Last week, U.S. Reps. Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., and Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., teamed up on the “Iranian Nuclear and Venezuelan Energy, Sanctions, and Terrorism Government Accountability Report (INVESTIGAR) Act.”
Salazar introduced the bill last week with Murphy as the main co-sponsor and the only Democrat backing it so far. Other co-sponsors include Florida Republican U.S. Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, Scott Franklin and Carlos Gimenez.
“The INVESTIGAR Act would require the Biden Administration to produce a report detailing how Venezuela could benefit from a new Iran Nuclear Deal. Specifically, it requires the White House to report on possible benefits to Nicolás Maduro‘s oil industry, how it might help Venezuela avoid American sanctions, and how it would boost Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations. Under the legislation, the report must be delivered to the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees within 14 days of reaching a nuclear agreement with Iran,” Salazar’s office noted.
“For years, the Iranian and Venezuelan regimes have bonded over their hatred for the United States. Iran has recruited Venezuela as its proxy for terror, even supplying their government with advanced drones to use against the U.S., Colombia, and Jewish communities throughout the Western Hemisphere,” said Salazar. “Not only would a new Nuclear Deal arm an American enemy with nuclear weapons, but it would also empower Nicolás Maduro in our own region. If President Biden follows through with the new deal, he must understand the disastrous external impacts the negotiation will have within our own region.”
“As the Biden administration considers whether or not to re-enter the nuclear agreement with Iran—alongside Russia and China—it is critical that the administration consider, not only the potential advantages of the deal to U.S. national security, but also the very real disadvantages,” said Murphy. “Unfreezing Iranian assets could enable Iran to increase support for terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and for the murderous Maduro regime in Venezuela. The U.S. needs to be clear-eyed about these threats and their impact on our security and the security of our allies.”
“Any nuclear deal with the Iranian regime will directly benefit the Maduro regime, posing a direct threat to the United States, the Western hemisphere, and the world,” said Waltz. “For years, Iran has helped support the Maduro regime both militarily and financially. It’s critical Congress and the American people know exactly how that agreement would help bolster the Maduro regime, and therefore, threaten our national security, before the Biden Administration considers finalizing a nuclear deal with the Iranian regime.”
“There’s no doubt any Iran Deal negotiated by Russia and China on President Biden’s behalf would help Nicolas Maduro keep his stranglehold on Venezuela. Both Russia and China are strong allies of the illegitimate Maduro regime with Venezuela being an important component of their geopolitical strategy to encroach onto the Western Hemisphere,” said Gimenez. “Allowing Russia and China to negotiate this deal is a short-sighted and incredibly dangerous strategy. To protect America’s interests in our hemisphere, Congress must know exactly how Nicolas Maduro will benefit from any new Iran deal.”
“Another flawed Iran deal, brokered by Communist China and Russia, will have disastrous consequences for the United States and our allies,” said Diaz-Balart. “One of the issues that has not been adequately considered is how a deal with Iran will prop up other adversaries, such as the Maduro dictatorship, and help them to evade sanctions. This important legislation requires the administration to report on the consequences of sanctions relief and other concessions to Iran, including how the flawed Iran deal would affect key American national security interests in our hemisphere.”
“The U.S. has no business engaging in a new nuclear deal with Iran, especially if it means the Maduro regime could stand to benefit from it,” said Franklin. “The relationship between Venezuela and Iran poses a major threat to the U.S. and the American people have the right to know how any nuclear agreement with Tehran could impact us in the Western Hemisphere. I’m proud to join Rep. Salazar and my colleagues to ensure that we hold the Biden Administration accountable.”
The bill was sent to the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.
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