Gardner Introduces Legislation to Prohibit Ransom Payments to Iran

Reacts to Obama Administration’s Misguided Decision to Pay an Additional $1.3 Billion

Washington, DC – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced the No Ransom Payments Act authored by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). If enacted, this legislation will prohibit the United States Treasury Department from using the Judgment Fund, which was established to pay money owed by the U.S. government, to make any payments to Iran until Iran returns the ransom payment it received and compensates American victims of Iranian terrorism. Furthermore, it prohibits the United States from making ransom payments to any country.

As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Gardner has been a vocal opponent of the President’s deal with Iran. Before the deal was reached, Gardner warned about the dangers of a nuclear Iran, and denounced the deal. After reports of Iranian violations of U.N. sanctions, Gardner sent a letter to President Obama asking for a response to Iran’s violations. On the floor of the Senate, Gardner spoke out about the troubling aspects of the deal and urged his colleagues to reject it. In October, Gardner asked Secretary Kerry whether the Administration believed Iranian ballistic missile launches violated a U.N. ban, and in December, Gardner urged action against Iran for its repeated violations of ballistic missile test bans.

Most recently, Gardner called on the Administration to explain reports that the United States agreed in secret to grant Iran exemptions and create a loophole to solidify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) ahead of its deadline.

“When the Obama Administration chose to deliver $400 million in an unmarked plane to Iran in exchange for the release of American hostages, they put Americans around the world at risk,” said Gardner. “Now we’ve learned the Administration went even further and made two more payments totaling an additional $1.3 billion to the Mullahs. Although President Obama continues to deny this was a ransom payment, the American people know better. I introduced the No Ransom Payments Act to ensure Iran receives no more money from the United States until the ransom payment is returned and American victims of Iranian terrorism are properly compensated. The Obama Administration has demonstrated time and time again that it is willing to do anything - including setting a dangerous precedent - to solidify its reckless nuclear deal with Iran. I will continue to hold the Administration accountable and press for the transparency Americans reserve.”


Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.

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