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Tags: gop senators | biden administration | iran | funds

GOP Sens. Ramp Up Call on Biden to Freeze $6B to Iran

By    |   Tuesday, 10 October 2023 04:52 PM EDT

A group of 20 Republican senators are calling on the Biden administration to freeze the $6 billion in Iranian funds that were released from South Korean accounts in September as part of a hostage exchange with Tehran.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., wrote a letter Monday signed by herself and 19 of her colleagues to President Joe Biden, citing a Wall Street Journal report that Iran was behind Hamas' attack on Israel over the weekend that led to the death of at least 900 Israelis and at least 11 Americans. Many more were taken hostage by the terrorist organization in an unprecedented invasion.

"To stand by and allow Iran access to these funds as Hamas infiltrates Israel and murders, rapes, and mutilates countless Israelis is unconscionable," Blackburn wrote. "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.

"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."

The letter also was signed by Sens. Thom Tillis and Tedd Budd of North Carolina, Steve Daines of Montana, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, John Thune of South Dakota, James Lankford and Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, Mike Lee of Utah, John Cornyn of Texas, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Katie Britt of Alabama, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, Mike Braun of Indiana, Eric Schmitt of Missouri, and Roger Marshall of Kansas.

The letter mirrors sentiments expressed by former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who called for the administration to freeze the funds during a Monday news conference.

"Biden's policy on appeasement, including money for hostage deals, must come to an end," McCarthy said. "His policy has only emboldened terrorists. And handing over $6 billion to Iran only helps the cause. In explaining that to members of Congress, they said they had provisions to refreeze the money if Iran has done something wrong. They should freeze the money back today."

Blackburn's letter called on the State Department to rescind waivers that allowed the Iranian funds to be converted and moved to more accessible bank accounts in Qatar and for the U.S. to work with Qatar to immediately freeze the accounts containing the funds.

"We must stand with Israel and restrict access to these Iranian funds," Blackburn wrote. "Iran should be placed under the most stringent sanctions admissible. Anything short of this is unacceptable and only aids in the ability of Iran and Hamas to fund these heinous acts."

Michael Katz

Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
A group of 20 Republican senators are calling on the Biden administration to freeze the $6 billion in Iranian funds that were released from South Korean accounts in September as part of a hostage exchange with Tehran.
gop senators, biden administration, iran, funds
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2023-52-10
Tuesday, 10 October 2023 04:52 PM
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