A number of Republican legislators sharply criticized the Biden administration for a September deal that transferred $6 billion in assets in exchange for a number of American hostages held in the country. The news came as Hamas militants, backed by the Islamic Republic, launched waves of attacks on Israeli civilians and military targets in a coordinated assault this weekend.
Just weeks ago, the Biden administration handed over $6 billion to Iran, and today, innocent Israelis were murdered by Iran-backed terrorists,” said Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). “We must continue to support our strongest ally in the Middle East and their right to defend themselves against these unprovoked, horrific attacks.”
The White House denied that the transfer of funds was linked to the attack. A State Department spokesperson said that “not a penny has been spent” and argued that the funds will be used for “food and medicine.”
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) wrote that the attacks in Israel highlighted why “so many Americans & Israelis were DISGUSTED” by the hostage deal.
“Every dollar given to Iran funds terrorism in the Ayatollah’s quest to destroy Israel. Iran is behind today’s invasion & everyone must say that,” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) wrote that the president had given “Hamas sponsor Iran $6 billion.”
“Today, innocent Israeli citizens have paid with their lives for his and the Obama holdovers’ venal incompetence,” Bishop wrote on social media.
Both Palestinian groups and Tehran announced mutual support for each other in the aftermath of the first wave of attacks. On Saturday, Hamas spokesperson Ghazi Hamad said that the group has Iran’s support in its current attacks and that it is a “source of pride.”
The Spokesman of Hamas, Ghazi Hamad, tells BBC that Hamas has Iran's support to conduct surprise attacks against Israel and that "it's a source of pride".
Hamad also stated that Hamas had been supported by other countries but didn't want to go into details pic.twitter.com/27V5ZOldSG
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) October 7, 2023
Iranian officials praised the attacks on Israel over the weekend. A spokesperson for the Islamic Republican’s foreign ministry said that the attacks were “in line with the continuation of victories for the anti-Zionist resistance in different fields, including Syria, Lebanon and occupied lands.”
A senior military official stated that the country would support Hamas during the conflict.