At least 150 House Democrats have signed a letter expressing support for President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenNew York woman arrested after allegedly spitting on Jewish children Former Sen. Donnelly confirmed as Vatican ambassador Giuliani associate sentenced to a year in prison in campaign finance case MORE’s push to reenter the Iran nuclear deal, a key number of lawmakers that could block congressional attempts to prevent the move.
The Democrats say Biden’s push to reenter the international agreement if Iran returns to compliance should be used as a starting point for further negotiations addressing Tehran's “other malign behavior.”
“We are united in our support for swiftly taking the necessary diplomatic steps to restore constraints on Iran’s nuclear program and return both Iran and the United States to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as a starting point for further negotiations,” the lawmakers wrote. The letter was led by Reps. David PriceDavid Eugene PriceWho has the guts to resist authoritarian rule? Clay Aiken running again for Congress because North Carolina representatives 'don't represent me' On The Trail: Retirements offer window into House Democratic mood MORE (D-N.C.); Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeSenate candidate Gary Chambers discusses his opposition to criminalizing marijuana Treasury rolls out quarters featuring Maya Angelou, first Black woman on the coin A presidential candidate pledge can right the wrongs of an infamous day MORE (D-Calif.), Jan SchakowskyJanice (Jan) Danoff SchakowskyEnergy & Environment — Biden confident in separate climate funds US not considering gas export ban, official says Hillicon Valley — Dems press privacy groups over kids' safety MORE (D-Ill.), Gregory MeeksGregory Weldon MeeksSouthern California Democrats throw their weight behind Young Kim challenger Ex-special envoy: Biden's approach to Haiti a 'recipe for disaster' House passes bills to pressure China amid Olympic boycott MORE (D-N.Y.), Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroFeehery: A better than even shot of flipping a Texas district Lawmakers call for investigation into proposed AT&T WarnerMedia, Discovery merger Israel says blacklisted NSO Group 'has nothing to do' with government policies MORE (D-Texas), Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerPelosi says she's open to stock trading ban for Congress On The Money — Ban on stock trading for Congress gains steam Joining Pelosi, Hoyer says lawmakers should be free to trade stocks MORE (D-Va.) and Brad ShermanBradley (Brad) James ShermanFraming our future beyond the climate crisis Overnight Defense & National Security — Congress begins Afghanistan grilling US says about 1,500 citizens remain in Afghanistan MORE (D-Calif.).
President TrumpDonald TrumpJudge rules Alaska governor unlawfully fired lawyer who criticized Trump Giuliani led fake electors plot: CNN Giuliani associate sentenced to a year in prison in campaign finance case MORE withdrew from the Obama-era deal in 2018 and instituted a “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions that Democrats say have failed to constrain Iran’s nuclear program and contributed to increasing confrontations in the region.
The new letter puts the House Democrats in opposition with critics of Biden’s push to reenter the 2015 international agreement, including center-right and right-wing pro-Israel organizations, nearly all Republicans, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE, who said that “we shouldn’t go back to business as usual with Iran.” Opponents would need a two-thirds majority in Congress to override a Biden veto of any legislation aimed at blocking reentry to the Iran deal, a percentage that may be unattainable with so many House Democrats supporting the move.
The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, two Gulf Arab countries that have recently opened diplomatic ties with Israel, have also said they expect to be included in any negotiations for future talks with Iran.
The conflict over reentering the deal comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran following the assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist, widely believed to have been carried out by Israel, and the one-year anniversary of the U.S.-ordered drone strike that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Trump on Wednesday said Iran was responsible for a large-scale rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place on Sunday. The attack, which killed an Iraqi civilian and damaged the embassy compound, was called the largest strike on the facility in a decade.
“Our embassy in Baghdad got hit Sunday by several rockets. Three rockets failed to launch. Guess where they were from: IRAN. Now we hear chatter of additional attacks against Americans in Iraq,” Trump tweeted.
“Some friendly health advice to Iran: If one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible. Think it over,” he added.
— Updated at 10:51 a.m.