Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas blasted President Joe Biden over paying $6 billion to Iran to secure the release of five Americans being held.
Iran released the five Americans Monday after the Biden administration persuaded South Korea to release $6 billion in oil revenue to Iran. The money was transferred to Qatar, which will release the funds for humanitarian aid, The New York Times reported.
“Right now, Joe Biden is asking for $24 billion to go to Ukraine to fight the war, but simultaneously they’re announcing they’re sending $16 billion to Iran,” Cruz told Bloomberg “Balance of Power” co-hosts Joe Mathieu and Annmarie Hordern. “Iran is using that money to make drones, and those drones are going to Russia and Russia is using those drones to kill Ukrainians, so the Biden administration is funding both sides of the war.”
Hordern pushed back at Cruz, saying the amount being released to Iran was $6 billion from oil sales conducted under waivers granted by the Trump administration.
“It is a bizarre political obsession of the Biden White House to want to send him tens of billions of dollars,” Cruz said after noting that Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei often led chants of “Death to America.” “It is a 100% certainty that this money that they’re sending to Iran will be used to fund terrorism to kill Americans.”
The five Iranians released include Kaveh Lotfolah Afrasiabi, who was charged with failing to register as a foreign agent and who allegedly sought to spread propaganda, while Amin Hasanzadeh, Reza Sarhangpour Kafrani and Kambiz Attar Kashani were charged with illegally sending technology and materials to Iran.
Iranian troops reportedly trained Russians occupying Crimea to use drones to carry out attacks on Ukrainian targets in October.
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