Senator Cotton: No Iranian Agent Released in Ransom Deal Should Stay in America

Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) sent a letter this week to Secretary of State Antony Blinken requesting information about the Biden administration’s $6 billion payment to Iran, as well as the release of five Iranian agents.

The letter notes that at least two of the Iranian agents reportedly plan to stay in the United States and urges Secretary Blinken to reverse the deal. Failing that, the secretary should ensure no Iranian agents remain in America.

Text of the letter may be found here and below.

September 18, 2023

The Honorable Antony Blinken
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Blinken,

On the 22nd anniversary of the September 11 attacks, you approved a $6 billion ransom payment to Iran, as well as the release of five Iranian agents.

According to public news reports, your deal will also allow at least two of those Iranian agents to remain in the United States. One of them, Kaveh Afrasiabi, had been arrested for his work as an unregistered Iranian government operative and lobbied American officials on issues as sensitive as nuclear policy. It seems clear where his loyalties lie.

You should reverse your September 11 deal, which encourages Iran to take more hostages and gifts the regime billions of dollars. If the deal isn’t reversed, you should at a minimum remove all Iranian agents from American soil.

Please answer the following questions no later than 5:00PM on Friday, September 22, 2023:

(1)  Please provide the full details of the Biden administration’s September 11 agreement with Iran relating to prisoners, including any side-deals or related agreements.

(2)  Are the Iranian agents reportedly planning to remain in the United States deportable under our immigration laws? Why or why not?

(3)  What plan does the Biden administration have in place to monitor the activities and communications of the Iranian agents that it has agreed to release?

Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter.


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