REP LIEU LEADS BIPARTISAN LETTER PUSHING FOR U.S. PLAN TO FREE IRAN HOSTAGES
WASHINGTON- Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County), along wth Reps. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (D-FL) and Ted Deutch (D-FL), led a bipartisan letter with 46 members requesting information from Acting Secretary of State John Sullivan on the Trump Administration’s efforts to secure the release of American citizens and permanent U.S. residents held hostage by Iran’s government. Today, there are more than six American citizens and permanent U.S. residents held by the Iranian regime as an attempt to have leverage over the United States.
In the letter, the Members write:
- The United States has a moral responsibility to devote resources to these hostages and make their return a priority.
- According to media reports, the State Department has increased efforts in recent months to secure the release of these hostages, including outreach to the Iranian regime in December 2017 that has gone unanswered. On April 6, 2018, the Department outlined efforts that have been undertaken in a report to Congress pursuant to Section 110 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. We request that the Department provide some additional details to Congress. Specifically, please provide answers to the following questions in either written responses or a briefing:
- How has Iran responded to the various lines of effort made by the U.S., as detailed in the April 6 report to Congress, to raise the detention cases?
- According to a June 20, 2017, article from the Washington Post, two senior officials from the Trump administration stated a range of options were being considered, which included “sticks more than carrots.” What specific tools are being considered to secure the release of detained Americans and permanent U.S. residents?
- Does the Administration require any new authorities from Congress to utilize these tools?
- What is the Administration’s strategy for disincentivizing and deterring foreign governments, particularly Iran, from taking Americans and permanent U.S. residents hostage in the future?
READ THE FULL TEXT OF THE LETTER HERE