Senators Isakson, Perdue Raise Concerns Over $1.7 Billion Cash Payment To Iran

Send letter to Pentagon officials demanding answers to security issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and David Perdue (R-GA) this week raised concerns that the Obama Administration failed to notify top U.S. military officials, including the U.S. Secretary of Defense, about its $1.7 billion cash ransom payment to Iran. The senators also said they are troubled by reports that Iran has funneled this American taxpayer money into its own military budget.

In a letter to Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, regarding their recent testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, the senators raise serious concerns regarding the Obama Administration’s $1.7 billion cash ransom payment to the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is designated by the State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism.  

“We are deeply concerned that President Obama and the rest of the administration did not think it was necessary to even notify the Secretary of Defense or the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the United States was about to provide the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism with $1.7 billion in cash,” the letter reads. 

Following reports that Iran has funneled this money into its military budget, the letter goes on to note that the payment may further embolden Iran, resulting in our troops and allies confronting more lethal and better-equipped adversaries. 

The letter states, “It seems clear that the Obama Administration’s injection of substantial, liquid financial resources into Iran’s military budget also has significant and obvious implications for America’s national security interests and required military posture in the Middle East.” 

The letter was led by U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and in addition to Senators Isakson and Perdue, was signed by Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Susan Collins (R-ME), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), James Inhofe (R-OK), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Thom Tillis (R-NC), David Vitter (R-LA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and James Lankford (R-OK).

View the senators’ letter here.