April 14, 2024

Scott Calls on Biden to Stand with Israel, Deny Funding to Iran

Washington, D.C. – In response to Iran’s attacks on Israel, Ranking Member Tim Scott (R-S.C.) called on the Biden administration to support Israel and reverse course on its appeasement of Iran. The Ranking Member has continued to push back on the Biden administration’s disturbing pattern of sanctions non-enforcement and sanctions relief to Iran, which have made funds more accessible for the Iranian regime and its terror proxies to attack U.S. servicemembers and our allies.

“Let’s be clear: President Biden’s lax policies have enabled billion-dollar paydays for the Iranian regime. As I’ve repeatedly warned this administration, appeasing the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism puts American servicemembers and our allies in harm’s way. It’s time we send a clear message: America will always stand by Israel and its right to defend itself against terrorism and respond appropriately to acts of war. To do that, the Biden administration must no longer appease the Iranian regime and utilize the full extent of our economic sanctions toolkit to block the flow of funds to Iran, as my Republican colleagues and I have continued to advise,” said Ranking Member Scott.  


In November, following a wave of attacks on U.S. forces and the Biden administration’s decision to extend an Iran sanctions waiver to allow Iraq to pay Iran for electricity, Ranking Member Scott led a group of 24 senators criticizing the administration’s lack of a cohesive Iran strategy. The senators called on Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to provide a classified assessment of the administration’s plan to deter Iranian aggression and prevent the escalation of conflict in the Middle East, noting the administration’s military and economic responses to Iran and its proxies have been disjointed.

Earlier this month, in response the Biden administration’s decision to release yet another Iran sanctions waiver potentially worth billions of dollars, Ranking Member Scott led 13 Republican senators in a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Secretary of State Antony Blinken raising concerns that the waiver makes sanctioned Iranian funds, which could be used to fund terrorism, more accessible to the Iranian regime and disregards congressional intent calling for severe restrictions on payments to Iran.

On Thursday, after Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo admitted in testimony that any dollar Iran has access to funds terrorism, Ranking Member Scott sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen requesting an accounting of all international high-value Iranian assets around the world that are currently blocked by U.S. sanctions and to provide additional steps Treasury will take to actively account for current funds that have already been released to Iran.

Additionally, Ranking Member Scott has taken the following actions with regards to Iran:

  • Immediately following the Biden administration’s August decision to release $6 billion to Iran, Ranking Member Scott led his colleagues in demanding answers from the administration.
  • After the October 7th attack on Israel by Hamas, Ranking Member Scott was the first leader of the Senate Banking Committee to demand accountability from the Biden administration on the release of the $6 billion, and called for Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to testify and for the Senate to investigate the matter.
  • Ranking Member Scott introduced the Revoke Iranian Funding Act, a bipartisan bill to permanently freeze $6 billion released by the Biden administration to Iran and direct the Treasury Secretary to provide Congress with the information it needs to prevent Iran from accessing and using sanctioned funds. He also led the Solidify Iran Sanctions Act to permanently extend key sanctions targeted to stop Iran’s malign activity, including the pursuit of nuclear weapons.
  • Last month, Ranking Member Scott led 9 of his Republican colleagues in calling on the Biden administration to censure Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors meeting following a report showing Iran’s nuclear enrichment activity tripled by the end of last year.