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Ted Cruz slams Biden’s $6B Iran hostage deal as critics call it a win for terrorists, Putin

JERUSALEM—The Biden administration’s announcement on Monday that it unlocked at least $6 billion — and as much as $16 billion, according to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, — in sanctions relief for Iran’s regime as part of prisoner swap deal unleashed a storm of criticism. 

Cruz, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with others, fired back at the administration for its alleged secrecy surrounding the deal.

“President Biden has established a secret nuclear deal with the Iranian regime that is being kept from Congress and the American people. Today’s news confirms there has already been a side deal including a $6 billion ransom and the release of Iranian operatives,” Cruz wrote in a statement.

The main elements of the controversial hostage and prisoner exchange deal involve the U.S. unfreezing $6 billion to Tehran’s clerical rulers and releasing five convicted Iranians in the US. In response to the U.S. moves, the Iranian regime will release five Americans it seized as hostages as leverage for its hostage policy, according to experts.

Raisi and Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, meets with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Sept. 15, 2022. (WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS)

Daftari, an Iran expert, added, “What’s unclear is why the United States would now come to the rescue of a murderous regime instead of supporting the momentum of the current grassroots movement to bring about meaningful and lasting change for Iran and the region through regime change.”

In extensive report on the website of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Ayelet Savyon, the director of MEMRI’s Iran studies project, wrote “Since the kidnapping of the American hostages in the early days of the Islamic Revolution, there have been dozens of such arrests in Iran of dual Iranian-Western citizens. Western military servicemen and Western tourists have even been kidnapped outside Iran and held inside the country, as the regime negotiates for their release in exchange for large sums of money. To justify its actions, the regime accuses these hapless Westerners of spying and other security offenses against Iran.”

Fox News Digital sent press queries to Iran’s foreign ministry and its U.N. mission in New York City.

FOX Business’ Edward Lawrence contributed to this report.

Benjamin Weinthal reports on Israel, Iran, Syria, Turkey and Europe. You can follow Benjamin on Twitter @BenWeinthal.

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