Justice for Victims of Iranian Terror
On April 17, 2006, a 16-year old American high school student named Daniel Wultz was murdered by an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber while touring Tel Aviv. Six years later, the court ordered the Iranian government to pay the family $323 million in damages because they provided material support to the terrorists who murdered Daniel.
The Wultz family’s case is just one of more than 80 terror-related judgments against the Islamic Republic of Iran in the last 15 years. All together, the Iranian government owes more than $43.5 billion to their victims. To date, not one cent has been paid.
Unbelievably, President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal did not include any mention of these judgments. His deal allows Iran to recover $100 billion in frozen assets – money that will go right back into the hands of the same people who want to kill innocent U.S. citizens and our allies abroad. A recent report from the American Action Forum estimates the President’s nuclear deal could increase terrorist financing in Iran by $3.1 billion, a 50 percent increase.
As my colleague Congressman Patrick Meehan recently said, Iran’s hardliners get a payday while their victims wait for millions in compensation. Today, the House passed a bill that I coauthored along with Rep. Meehan addressing this important issue. The “Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act” prevents the President from lifting sanctions on Iran until every cent is paid to Iran’s victims.
This has been done before. While negotiating Libya’s nuclear disarmament, the U.S. secured an agreement with the Gadhafi regime to compensate victims of attacks such as the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Gadhafi agreed to pay $4 billion to victims of Libyan-sponsored terrorism, including $2.7 billion to victims of the Lockerbie bombing.
Our bill requires the President to certify that Iran has paid every penny it owes its victims before it receives any sanctions relief. It puts justice for American victims over economic relief for Iran.
The President’s deal with Iran is a threat to our security and a slap in the face to those who died at the hands of Iran’s global terror network. I will continue to do everything within my power to try to stop this dangerous deal with Iran from moving forward.
If you would like to learn more about these victims and the “Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act,” watch a short but powerful video that further explains this issue.
It is an honor and a privilege to represent you and Texas in the United States Congress.