Iran is refusing to pay more than $43 billion in court judgments issued to U.S. victims of the Islamic Republic’s terror operations, prompting two leading senators to back an effort that would prohibit the Obama administration from unfreezing more than $150 billion in Iranian assets until that country has settled its legally mandated debts.
Two leading U.S. senators are calling on the Obama administration to release secret letters to foreign governments assuring them that they will not be legally penalized for doing business with the Iranian government, according to a copy of a letter sent Wednesday to the State Department and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) paid a caregiver for his services with personal funds, not campaign money, in an arrangement that was approved by the Senate Ethics Committee, contradicting reports that have raised questions about the nature of the agreement, according to documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
John Sassaman, the ethics committee’s chief counsel and staff director, said in a September 2013 letter to Kirk that, “there appears to be no Senate Rule that would prohibit the type of employment arrangement proposed by Senator Kirk and Kirk for Senate.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) is moving to block future State Department funding and nominees unless President Barack Obama guarantees that Congress will have the authority to fully review a recently inked nuclear accord with Iran before the deal is approved by the United Nations, according to a copy of a letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
Sens. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) and Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) revived on Thursday long-stalled legislation to impose and extend sanctions on Iran for a period of at least 10 more years, according to sources familiar with the move.
The bipartisan bid to extend economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic comes ahead of a self-imposed June 30 deadline for Western powers to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran.