October 18, 2023
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) questioned Jack Lew, President Biden’s nominee to be U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
Senator Barrasso discussed Mr. Lew’s previous work as Secretary of Treasury during the Obama Administration and the role he played in negotiating the flawed Iran nuclear deal. He also questioned Mr. Lew on the 31 Americans killed by Hamas in Israel and President Biden’s refusal to sanction Iran’s energy resources.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held Mr. Lew’s nomination hearing today.
Excerpts from Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“Israel is one of our nation’s strongest allies. Since October 7, the world has seen the terror and violence inflicted by Hamas.
“All of us strongly condemn Hamas’ invasion of Israel, which involved killing and wounding thousands of Israeli civilians.
“Americans were also among those injured and killed and taken hostage by Hamas. As Israel fights these terrorist attacks, the United States remains unwavering in our commitment to Israel’s security.
“With the incredible challenges facing Israel, it is vital we have the right person serving as U.S. Ambassador to Israel. It is especially true in light of President Biden’s repeated failed policies in the region.
“Today’s nominee seems to be the wrong person for this important job.
“As Secretary of Treasury in the Obama Administration, he helped negotiate the disastrous Iran nuclear deal. In fact, he went around bragging about the flawed deal to the American people.
“As Secretary of Treasury, he unlocked a lot of Iranian assets and let them have their money. He was the ATM to the Iranian Ayatollah.
“No one will forget the pallets of cash going to Iran, the largest state sponsor of terrorism. We know how they used the money.
“As Secretary of Treasury, he helped orchestrate $1.7 billion in cash to be flown in an unmarked cargo plane to Iran.
“He also oversaw the $400 million ransom payment to Iran in exchange for American hostages. The massive influx of cash was ultimately a direct deposit into Iran’s terrorism accounts.
“Additionally, in 2016, he defended the Obama Administration’s unwillingness to veto UN Security Council Resolution that was seen as an anti-Israel resolution.
“Congress, in a bipartisan way, disagreed with that position of the administration. In fact, we overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan resolution objecting to it and demanding it be repealed.
“These decisions and actions have serious consequences. I believe they have emboldened terrorist organizations around the globe.
“The American people and the Israeli people both deserve something different.”
Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s opening remarks.
On Killed and Missing American Citizens in Israel:
“Mr. Lew, Hamas soldiers have reportedly been found with documents detailing their plans to target schools, target civilians during their raid.
“Another document directed Hamas units to ‘kill as many as possible as well as ‘capture hostages.’
“Over 4,000 people are dead. 31 Americans are among those killed, others taken hostage.
“We’ve had the debate about how to best get them home.
“In terms of the American citizens, who is responsible for the 31 Americans who have died in this conflict?”
Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s remarks on American citizens in Israel.
On Iranian Energy Resources:
“The failure of this administration to enforce the Iranian oil sanctions helped finance Hamas and other Iranian proxies.
“This administration has allowed a lot of money to get there.
“Iran is the home of the world’s third largest reserves of crude oil.
“It uses the revenue from its oil exports to support its repression and terrorist activities.
“The more money they have, the more activities we’re going to see, in spite of all efforts to block it along the way.
“I have repeatedly raised concerns about the impact of this administration refusing to enforce existing sanctions on the energy sector.
“In an attempt to convince Iran to rejoin this terrible Iranian nuclear deal, it seems that the president did relax sanctions enforcement on Iran to the point that Iran generated about $80 billion in oil revenue under this administration.
“Oman and Iran have signed a variety of deals in the oil and gas sector.
“China’s state-owned refineries and private companies are buying up to 1.2 million barrels of Iranian oil every day. We’re allowing that to happen.
“The Iranian regime is getting hundreds of billions of dollars to fund Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist proxies.
“Why has this administration failed to fully enforce sanctions on entities involved in these illicit transactions with Iran, given the fact that every dollar they make, they’re going to use in a bad way?”
Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso remarks on Iranian energy resources.