Fitzpatrick-led Hearing Focuses on Iran Nuclear Agreement
Bipartisan task force takes aim at Iran’s state sponsorship of terror
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) chaired a hearing of the Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing Wednesday which focused on the recent Iran nuclear deal and its impact on terrorism financing.
“We know Iran is the leading state-sponsor of terror. Therefore, any diplomatic engagements with Iran — or understandings of agreements with them — would be incomplete without a full understanding of these facts and its impact on global terror financing,” said Chairman Fitzpatrick. “It appears this agreement fails to address the realities of Iran’s sponsorship of terror, and further empowers it’s mullahs by infusing billions of dollars into its economy by lifting the sanctions that brought Iran to the negotiating table in the first place.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Iran is expected to receive access to nearly $150 billion in funds currently held abroad; however, many witnesses believe it will be used to fund the next generation of terror syndicates. Fitzpatrick specifically questioned the absence of the $22 billion in compensation owed by Iran to families of September 11th victims –including Bucks County residents — as ruled by federal district judge George B. Daniels in 2011.
“Instead of American families, the victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorist activities receiving fair compensation, Iran now can use the money for future terrorist activities,” said Fitzpatrick.
The hearing included testimony from a panel of expert witnesses who focused their testimony and responses on Iran’s role in terror financing and the implications of this nuclear agreement on terror organizations in the region.
“The signing of the [deal] has now imbued the Islamic Republic with dramatically greater resources and ability to make this vision a reality,” said Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council. “The United States and its allies will be forced to contend with the practical ramifications of this development in the years ahead.”
Prior to the hearing, Fitzpatrick and other members of Congress received a closed-door briefing on the deal from administration officials. Over the next two months, members of both the House and Senate will review the details of the agreement before voting on it.
Over the next several months, the task force will continue to hold hearings with U.S. terror financing officials and global counterterrorism experts to identify weaknesses in current policy, while working to ensure terror groups are unable to financially support their operations. In early fall, the task force will present a report of its findings including recommendations for additional legislation if needed.