After the Obama administration transferred $400 million in cash to Iran, raising numerous questions relating to its purpose and whether it was a ransom payment for detained American hostages, House Republicans vowed to work to prevent another such ransom payment in the future.
The House leader promised Wednesday that Republicans controlling the chamber will pass legislation addressing the Obama administration’s $400 million payment to Iran in January, made immediately after four US prisoners were released.
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy did not give details on the Iran legislation. Republicans have announced they will hold hearings on the payment — for undelivered arms to the shah of Iran — which was made on the same day of the prisoner release.
“The committee is working on legislation that would prevent another ransom payment from happening,” said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., in a statement. “No more hidden cash payments to this state sponsor of terrorism.”
The Obama administration dismissed it as simply maintaining leverage and says GOP charges of “ransom” are unfounded.
The cash payment, which includes $1.3 billion in interest, came as part of the loosening of relations in the wake of last year’s pact aimed at keeping Iran from manufacturing nuclear weapons. The administration says the release of prisoners was negotiated on a separate track but that the delivery of the money was withheld until the prisoners were set free.
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