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 RubioOwners of meatpacker JBS to pay 0M fine over foreign bribery charges Questions raised about conflicts of interest around Biden son-in-law America needs an industrial policy — now more than ever 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 CornynSenate GOP eyes Oct. 26 for confirming Barrett to Supreme Court GOP noncommittal about vote on potential Trump-Pelosi coronavirus deal The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Tipping point week for Trump, Biden, Congress, voters MORE (Texas), Mark KirkMark Steven KirkThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Senate makes SCOTUS nominee Barrett a proxy for divisive 2020 Senate Republicans scramble to put Trump at arm's length Liberal veterans group urges Biden to name Duckworth VP MORE (Ill.), Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Senate makes SCOTUS nominee Barrett a proxy for divisive 2020 Senate Republicans scramble to put Trump at arm's length GOP anxiety grows over Trump political roller coaster MORE (N.H.), John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoHillicon Valley: Senate panel votes to subpoena Big Tech executives | Amazon says over 19,000 workers tested positive for COVID-19 | Democrats demand DHS release report warning of election interference GOP senators call on Trump to oppose nationalizing 5G Energy innovation bill can deliver jobs and climate progress MORE (Wyo.) and Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoBill to expand support for community addiction treatment passes House Hillicon Valley: Senate panel votes to subpoena Big Tech executives | Amazon says over 19,000 workers tested positive for COVID-19 | Democrats demand DHS release report warning of election interference GOP senators call on Trump to oppose nationalizing 5G 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.