‘Only Emboldened Terrorists:’ Republican Senators Demand Biden Admin Freeze $6 Billion Transfer to Iran
Several Republican lawmakers are calling on the Biden administration to freeze $6 billion in assets granted to Iran, after Hamas started carrying out terrorist attacks against Israel on Saturday.
The Biden administration struck a deal with Iran in September to transfer $6 billion in previously frozen assets and five Iranian nationals in exchange for five American prisoners. Concerns that the funds, which are supposed to be used for “humanitarian purposes,” will free up unrestricted money for Iran to sponsor terrorist groups like Hamas, have led Republican lawmakers to call on the Biden administration to freeze them.
“Your administration claims these funds are only available for humanitarian use, but money is fungible, and there is a significant risk they could be used to further efforts by Iran or Hamas against Israel,” a number of Republican senators, led by Tennesse Sen. Marsha Blackburn, wrote in a letter to Biden on Monday. “Moreover, allowing $6 billion to flow into Iran’s economy, even if the purpose is for humanitarian aid, allows the Iranian regime to reallocate even more funds to supporting terrorism.”
Among the other signatories of the letter are Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Texas Sen. John Cornyn, Florida Sen. Rick Scott, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. On the House side, notable Republicans including Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and former Speaker Kevin McCarthy have also called for the funds to be refrozen.
“Biden’s policy of appeasement, including money for hostage deals, must come to an end,” McCarthy said Monday. “His policy has only emboldened terrorists. And handing over $6 billion to Iran only helps the cause — they should freeze the money back today.”
Iran has historically backed terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, using them as proxies to carry out their terror operations without having to involve themselves. U.S. and Israeli intelligence communities suspect Iran may have helped Hamas plan the attacks against Israel this week that killed over 1,000 Israelis and took hundreds hostage.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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