Tags: qatar | billion | prisoner swap | israel | hamas

US, Qatar Agree to Keep Iran From $6 Billion

By    |   Thursday, 12 October 2023 02:09 PM EDT

The U.S. reportedly already has a "quiet understanding" with Qatar to hold the $6 billion in sanctioned Iranian oil money.

Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told House Democrats about this "quiet agreement" and the $6 billion "isn't going anywhere anytime soon," Punchbowl News first reported Thursday.

Three sources confirmed the report to The Washington Post.

Iran's Nournews had said Thursday that Tehran had full access to its funds that were transferred to Qatari banks last month under a prisoner swap deal with the U.S., despite some reports that Washington and Doha have agreed to stop Iran from tapping the $6 billion.

"There has been no change in Iran's access to its foreign funds in Qatari banks, and the existing agreement remains in effect," said the news website, affiliated with Iran's top security body.

But that is now shelved under pressure from American lawmakers, according to the Post.

"It is perplexing why the Biden administration refuses to crack down on Iran and issue a formal decision to freeze the $6 billion ransom payment," Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., wrote in a statement provided to Newsmax. "Instead, the administration is selectively leaking parts of their backdoor deal with Qatar to the media.

"We need to ensure the Biden administration will not release another dollar to Iran — even when the media attention on Israel dissipates. We must send the message that America does not reward terrorism or the arbitrary detention of our citizens abroad."

Secretary of State Antony Blinken will arrive in Qatar on Friday to discuss with its prime minister developments in the Israel-Hamas conflict, ways to de-escalate it and the protection of civilians, the Qatari foreign ministry spokesperson said.

"The senators in question and the U.S. government are all acutely aware that they can NOT renege on the agreement," Iran sources told the Post in a statement.

"The money rightfully belongs to the people of Iran, earmarked for the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to facilitate the acquisition of all essential and non-sanctioned requisites for the Iranians."

The prisoner swap has already been completely, so refusing Iran's money now will have a deleterious effect on the Biden administration's hopes for diplomatic reset with Iran.

"If this step is taken, that status quo falls apart — and it will have a very detrimental effect on the internal discussions in Iran, within the regime," Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft's Trita Parsi told the Post. "If there is no prospect of a deal with the U.S., it will likely tilt Iran toward building a bomb — and that would be an extremely dangerous situation."

Eric Mack

Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

The U.S. reportedly already has a "quiet understanding" with Qatar to hold the $6 billion in sanctioned Iranian oil money.
qatar, billion, prisoner swap, israel, hamas
Thursday, 12 October 2023 02:09 PM
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