Senators Demand Answers on Secret Negotiation
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer, R-ND, member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Development, joined his Senate Republican colleagues in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen demanding answers regarding the approximately $6 billion it released to Iran in exchange for American prisoners.
“When the Obama administration released $400 million in liquidated assets to Iran in 2016, we warned that this dangerous precedent would put a price on American lives,” the senators wrote.
“Seven years later, the current administration is providing a ransom payment worth at least fifteen times that amount to the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, in yet another violation of the United States’ long-standing ‘no concessions’ policy,” continued the senators.
“In the release of Executive Order 14078 on July 19, 2022, the White House admitted that ‘terrorist organizations, criminal groups, and other malicious actors who take hostages for financial, political, or other gain—as well as foreign states that engage in the practice of wrongful detention, including for political leverage or to seek concessions from the United States—threaten the integrity of the international political system and the safety of United States nationals and other persons abroad,’” concluded the senators.
This letter was also signed by Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Development Ranking Member Tim Scott (R-SC), Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-ID), and U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Katie Britt (R-AL), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC, Steve Daines (R-MT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Ted Budd (R-NC), J.D. Vance (R-OH), John Cornyn (R-TX), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), John Hoeven (R-ND), Todd Young (R-IN), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Roger Marshall (R-KS), James Lankford (R-OK), Thom Tillis (R-NC), John Kennedy (R-LA), John Barrasso (R-WY), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).