April 12, 2024

Scott Calls on Treasury to Block Iran’s Access to Funds, Demands Accounting of High-Value Iranian Assets

The letter follows this week’s Banking Committee hearing where Deputy Treasury Secretary Adeyemo admitted to Ranking Member Scott that any dollar Iran has access to funds terrorism, not humanitarian assistance.

Washington, D.C. – After U.S. Department of Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo admitted in testimony that any dollar Iran has access to funds terrorism, Ranking Member Tim Scott (R-S.C.) continues to press the Biden administration on U.S. enabled payments to Iran. In a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Ranking Member Scott requested 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. The letter notes that, under the Biden administration’s watch, Iran has increased oil exports resulting in billions in revenue that will fund violent terror activity.

Ranking Member Scott’s Revoke Iranian Funding Act, which he introduced in October and has the support of a bipartisan group of 28 senators, would revoke Treasury’s sanctions licensing ability for Iranian accounts in Qatar and require the Treasury to submit a similar report to Congress of all high-value Iranian assets blocked by U.S. sanctions, ensuring Congress has the information necessary to enact further targeted legislation, if necessary.

In the letter, Ranking Member Scott wrote, “As we have previously discussed, I have serious concerns with U.S.-enabled efforts that increase Iran’s access to sanctioned funds—funds that directly support Iran’s terror proxies throughout the Middle East. Unfortunately, the testimony that was delivered before the Committee has only elevated those concerns by making it abundantly clear that the current sanctions relief and humanitarian assistance scheme provided to Iran are not viable solutions, and rather deteriorate U.S. national security interests.”

The Ranking Member continued, “Given the proven track-record Iran has on redirecting so-called humanitarian assistance to ‘violent activity,’ as characterized by Treasury, we must operate under the assumption that every dollar made available to Iran is another dollar that will be used to put U.S. servicemembers in harm's way or threaten our allies, especially Israel…In light of this, I am requesting an accounting of all international high-value Iranian assets around the world that are currently blocked by U.S. sanctions as well as additional steps Treasury will now take to actively account for current funds that have already been released to Iran. Not a single dollar, euro, or dinar, sanctioned by the United States should ever be released to Iran when this Administration actively recognizes that any money to Iran supports terrorism.”

To read the full letter, click here.


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.

Last week, 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 Secretary of the Treasury 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.

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 introduced 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.