Senate GOP introduces bill demanding return of 'ransom' from Iran
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Senate Republicans are taking aim at the Obama administration's settlement of an arms dispute with Iran, which GOP lawmakers believe was a ransom, amid lingering backlash over the agreement.

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHillicon Valley: Biden administration sanctions Russia for SolarWinds hack, election interference Senators reintroduce bill to block NATO withdrawal New US sanctions further chill Biden-Putin relations MORE (R-Fla.) is introducing legislation Tuesday to force Iran to return the money and pay American victims of Iran-backed terrorism. The Treasury Department would be blocked from making payments to Iran out of its Judgement Fund until Tehran complies with the bill.

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"President Obama may have attempted to appease our enemy with pallets of cash secretly delivered on an unmarked cargo plane, but Iran continues to cheat on the nuclear deal, harass our military, hold Americans hostage, and fund terrorism around the world," Rubio said in a statement. 
 
The Obama administration paid $1.7 billion to Tehran earlier this year to settle a decadesold dispute over a failed arms deal signed between the U.S. and Iran before the Iranian Revolution.
 
Republicans have seized on the details of the initial $400 million cash payment made in January, which coincided with the release of Americans being held in Iran, to argue that it was a ransom payment. Though the State Department maintains that the payment wasn't a "ransom," it acknowledged the $400 million was used as "leverage" to help ensure the prisoners were released.
 
Rubio said that that Obama's "misguided policies must be stopped," adding that "the Iranians continue to take Americans hostage. ... Iran should not receive a penny, period."
 
The Florida Republican's legislation is backed by GOP Sens. John CornynJohn CornynIntelligence leaders push for mandatory breach notification law Senate GOP signal they won't filibuster debate of hate crimes bill Application portal for venue grants down for five days with no updates MORE (Texas), Mark KirkMark Steven KirkDuckworth announces reelection bid Brave new world: Why we need a Senate Human Rights Commission  Senate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls MORE (Ill.), Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteOvernight Defense: NATO expanding troops in Iraq Overnight Defense: New START extended for five years | Austin orders 'stand down' to tackle extremism | Panel recommends Biden delay Afghanistan withdrawal Study group recommends Biden delay Afghanistan withdrawal MORE (N.H.), John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoSenate GOP to face off over earmarks next week Biden outreach on infrastructure met with Republican skepticism Sunday shows preview: Democrats eye passage of infrastructure bill; health experts warn of fourth coronavirus wave MORE (Wyo.) and Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump official delayed releasing information on cancer-linked chemical in Illinois: watchdog | Advocacy groups say tech giants need to 'step it up' on sustainability |  GOP senator: Raising corporate taxes is a 'non-starter' Moderates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats On The Money: Weekly jobless claims fall to lowest level since lockdowns | Retail sales surge in March | Dow, S&P hit new records MORE (W.Va.). Rubio, Kirk and Ayotte are in the midst of heated reelection battles. 
  
Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) is introducing the bill in the House that is expected to consider Iran legislation this month.