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Tags: pete ricketts | iran | deal | frozen | funds | hamas | attack

Sen. Ricketts to Newsmax: $6 Billion Should Never Reach Iran

By    |   Thursday, 12 October 2023 09:53 PM EDT

Sen. Pete Ricketts told Newsmax on Thursday that the $6 billion in paused Iranian funds should never reach the country after Hamas' deadly incursion into Israel last weekend.

Joining "Rob Schmitt Tonight," the Nebraska Republican said he and a number of other lawmakers were working to ensure Iran can never access its $6 billion in frozen assets.

"We called on the administration early on to freeze it — that was my colleague [Sen.] Marsha Blackburn [R-Tenn.]," Ricketts explained, citing her letter that featured 19 other Senate Republicans, including himself.

"And now, there's legislation that is being worked on that we hope to pass in the Senate, and I'm sure we'll get support in the House for it as well, to require the president to freeze it and not give it back," he revealed.

The assets, frozen in a Qatari bank, were initially suppose to be transferred to Iran in exchange for five American hostages including businessmen Emad Shargi, Morad Tahbaz, and Siamak Namazi.

Two of the five were not publicly identified.

But after Hamas slaughtered over 1,300 individuals in southern Israel, wounding 3,400 others and taking more than 200 hostage, Tehran's potentially central role in supporting the terrorist regime came under fire.

A report from The Wall Street Journal on Sunday cited senior members of Hamas and Hezbollah, another militant group tied to Iran, who claimed that the Islamic Republic funded, schemed, and greenlit the attack.

United States intelligence also reportedly found that Tehran likely knew Hamas was prepping the attack from the Gaza Strip. However, it qualified that some Iranian leaders appeared to be taken aback by its scope.

In addition to the letter from Senate Republicans, a number of Senate Democrats also called on President Joe Biden to refreeze the assets in response. Among them were Sens. Jacky Rosen of Nevada and Jon Tester of Montana.

The Biden administration announced Thursday that it came to an agreement with Qatar — the third-party actor holding onto the money — that Iran could not access it for the time being.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.

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Luca Cacciatore

Luca Cacciatore, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is based in Arlington, Virginia, reporting on news and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Sen. Pete Ricketts told Newsmax on Thursday that the $6 billion in paused Iranian funds should never reach the country after Hamas' deadly incursion into Israel last weekend.
pete ricketts, iran, deal, frozen, funds, hamas, attack, israel, hostages, biden administration
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2023-53-12
Thursday, 12 October 2023 09:53 PM
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