Bipartisan Senators Urge Biden to Grab Iranian Oil


WASHINGTON (AP) — A dozen senators are calling on President Joe Biden in a bipartisan plea to reinvigorate US authorities’ ability to seize Iranian oil assets.

Despite existing sanctions, Iran’s oil exports surged 35% last year, with proceeds being used to support attacks on US citizens, military personnel and allies, the senator said in a letter to the president. Stated.

Brinkman operations at sea had masked Iranian Navy SEALs on display Thursday US-bound oil tanker seized In the Gulf of Oman, it is one of several ships that it has taken as a bargaining chip in negotiations with the West. Without providing any evidence, Tehran said a tanker had rammed an Iranian vessel.

Specifically, senators led by Republican Joni Ernst of Iowa and Democrat Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, both from the Armed Services Committee, said the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Security Investigations was underfunded. He complains that he is constrained by seizure operations because of this.

Since the enforcement program began in 2019, the office has seized about $228 million in Iranian crude and fuel oil linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States, the Senate said. Lawmakers said in a letter sent last week.

However, they said the office had not recently been given the funds available to conduct seizures of Iranian oil under the Treasury Department’s confiscation fund.

“The U.S. government’s programs to make the United States and its allies safer, to fund the rehabilitation of victims of terrorism, and to generate income for the United States in a cost-effective manner are allowed to decline. That is unacceptable,” the letter says.

The push comes from a diverse group of senators, including Republicans Ted Cruz of Texas and Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Ron Wyden of Oregon. He reached out to the White House for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.