Sen. Scott, Rep. Lawler Call for Biden Administration to Censure Iran at IAEA

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and U.S. Congressman Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.) introduced a resolution calling for the Biden administration to pursue a censure of Iran at this week’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors’ meeting and reaffirm that all measures will be taken to prevent Iran from obtaining 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. Last month, Iran stepped out from the shadows to attack Israel directly, and all the while, the regime has steadily increased its nuclear buildup,” said Senator Scott. “Censuring Iran at the IAEA is the first step we can take to restore deterrence in the Middle East. For months, the Biden administration has ignored our calls to take a stand against Iran. It’s far past time to act.”

“Iran is the greatest state sponsor of terror in the world and there is no greater national security threat than a nuclear Iran,” said Congressman Lawler. “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 Biden Administration must move to censure Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s Board of Governors meeting and refer this matter to the UN Security Council for immediate review.”

The Senate version of the resolution is cosponsored by Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Dr. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), and Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.). In the House of Representatives, 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.).

The resolution is supported by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) Action, AIPAC, Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA), and the Vandenberg Coalition.


Senator Scott has long criticized the Biden administration’s lack of a comprehensive strategy to contain Iran’s aggression and has urged the administration to take necessary steps restore deterrence in the Middle East, following the horrific attacks against Israel on October 7, 2023.

In August, he led twenty-five of his Republican colleagues in demanding answers from the administration after it made accessible approximately $6 billion in frozen assets to Iran in exchange for the release of American detainees. After the October 7 attacks, Senator Scott led another effort questioning the administration’s decision to waive sanctions that would allow the regime to access an additional $10 billion in revenue. He also pressed the administration on the need for a cohesive strategy on Iran, utilizing all appropriate national security tools. In December, the Senator joined nearly a dozen of his bipartisan colleagues in introducing a resolution condemning the ongoing attacks from Iranian proxies against American forces in Iraq and Syria, and calling for the administration to increase pressure against the regime.

As Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Committee, Senator Scott introduced the Revoke Iranian Funding Act to permanently freeze the $6 billion released by the Biden administration in August, and to direct the Treasury Secretary to provide an accounting of all high-value Iranian assets around the world that are currently restricted by U.S. sanctions. In April 2024, the accountability requirements from Senator Scott’s Revoke Iranian Funding Act were signed into law. He also pushed for passage of his Solidify Iran Sanctions Act (SISA), to make permanent energy and weapons sanctions in the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996.

In October 2023, Senator Scott joined Senator Rubio and other Republican colleagues in sending a letter to the State Department criticizing the administration’s decision to not censure Iran at the September 2023 IAEA Board of Governors meeting. In March 2024, he led nine of his Senate Republican colleagues in another letter calling for the Biden administration to censure Iran at the IAEA and formally refer its nuclear program to the UN Security Council for review, following reports that Iran’s nuclear enrichment activity tripled by the end of 2023.