‘Lack Of Action’: Bipartisan Group Of Lawmakers Demand Biden Admin Answer For Iranian ‘Intimidation’ Of US Companies

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Jake Smith Contributor
Font Size:

Republican and Democratic lawmakers pulled together to call on President Joe Biden to address “unprecedented intimidation” tactics from Iran that have prevented the transfer of seized oil from a tanker off the coast of Texas, according to a letter sent to Biden on Tuesday evening.

Republican Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, along with lawmakers from the House and the Senate, demanded that Biden take action regarding $52 million of seized Iranian oil aboard the Suez Rajan tanker that has yet to be transferred to the U.S., despite having arrived off Galveston’s coast months ago, according to the letter. The U.S. Coast Guard has already cleared the oil for transfer, but U.S. companies have been unwilling to unload it out of fear of retaliation from Iran, The Wall Street Journal reported. (RELATED: ‘Fool’s Errand’: Biden Admin’s ‘Ransom’ Payment Will Only Embolden Iran, Experts Say)

Ernst scolded the Biden administration for allowing Iran to successfully stall the transfer, and noted that the unresolved situation represents a larger danger of Iran becoming increasingly aggressive towards the U.S.

“The Biden administration’s failure to enforce sanctions on Iran has made the world a less safe place,” Ernst told the DCNF. “I’m leading the charge to hold President Biden accountable for his lack of action that has emboldened the [Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps] to intimidate American companies in our own waters.”

“Make no mistake, the Biden administration can no longer look the other way as Iran chants ‘death to America.’ President Biden’s posture of appeasement toward our adversary must end,” Ernst said. “American lives are on the line.”

8.16.23 Bipartisan and Bicameral Suez Rajan Oversight Letter by Daily Caller News Foundation on Scribd

Ernst and other lawmakers including Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik and Democratic New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer called on Biden to “work expeditiously” to ensure the completion of the seized oil transfer, as the high value of the oil could be used to support American victims of terrorism.

“We are writing to urgently request additional information regarding allegations of threats and intimidation by Iran against U.S. citizens and corporations that have prevented the transfer of oil from the Suez Rajan,” reads the letter. “Permitting the months-long delay in the seizure and transfer of the oil aboard the Suez Rajan, will further delay the federal government’s ability to help make American victims of terrorism whole via [the U.S. Victims Of State Sponsored Terrorism] funds. This is unacceptable,” the letter reads.

The lawmakers also called on Biden to provide information about what government assets would be available “to assist in or conduct the transfer of seized oil,” as well as a national security assessment of threats made against the U.S. by Iran and what measures the administration had taken to respond and enforce sanctions.

“This unacceptable behavior shows the Biden Administration’s continued weakness on the world stage is only emboldening Iran,” Stefanik said in a statement on Wednesday. “I am proud to lead this letter… to demand further information on how the Biden Administration will enforce oil sanctions, prioritize the safety and security of the American people and companies involved, and provide answers to this increased aggression.”

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.