Sep 17, 2016

Next Week: No More Ransom Payments to Iran

When the Obama Administration sent Iran $400 million in an unmarked cargo plane, we thought that was bad enough. Iran is the largest state sponsor of terror, after all, and the more money the regime has, the more they can fund groups that target and kill Americans and our allies.

But of course, this was more than just about the money. The Administration said it was “coincidental” that Iran released hostages on the same day. Then, weeks later, after the public discovered that the plane full or cash waited on the tarmac until the hostages were in the air flying out of Tehran, the timing of the payment moved from being a coincidence to “leverage.”

Whatever language the Administration wants to use, the American people know a pretty simple word for what happened: ransom. And when you pay ransom to regimes like Iran, you ensure that they will take more hostages—something they have already done since the ransom payment.

But the scandal doesn’t stop there. Over a month after it became public knowledge that the Administration sent a plane full of cash to a regime that still chants “death to America,” that number ballooned up. It wasn’t just $400 million. It was actually another $1.3 billion sent in three total shipments over the course of less than three weeks.

This action was dangerous, undermines American interests, and was extremely stupid. Leader McCarthy had this to say:

“Paying off Iran with cash not only skirted American law barring such payments, it strengthens a violent regime and puts Americans at risk. The President seems to have no problem undermining American interests in pursuit of solidifying a terrible nuclear deal with an untrustworthy partner. We can’t allow this to happen ever again, which is why the House will vote on legislation next week prohibiting future ransom payments to Iran.”

NOTE: Next week the House will vote on H.R. 5931, the Prohibiting Future Ransom Payments to Iran Act, which is a direct response to the Administration’s irresponsible cash transfer to the Iranian regime. This legislation, sponsored by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (CA-39), bars payment to Iran for the purpose of releasing prisoners, including cash payment like what was used in the $400 million ransom payment earlier this year.