WASHINGTON, D.C., October 11, 2023 – U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.) yesterday joined Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and eight colleagues in calling on President Biden to immediately convene the G7 nations and take coordinated action to further isolate Iran with severe sanctions that strike directly at the wealth that the Iranian regime uses to finance terrorism.
The Senators are urging President Biden to hold the Iranian regime accountable, as it remains the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, and deny Iran’s ability to continue supporting the type of evil witnessed in recent days in Israel.
“As the barbaric terrorist attacks on innocent children, women, and men in Israel continue, America must strategically and forcefully lead the global charge to hold Iran accountable for their longstanding role in aiding and abetting terrorism,” said Senator Britt. “We have seen time and time again that strength deters war, while weakness and appeasement invite it. While we continue to voice our resounding, unwavering support for Israel, we must also match our words with action in the form of bone-crushing, coordinated sanctions that cut off the ability for Iran to finance the types of atrocities we have seen perpetrated in recent days.”
Joining Senators Britt and Scott in signing the letter were Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Kevin Cramer (R-N.Dak.), Pete Ricketts (R-Nebr.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Deb Fischer (R.Nebr.).
Read the full letter here or below.
Dear President Biden:
The terror and devastation unleashed on Israel over the last 72 hours by Iran-backed Hamas terrorists has rightly horrified the world. Innocent families were murdered in their homes. Teenage girls have been raped and then burned alive. An elderly wheelchair-bound woman, who was later identified as a Holocaust survivor, was brutally dragged through the streets of Gaza and killed. Children who witnessed the murders of their parents have been kidnapped and are now being held hostage by Hamas. More than 250 youths were mowed down while attending a music festival in Southern Israel. At least 14 Americans have been killed. The atrocities are too numerous to fully recount here, but the images seen will never leave our memories.
Now, our great ally Israel is in a fight for its very existence. From 1948 until now, six wars and thousands of terrorist attacks have been launched against Israel simply because it exists. The Israelis have not instigated a single war, much less a terrorist attack, against any state or anyone. Every Israeli military action has been launched against its enemies in retaliation for violence against Israel and its citizens, much of which has been directly funded and supported by the evil Iranian regime.
While we appreciate the willingness of the leaders of France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany to stand in support of Israel as expressed in your joint statement yesterday, the statement failed to direct any action toward the evil behind these attacks: Iran. We know that the Iranian regime is behind the brutal attacks on innocent civilians being carried out by terrorists from Hamas and Palestinian Jihad. The United States and our allies cannot ignore this reality for a second longer. We the undersigned senators urge you to immediately convene the G7 nations and take coordinated action to further isolate Iran with severe sanctions and action that will strike directly at the wealth that this evil brings to the Ayatollah and the Iranian mullahs.
Iran is not a normal country. It is not a negotiating partner nor does it pretend to follow the rules based order of the civilized world. Every dollar within the grasp and control of the Iranian regime is used to fund terrorism and fuel its power. That is why we must isolate Iran and cut it off economically. Without sources of revenue, Iran will be unable to fund the mass terror it supports around the globe.
We have seen the responses from your administration regarding your decision to unfreeze $6 billion of Iranian oil revenue. Mr. President, money is fungible and if you truly believe that this decision did not play a role in the brutality Hamas unleashed on Israel last weekend, you are gravely mistaken. We urge you to immediately reverse your decision regarding these funds and, as the leader of the free world, lead America’s partners and allies in securing agreements from as many nations as possible to take the most severe economic and diplomatic action against Iran possible under law.
This is an incredibly important moment for Israel, the United States of America, and all nations that support the Jewish State and freedom and democracy both within their own borders and across the world. The United States has made clear that we fully support Israel and its right to do what it must to defend its homeland and citizens. We must also be clear that Iran is behind this terror.
Now, it falls on you as President of the United States to lead the freedom-loving world. We must punish the evil Iranian regime, which remains the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, and deny its ability to continue supporting the brutality witnessed in Israel from ever occurring again.
The Hamas terrorist attacks come in the wake of numerous public reports involving the Biden Administration and Iran. Senator Britt recently joined Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and 28 of her Senate colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin demanding a full accounting of actions taken by a senior Pentagon official who has close links to the Iranian government.
In addition, Senator Britt condemned the Biden Administration’s decision to allow Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to enter the United States in September. That followed Senator Britt joining a group of Republican colleagues in sending a letter reproaching President Raisi’s visit to the home of Asadollah Assadi, a convicted known terrorist. The letter expressed concern over President Raisi’s record of publicly tolerating terrorism and continued threats against American officials, and urged the Biden Administration to deny visas to President Raisi and his staff.
Senator Britt has been an outspoken critic of President Biden’s $6 billion ransom payment to the Iranian regime. Senator Britt, when the Administration formally notified Congress of the deal on September 11th, warned, “This irresponsible, weak appeasement sends a terrible message across the globe and only incentivizes further hostage taking in the future.” Today, countless Israeli hostages have been taken into Gaza by Iranian proxies.
Senator Britt this week joined a letter led by Senator Blackburn calling on the Biden Administration to re-freeze the $6 billion.
Earlier this year, Senator Britt personally visited Israel during her first official overseas trip as a member of the United States Senate, meeting with some of the nation’s top political and military leaders and seeing firsthand the threat posed by Iranian-backed terrorists.