Press Releases

Task Force Examines Implications of Iran Nuclear Deal

Washington, July 23, 2015 - The Financial Services Committee Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing held a hearing yesterday to examine the recent nuclear agreement negotiated by the Obama Administration and the P5+1 nations with Iran and its impact on terrorism financing through and by Iran.

Iran is identified by the United States as a state sponsor of terror. Through its terrorist proxies such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Houthis, Iran continues to kill innocents around the around.  The nuclear agreement will grant Iran over $100 billion in funds, which it will undoubtedly use to fund these terror groups – a development even acknowledged by the Administration.    

“Most concerning to myself and many members of the bipartisan task force is the easing of Congressional sanctions – and with it the danger of a new influx of cash finding its way to terrorist organizations threatening strikes to the United States. It appears this agreement fails to address the realities surrounding Iran’s sponsorship of terror, while further empowering its mullahs by infusing billions of dollars into its economy through lifting the sanctions that successfully brought Iran to the negotiating table in the first place,” said Task Force Chairman Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA).

Key Takeaways

  • The Administration has acknowledged the agreement will fund Iran’s terrorist proxies.  Recently, National Security Advisor Susan Rice said “we should expect” that some money Iran would receive from the nuclear deal “would go to the Iranian military and could potentially be used for the kinds of bad behavior that we have seen in the region.”
  • The agreement’s inspection regime is inherently flawed as its 24-day adjudicated timeline reduces detection probabilities where the system is weakest: detecting undeclared facilities and materials.
  • The agreement would ease sanctions on Iran to allowing it to regain access to the international banking system known as the SWIFT network (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications).  The SWIFT network is the electronic bloodstream of the global financial system allowing more than 10,800 financial companies worldwide to communicate.  Even with snapback sanctions, it will be difficult for the United States and the EU to re-impose SWIFT sanctions.

Topline Witness Quotes

  • “Today, the Islamic Republic still ranks as the world’s foremost  sponsor  of  international  terrorism—a  designation  that  its  leaders  wear proudly in the name of “resistance” against the “Great Satan” (the United States) and the  West  more  broadly.”

    “As of 2007, then-Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey estimated publicly that Tehran “has a nine-digit line item in its budget for support to terrorist organizations.”

    “The  challenge  that  this  poses  to  the  United  States  and  its  allies  is  clear.  As scholars Scott Modell and David Asher have noted, despite years of economic and political pressure, “Iran seems undeterred in its mission to confront the ‘enemies of Islam’ and create new centers of non-Western power around the world.”24 The resources at Iran’s disposal to do so are now poised to expand exponentially as a result of the sanctions relief it has successfully negotiated with the P5+1.” –
    Ilan Berman, Vice President, American Foreign Policy Council
  • “Iran’s continued support for global terrorism requires that U.S. terrorism sanctions be maintained and expanded. Iran’s human rights record has, by numerous expert accounts, deteriorated under President Hassan Rouhani. Congress should work with the Obama administration to enhance terrorism sanctions, particularly focused on the IRGC and Quds Force and its various officials, entities, and instrumentalities. Congress should work with the Obama administration to significantly expand U.S. human rights sanctions against any and all Iranian officials, entities, and instrumentalities engaged in human rights abuses. The penalties for both of these sanctions should go beyond travel bans and asset freezes and target the sectors, entities, and instrumentalities that provide revenues to fund Iranian terrorism activities and/or human rights abuses.” – Mark Dubowitz, Executive Director, Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance, Foundation for Defense of Democracies

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