US SENATORS RUBIO AND KIRK: IF IRAN WANTS ACCESS TO THE DOLLAR IT MUST CLEAN UP ITS ACT

Fox News on April 28, 2016, published an article by Senators Marco Rubio and Mark Kirk on the 100 billion US dollars Tehran want to get its hands on. Excerpts below:

Last year, as the Obama administration urged support for the flawed Iran nuclear deal, it repeatedly claimed the deal would not undermine America’s broader efforts to halt Iran’s destructive behavior in the Middle East and beyond.

But now that the administration has implemented the flawed deal against the will of majorities in the Senate and the House of Representatives, it has dropped the tough talk on Iran.

In February 2009, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an important inter-governmental body that sets standards to prevent abuse of the international financial system, called on its members to apply countermeasures against Iran to “protect their financial sectors from money laundering and financing of terrorism risks emanating from Iran.”

In response to FATF’s action, international financial institutions have rightly been wary of doing business with Iran due to the risk of enabling Iran’s terrorist financing and other illicit activities. In fact, the U.S. Treasury Department even issued a finding in November 2011 that Iran is a jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern under the USA PATRIOT Act’s Section 311.

The nuclear deal changes none of this because, as administration officials admit, Iran remains the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism and its ballistic missile program and related pipelines for proliferation and money laundering continue to flourish.

Moreover, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this month that Iran’s destabilizing activities have not abated. Indeed, Shannon conceded Iran continues to support Hezballah terrorists, prop up the Assad regime in Syria and the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and systematically violate the human rights of its citizens, including by detaining over 1,000 political prisoners and subjecting them to harsh treatment as well as extended pretrial detention.

In addition, Iran is accelerating the development of ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons with launches in October 2015 and March 2016, including the test of one missile inscribed with the phrase in Hebrew, “Israel must be wiped off the arena of time.”

Access to the U.S. dollar is not an international right. But if Tehran wants access, the onus should be entirely on Iran to clean up its act and reduce the risk that Iran’s dangerous activities pose the global financial community.

Yet Iran refuses to address grave and growing concerns about its destabilizing activities and deceptive financial practices. And, sadly, the administration appears to be more focused in capitulating to Tehran than in forcing Iran’s terror regime to fundamentally change its behavior.

It’s time for the U.S. to stop making unreciprocated concessions and to start holding Iran fully accountable for continuing its dangerous and destructive behavior.

Republican Marco Rubio represents Florida in the U.S. Senate. He is a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and a candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 2016.

Mark Kirk is a United States Senator from Illinois and a member of the Republican Party.

Comment: The Rubio-Kirk article addresses a vital problem. If Tehran gets access to 100 billion dollars how much of those funds will be used for anti-Western terrorism. Iran under the mullahs is one of the great challengers to the West and a destabilizing force in the Middle East. The regime is also threatening to wipe Israel off the map. The Obama administration must demand that the mullahs clean up their act before there can be any discussion concerning the huge funds that Tehran wants.

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