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Florida Congressional Republicans Want Biden to Stop Iran From Accessing Billions in Funds

At the end of last week, almost 100 members of the U.S. House sent a bipartisan letter to President Joe Biden urging him to take specific actions that would prevent Iran from accessing billions of dollars to further subsidize the Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel. In the letter, members conveyed concern over the Iranian regime’s continued support for terrorist groups, including Hamas, and their threats against the Israeli people.

U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., Kat Cammack, R-Fla., Scott Franklin, R-Fla., Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla, Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., Bill Posey, R-Fla., John Rutherford, and R-Fla., Michael Waltz, R-Fla., and Dan Webster, R-Fla., signed the letter which is below.

Dear President Biden:

Recent reports of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) involvement in planning and giving the “final go-ahead” for Hamas’s terrorist war on Israel demands an immediate response. Left unaddressed, the Iranian regime’s continued support for terrorist groups and attempts to wipe Israel off the map will only grow more brazen and more destabilizing for the region.

While Secretary Blinken stated that your administration “[has] not seen evidence that Iran directed or was behind this particular attack,” senior Hamas and Hezbollah officials claimed that IRGC officers have been working with Hamas since August to prepare for air, land, and sea invasions of Israel. This, combined with years of Iran providing weapons and training, enabled Hamas to launch thousands of rockets at Israeli civilian targets and invade communities, murdering and maiming hundreds of innocent people, including at least 22 Americans.

Your administration recently released $6 billion in frozen funds to Iran in return for American hostages. Our concern—a concern that has grown more acute in light of Iran’s support for a terrorist war against Israel that already amounts to the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust—is that the Iranian regime will use all available financial tools to further fuel this war against Israel, fund other terrorist proxies in the region such as Hezbollah who export Iran’s genocidal terrorism, and accelerate Iran’s nuclear build up. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi put it plainly that the funds would be used “wherever we need it.”

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Iran’s “need” is Israel’s destruction. Iran’s supreme leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei stated: “This cancer [Israel] will definitely be eradicated, God willing, at the hands of the Palestinian people and the resistance forces throughout the region.” Iran’s United Nation’s mission said the measures Hamas has taken—which include rape, kidnapping, torture, bombings, and murder — “constitute a wholly legitimate defense” and that the regime “emphatically stand[s] in unflinching support of Palestine.”

To prevent Iran from accessing tens of billions of dollars to further subsidize this terrorism, we are requesting that you take immediate action, including but not limited to:

1. Freezing the $6 billion provided in exchange for hostages, as well as the $10 billion in released funds based in Iraq, and withhold all waivers, general licenses and specific licenses for the use of use of such funds. In September, the State Department said, “we have the ability to freeze [the released funds] again if we need to.” The events of this weekend demonstrate such a necessity.

2. Fully enforcing sanctions on Iranian oil exports to China, which have been unenforced for months, despite China’s crude oil imports from Iran having set a new record.

3. Prevent Iran from accessing any further Special Drawing Rights (SDR) from the International Monetary Fund, through which they have quick access to $6.7 billion, and blocking the further provision of funds to Iran in upcoming SDR packages.

Mr. President, this weekend you said: “In my administration, support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering.” We share that sentiment and stand ready to work with you to back it up with strong, bipartisan legislative and executive action. Denying the terrorist-sponsoring regime in Tehran access to funds with which it can export chaos is an essential step in this directi

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