Graham, Cruz hit Trump for reportedly approving Iran nuclear waivers

GOP Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump circuit court nominee in jeopardy amid GOP opposition Trump has officially appointed one in four circuit court judges On The Money: Retirement savings bill blocked in Senate after fight over amendments | Stopgap bill may set up December spending fight | Hardwood industry pleads for relief from Trump trade war MORE (Texas) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamLindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Trump circuit court nominee in jeopardy amid GOP opposition The Hill's Morning Report - Impeachment drama will dominate this week MORE (S.C.) criticized President TrumpDonald John TrumpTariffs threaten 1.5m jobs: Study Trump says he'll meet with dictators if it helps the US Barr to launch anti-gun violence initiative during public impeachment hearing MORE on Thursday for reportedly deciding to renew nuclear waivers for Iran.


"This is disappointing and another lost opportunity to tear up the catastrophic Obama-Iran nuclear deal once and for all," the senators said in a joint statement tweeted by Cruz.

"President Trump should immediately order his administration to stop issuing civil nuclear waivers."

Reuters reported Wednesday that Trump was issuing waivers to his 2018 sanctions that will allow Russian, Chinese and European companies to continue nonproliferation work with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

Trump last year pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement and re-imposed harsh economic sanctions that had been lifted by the Obama-era deal.

Cruz and Graham argued that issuing waivers would strengthen Iran.

"These waivers allow Iran to build up its nuclear program, including at their Fordow nuclear bunker," the senators said in their joint statement. "Iran is now openly violating the nuclear deal and stockpiling dangerous nuclear material. There is no justification for letting them continue to build up their program."

Graham, one of Trump's strongest allies in the Senate, has been sharply critical of Trump's Middle East policy in recent weeks. He said Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria could end up being the biggest mistake of his presidency.

Graham also tweeted at Trump last week, imploring the president to "listen to your commanders, not [Office of the Secretary of Defense] policy shop civilians," regarding the cease-fire that was facilitated between Turkey and U.S. allied Kurdish forces.