McCaul pans $6B deal to free US citizens in Iran
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, on Sunday panned on the Biden administration’s tentative agreement with Iran that would see the release of five detained Americans and an unknown number of Iranians imprisoned in the U.S.
The deal as proposed would unfreeze $6 billion in Iranian assets located in South Korea that would be transferred to Qatar and then to Tehran.
McCaul, while maintaining that he wants to see Americans freed, criticized payments proposed and made by Biden and former President Obama who agreed to pay $400 million to free Americans jailed in Iran in 2016.
“By the way, we’re talking about $6 billion dollars right? $6 billion. Under Obama, it was $400 million of cash and airplanes that went into Iran,” McCaul told Shannon Bream on “Fox News Sunday.” “Look I want to get these Americans home more than anybody, and one of them is a critical asset, I agree with that. But we have to go in eyes wide open.”
McCaul maintained that the $6 billion would go into Iran and “prop up,” the country’s “proxy war, terror operations and their nuclear bomb aspirations,” arguing the country is “going back to the mistakes of the past.”
“They are now starting to talk about the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] all over again, which in my judgement, will lead us down a course to a legal nuclear bomb and Iran,” he said.
The JCPOA, commonly known as the Iran deal, was an agreement which placed significant restrictions on its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Former President Trump unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from the deal during his administration.
When asked if he has confidence that the Biden administration will have transparency about where the money goes, McCaul said, “Reagan said trust but verify, but I have to use the word naivete.”