The U.S. House of Representatives this week passed the Prohibiting Future Ransom Payments to Iran Act.
The measure, as its name implies, prohibits all cash payments to Iran.
“The United States does not negotiate with terrorists. Yet, President Obama and his Administration paid cold hard cash to Iran—a known state sponsor of terrorism—in exchange for the return of innocent American prisoners,” U.S. Rep Tom Price, R-Ga., said in a release. “Even the State Department has since admitted that the $400 million cash payment to Iran was contingent on the release of four imprisoned Americans.
“While the Administration hid the truth from the American people, Iran continued to fund terrorist groups and take more hostages—further destabilizing the Middle East and U.S. interests abroad,” Price added. “This cash ransom payment sets a dangerous precedent and only encourages Iran to take more hostages in the future. President Obama has violated Americans’ trust in their government to protect them when they travel abroad. This legislation puts a stop to this by prohibiting all future cash payment to Iran.”
The legislation also makes clear that the Obama Administration violated longstanding U.S. policy by releasing prisoners and paying ransom for the return of Americans held hostage by Iran, according to a release from Price. It also demands transparency on any future settlements with Iran—to ensure they are not used to pay ransom.