The recent unfreezing of $6 billion in Iranian assets by the Biden administration has come under heavy criticism from Republicans in the House and Senate. The timing of this move, just months before the deadly attack launched by Hamas terrorists on Israel, has raised concerns among conservatives.
Senator Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee stated, “Just weeks ago, the Biden administration handed over $6 billion to Iran, and today, innocent Israelis were murdered by Iran-backed terrorists.” This highlights the urgent need to support our strongest ally in the Middle East and their right to defend themselves against these unprovoked and horrific attacks.
During the invasion by Hamas terrorists into areas of southern Israel, thousands of rockets were fired and dozens of fighters infiltrated through the border. Local Israeli media reported that at least 100 people have lost their lives in this assault.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared that Israel is “at war” and has vowed to make the attackers pay “an unprecedented price.” President Biden has been briefed on the distressing Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel, according to the White House.
However, Republicans are drawing attention to the recent actions of the Biden administration, specifically the release of $6 billion in frozen Iranian funds, as part of a prisoner swap deal with oversight for humanitarian purposes.
“This waiver allows for the transfer of funds from one location to another but does not change the fact that they can only be used to fund Iran’s purchases of humanitarian goods,” clarified a State Department spokesperson last month.
The administration has emphasized that the money will not go directly to Iran and no taxpayer funds are being utilized.
The funds held in South Korea belong to Iran, which will use them solely for humanitarian purposes. Nevertheless, some critics argue that these funds could be diverted elsewhere since Iran is a known backer and supporter of Hamas and publicly praised the recent attacks on Israel.
Congressional Republicans of both chambers have underscored the potential connection between the unfreezing of funds and the subsequent attacks. Senator Rick Scott from Florida expressed his dissatisfaction on social media, stating, “This is exactly why so many Americans & Israelis were DISGUSTED to see President Biden give the Iranian regime $6 billion last month.
Every dollar given to Iran funds terrorism in the Ayatollah’s quest to destroy Israel. Iran is behind today’s invasion & everyone must say that.” Representative Dan Bishop of North Carolina echoed these sentiments and accused President Biden of giving Hamas sponsor Iran $6 billion.
Representative Chip Roy of Texas urged swift action to help Israel and reverse the perceived damage caused by Biden’s $6 billion funding of the Iranian regime.
In response to the attack on Israel, he emphasized the need to fully #StandWithIsrael, defending their right to stand strong against terrorism. In the midst of these developments, Senator Tim Scott, a GOP member eyeing the 2024 White House nomination, criticized the U.S. for the recent aggression, claiming that the country has paid for it.
He referred to the $6 billion as a ransom payment, emphasizing Iran’s substantial financial support for Hamas.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the horrifying attacks on Israel by Hamas terrorists, expressing solidarity with the Israeli government and people, and offering condolences for the lives lost in these attacks.
He firmly stated that terrorism can never be justified and asserted the United States’ support for Israel’s right to defend itself. While the Biden administration has defended the recent release of frozen Iranian funds, conservatives remain skeptical about the potential consequences and the role Iran may play in supporting acts of terrorism against Israel.