House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) said over the weekend that President Joe Biden effectively put a large price tag on the head of every American that goes overseas after the administration agreed to unfreeze billions of dollars of assets for the Islamic Republic of Iran in exchange for the return of five U.S. citizens.
Turner made the remarks during a Sunday interview with Margaret Brennan on CBS News’ “Face The Nation” after Biden agreed to the deal — which includes returning several jailed Iranians back to Iran — early last month.
“When we received our briefing at the committee, obviously, we made known our concerns,” he said. “I mean whenever you put a price on American heads, you get an incentive for people to take more hostages.”
“These are, you know, billions and billions of dollars and so that’s a concern,” he continued. “The administration says we’re really only giving them their own money but it’s still money that they didn’t have.”
Turner also said the other problem with freeing up the $6 billion in oil revenue was that the money can be used to fund terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas.
“The administration says this is limited to humanitarian aid, but they also acknowledge that funds are fungible, which means they can use – move them around and will aid them in being able to do other things,” he said. “So, people are – are very concerned as to what this is as a pattern. The administration’s answer is, people shouldn’t go to Iran. I certainly want to echo that also. People should not be going to Iran.”
Putting a price on American citizens incentivizes our adversaries to take hostages.
— US Rep. Mike Turner (@RepMikeTurner) September 17, 2023