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US, Qatar deny Iran access to $6 billion from prisoner swap

Oct 13


The U.S. and Qatari governments have agreed to block Iran’s access to the $6 billion it was set to receive as part of a prisoner swap with the U.S. in September. The move to deny Iran the funds comes after the Biden administration faced heavy criticism, as some Republicans claimed that the $6 billion helped Iran free up funds to support the Hamas terror attack on Israel.

The $6 billion was earmarked for humanitarian aid in Iran in a deal that freed five American prisoners. According to recent reporting, sources familiar with the matter say that Wally Adeyemo, the deputy Treasury secretary, told House Democrats on Thursday, Oct. 12, that now Iran does not have access to the funds.

The sources reportedly added that the while it’s not permanently frozen, officials said that applications to spend any of the $6 billion will be denied for the foreseeable future.

U.S. officials have said the $6 billion was transferred from South Korea to a Qatari bank. While the U.S. Treasury has not imposed any permanent sanctions, it is being reported that the U.S. and Qatari governments have a “quiet understanding” that Iran will not be able to touch it.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Thursday, Oct. 12, that Iran has not touched a dime of the money and that the account is being monitored very closely.

“What I can tell you is, none of it has been accessed, and we are watching every dime,” Kirby said.

During a show of support in Tel Aviv, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken would not confirm to reporters that Iran would officially be cut off from the funds but added that none of it has been accessed.

It is unclear whether the Biden administration will impose official restrictions on the funds.

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in response to hamas’ attack on israel – the united states and qatar have agreed to stop iran from accessing the six billion dollars in funds that was part of a prisoner exchange last month, according to sources telling several news outlets.

a us official tells reuters – quote – “iran will not be able to access the funds for the foreseeable future.”

while in tel aviv on thursday, secretary of state antony blinken said that iran had not accessed the six billion dollars as of yet —

and that america continues to have strict oversight of the funds.

blinken saying the us retains rights over the funds.

the six billion dollars were transferred to qatar as a part of the deal to free five americans detained in iran.   

following hamas’ assault – there were bipartisan calls to freeze the funds due to iran’s backing of the militant group —

though us officials have said there is no evidence of iran’s direct involvement in the terrorist attack.

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