A House Republican wants to leverage congressional action to make the Biden administration enforce U.S. sanctions on Iran following the devastating terror attacks by Hamas in Israel.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said that the Biden administration, over the past year, has waived sanctions on Iran which facilitated roughly $50 billion to the country.
The administration, he said, ‘has systematically underenforced oil sanctions, freed Iranian funds in Iraq, which are now in Oman,’ and notoriously waived sanctions on Sept. 11, to release $6 billion in humanitarian funds as part of a prisoner swap – a move that was heavily scrutinized following the Hamas attacks.
Issa said his new bill, the No Funds for Iran-Backed Terror Act, will ‘fundamentally alter the direction of U.S. policy toward Iran and finally enforce America’s laws.’
‘This comprehensive legislation marks a necessary course correction in American policy to treat Iran not as a strategic partner, but as the enemy they are,’ he said.
The bill would require the president to enforce existing sanctions on Iranian oil and certify to the Congress that he is doing so, and suspend waiver authority so that the Biden Administration cannot abuse escrow accounts as it did to release the $6 billion from South Korea.
Last week, Fox News Digital reported that the U.S. had made a ‘quiet agreement’ with Qatar to block Iran from accessing that $6 billion in humanitarian aid, after the White House faced mounting scrutiny for days over the deal.
This week, Issa published a joint op-ed published with former National Security Council official Richard Goldberg, calling Hamas ‘Iran’s proxy terror force’ and argued that the administration’s relentless appeasement of Iran is now exposed for the folly it is,’ following the Oct. 7 attack that has killed 1,400 Israelis and over 30 Americans.
‘By the time the administration authorized the much-discussed $6 billion from South Korea, a full-blown appeasement and enrichment effort towards Iran had been underway for months,’ they said.
Issa and Goldberg outlined how a secret trip to Oman by a White House Middle East coordinator in May signaled to Iran that ‘America will pay the Ayatollah’s price to keep Tehran from producing weapons-grade uranium.’
Later in June, Israeli media revealed that Iran would ‘stop the process of enriching uranium to high levels’ in exchange for sanctions relief.
Issa and Goldberg noted that the White House then issued a sanctions waiver to provide Iran with at least $10 billion frozen in Iraq – and allow the money to be deposited in Iranian bank accounts in Oman. The administration would later admit the U.S. ‘had already stopped enforcing oil sanctions on Iran – tacitly approving a million barrel per day increase in exports from Iran to China and generating tens of billions in annualized revenue,’ the authors allege.
The measure was introduced Thursday. Republicans in the House have still yet to come to agreement to elect a new speaker after Rep. Kevin McCarthy was voted out from the post earlier this month.
The legislation cannot be considered until a new House speaker is elected.