Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) heavily criticized President Joe Biden’s recent hostage deal with Iran in a Sunday interview with radio host John Catsimatidis.
“We see Iran now emboldened because Joe Biden has released $6 billion to them,” Blackburn said on “The Cats Roundtable” on WABC 770 AM. “We know, you know, John, they are not going to use that money to feed the poor. They are not going to use it to better the lives of their people. They’re going to use it to push forward on uranium enrichment and nuclear proliferation.”
The recent prisoner swap deal with Iran for five American hostages’ freedom involved the transfer of $6 billion dollars of Iranian funds frozen in South Korea to a Qatari bank. The Americans arrived in the U.S. this week.
“Today, five innocent Americans who were imprisoned in Iran are finally coming home,” President Biden wrote in a statement Monday.
Blowback surrounding the deal has come from both sides of the aisle. Both Republicans and some Democrats have expressed their concerns over whether the deal could further hostage-taking by other nations that do not like the U.S.
“If we’re paying a billion dollars per kidnapped individual, then you’re going to see more kidnappings. That’s why you don’t negotiate with terrorists, that’s why you don’t negotiate with kidnappers. The idea of basically paying to release, in this effect, a hostage is a terrible idea,” Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said.
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who is facing controversy for a recent indictment by federal prosecutors, also warned of the repercussions of the deal.
“This is an example of why we have to go ahead and make it very clear to Americans that they cannot travel to certain places in the world where they are likely to ultimately become a hostage,” Menendez said.
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