Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas will introduce a bill to refreeze the Biden administration’s $6 billion transfer to Iran, according to a press release on Wednesday.
The Biden administration reached an agreement to transfer $6 billion in previously frozen assets to Iran in exchange for five American prisoners in a deal completed in September. McConnell and Cotton will introduce legislation to refreeze the transfer after Hamas launched brutal terrorist attacks against Israel starting on Saturday.
“Iran is the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism. In addition to funding Hamas’s devastating terrorist attacks against Israel, the regime’s proxies have attacked dozens of American targets in the region in recent years,” Cotton said in a statement Wednesday. “The Biden administration’s decision to let Iran access the $6 billion immediately freed up other money for the regime to fund its attacks in Israel. The Biden administration should immediately re-freeze the funds.”
Hamas has murdered over 1,200 Israelis since Saturday and taken hundreds hostage, some of whom have been subjected to torture or rape. Iran, a notoriously anti-Semitic country, has supported Hamas for decades.
Though the $6 billion is only intended for “humanitarian purposes,” according to the Biden administration, the transfer will free up unrestricted funds Iran already has in its reserves, allowing it to possibly fund future terror operations, experts previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“The civilized world must re-impose serious consequences on the regime that aids and abets murderous evil against innocent Israelis,” McConnell said in a statement on Wednesday. “The United States must lead that effort by our example, and freezing Iranian assets is an important first step.”
McConnell and Cotton will seek unanimous support for their proposed legislation, and they already have support, as nearly two dozen Republican senators signed a letter on Monday demanding the Biden administration immediately refreeze the $6 billion transfer. Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin, Bob Casey, Jon Tester, Tammy Baldwin and Jacky Rosen have also joined the call for a refreeze.
The Biden administration has not committed to refreezing the $6 billion transfer. When asked whether the administration would consider refreezing, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan would only say that “not a dollar of that money has been spent,” Fox News reported on Tuesday.
The White House did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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