The Biden administration is extending a sanctions waiver that will allow Iran continued access to $10 billion in previously frozen assets, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.
The four-month extension will allow Iran continued access to previously frozen $10 billion in electricity revenues for humanitarian aid, according to the AP. Critics of the Biden administration have said that giving Iran to access frozen funds will free up money in Tehran’s money reserves and allow them to carry on sponsoring terrorism.
The sanctions waiver will authorize Iraq to continue purchasing electricity services from Iran and give Tehran access to the billions in payments currently stored in the Iraqi banks, according to the AP. The Biden administration made assurances that Iran has only spent a small amount of the existing $10 billion and can only be used for humanitarian relief.
The Biden administration also freed up $6 billion in previously frozen Iranian oil revenues in September, as part of a hostage negotiations deal that saw the release of five American prisoners. Foreign policy experts have criticized the Biden administration for allowing Iran to access frozen funds as it frees up its cash reserves for other purposes.
“Biden administration doubles down on giving $10 billion sanctions relief to Iran,” Richard Goldberg, senior advisor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said on X Tuesday. “Money is fungible. This is 100% budget support for the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.”
Iran supports a number of terrorist groups to carry out its will, including Hamas, which killed over 1,400 civilians in attacks on Israel that began on Oct. 7. Iranian-backed militias have launched 46 attacks on U.S. troops on U.S. troops stationed in the Middle East since the Hamas Oct. 7 attacks.
The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Jake Smith on November 14, 2023