Pressure has been building against the Biden administration from Democrats with calls to freeze the $6 billion that will be released to Iran for a prisoner exchange.
Moderate Democrats Sens. Jon Tester (MT) and Joe Manchin (WV) both said on Tuesday that the funds need to be frozen in the wake of the horrific terrorist attack on Israel at the hands of Hamas, which has been partially linked to the government of Iran.
“As American intelligence officials continue to investigate the terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas, we should review our options to hold Iran accountable for any support they may have provided,” Tester said in a statement. “At a minimum, we should immediately freeze the $6 billion in Iranian assets and explore other financial tools we have at our disposal.”
“Moving forward, we need to ensure our ally Israel can defend itself from these ongoing deadly attacks against its civilians,” he added.
Tester serves as the chairman of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
Manchin said that he has never supported the Biden administration’s deal to give Iran $6 billion in exchange for Americans taken hostage. “I wasn’t supportive of the initial $6B transfer. We should absolutely freeze these Iranian assets while we also consider additional sanctions,” he said
Manchin, the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, further reiterated his support for Israel and called for sanctions on any country linked to Hamas, which conducted a terrorist attack that killed over 1,000 Israelis, most of whom were civilians, in extreme acts of barbarism.
“Any country or government that is found to be supportive of this terrorist organization should have the most severe sanctions imposed upon them immediately to shut down the support of these terroristic, barbaric actions,” he said.
As many as 20 Republican senators have written a letter to President Joe Biden demanding he freeze the funds to Iran that have been held in South Korea.
“The State Department should immediately rescind the waivers that allowed Iranian funds to be converted and moved to more accessible bank accounts, as well as work with U.S. ally Qatar to immediately freeze the accounts containing these funds,” the GOP senators wrote. “We must stand with Israel to restrict access to these Iranian funds.”
The White House said on Tuesday that it has no plans to freeze the funds.
“You just laid out all the ways that Iran is complicit and facilitated it … is that reason enough to re-freeze the $6 billion that the U.S. helped unlock for them?” a reporter asked National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan during a press conference.
“We have not yet had a dollar of that $6 billion spent, and I will leave it at that,” he replied.
Paul Roland Bois joined Breitbart News in 2021. He also directed the award-winning feature film, EXEMPLUM, which can be viewed for FREE on YouTube or Tubi. A high-quality, ad-free stream can also be purchased on Google Play or Vimeo on Demand. Follow him on Twitter @prolandfilms or Instagram @prolandfilms.