Democratic Party Leaders Call on Biden to Lift Sanctions and Return to Iran Deal

The letter says sanctions relief should not be considered a concession to Iran

Democratic Party leaders are calling on President Biden to lift the Trump administration’s “bad-faith sanctions” and rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA. In a letter to Biden, 53 state Democratic Party leaders and Democratic National Committee members urged the president to revive the agreement.

“Lifting Trump’s bad-faith sanctions — which he explicitly imposed on Iran in order to make a return to the JCPOA next-to-impossible — should not be treated as a concession to Iran, but rather as an effort to restore US credibility and enhance American security,” the letter reads.

The letter speaks highly of the JCPOA and points out how the agreement makes Iran subject to the most intrusive nuclear inspections in the world. “The deal imposed the most intrusive and restrictive nuclear verification, monitoring, and inspection mechanisms ever negotiated. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) consistently confirmed that the deal was working to prevent the risk of an Iranian nuclear weapon,” the letter reads.

President Biden is under pressure from Israel and Iran hawks in Congress not to ease sanctions on Iran. “We urge you not to cave to pressure from proponents of Trump’s failed approach to Iran,” the letters says.

The letter was organized by the Quincy Institute. Its notable signatories include Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.

So far, the Biden administration is refusing to lift all Trump-era sanctions on Iran. The US and Iran are currently engaged in indirect talks to revive the JCPOA and are negotiating what sanctions Biden is willing to lift and what would be an acceptable amount of relief for Tehran.

The negotiations between Iran and the US resumed in Vienna last Friday. While progress is slow, Iranian officials have had positive things to say about the talks. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that agreements have been reached on most of the “main sanctions.”

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.