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Luetkemeyer, Huizenga Send Letter to Blinken Concerning Expiring July Sanctions Waiver

The letter raises concerns about Iran, the world’s largest state-sponsor of terrorism, continuing to accrue funds thanks to sanctions relief

This week, Congressmen Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-3), Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, Illicit Finance, and International Financial Institutions, and Bill Huizenga (MI-4), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, sent a letter to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken expressing concerns over sanctions relief that allows Iran to stockpile money and fund terrorism.

The congressmen urge Sec. Blinken not to renew a sanctions waiver on Iranian electricity sales once it expires on Nov. 15, 2023. In addition to the very real threat of financing terrorism, Reps. Luetkemeyer and Huizenga note that the waiver differed materially from previous waivers not only because it allowed transactions to be conducted in euros, but it also authorized funds to be moved offshore to Oman, Germany, or France.

Past waivers have facilitated Iraq’s purchase of electricity directly from Iran only in Iraqi dinars from Iraqi banks. Further, as the winter solstice approaches, there may be a reduction in Iraqi demand for electricity, limiting the need for a waiver.

“The Biden administration’s energy policies demonstrate a pattern of ignorance with regard to real world threats from our enemies,”  Rep. Luetkemeyer said. “Granting another unnecessary waiver to Iran as it continues to finance terrorism would be irresponsible and unforgiveable.”

“The deadly terrorist attacks of October 7 made one thing abundantly clear- the United States cannot continue to allow the Iranian regime access to funding that in turn could be used against our allies and American citizens,”  Rep. Huizenga said. “Congress needs to bring transparency and accountability to the sanction waiver program. The Biden administration needs to return to the policy of maximum pressure to significantly reduce Iran’s ability to fund terrorism and instability across the Middle East.”

As chair of the Subcommittee on National Security and Illicit Finance, Rep. Luetkemeyer has raised concerns over the White House’s release of oil revenue to Iran as well as the president’s unwillingness to pursue U.S. energy independence through domestic production.

Read the full letter HERE.