Steube Pens Op-Ed in Washington Examiner Slamming Biden’s Iran Approach, Offering Alternative Solution to Protect U.S. Security and Interests
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Greg Steube (R-Fla.) penned an op-ed in the Washington Examiner criticizing President Joe Biden’s policy failures with Iran and expressing the need for a stronger approach, like the Republican Study Committee (RSC) laid out last week.
“Today, Biden’s foreign policy team is in chaos, caught between the reality of Iran’s dangerous intentions and his campaign rhetoric,” Steube wrote. “Make no mistake, Biden’s leadership weakness on this issue will pave the way for Iran’s nuclear ambitions and regional efforts to destabilize its neighbors.”
Steube continued, “Instead of a return to a failed policy that encouraged a hostile regime, we need to implement sound policy that earns the respect of our regional allies and will keep our interests as well as our troops safe. To do this, Congress has an opportunity to join our effort from the Republican Study Committee and support our legislation, the Maximum Pressure Act.”
Steube recently joined RSC Chairman Banks (R-Ind.) and former Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to unveil the toughest Iran sanctions package ever proposed by Congress. This package is in stark contrast to Biden’s recent movements toward softening the United States’ approach on Iran as the Administration seeks to reenter the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The Biden Administration has also been under fire for leaked tapes suggesting that, under the Obama Administration, then-Secretary of State John Kerry offered Iran information about Israeli military operations in the region. Kerry currently serves as the U.S. special envoy for climate change. Republican officials have since called for his resignation and further investigation into the matter.
An Iraq veteran, Steube has been vocal in calling for tougher sanctions on Iran and taking all steps necessary to prevent the nation from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
The full op-ed can be found here or below.
Washington Examiner | Biden’s Iran strategy is a threat to regional partners and US interests
By: Rep. Greg Steube
The Biden administration has signaled its intent to weaken or lift sanctions against Iran that it views as “inconsistent” with the failed 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal. Biden’s overhyped campaign rhetoric was critical of the previous administration’s decision to withdraw from the dangerously flawed JCPOA.
Today, Biden’s foreign policy team is in chaos, caught between the reality of Iran’s dangerous intentions and his campaign rhetoric. Make no mistake, Biden’s leadership weakness on this issue will pave the way for Iran’s nuclear ambitions and regional efforts to destabilize its neighbors. We must not allow Iran, the largest state sponsor of terror in the world, to obtain or develop a nuclear weapon.
To understand the gravity of reentering the terrible policy decision that was the JCPOA, we must first retrace the initial implementation and design of these sanctions. Since 1979, the United States has imposed different types of sanctions against Iran, designed to force the nation to stop funding and supporting international terrorism. In the decades since, these sanctions have been supported by Republicans and Democrats and passed through Congress in a bipartisan manner.
Despite Congress being united on tough policy sanctions for decades, the Obama-Biden administration went around Congress to enter into the 2015 JCPOA. By doing so, the U.S. allowed new opportunities for Iran to fund terrorist militias in the region and beyond. And far worse, this deal allowed Iran to beat compliance efforts while it continued to work toward its nuclear ambitions. Iran’s funding of terror attacks and chaos in the region was made possible by the release of billions of dollars in currency from the JCPOA deal.
It’s no wonder that Iran’s regional neighbors are deeply concerned with the possibility of new Biden diplomacy. Iran has never signaled any interest in abandoning its anti-American hostility or its threats of the total annihilation of our allies in the region, such as Israel. With this in mind, there is no way the misguided Biden administration can reenter the JCPOA without sacrificing regional security.
The JCPOA allowed Iran to enrich anti-American ideology, fund rogue military operations in the region, and continue to enhance weapons-grade nuclear materials. Just recently, Iran announced it is starting to enrich uranium to 60%, when the JCPOA limited Iran’s enrichment to 3.67%. Our future Iran policy cannot be a repeat of a past mistake.
The JCPOA was inadequate, and the next policy move must build on historically tough sanctions and promise of even tougher actions if Iran continues to pursue the dangerous hostility toward the U.S., our regional allies, and other Western interests. At an absolute minimum, any deal the U.S. offers Iran should never include an opportunity for it to develop a nuclear weapon.
As one of the several veterans in Congress who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, I understand the real consequences of military conflict and Iran-backed militia groups in the Middle East. Congress needs to push back on the Biden administration’s flawed Iran strategy, or we will see more U.S. service members killed by Iran-backed militias.
Instead of a return to a failed policy that encouraged a hostile regime, we need to implement sound policy that earns the respect of our regional allies and will keep our interests as well as our troops safe. To do this, Congress has an opportunity to join our effort from the Republican Study Committee and support our legislation, the Maximum Pressure Act. This legislation would codify the Trump-era maximum pressure policies, which proved effective in keeping our adversaries at bay.
We need a clear mission, not diplomatic chaos, if we are to keep dangerous, ideologically driven regimes from achieving their objectives.
Rep. Greg Steube represents Florida's 17th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and is a veteran of the U.S. Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom.