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Letter to the President - Cornyn Urges President Not to Renew Sanctions Exemptions on Countries That Import Iranian Oil


Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to offer our strong support for your Iran maximum pressure strategy and urge you to fulfill that commitment by ending Significant Reduction Exceptions (SREs) and cutting off the regime's economic lifeblood of oil.

Last November, the State Department issued sanctions exceptions allowing eight countries to continue importing Iranian crude. At the time, your administration decided to phase-in these sanctions to allow the markets to adjust and provide the international community ample opportunity to make the necessary supply adjustments. While this fair approach initially increased pressure on the Iranian regime, some foreign nations decided to boost their demand of Iranian oil, thereby, supplying the regime with desperately needed funds to finance their global terror campaign. Now is the time to finish this phased-in approach and bring Iranian oil exports to zero.

Thanks to your leadership, U.S. oil production is booming and the Energy Information Administration (EIA) believes the global market can now absorb ending all SREs without a significant impact on oil prices -- even after considering other market factors like Venezuela. EIA estimates that ending SREs would also benefit U.S. production, with a significant increase in U.S. oil exports and the creation of American jobs. These changes would help ween the global community away from destabilizing Iranian oil while diminishing their economic and political influence.

We know the Iranians are biding for time in the hope that the United States will return to the failed politics that gave us the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and empowered Iranian regional influence. We must learn from our past mistakes and prevent this from happening. By ending SREs in May, the United States will finally achieve true maximum pressure on Iran and force the regime to choose between economic collapse or abandoning its illicit activities. Not only will your Iran strategy have the greatest chance to succeed, it will help reverse the growing energy influence of authoritarian regimes while promoting democracy and ushering in the era of American energy dominance.

Thank you for your leadership on these important issues. We stand ready to support your decision to end Iran oil sanctions exceptions this May.