US lawmakers rush to bar returning Iran money
Those measures are in response to President Barack Obama's cash payments to Iran this year following a nuclear accord which requires Washington to lift its sanctions on Tehran.
Iran reportedly received $400 million first in January and another $1.3 billion less than two months later. The total sum of $1.7 billion was related to an arms deal that Iran signed before 1979 but Washington was refusing to give back.
Wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other currencies were reportedly flown into Iran in an unmarked cargo plane to cover the first $400 million, while the second payoff was likely made in cash since the US has no banking relationship with Tehran.
Republican lawmakers have now fielded new bills prohibiting any similar payments from the US, the country's media reports say, as cited by Press TV.
A bill introduced by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce to ban future payments to Iran has reportedly attracted 36 co-sponsors and got a date squeezed into the body’s calendar for a vote.
In the Senate, Sen. Marco Rubio has introduced a similar measure which has attracted 20 co-sponsors in just three days, reports said.