US senators to Biden: Iran agreement should address other issues too

43 senators from both parties call on Biden to work toward international agreement that addresses issues beyond just Iran's nuclear program.

Elad Benari ,

Joe Biden
Joe Biden

43 US senators, many of whom opposed the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, on Thursday appealed to President Joe Biden to work toward an international agreement that addresses issues beyond just Tehran’s nuclear program, Reuters reported.

“Democrats and Republicans may have tactical differences, but we are united on preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon and addressing the wide range of Iranian behavior,” the senators wrote in a letter to Biden.

The letter was led by Democratic Senator Bob Menendez and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and signed by 41 other Democrats and Republicans, according to Reuters.

It notes the “long-held view” from lawmakers and presidents from both parties that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a grave threat to the natural security interests of the United States and its allies and partners.

It also says, however, that Iran poses a threat by exporting arms, supporting militants who target US forces and via its ballistic and cruise missile programs. It also calls for the release of political prisoners.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

Biden has expressed a desire to return to the deal but has stressed that Iran must resume compliance with it before any negotiations on a US return to the agreement.

The US recently accepted Europe's offer to mediate conversations with Iran regarding the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran, however, rejected the proposal, claiming that the “time was not right” to hold such talks.

Officials in Biden’s Administration have stressed it will not offer Iran unilateral incentives to persuade it to attend talks about both sides resuming compliance with the 2015 deal.