The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved legislation to permanently freeze $6 billion in Iranian funds that the Biden administration had agreed to release as part of a hostage exchange with Tehran earlier this year.
The measure passed in a 307-119 vote, with almost all Republicans supporting it, The Hill reported. Kentucky GOP Rep. Thomas Massie was the sole GOP dissident and sided with 118 Democrats.
At the time of the deal, the money was frozen in South Korea. Seoul had promised to pay Iran for oil prior the U.S. imposing sanctions on the Islamic Republic in 2019. The funds were transferred to Qatar as part of the exchange.
Qatar and the U.S. later agreed to refreeze the funds in the wake of an Oct. 7 Hamas raid on Israel that saw its forces seize more than 200 hostages and kill roughly 1,200 civilians. Tehran is known to support Hamas and its other proxies have escalated hostilities throughout the Middle East amid the conflict.