Leading Senate Republicans are urging President Joe Biden to reconsider his decision to release $6 billion in Iranian oil revenue. This move was initially made last month as part of a deal to secure the release of wrongfully detained U.S. citizens in Iran.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with Sen. Tom Cotton, has put forth a bill aiming to prevent Iran from accessing these funds. McConnell emphasized the clear link between Tehran and various terrorist groups in the Middle East, pointing to the recent surge in violence against Israelis. He stated, “The civilized world must re-impose serious consequences on the regime that aids and abets murderous evil against innocent Israelis. The United States must lead that effort by our example, and freezing Iranian assets is an important first step.”
Sen. Cotton highlighted Iran’s history of targeting American interests in the region, suggesting that the released funds could indirectly support attacks in Israel by freeing up other resources for the Iranian regime.
In a separate move, a group of Republican senators penned a letter to President Biden on Monday, expressing their concerns over the released funds, especially in light of the recent terrorist attacks. The senators emphasized the potential risks associated with the funds, even if earmarked for humanitarian purposes, as they could inadvertently support Iran’s or Hamas’s actions against Israel.
Among the signatories of the letter were Republican Sens. Marsha Blackburn, Thom Tillis, Steve Daines, Rick Scott, Kevin Cramer, John Thune, James Lankford, Mike Lee, John Cornyn, Bill Cassidy, Lindsey Graham, Katie Britt, Tom Cotton, Pete Ricketts, Mike Braun, Markwayne Mullin, Eric Schmitt, Ted Budd, Marco Rubio, and Roger Marshall.