Congressman John Shimkus (R, Illinois-15) backed two House-passed bills this week to prohibit any future cash payments to Iran and to bring transparency to the Islamic Republic’s corrupt financial dealings.
“According to President Obama’s own State Department, Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism,” said Shimkus. “Under no circumstances should the United States send Iran cash that can and will be used to fund acts of terror against civilians, our troops or our allies.”
H.R. 5931, which passed the House on Thursday with bipartisan support, would prohibit the United States from making any cash payments to Iran until the President certifies that Iran is not a primary money laundering concern or a state sponsor of terrorism. The bill reiterates that it is the policy of the United States Government not to pay ransom or release prisoners for the purpose of securing the release of United States citizens taken hostage abroad.
“When we think of our nation’s efforts to stop terrorism, we often imagine airstrikes in Iraq or special forces in Afghanistan,” continued Shimkus. “Those military campaigns are important, but we must also target the flow of money that funds terrorist organizations and operations.”
H.R. 5461, which passed the House on Wednesday with even greater bipartisan support, would require the Treasury Secretary to develop and post online a list estimating the “funds and assets” held by senior Iranian political and military leaders, along with a description of how they acquired the assets and what those assets are used for. This report would be posted on the Treasury Department’s website in English, but also translated into the three main languages used inside Iran, and would be available in any of those forms in a way that is easy to download and share.