Washington – Wyoming Congresswoman and House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY), Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, this week introduced legislation that would dismantle a key remaining part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in response to the Trump administration’s repeated issuance of waivers for civil nuclear projects contemplated by the deal.

“Congress is determined to support President Trump’s successful maximum pressure campaign and ensure the disastrous nuclear deal is completely dismantled,” Rep. Cheney said. “The U.S. must revoke waivers for ‘civil nuclear’ projects established by President Obama’s nuclear deal. These waivers legitimize Iran’s illicit nuclear infrastructure—even as the regime continues on a path of nuclear escalation at sites like the Fordow bunker, where Iran recently resumed uranium enrichment.”

“Iran is exploiting the civil-nuclear waivers from the Obama-Iran deal, which the Trump administration has continued to issue, to build up their nuclear program and buy time until the nuclear deal expires, leaving them with a full-blown unlimited civilian nuclear program,” Sen. Cruz said. “The Trump administration has continued to issue these waivers despite a continuing campaign of nuclear escalation and extortion by Iran. Just this month, Iran began injecting uranium gas into centrifuges at the Fordow nuclear bunker, a nuclear weapons facility they dug out of the side of a mountain. Enough is enough. Now is the time to end the deal once and for all. I urge Congress to expeditiously take up our legislation, end these waivers, and hold Iran accountable.”

“President Trump should immediately end the issuance of civil nuclear waivers that allow Iran to build its nuclear program,” Sen. Graham said. “Iran is now openly violating the nuclear deal and stockpiling dangerous nuclear material. My colleagues and I will continue to advance legislation to reverse this misguided decision.”

After Iran announced it would begin injecting uranium gas into centrifuges at the Fordow nuclear bunker, Sens. Cruz, Graham, and Rep. Cheney released a joint statement urging President Trump to end the civil nuclear waivers, and invoke the United Nations snapback to restore international sanctions and restrictions on Iran. 

Read the full text of the bill here.

Background:

This bill revokes waivers for civil nuclear projects with Iran that were established under President Obama’s nuclear deal. The waivers were recently renewed by the State Department and make these projects immune from U.S. sanctions.

These waivers: (1) sustain President Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal, (2) allow Iran to build up its nuclear program, (3) legitimize Iran’s illicit nuclear infrastructure and endorse Iran’s false narrative about its nuclear program, (4) turn a blind eye to Iran’s nuclear escalations, and (5) undermine President Trump’s successful maximum pressure campaign.

This bill specifically revokes a waiver for the Fordow facility, a military bunker that Iran built deep inside of a mountain. As seen in the nuclear archive uncovered by Israel, Tehran intended to produce weapons-grade uranium at Fordow for one to two nuclear weapons per year. Iran is already violating the deal by enriching uranium at this facility. The bill also revokes a waiver for the Arak facility and a waiver for the transfer into Iran of enriched uranium for the Tehran Research Reactor.

22 of Rep. Cheney’s House Republican colleagues have signed on as original co-sponsors:

  • Rep. Kelly Armstrong (ND-AL)
  • Rep. Brian Babin (TX-36)
  • Rep. Ted Budd (NC-13)
  • Rep. Bradley Byrne (AL-01)
  • Rep. Steve Chabot (OH-01)
  • Rep. Rick Crawford (AR-01)
  • Rep. Scott DesJarlais (TN-04)
  • Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25)
  • Rep. Mike Gallagher (WI-08)
  • Rep. Peter King (NY-03)
  • Rep. David Kustoff (TN-08)
  • Rep. Debbie Lesko (AZ-08)
  • Rep. Paul Mitchell (MI-10)
  • Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY-21)
  • Rep. Greg Steube (FL-17)
  • Rep. Mike Turner (OH-10)
  • Rep. Ann Wagner (MO-02)
  • Rep. Michael Waltz (FL-06)
  • Rep. Randy Weber (TX-14)
  • Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02)
  • Rep. Steve Womack (AR-03)
  • Rep. Lee Zeldin (NY-01)

Republican Sens. Tom Cotton (AR) and Marco Rubio (FL) have signed on as original co-sponsors to the Senate bill.