Dent, Ratcliffe, Sessions support bill to prevent future U.S. payments to Iran

U.S. Reps. Charlie Dent (R-PA), John Ratcliffe (R-TX) and Pete Sessions (R-TX) spoke in favor of legislation approved by the House on Friday to prevent U.S. payments to Iran.

The Prohibiting Future Ransom Payments to Iran Act, H.R. 5931, would establish that the Obama administration violated U.S. policy by paying a ransom in exchange for the release of U.S. hostages, and it would forbid all future cash payments to Iran.

Dent was an original cosponsor of the Prohibiting Future Ransom Payment to Iran Act, and also supported the Iranian Leadership Transparency Act, H.R. 5461, that was approved by the House last week to shed light on funds and assets held by Iranian leaders.

“I hope that these bipartisan bills will help put an end to President Obama’s Iranian appeasement project, bring greater global awareness to the abuses by Iran’s leaders and protect our troops and citizens abroad by making it clear that the United States does not pay ransoms,” Dent said. “Whether the Obama administration’s $1.7 billion in cash payments to Iran constitute a ransom or a combination of poor judgment and terribly coincidental timing, the fact remains that the president’s actions unnecessarily jeopardized the security of our servicemen and women serving abroad.”

Ratcliffe said that Americans were “rightfully outraged” by reports that the administration made a $400 million cash payment to Iran for the release of American hostages, but noted that “worse yet, this was only one chunk of a whopping $1.7 billion that was paid to the world’s leading state sponsor of terror.”

“Although the president refuses to come clean that his cash exchange with Iran constituted ransom, my colleagues and I have passed legislation that confirms just the opposite and prevents this type of reckless action from happening ever again,” Ratcliffe said. “Just as I said in regard to the Iran nuclear deal – we cannot afford to play games with a country that has proven its desire to harm America and our allies. We must take our enemies at face value and fully recognize the threats they pose to the United States and the rest of the free world.”

Sessions, the chairman of the House Rules Committee, said that the entire world looks to the United States to stand strong against terror, which is why there is a longstanding policy to never negotiate with terrorists.

“President Obama’s unilateral decision to pay ransom to the largest state sponsor of terrorism is completely irresponsible and will only embolden terrorists to hold Americans hostage,” Sessions said. “This sets a dangerous precedent that must be corrected immediately. As Americans, we will never ever negotiate with terrorists and today’s bill will ensure that by prohibiting any cash payments to Iran.”

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