WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Congressman Ted Poe, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, along with 52 other members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the Administration’s recent unilateral decision to give $1.7 billion to Iran, a designated State Sponsor of Terrorism. The payment was sent to Iran the day after “implementation day” of the Iran nuclear deal.
The letter reads: “In presenting the nuclear deal to Congress, you testified to the House Foreign Affairs Committee that “we will continue to push back against Iran on every front available” for its support for terrorism and other destabilizing activities. It is difficult to see how paying Iran $1.7 billion to settle a dispute caused by Iran’s belligerence upholds that testimony. “
Chairman Poe: “The Administration’s payment of $1.7 billion to Iran to allegedly settle a disputed claim on the same day that Tehran released five innocent American sailors is deeply concerning to say the least. This action will only further incentivize Iran’s dangerous behavior and encourage radicals in Tehran and elsewhere to take more Americans hostage. Instead of urging Iran to pay the victims of its murderous terrorist attacks, this Administration simply handed over American taxpayer dollars to the world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism for a dubious claim. Negotiating with Iran as if it were a well-intentioned actor behind closed doors and without even briefing Members of Congress is simply dangerous and irresponsible.”
Chairman Ros-Lehtinen: "When the administration announced a settlement to a 35 year-old Iranian claim the same day the regime released five Americans, it raised more questions than answers regarding the nature of the settlement as well as the validity of the claim. In every step of the nuclear negotiations process, and in the implementation phase of the JCPOA, the administration has been less than transparent with – and in most cases, has purposefully misled or obstructed – Congress and the public. The American people deserve to know what the impetus was for agreeing to a settlement of $1.7 billion with Iran after the administration released over $100 billion in sanctions relief and why President Obama felt it justified to pay this murderous regime more money rather than satisfying the claims U.S. citizens have against Iran for its support for terror. That’s why Ted and I have led this letter to the administration: to get the answers that we all deserve and to have the administration explain why it continues to support Iran and the regime’s demands over the interests of the U.S. and the American people.”
Read the Full Letter Here