(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement in response to reports that the Obama administration sent a cargo plane carrying the equivalent of $400 million to the Iranian regime as a ransom payment for the release of American citizens. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“News of the Obama administration sending a plane full of cash as a ransom payment to the State Sponsor of Terror, Iran, comes as no surprise and further underscores just how far the President will go to appease the regime. Surreptitiously sending a cargo plane full of cash to Iran, knowing full well that it is the world’s primary money-laundering and terror financing regime, puts our national security at risk as well endangers the stability and security of the Middle East region. The administration must be held accountable and a full and complete investigation surrounding the nuclear deal, the $1.7 billion settlement and this ransom payment must be conducted. I’ve already asked GAO to do a complete auditof the account related to the $1.7 billion settlement with Iran, but it is clear that there are many more questions that must be answered, including whether any laws were violated.
“Teheran has already taken more American citizens hostage and is no doubt seeking to trade them for the $2 billion in regime assets that the Supreme Court ruled could go to the families of Iranian terror or for other favorable ‘settlements’ at the U.S.-Iran Claims Tribunal. Congress must take action to block the administration from making any further concessions to the Iranian regime and it must compel the Obama administration to provide full transparency over the extent of its actions toward Iran.”