GOP lawmakers turn up pressure on Biden over Iran nuclear program: ‘Enough is enough’

FIRST ON FOX: Republican lawmakers Sen. Tim Scott and Rep. Mike Lawler are pressing the Biden administration to censure Iran at the next International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meeting due to its heightened nuclear activities and guarantee that steps are taken to thwart Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons.

On Monday afternoon, the pair will introduce a resolution that would also “refer the issue to the U.N. Security Council, and reaffirm that all measures will be taken to prevent the regime in Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.” 

“In the 18 months since the IAEA last held Iran accountable, the regime’s destabilizing behavior has skyrocketed. Its terrorist proxies have attacked our troops, brought global commerce to a halt, and ignited the brutal conflict in Gaza,” Scott said. “Last month, Iran stepped out from the shadows to attack Israel directly, and all the while, the regime has steadily increased its nuclear buildup.” 

The IAEA seeks to promote “the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons,” according to its website. 

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The resolution, which was first shared with Fox News Digital, says the U.S. should commit to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and urges the Biden administration to pursue punitive measures for Iran’s violations of international non-proliferation agreements. 

It condemns Iran’s obstruction of monitoring and verification activities by the IAEA and calls for sanctions on Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.

“Iran is the greatest state sponsor of terror in the world and there is no greater national security threat than a nuclear Iran,” Lawler said in a statement. “Unfortunately, a foreign policy of weakness and appeasement has emboldened the Islamic Republic, which is now closer than ever to having nuclear weapons. Enough is enough.”

The five-page resolution also “emphasizes the need for a coordinated international response to address the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program and calls on all nations to join the United States in taking decisive action to ensure Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons and to uphold nuclear non-proliferation standards in the Middle East and beyond.”

Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., are cosponsoring the Senate’s version of the resolution. 

In the House, the resolution is cosponsored by Reps. John James, R-Mich., Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., Juan Ciscomani, R-Ariz., Young Kim, R-Calif., Zach Nunn, R-Iowa, and Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J.

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In February, the head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog warned that Iran is “not entirely transparent” regarding its atomic program, particularly after an official who once led Tehran’s program announced the Islamic Republic has all the pieces for a weapon “in our hands.”

Iran, after the collapse of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, has pursued nuclear enrichment just below weapons-grade levels. Tehran has accumulated enough enriched uranium to build several weapons if it chooses.

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Critics of the Biden administration’s Iran policy argue the White House strategy of de-escalation and containment targeting Iran’s atomic program has backfired. Iran’s regime — the world’s worst state-sponsor of international terrorism — is moving at an astonishingly fast pace to secure an operational nuclear weapon.

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In April, Fox News Digital obtained the intelligence agency report for Germany’s most populous state, Nordrhein-Westfalen, which highlighted ongoing intensive procurement efforts by Iran in Germany for its nuclear and missile programs, suggesting that Iran is engaged in proliferation-relevant activities to bypass existing sanctions.

In a response to Fox News’ Digital request for comment after publication, a National Security Council spokesperson said officials are “actively increasing pressure on Iran through a combination of sanctions, deterrence, and international isolation to counter Iran’s destabilizing behavior and prevent them from obtaining a nuclear weapon, which President Biden has been clear he will not allow.”

“This includes pressure at the IAEA.  Any notion that we are backing off is false,” the spokesperson said. “We will continue to focus on degrading Iran’s capabilities, while strengthening those of our partners and allies.”

The Associated Press and Fox News Digital’s Benjamin Weinthal contributed to this report.