Kennedy, Rubio call on Biden to withhold sanctions relief from Iran for support of anti-Israel terrorism
May 13 2021
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today joined Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and other Republican senators in calling on President Biden to cut off negotiations with and refrain from giving sanctions relief to Iran, in light of that nation’s support of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. The letter comes in the wake of Hamas’s launching hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilians and cities.
“As you know, Palestinian terrorist groups launched more than 1,000 rockets targeting Israel over the last few days alone. This includes the first rockets aimed at Jerusalem since 2014. While the United States and countries around the world condemned these rocket attacks, Iran resoundingly supports this aggression. Shortly after the attacks began, and as they continued, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tweeted that Palestinians should unite to ‘use the tools of their disposal’ to attack Israel, which he recently called not a nation, but a ‘terrorist garrison,’” Kennedy and the senators wrote.
The senators explained that the U.S. designated Hamas as a terrorist organization more than 20 years ago, which means America cannot grant any assistance to the group. The U.S., however, is actively negotiating with Iran, a country that has consistently backed Hamas financially and materially. The senators warned that any money in sanctions relief that the U.S. might give to Iran would likely support Hamas and other terrorist organizations.
“We call on you to immediately end negotiations with Iran, and make clear that sanctions relief will not be provided. Doing so would demonstrate a firm commitment to our closest ally in the region and to our own security interests,” the senators continued.
“The United States must not do anything to enrich Israel’s enemies, such as by offering sanctions relief to a regime that seeks to destroy Israel. As a longtime friend of the Jewish State, we also urge you to unequivocally support Israel’s right to defend itself against any and all terrorist attacks,” the lawmakers concluded.
The letter is available here.