U.S. Rep. Hill’s legislation to hinder terrorism financing by Iranian leaders passes House

A bill led by U.S. Rep. French Hill (R-AR) that would require the U.S. Treasury Department to brief Congress on the finances of Iranian leadership and require financial institutions to close accounts connected to these individuals was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday.

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“The United States must take action to assess the finances of Iran’s authoritarian leaders and crack down on financial institutions that are connected to their funds to hinder their terror financing abilities,” Hill said. 

The Holding Iranian Leaders Accountable Act of 2023, H.R. 6245, which Hill sponsored last year with a bipartisan group of three cosponsors, would require the president to report on the estimated total funds held in domestic and international financial institutions by certain Iranian leaders.

The legislation also would require U.S. financial institutions to close reported accounts and that the Treasury Department seek the closure of such accounts in foreign financial institutions.

“Iran’s attacks on Israel are the latest example of their terror that continues to plague the world,” Hill said. “The Iranian regime is the top sponsor of terrorism who enables terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah to carry out their brutal attacks against innocent civilians in the Middle East and beyond.”

The congressman noted that Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei and his leaders have been in power for 30 years, and his family wealth is estimated to be in the billions. At the same time, he said, roughly 60 percent of Iranians live in poverty.

“Publishing the level of corruption and theft by Iranian leaders and offering it in English, Farsi, Arabic, and Azeri will demonstrate to the citizens of Iran how they have been misled,” Rep. Hill said.

The bill is now under consideration in the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee.