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Westerman Votes for No More Cash Ransoms to Iran Act

September 23, 2016
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON – Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-04) issued the following statement Friday (September 23) upon passage of H.R. 5931, the No More Cash Ransoms to Iran Act, a bill that passed the House on Thursday night (September 22):

“This week, the House of Representatives passed two bills aimed at securing America’s interests in the Middle East and preventing a state sponsor of terrorism from advancing its interests,” Westerman said. “The Iranian Leadership Transparency Act would expose the truth about assets held by the leaders of Iran and how such funds were acquired, while the No More Cash Ransoms to Iran Act would stop the payments of hundreds of millions of dollars to Iran now and in the future. It would further require transparency for any future settlements with Iran. In our ongoing fight against terrorism and combatting the financing of terrorism, we must re-establish our long held policy of not paying ransom, which puts American citizens abroad in danger. We must have transparency. These laws do that while limiting further payments to the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism. These laws protect Americans abroad and here at home.”

H.R. 5461, the Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act, passed the House on Wednesday (September 21). According to the House Financial Services Committee, the bill 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 how those assets are employed. The 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.

According to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, H.R. 5931, the No More Cash Ransoms to Iran Act, would:

  • Make clear that the Obama Administration violated longstanding U.S. policy by releasing prisoners and paying ransom for the return of Americans held hostage by Iran;
  • Prohibit all cash payments to Iran – period; and
  • Demand transparency on any future settlements with Iran in order to ensure they are not used to pay ransom.