US, Qatar Reportedly Agree To Keep Funds Out of Iran’s Hands

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( – Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, visited Israel twice this past week to demonstrate solidarity following the lethal assault attributed to Hamas. This comes as Iran has faced increasing scrutiny in the wake of this initial attack.

A significant sum of $6 billion, previously withheld in South Korea resulting from Iranian oil transactions, was earmarked for Iran, intended for humanitarian purposes.

This development was a component of an agreement established by the Biden administration and Iranian officials the previous month, which stipulated the unlocking of these assets in return for the liberation of five US captives in Iran, all of whom have safely returned to the United States. Now, however, the US and Qatar are reportedly working to prevent Iran from getting access to those funds.

The vicious offensive by Hamas on Saturday, October 7, resulting in the tragic loss of over 1,200 Israeli lives, has cast fresh doubt over the integrity of this agreement. Officials from the US have pointed fingers at Iran, citing their substantial contributions to the Palestinian faction as a form of indirect involvement. While both the US and Israel have stated that no evidence has been found suggesting Iran took part in the attack, the US has accused the nation of complicity.

Recent reports indicate that Wally Adeyemo, the Deputy Treasury Secretary, has informed Democratic representatives that both the US and Qatar have forged an understanding to bar Iran from laying hands on the humanitarian funds.

In a statement on Thursday, October 12, John Kirby, the spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, assured that not a single penny of the funds has been utilized. At the time, he said no updates on the matter were available.

This financial arrangement between the US and Iran had previously drawn sharp criticism from Republican legislators, a sentiment that flared up again in the aftermath of the violence initiated by Hamas.

A collective statement from 100 congressional representatives, predominantly Republicans, warned of Iran’s potential misuse of any financial resources at their disposal to intensify the conflict with Israel.

During a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, Blinken reaffirmed the US’s unwavering support for Israel, underscoring America’s authoritative control over the funds.

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