The US Senate has passed a non-binding motion prohibiting the Biden administration from removing Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the list of foreign terrorist organizations as part of a nuclear deal with Iran.
According to Middle East Eye, the vote took place on Wednesday and was approved by a majority of 62-33. The motion was introduced by Republican Senator James Lankford.
The motion garnered the support of Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senators Ben Cardin and Joe Manchin.
Chris Coons, a key ally of President Joe Biden, voted in favor as well.
In a statement released after Wednesday’s vote, Coons said he continues to support Biden’s efforts to revive the 2015 Iran deal but said he voted in favor of the motion "in order to encourage the Biden administration's negotiations to push for the strongest possible deal that addresses Iran’s nuclear weapons program and many other malign activities."
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, but has held several rounds of indirect talks with the US on a return to the agreement.
However, the deal has run into trouble in recent weeks over Iranian demands that the US lift its designation of IRGC as a terrorist organization.
A recent report indicated that the Biden administration is considering removing terrorism sanctions from the IRGC as part of negotiations to restore the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
However, a subsequent report in The Washington Post said that the Biden administration plans to reject the Iranian demand.
Lawmakers in Washington have several times expressed concerns about the pending Iran agreement.
In March, a bipartisan group of 21 Members of Congress, led by Gottheimer, Luria and Tom Reed (NY-23), urged the Biden administration to address concerns surrounding the looming agreement with Iran.
The lawmakers noted that, with reports indicating that the Vienna negotiations are nearing conclusion, there are several critical concerning issues that remain on the table — including the potential lifting of the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and of sanctions placed on the Supreme Leader.
A month earlier, nearly 200 House Republicans wrote to Biden and warned that any nuclear deal made with Iran without Congress' approval "will meet the same fate" as the 2015 agreement.