April 8, 2024

Young, Colleagues Demand Transparency from Biden Administration Following Release of Additional Iranian Funds

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) joined Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and a group of Senate Republican colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen and Secretary of State Antony Blinken raising concerns that the latest Iran sanctions waiver makes sanctioned Iranian funds, which could be used to fund terrorism, more accessible to the Iranian regime and disregards congressional intent calling for severe restrictions on payments to Iran.

“It is unfathomable that this is the context in which the administration determined that it was within the national security interest of the United States to waive sanctions on restricted Iranian funds, making them more accessible to the regime. If we want to actually restore deterrence in the region, those funds should be placed further out of Iran’s reach, not closer,” the senators wrote.

“…the Iran Threat Reduction Act amended section 1245(d)(4) of the FY12 NDAA to require that any funds due to the Iranian regime for petroleum sales must be kept in bank accounts in the country purchasing Iranian oil, in locally dominated currency from which the regime could draw for the purchase of commercial goods. This requirement was intended to limit the Iranian regime’s ability to access hard currency from these sales…However, you have now issued waivers related to Iraqi electricity payments that authorize funds to be transferred outside of Iraq and for those funds to be denominated in euro…The United States should be restricting Iran’s access to currency abroad. Instead, your administration is expanding it, all while continuing to share limited information on a strategy to restore deterrence in the Middle East with Congress or the American people,” they continued.

In addition to Senators Young and Scott, the letter was also signed by Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

Full text of the letter is available here.