Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi meets with Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq in Tehran, Iran, May 28, 2023.

US Official Says Iran Used Money Released Under Sanctions Waiver

Thursday, 12/14/2023

A US official revealed on Wednesday that Iran has used some of the money held in Oman, which the Biden administration unblocked in November under a sanction’s waiver.

Speaking during a hearing before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Elizabeth Rosenberg, an assistant at the US Department of Treasury acknowledged that the Iranian regime has made “two transactions” using the $10 billion of the revenues the Islamic Republic received from selling electricity to Iraq.

In a controversial move last month, the Biden administration granted Iraq a new 4-month waiver, enabling the release of an estimated $10 billion to Iran, formerly blocked by US sanctions.

Washington says a thorough vetting process is in place to ensure that any money released is used exclusively for Iran’s humanitarian and "non-sanctionable" needs such as food and medicine.

But critics say money is fungible and the use of this fund, however thoroughly vetted, would free up other foreign currencies for the Iranian regime that can be used for malign activities.

Also during the House hearing, Abraham Paley, the US State Department’s deputy special envoy for Iran, said that the Islamic Republic will not be able to use the $6 billion dollar of its money in Qatar which was released in September as part of a prisoner swap deal with Washington.

“Not a penny of this money has been spent and these funds will not go anywhere anytime soon,” he stressed.

Back in October and following Hamas’ deadly onslaught on Israel, there were reports that US and Qatar reached a deal to refreeze Iran’s money.

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