Last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken marked the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by notifying Congress that the agreement to unfreeze $6 billion in Iranian funds in exchange for the release of five American prisoners had been approved, prompting GOP presidential candidates to blast the Biden administration over the timing of the announcement, The Hill reported.
The Associated Press reported that Secretary of State Blinken had signed off on the agreement the week before but Congress was not notified until last Monday.
Posting on Truth Social, Donald Trump blasted Blinken for having “the audacity” to announce the sanctions waiver on the 9/11 anniversary and warned that paying Iran for “hostages” would only lead to more Americans being kidnapped and ransomed. Trump also claimed without evidence that President Biden would receive a “kickback” from Iran.
In a post on X, Republican presidential candidate Tim Scott blasted Biden for “his habit of sending money to terrorists.” He noted that the Obama administration sent Iran $400 million in 2016 in exchange for the “release of several Americans.”
Scott accused President Biden of “putting a price on American lives” by sending Iran $6 billion on the anniversary of 9/11.
Former Vice President Mike Pence warned that the deal would endanger Americans living abroad.
Meanwhile, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis blasted President Biden for lining the pockets of the mullahs “who provide safe harbor to the current head of al-Qaeda” as the country mourns 9/11. DeSantis said the deal would bankroll Iran’s “nuclear ambitions” and the “extremists who hate America.”
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said on X that the one thing that makes this deal worse is Blinken’s decision to announce it on the anniversary of 9/11.
The White House defended the move, saying that the waiver decision was a “procedural step” in fulfilling the agreement it reached with Iran in August.