Ted Cruz has proposed a way to make Iran pay the cost of the drone it shot down
Washington Free Beacon:
Congress is considering a new measure that would extract millions from frozen Iranian bank accounts in order to subsidize the cost of its recent downing of an American drone in the region, according to congressional sources and a copy of draft legislation viewed by the Free Beacon.I support that move. It will be interesting to see if those who supported the flawed Iranian deal Obama and Kerry agreed to will now support making Iran pay for their bad conduct. Or will they side with the people shouting death to America and the Russians who support them in this fight with the US.
The measure, filed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) late Monday, would require the Trump administration to assess the exact cost of the drone, which could be anywhere from $120 million to $220 million, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The move comes as congressional hawks and Iran critics seek more ways to penalize Iran for its increasingly flagrant military attacks against the United States and its assets in the Persian Gulf region. While President Donald Trump called off a strike on Iran minutes before it was to take place last week, his administration and allies in Congress continue to seek a financial price from Iran, via economic sanctions and other measures meant to squeeze the regime.
The Trump administration moved on Monday to sanction Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei and his associates in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Iran's paramilitary fighting force that has conducted multiple terror attacks across the region. Khamenei and his hardline allies are believed to have billions stockpiled and the new sanctions will directly target these cash assets, according to Treasury Department officials.
The administration is seeking to target Iran's top officials, including its foreign minister, Javad Zarif, who negotiated the landmark nuclear deal with the former Obama administration.
In Congress, Cruz's new measure would mandate the administration report on the cost of the downed U.S. drone, how much Iranian money is frozen in bank accounts across the globe, and how the Trump administration can use its leverage to recoup the cost from these Iranian accounts.
"This amendment is exactly what it looks like," one GOP Senate aide who is familiar with the amendment told the Free Beacon. "They want to know how much the drone cost, how much frozen Iranian money is available, and what the government has to do to get the frozen Iranian money into Department of Defense coffers to pay for the drone. Twenty-eight lines. Totally straightforward."