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Ernst Ensures Tax Dollars Aren’t Arming Iran

“No taxpayer dollars should go to entities we consider adversaries.”

WASHINGTON – Following Iran’s attack on Israel, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) questioned Biden’s Department of Energy (DoE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm on the integrity of American taxpayer dollars to prevent them from ever strengthening the Iranian regime.

After a DoE-supported research article credited an Iranian scientist employed by Iran’s state-linked Sharif University of Technology, Ernst is working to ensure taxpayer dollars did not and will not directly or indirectly support illicit Iranian research. Sharif University’s entities have been sanctioned by U.S. authorities due to their ties to Iran’s nuclear development program.


Watch Ernst’s full line of questioning here.

“No matter how those grants are distributed, as Iran builds up their nuclear arsenal, we must be absolutely certain that taxpayer dollars are not funding a researcher working for a university linked to Iran’s nuclear program,” Ernst said. “We just witnessed Iran attack our ally Israel and their proxies have taken American servicemembers’ lives…[Their] capabilities cannot even be remotely strengthened by American taxpayer dollars.”

Ernst also pressed Granholm on what safeguards DoE has in place to prevent American researchers from sharing sensitive technology with academics working for sanctioned universities.

“We have seen other Departments that have – through contracts and subcontracts – sent dollars overseas to other entities. All we have to do is look at COVID-19 to see how American taxpayer dollars were funneled to China for research,” Ernst concluded.


After Ernst exposed that more than $1.3 billion tax dollars have been sent to U.S. adversaries since 2017, she introduced her TRACKS Act to require every penny from government grants paid to any organization in adversarial nations, including China, Russia, and Iran, be tracked and publicly disclosed.

In 2022, Ernst exposed and demanded answers after a report that DoE illegally sent $15 million of taxpayer-funded advanced battery technology to Communist China. Ernst continued her effort to cut off all taxpayer funding for risky research in China by forcing a review of Pentagon projects involving pathogens of pandemic potential around the world.