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Sen. Kirk Calls Obama A 'Drug Dealer' And Calls For Senate Hearings On Iran Deal

By aaroncynic in News on Aug 22, 2016 4:47PM

Mark Kirk / Getty Images / Photo: Gabriella Demczuk
Illinois Senator Mark Kirk plans to hold hearings regarding a $400 million payment to Iran that’s connected to the January release of American hostages.

“The American people have a right to know if any U.S. taxpayer money sent to Iran is going to finance the new ‘Shi’ite Liberation Army,’ Hezbollah or Hamas terrorists targeting our allies in Israel, or any other Iranian terrorist activities,” said Kirk, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on National Security and International Trade and Finance in a statement on Monday.

Last week the Obama Administration said that the payment of $400 million, which has been owed to the country since the 1970s as part of a deal with the U.S.-backed Shah at the time, was made because of concerns that Iran might back out of a deal to release several American hostages in January.

"We had concerns that Iran may renege on the prisoner release,” State Department spokesperson John Kirby told the AP, adding that the U.S. “of course sought to retain maximum leverage until after the American citizens were released. That was our top priority."

Republican politicians and talking heads have called the payment a “ransom” after officials denied that the payment was connected to the release of the prisoners, despite the fact that the U.S. has owed the money for more than three decades for fighter jets Iran paid for when the countries were allies. Kirk however, likened President Barack Obama to a drug dealer, telling the State-Journal Register last week:

“We can’t have the president of the United States acting like the drug dealer in chief, giving clean packs of money to a...state sponsor of terror. Those 500-euro notes will pop up across the Middle East....We’re going to see problems in multiple (countries) because of that money given to them."

A spokesperson for Rep. Tammy Duckworth, who is challenging Kirk for the Senate seat in November, said the senator should apologize. "Senator Kirk’s comments are misguided and deeply offensive, and beneath the dignity of the office he holds,” said spokesperson Matt Mcgrath.