Three Senate Democrats who are up for re-election in 2024 have joined ranks with Republicans calling on President Biden to reinstate a hold on $6 billion worth of Iranian assets that had been unfrozen as part of a prisoner swap announced last month.
In response to Hamas’ attack on Israel last weekend, 18 Senate Republicans sent a letter to Biden on Monday, urging him to refreeze the Iranian assets:
“We write today to affirm our unwavering support for Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East, and call on the U.S. Department of State to freeze the accounts in Qatar containing $6 billion in Iranian funds that were released from South Korean accounts in September.”
Now, Democrat Senators Joe Manchin (WV), Jon Tester (MT) and Jackie Rosen (Nevada) are also asking Biden to refreeze the funds.
The Biden administration has insisted Iran would only be able to use the money for humanitarian purposes. But, as Republicans and Constitutional Scholar Mark Levin note, money is fungible. Thus, the more money Iran has, the more it can afford to spend funding terrorist groups, such as Hamas and Hezbollah.
“We have not yet had a dollar of that $6 billion spent. And I will leave it at that,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters Tuesday, while refusing to express support for the refreeze.
In September, the Biden administration agreed to release $6 billion of its sanctions against Iran, allowing the funds frozen in South Korean accounts to be transferred to Qatar, as part of a prisoner-swap.
Last Saturday, Hamas launched a brutal surprise attack on Israel, killing babies, decapitating Israelis and taking hostages, leaving hundreds dead.