Washington, D.C. — Senator Ted Budd (R-NC) has co-signed a letter to President Biden, calling on the administration to immediately rescind the waivers that allowed Iranian funds to be converted and moved to more accessible bank accounts, as well as work with Qatar to immediately freeze the accounts containing these funds.
The letter reads, in part:
“Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, and the Wall Street Journal reported that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps worked with Hamas to plan the ongoing attacks on Israel. These horrific attacks come on the heels of the State Department issuing sanctions waivers for Iranian funds held in South Korean accounts to be converted from won to euros and then transferred to bank accounts in Qatar.”
“To stand by and allow Iran access to these funds as Hamas infiltrates Israel and murders, rapes, and mutilates countless Israelis is unconscionable. 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. Oversight over the use of this $6 billion is not enough, and the oversight mechanism is crippled by your reported decision to pull the longstanding Treasury attaché from Qatar. The State Department should immediately rescind the waivers that allowed Iranian funds to be converted and moved to more accessible bank accounts, as well as work with U.S. ally Qatar to immediately freeze the accounts containing these funds.”
“We must stand with Israel and restrict access to these Iranian funds. 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.”
The letter was led by Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and signed by a total of 19 senators including Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Steve Daines (R-MT), Rick Scott (R-FL), Kevin Cramer (ND), John Thune (SD), James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT), John Cornyn (R-TX), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Katie Britt (R-AL), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Mike Braun (R-IN), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Roger Marshall (R-KS).
Read the full text letter here.