Republican Anti-Iran Bill a Vote-Winning Tactic

Republican Anti-Iran Bill a Vote-Winning TacticRepublican Anti-Iran Bill a Vote-Winning Tactic

A lawmaker said a bill introduced by Republicans in the US Congress seeking to compel Iran to compensate for alleged terrorist crimes targeting Americans is meant to sway the US public ahead of the November presidential vote.

"In view of the circumstances in the United States, the odds for the Republicans' victory [in the election] have been falling on a daily basis. So by pressuring Iran, the camp is trying to appeal to voters," Jalil Rahimi also told ICANA on Wednesday.  

The measure would prohibit the Democratic administration of President Barack Obama from moving forward with all payments to Iran and force Iran to return billions of dollars in US funds that have already been delivered to Tehran by the White House.

Obama has faced relentless criticism from the Republican-controlled Congress over a nuclear deal the US and other major powers clinched with Iran last year.

Hawkish Republican legislators have made repeated attempts to undermine the historic accord, which went into force in January to end sanctions against Tehran in return for curbing its nuclear work.

Iran's relief from international sanctions means a restored access to millions of dollars in frozen assets overseas.

The legislation would also mandate that Iran pay American victims of terrorism over $50 billion in reparations for past attacks claimed to have been planned and coordinated by the Islamic Republic, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

It comes amid a growing controversy surrounding the Obama administration's decision to release Iran's frozen assets worth $1.7 billion earlier this year.

The details of the payment were kept secret from Congress and the American people.

Senator Marco Rubio, the bill's main author, said it would stop the Obama administration from making any further payments to Iran from the Treasury Department's Judgment Fund until Iran returns the ransom money it received and pays the American victims of alleged Iranian terrorism what they are owed.

"President Obama may have attempted to appease our enemy with pallets of cash secretly delivered on an unmarked cargo plane, but Iran continues to cheat on the nuclear deal, harass our military, hold Americans hostage and fund terrorism around the world," Rubio claimed.  

"Iran should be held accountable, and the Obama administration's misguided policies must be stopped."