Congress is expected to consider a bill this week that would block U.S. President Barack Obama from releasing billions of Iran’s frozen assets until Tehran pays $43.5 billion in court-ordered damages to American victims of Iranian-backed terrorism.
The Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act, introduced by Rep. Patrick Meehan and co-sponsored by 84 other Republicans in the House, aims to stall the implementation of Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement, under which Iran would temporarily suspend aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of a number of international economic sanctions that have devastated its economy.
“Iran shouldn’t get one red cent in U.S. sanctions relief until it has paid its victims what they are owed,” Meehan said in a statement. “I oppose the Iran [nuclear] deal, but surely we can all agree that Iran should not reap any benefits from the U.S. until it has compensated the families of those whose lives were taken by Iranian terrorists.”
Meehan points out that over the past two decades, U.S. courts have ordered Iran to pay more than $45 billion to American victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism…