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Crapo, Colleagues Demand Answers from Biden Administration on Latest Iran Sanctions Waiver

Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) joined Senator Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) and colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to encourage conducting needed oversight over the administration’s lack of a cohesive Iran strategy given the recent decision to extend an Iran sanctions waiver.  As Israel continues to battle Iranian-backed Hamas and the regime’s proxies increase their attacks against U.S. personnel in the region, the Biden Administration on November 13 issued a waiver providing Iran access to approximately $10 billion.

“A strong signal of deterrence—utilizing military, economic, and diplomatic tools—is needed if we want to stop the attacks against U.S. personnel and prevent the war in Gaza from expanding into a protracted regional conflict. Unfortunately, the administration’s military and economic responses to Iran and its proxies have not only been disproportionate, they appear to be completely disjointed,” wrote the Senators.  “We therefore request that your departments provide us with a classified assessment on the administration’s plan to deter Iranian aggression and prevent the escalation of conflict in the Middle East.  This assessment should include an estimation of how Iran has already leveraged—and could in the future leverage—against U.S. persons and interests the tens of billions in assets it now has access to due to your administration’s use of U.S. sanctions waivers and is to be provided in a member or staff-level briefing no later than December 7, 2023.”

On August 18, 2023, 26 Republican Senators demanded answers from the administration after it released approximately $6 billion in frozen assets to Iran in exchange for American prisoners.

Senators Crapo and Scott are joined by Senators Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Mike Braun (R-Indiana), Ted Budd (R-North Carolina), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), Pete Ricketts (R-Nebraska), Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming), Bill Hagerty (R-Tennessee), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), Steve Daines (R-Montana), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Katie Britt (R-Alaska), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska).

Read the full letter here.