published : 2023-10-13
Senator Calls for Iran's Unfrozen Assets to Be Redirected to Israel
Sen. Marsha Blackburn wants money sent to Israel to help with rebuilding
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, the senator leading the charge for the Biden administration to refreeze the $6 billion in Iranian assets that were released last month, is urging for the money to be given to Israel instead.
Blackburn expressed her dissatisfaction with the reported 'quiet understanding' between the U.S. and Qatar, stating it was only a half measure to ensure the money doesn't reach Iran.
She is adamant that the money should be frozen and redirected to assist Israel in rebuilding after the devastating attacks by Hamas.
The senator's letter to the White House, which initiated the push to refreeze the funds, garnered support from 19 other senators.
Blackburn believes that the waivers allowing the transfer of the money should be rescinded, and sanctions should be imposed on any bank or country involved in processing funds for Iran.
Furthermore, she emphasizes that the money should be used to pay for damages and the destruction caused in Israel.
While the White House assures that the funds held in a Qatari bank have not been accessed by Iran and will only go to approved vendors chosen by the U.S., there is no formal pause on the funds.
Sen. Tom Cotton has introduced legislation, with the support of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, to block the use of the funds in Iran.
Blackburn notes the bipartisan support for this legislation and hopes to gain further backing in both the House and Senate.
Addressing the administration's claim that there is no connection between Iran and the Hamas attacks, Blackburn highlights Iran's rhetoric, which suggests their involvement in coaching Hamas and funding a significant portion of its budget.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and his inaccurate statements on foreign policy, such as claiming the Middle East was the calmest it has been in decades one week before the Hamas attack, faced criticism from Blackburn.
Blackburn argues that Sullivan's advice to President Biden has not been successful, citing the failure to enforce sanctions on Iran, leading to increased oil sales and the funding of terrorist activities.
Brandon Gillespie, an associate editor at Fox News, contributed to this report.