Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) will force a recorded vote Wednesday morning on a nominee from the Biden administration who said Cruz lied to Congress about the details surrounding the new Iran nuclear deal, according to a statement from Cruz’s office to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. SFRC).
The vote to move Barbara Leaf, the hand of a veteran Democratic Middle East nominee to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, will serve as the first recorded congressional vote on a new Iran deal when it begins to roll out. The Biden administration is expected to make an announcement soon.
Cruz’s office wrote in an email to SFRC members on Tuesday that “the key player in the Biden administration was the SFRC and kept the details of their new Iran deal more secret from Congress – until it was too late to finalize it.” Washington Free Beacon. “They have been working on a weak ‘less for less’ agreement since the beginning of the Biden administration in February 2021. They are now planning to declare it a ‘take it or leave it’ bad deal.”
Cruz is forcing the recorded vote to signal the growing frustration of Republicans with the biden administration’s efforts to exclude congressional reviews of the deal and to keep details of its surroundings secret. Cruz has blocked Leaf’s confirmation since last year over the Biden administration’s refusal to answer questions about Middle East policy, including the Iran deal.
Leif claimed in Cruz’s written testimony in September that the Biden administration was not seeking an agreement with Iran that differed from the original 2015 agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Asked about the details of a possible, weak new deal, Leif said “no such measures, agreements or treaties have been considered to reduce the pressure on Iran.”
Cruz maintained that Leif’s testimony in Congress was intended to prevent SFRC lawmakers from knowing what was being negotiated with Iran in talks led by Russia and China. In the months that followed, Leaf claimed that a “less for less” agreement was not on the table, but details surfaced indicating that it was being finalized as soon as the Vienna talks reached their conclusion.
Leaf’s misleading statement will make it harder for Republican members of the SFRC to vote in his favor, especially since it has become clear that the new Iran deal will ease sanctions not only on Iran but also on Russia so that it can form part of it. Tehran’s nuclear program.
A Republican Senate aide is familiar with the cruise email Free beacon That senator’s move means sending a message to the administration that efforts to keep Congress in the dark about the Iran deal will not be tolerated.
“The cruise position is that the Biden administration is trying to get Congress to roll over the Iran deal, and this is the first time senators will have the opportunity to vote on the record, which requested anonymity to discuss the issue,” the source said. In this regard. He says Leaf lied because the Biden administration was desperate to avoid congressional oversight. It is being set up as a vote on whether senators will allow themselves to be pushed around. “
Other previously unpublished details of the deal have sparked controversy in recent weeks, including that the Biden administration is ready to lift some terrorism sanctions and even Iran has actively plotted to assassinate former Trump administration officials. The Free beacon It also first reported last week that the United States would allow Russia to cash in on a 10 billion deal to build a nuclear reactor in Iran – a move that House Foreign Affairs Committee member Rep. Darrell Isa (R, California) described as a “quid.” In a comment on Tuesday for Russia Free beacon.
According to experts at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, international sanctions in response to the Moscow attack will allow Iran to act as a “center for evading sanctions” for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Ukraine has crippled the country’s economy.
Cruz and Isa have introduced legislation in the Senate and House to bar the Biden administration from lifting sanctions on both Iran and Russia as part of the agreement. The law targets Russia’s work on Iran’s nuclear sites and, if approved, could kill the new deal upon arrival.
Sen. Bob Menendez (D., NJ), chairman of the SFRC, and other Democrats have expressed concern about the deal and want the Biden administration to ensure that Congress votes on it. During a classified briefing for House lawmakers last week, many Democrats personally expressed opposition to the deal, sources said. Free beacon On tuesday.
Post Cruise appeared at the first Washington Free Beacon to force a recorded vote on Biden’s nominee for accusing Congress of lying about the Iran deal.