Sens. Rick Scott & Tom Cotton in Letter to Biden: Hosting Iraqi Prime Minister is Inappropriate, Undermines Israel

April 2, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator Rick Scott joined Senator Tom Cotton and six of their congressional colleagues in sending a letter to President Joe Biden to express their deep concern with the White House’s plan to host Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani in April.


The letter notes that President Biden’s decision to meet with Prime Minister al-Sudani at this time sends the message that the Biden administration is more interested in appeasing Iran than supporting Israel’s defeat of Hamas. The planned visit will occur even as Iraq continues to fund numerous terror groups and remains under significant Iranian influence. Co-signing the letter were Senators Ted Budd and Bill Hagerty and Congressmen Jake Ellzey, French Hill, Mike Turner and Mike Waltz.


Earlier this month, Senator Rick Scott returned from his sixth trip to Israel, where he met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other high-ranking officials to discuss the United States’ and Israel’s shared priority of destroying Iran-backed Hamas terrorists that have killed thousands of individuals, including Americans since the October 7, 2023 attacks. Read more HERE.


Text of the letter may be found here and below.


March 28, 2024


President Joseph R. Biden

The White House,

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20502


Dear President Biden,


We write to express our deep concern with your invitation to host Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani to the White House in April.


Hosting the Iraqi Prime Minister, especially while failing to meet with leaders of some of our most trusted partners in the region, amplifies the message of your ongoing campaign to undermine Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu: The Biden administration is interested in appeasing Iran, not supporting our allies.


The Iraqi government remains under significant Iranian influence, and the Iraqi government provides some $3 billion per year to the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces militias, including four U.S.-designated terrorist groups. These militias have attacked Americans and Kurdistan over 180 times just since October 7, 2023, resulting in three American servicemember deaths and over 100 casualties. Yet you continue granting sanctions waivers to the Iraqi government to import Iranian electricity and natural gas, all while using U.S. dollars transferred to Iraq from the Federal Reserve. And while you invite the Iraqi Prime Minister to visit Washington, you have refused to meet with Kurdistan Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, a critical partner and the host of the most U.S. forces in the region.


The Iraqi government is actively working with Tehran against our Kurdish allies, including cutting off government funds and closing the Iraq-Turkey Pipeline, which represents most of Kurdistan’s economy. You should focus on reducing Iranian influence in Iraq and shoring up support for our partners in Kurdistan. As a precondition of any visit by Prime Minister al-Sudani, you should require the immediate reopening of the Iraq-Turkey Pipeline so that the Kurdistan Region is able to export oil and U.S. public and private financing are no longer threatened by Tehran’s influence in Baghdad. You should also require that the Iraqi government resume funding for the Kurdistan Region, the immediate sale of Kurdistan crude already at the Ceyhan port, and a full cycle of oil sales and payments to Kurdistan and its oil investors. Finally, you should not allow further U.S. dollar transfers to Iraq until the Treasury Department certifies that such transfers do not benefit the Iranian regime or its proxies.


Your appeasement of Iran has endangered American national security and weakened our relationship with our allies. While the corrective actions outlined here will not undo the damage you’ve caused, they represent an important first step.  Thank you for your attention to this important matter.




Read more regarding every action and statement Sen. Scott has done in support of Israel following the October 7th Iran-backed Hamas terrorist attack: