Buchanan Calls on Senate to Hold Iran Accountable
“No lifting of sanctions until every American victim is compensated”
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, today called on the Senate to approve the Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act, bipartisan legislation that prevents the lifting of any sanctions on Iran until it has paid court-ordered damages to victims of Iranian terrorism. The measure passed the House by a vote of 251 to 173 and is awaiting consideration in the Senate.
"My position is clear: No lifting of sanctions until every American victim of Iranian terrorism is compensated,” said Buchanan, a cosponsor of the legislation. “I urge the Senate to do the right thing by providing justice for those who have suffered at the hands of Iranian terrorism and put the interests of American citizens over those of the Iranian regime.”
Buchanan noted that since 1979, Iran has been responsible for terrorist acts across the globe that have killed hundreds of Americans. The list includes victims of the 1983 attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut; victims of the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia; and victims of the September 11 attacks in New York City.
U.S. federal courts have found that Iran owes $43 billion in compensation to more than 1,000 American victims.
Under the nuclear arms agreement recently negotiated by President Obama, Iran could receive a windfall of up to $150 billion through the lifting of economic sanctions.
At a United Nations General Assembly speech in New York last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani blamed the United States for the spread of terrorism in the Middle East and castigated Israel while proclaiming that “a new chapter has started in Iran’s relations with the world.”
“As we move down the path of diplomacy it is important to remember Iran’s track record and not be fooled by hollow verbal gestures by this dangerous regime,” Buchanan added.