US House Passes Bill to Block Iran from Unfrozen $6 Billion
The US House of Representatives on Thursday, November 30, passed a bill that would permanently freeze $6 billion in funds the US had opened up to Iran earlier this year as part of a prisoner swap deal that saw the release of five American detainees, American media reports.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC), passed in a 307-119 vote. 90 Democrats joined almost all Republicans present in voting for the legislation, while 118 Democrats and one Republican, opposed it.
The White House previously defended the decision to unfreeze the $6 billion, arguing it was necessary to release the five Americans who they considered wrongfully detained.
The Biden administration also said the money can only be used for humanitarian reasons, though Iran has pledged to use the money however it wishes to.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken last month disputed claims that the Iranian assets may have helped pay for terror attacks outside the Gaza Strip, stating that “not a single dollar from that account has actually been spent to date.” (INN / VFI News)
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