WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding the release of five Americans detained in Iran and the impending implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA):
“I'm deeply relieved by the release of Jason Rezaian, Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati, Nosratollah Khosavi-Roodsari, and Matthew Trevithick. All Americans should be thankful that our fellow citizens are coming home.
"However, we shouldn't forget that these men languished in jail for months and years with little information or contact with the outside world, living every day with deep uncertainty about their futures. Their release closes this difficult chapter for them, their families, and loved ones.
“I applaud the Obama Administration on a tremendous diplomatic success. And I welcome these five Americans home.
“It is typical and cynical that Iran conditioned the release of the five Americans on the United States granting clemency to certain individuals being held for sanctions violations and lifting INTERPOL notices on others. These Americans never should have been detained in the first place, and this demand is yet another disgusting action by the Iranian regime.
“Finally, I remain deeply concerned about the additional Americans held or missing in Iran, and believe we should continue to press for a rapid resolution of their status.
"With respect to the impending implementation of the Iran deal, we now need to do all we can to hold Iran to its commitments. I look forward to hearing from the Administration about what’s been done to verify that Iran is following its obligations to the letter.
“My main concern now is what Iran’s leaders will do with the resources that will start flowing after sanctions are lifted. Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, so I worry that this newfound wealth will end up in the hands of those who want to harm the United States and our friends. That’s why I’m working on bipartisan legislation that will crack down on Iran’s destabilizing behavior and will help enhance the security of Israel and our other allies in the region. I’m confident that we can work across the aisle and with the Administration to achieve this goal.”