(ConservativeSense.com) – GOP presidential candidate Senator Tim Scott has proposed blocking Iran from accessing the $6 billion recently unfrozen by the Biden administration for “humanitarian” use by the Iranian regime. The money was raised through Iranian oil sales but frozen and held in South Korea as part of Western sanctions on Iran. In September, Biden unfroze the funds in exchange for releasing US citizens in Iranian jails.
Senator Scott has the backing of 21 fellow Republicans and said his proposal “is a comprehensive approach to wielding our economic sanctions tools against Iran.” The bill would further prevent the State Department and Treasury from loosening further sanctions.
Co-sponsors include Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, and JD Vance. The group has called for a meeting with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to discuss Iranian sanctions.
Joe Biden has also faced pressure from fellow Democrats to block the funds, as five Senators joined Republicans in requesting a freeze until investigations prove that Iran had no hand in the terror attack on Israel on October 7. The White House said Iran was “broadly complicit” in the attack but insists the $6 billion in unfrozen funds has not been spent, and there is no evidence of direct Iranian involvement in the invasion that left more than 1,300 Israeli civilians dead and hundreds kidnapped and raped.
Mr. Scott described his bill as “complementary” to a second proposal introduced by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, which called on Congress to “reinstate” all sanctions against Iran. Mr. McConnell said it was “absurd” to believe that funding for Iran would not be used to embolden and encourage its hatred for Israel. “We have reams, reams of evidence that the regime that chants death to America and death to Israel puts its money where its mouth is,” he said.
McConnell further encouraged President Biden to end diplomatic relations with the Iranian regime and clarify that Iran’s involvement in the conflict would result in ever more stringent sanctions.
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