During the 2020 presidential election, then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden criticized former President Donald Trump for pulling out of the Iranian deal negotiated by Obama-Biden administration. The Obama regime said it relieved sanctions and ensured Iran would not build a nuclear weapon. Still, Trump didn’t trust the Middle Eastern nation to uphold its end of the bargain and often referred to Obama’s plan as misguided. In May 2018, he scuttled the deal.
Since taking office 20 months ago, the Biden administration has been negotiating with Iran to re-establish the deal. Nonetheless, the terrorist nation has engaged in numerous plots to kill former US officials on US territory. On Wednesday, September 14, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced the Strengthening Entry Visa Enforcement and Restrictions Act of 2022 (SEVER). A statement on his website says it would prohibit Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi from entering the United States to attend an upcoming UN session in New York City after the Biden administration refused to do it themselves.
Cruz Introduces Legislation To Stand Up to Biden
If the SEVER Act is passed into law, it would bar any official tied to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei from entering the US, this includes Raisi. The White House is taking heat from activist groups who want the government to prevent Raisi from entering the country for any reason. Some activists and members of Congress are upset after the FBI uncovered a plot by Tehran to assassinate former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former National Security Adviser John Bolton.
Officials say they cannot prohibit Raisi from entering the country to attend a UN general session. They said the government is obligated under the law to allow him entry as Iran is a UN member state, given that the US is hosting the international meeting.
Cruz’s legislation came after more than 50 lawmakers sent a bipartisan letter to the White House in August asking the president to deny visas to the Iranian delegation. The SEVER Act will likely gain bipartisan support, but it’s not clear whether it will pass in the Senate or House. Senate Foreign Relations Committee members Tom Cotton (R-AR), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Joni Ernst (R-IA), John Barrasso (R-WY), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) co-sponsored the legislation.
Is the Nuclear Deal Dead?
On Tuesday, a US delegation informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Iran was not cooperating in negotiations over its nuclear program. They labeled the terrorist state an “unwilling partner.” In June, the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors passed a resolution stating they had “profound concerns” after uranium traces were discovered at three undeclared sites. Since then, Iran has cut off communications.
On Monday, September 12, Iran’s foreign minister said they were ready to cooperate but stated their rights must be respected. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated Iran took a step backward and noted a nuclear deal was unlikely.
Regardless, Pompeo and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley called on the administration to block Iranian leaders from entering the US after the assassination attempts. Cruz said Biden has the authority to deny anyone into the country that threatens national security. He called on Congress to pass the SEVER Act.