Barrasso, Lummis Join Legislation to Hold Iran Accountable for Support of Hamas

U.S. Senators John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis (both R-WY) expressed their full support for Israel amidst the war by cosponsoring legislation to freeze Iranian funds and also reimpose sanctions against Iran, which has a history of funding Hamas. 

Sens. Barrasso and Lummis cosponsored the Revoke Iranian Funding Act of 2023, led by U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), which would freeze the $6 billion the Biden administration released to Iran on September 11, 2023, during a prisoner swap. This legislation would prevent the Iranian regime from accessing and using the funds, currently held in Qatar, to finance terrorist attacks against Israel or any other nation. 

“America must stop rewarding terrorist regimes with legitimacy and cash,” said Senator Barrasso. “The world is seeing firsthand the destruction and chaos inflicted by Iranian-backed terrorists. Helping Iran get additional funds is a grave mistake. We must block the Iranian regime from accessing accounts across the globe. Our bill revokes the Biden administration’s outrageous $6 billion ransom payment to Iran. It also increases transparency to ensure the Biden administration doesn’t unilaterally attempt to release additional funds to Iran in the future.”

“For far too long, this administration has made our nation look weak on the world stage,” said Senator Lummis. “Releasing any of the $6 billion to Iran as part of a U.S.-Iranian prisoner swap is not only naïve but dangerous. The Biden administration is freeing up funds within the Iranian government that they can then use to sponsor terrorism. This legislation will increase transparency and prevent these funds from falling into the Iranian regime’s hands. If this administration is unable to properly represent and protect the U.S.’s global interests, Congress will have to do it for them.”

This week, Barrasso and Lummis joined 97 of their colleagues in introducing a resolution to show their support for Israel.  

The resolution reads in part:

“The Senate stands with Israel as it defends itself, including Israeli efforts to diminish the threat posed by Hamas; reaffirms Israel’s right to self-defense, and is committed to helping Israel safeguard its people from future aggression; calls on all countries to unequivocally condemn Hamas’ war on Israel, including Hamas’ intentional targeting of, and attacks against, civilians; demands that Hamas immediately cease its attacks against Israel and safely release all living hostages and return the bodies of deceased hostages…”

BACKGROUND: 

The Revoke Iranian Funding Act of 2023 addresses both immediate and future concerns by: 

1. Freezing the $6 billion of Iranian assets housed in Qatar by revoking Treasury and State General Licenses provided to the funds. 

2. Directing the Treasury Secretary to study all high-value Iranian assets around the world that are currently blocked by U.S. sanctions and provide the information to Congress. 

For the full bill text, click here.