Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) slammed President Joe Biden this week for unfreezing $6 billion in assets for the Islamic Republic of Iran in exchange for getting five American hostages released from the country.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken approved the deal last week, and Congress was notified Monday as lawmakers and officials honored the 22nd anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
“Well, unfortunately, you know, we have sanctions in place to try to discourage the number one state sponsor of terrorism, which is Iran, from developing a nuclear weapon,” Cornyn said in a Fox News interview. “But it doesn’t do much good when the Biden administration decides to write them a $6 billion check. And of course, the money is fungible, it can be used for any purpose, offset other expenses, and the like. And I can’t think of one single thing that they could do that would actually encourage more hostage taking than to pay off the Iranians for these five hostages.”
Cornyn said that he was happy that the hostages will get to go home to their families but the actions of the Biden administration only “guarantees there’s going to be more hostage taking” and it “undermines the sanctions we have in place in order to discourage Iran from developing that nuclear weapon.”
Cornyn then responded to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi contradicting the Biden administration’s claims that the $6 billion can only be used for humanitarian aid.
“This money belongs to the Islamic Republic of Iran, and naturally, we will decide, the Islamic Republic of Iran will decide to spend it wherever we need it,” Raisi said. “How to spend our money of course, it is under the authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Cornyn said that he had “zero confidence in the Biden administration’s ability to monitor the expenditure of these funds.”
“I have absolutely no confidence in the Biden administration’s ability to monitor how these funds are being spent,” he reiterated.
“The question is, are we trying to deter Iran from developing a nuclear weapon with which to wipe Israel off the map and create potentially another world war or not?” Cornyn concluded. “And clearly giving them $6 billion, I don’t care whether it’s their money or somebody else’s money, giving them access to that undermines that deterrence and basically helps them get away with it.”