Republican lawmakers are fuming after a letter emerged proving that the Obama administration intends to help shield Iran from new laws meant to strengthen America’s borders.
In the letter to his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry claims America is ready to help Iran get around the new U.S. visa system checks designed to keep potential terrorists and security risks out of America.
The scandal started after Congress recently voted to tighten security requirements of its visa waiver program, which allows citizens of 38 countries to travel to the U.S. without visas. Now, people from those countries who have traveled to Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan in the past five years must obtain visas to enter the U.S.
Under the Obama-Iran nuclear deal push through this summer, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Obama administration had promised to refrain from any policy that would affect normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran.
In the letter to Zarif, Kerry reassured Iran that the visa law is something, “the Administration has the authority to waive,” and “will not in any way prevent us from meeting our JCPOA commitments.”
Kerry also noted in the letter to Zarif that there are “a number of potential tools available” for Obama to use to avoid the new visa restrictions for Iranian travel, including multiple entry 10-year business visas and programs for expediting business visas.
But giving Iran a free pass isn’t sitting too well with many lawmakers.
“Instead of bending over backwards to try to placate the Iranian regime, the White House needs to be holding it accountable for its recent missile tests, its continued support for terrorism, and its wrongful imprisonment of Americans,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., told Fox News.
The Associated Press contributed to this article