping back into the Obama-Biden nuclear agreement,” said Senator Ernst, a combat veteran. “This simple bill would require President Biden, or any future president, to agree in writing to bring any nuclear agreement with Iran to the Senate before a single dime of taxpayer money goes towards a deal.” 

"President Obama refused to submit the catastrophic nuclear deal with Iran to the Senate as a treaty because he knew that it faced bipartisan majority opposition, and in doing so undermined the Senate's constitutional authority for advice and consent,” said Senator Cruz. “Now the Biden administration is rushing into another deal, which will again empower the Ayatollah and endanger America and our allies. I am proud to join Sen. Blackburn on this bill to remedy some of the harm done to the balance of powers and force the Biden administration to submit any such agreement as a treaty to the Senate."

“For far too long, the executive branch has ignored the treaty-ratification process, which rests solely with the Senate,” said Senator Lee. “There is no room for ambiguity when it comes to agreements that so substantially shift US policy with major adversaries. Sen. Blackburn’s bill makes it clear. Treaties must be ratified in the Senate.”

“President Trump was right to abandon the reckless Iran nuclear deal that President Obama got us into,” said Senator Rick Scott. “Iran has shown time and time again that it cannot be trusted. We must do everything we can to oppose re-joining this bad deal.”

“The events of this past weekend demonstrate the extreme delicacy of the conflict between our Israeli allies and Iran, the largest state-sponsor of terror in the world,” said Representative Barr.  “Now, Iran announced their intentions to increase their uranium enrichment, accelerating their path towards a nuclear weapon.  By even considering rejoining the JCPOA at this point, the Biden Administration is threatening to undermine the American-Israeli alliance and further exacerbate the conflict over Iran’s nuclear weapons pursuit.  Barr-Blackburn ensures Congress will serve as a check on the Biden Administration’s urge to rejoin the failed JCPOA and reclaims Congressional oversight over the international treaty process which is enshrined in Article I of the U.S. Constitution.”


Senator Blackburn’s proposed legislation, S.1205 the Iran Nuclear Deal Advice and Consent Act, would prevent federal funds from being obligated or expended in the furtherance of rejoining the JCPOA and would require current and future presidential administrations to submit in writing to the House and Senate a JCPOA successor agreement as a treaty versus an international agreement.

As agreed to in the Obama administration, the JCPOA is neither a treaty nor a signed executive agreement – but simply a politically negotiated agreement, with only a few included terms regarded as binding by international law. By submitting a JCPOA successor or any similar deal as an official treaty, it would allow for essential congressional oversight and implementation of international law through the entirety of the agreement.

Companion legislation, H.R. 1479, was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Barr in March 2021