A letter led by Rep. Josh Gottheimer previews the talking points Iran hawks will use to undermine Joe Biden’s push to get the U.S. back into the Iran nuclear deal.

By Austin Ahlman, The Intercept

With expectations of a revived Iran nuclear deal growing, Iran hawks in Congress are positioning themselves to make U.S. reentry into the agreement a painful political ordeal, according to a draft letter circulating on Capitol Hill.

With President Joe Biden reportedly coming close to reviving the agreement, the letter telegraphs the opposition he could face from Congress. Such efforts would be a reprisal of the fight in 2015, when President Barack Obama worked to push through the original Iran nuclear deal and faced right-leaning pro-Israel forces in Congress — including Democrats — that tried to block it.

U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey addresses Soldiers, family, friends, elected officials, and the New Jersey National Guard

Led by conservative New Jersey Democrat and perennial obstructionist Rep. Josh Gottheimer, the letter lays out a policy on the nuclear deal that, rather than reviving Obama’s deal, would follow in the footsteps of President Donald Trump, who unilaterally withdrew from the deal despite an international consensus that it was working to restrain Iran’s nuclear program.

“We are deeply concerned about multiple provisions that reportedly may be contained in the final language of any agreement with the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism,” the pro-Israel Democrats wrote in the draft of the letter, which was obtained by The Intercept. “Concerningly, news accounts suggest that the agreement may suspend terrorism sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran, the National Development Fund and the National Iranian Oil Company, designated by the previous administration for supporting terrorism.”

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