8.8 C
Wednesday, April 24, 2024
HomeNewsUS and Qatar Reach ‘Quiet Understanding’ Not to Release $6 Billion Sent...

US and Qatar Reach ‘Quiet Understanding’ Not to Release $6 Billion Sent to Iran for Now, Treasury Official Tells House Democrats


Related stories

‘Israeli army not ready for war’: Yitzhak Brick

Polls show that a large percentage of Israeli citizens...

US treasury secretary is in China to talk trade, anti-money laundering and Chinese ‘overproduction’

GUANGZHOU, China -- Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen arrived in China on Thursday...

As NATO marks its 75th anniversary, US says Ukraine will eventually join

NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg reminded the United States...

Russia: Fake News Aims to Serbians

Frankfurt, Paris (14/4 – 40) Relations between Russia and NATO...

Biden, Netanyahu to speak by phone following Gaza aid deaths

US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin...

The United States and Qatar have reached a “quiet understanding” not to allow Iran to access any of the $6 billion in Iranian funds that were transferred to Qatari accounts last month as part of a deal to free Americans detained in Iran for the time being, following Hamas’ bloody attack on Israel on Saturday, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told House Democrats Thursday, according to a source in the room.

Adeyemo conveyed to lawmakers in that meeting that those funds would not be touched anytime soon, according to another congressional source.

The funds were moved to Qatari accounts as part of a broad deal to secure the release of five Americans whom the US deemed had been wrongfully detained in Iran. There were bipartisan calls to freeze the funds in the wake of the deadly Hamas attacks in Israel this weekend.

Administration officials have said there is no direct evidence of Iran having a direct link to the attack but that Tehran is broadly complicit given their historic support for the terrorist group.

Still, the “quiet understanding” not to move the money right now appears to be largely symbolic, given the strict restrictions that were already tied to the funds.

None of the funds have “been spent or accessed in any way by Iran,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a news conference Thursday in Tel Aviv.

Blinken did not confirm that “a quiet understanding” had been reached but made clear the US is able to freeze the funds.

“We have strict oversight of the funds, and we retain the right to freeze them,” Blinken said.

John Kirby, a National Security Council spokesman, declined to elaborate on any new agreement on the funds.

“It’s still sitting in the Qatari bank, all of it. Every dime of it,” he told reporters at the White House on Thursday. “None of that money has been spent and I have no updates to provide.”

Iran was only going to be permitted to use the money for specific humanitarian trade transactions, and the approval of those transactions would be heavily scrutinized by the US government. The process for Iran to be able to spend the funds was expected to take months, if not years.

“Given the due diligence involved and the complexity of what have to be specific humanitarian transactions through this channel, it will take many months for Iran to spend down this money,” a senior State Department official told CNN on Saturday. “And, as we’ve said many times, it can only be used to purchase food, medicine, medical devices and agricultural products for the people of Iran. Period.”

“It is not easy to get the funds anyway, it is long process,” another source familiar with the discussions said.

CNN reported on Wednesday that the US has collected specific intelligence that suggests senior Iranian government officials were caught by surprise by Saturday’s attack, according to multiple sources familiar with the intelligence.

The existence of the intelligence has cast doubt on the idea that Iran was directly involved in the planning, resourcing or approving of the operation, sources said.

The sources stressed that the US intelligence community is not ready to reach a full conclusion about whether Tehran was directly involved in the run-up to the attack. They continue to look for evidence of Iranian involvement, which caught both Israel and the United States by surprise.

On Wednesday, National Security Council strategic communications coordinator John Kirby told CNN’s Jim Sciutto on Max that the US has no intelligence to suggest Iran was “pre-aware or were involved in any of the planning, resourcing or even directing of the operation.”

Source : CNN


- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories