US $6bn deal under scrutiny after Hamas attack on Israel
October 15, 2023 | by b1og.net
The recent Hamas attack on Israel has brought renewed scrutiny to the US $6 billion deal with Iran. The US government has faced criticism over the agreement, as there are claims that Tehran instigated the attack. Washington has a “quiet understanding” with Qatar to withhold any funds from the deal, according to CBS. However, Iran’s mission to the UN argues that the US cannot back out of the agreement. Despite claims of a direct Iran link to the Hamas assault, the US has stated that it has no evidence to support this. The unfreezing of $6 billion of Iranian oil funds held in South Korea in September has further fueled debates surrounding the deal. The Biden administration has pushed back against Republican criticism, asserting that the funds are not going anywhere anytime soon. Nevertheless, concerns remain about the potential implications of freezing the funds and the impact it could have on US-Iran relations.
US $6bn deal under scrutiny after Hamas attack on Israel
The recent Hamas attack on Israel has brought the US $6bn deal with Iran under scrutiny. This deal, which involves unfreezing Iranian oil funds, has raised concerns about the potential empowerment of Hamas and the alleged involvement of Iran in the attack.
US $6bn deal with Iran
The US struck a deal with Iran to unfreeze $6bn of Iranian oil funds held in South Korea. This deal was part of a larger agreement that included a prisoner swap, in which five US-Iranian citizens were freed from captivity. The release of these funds has now become a subject of controversy in the wake of the Hamas attack.
Hamas attack on Israel
Hamas, a Palestinian militant group, launched an attack on Israel, leading to renewed tensions in the region. The attack has sparked a heated debate about the role of Iran and the potential consequences of the US deal with Iran.
US Denies Access to Funds
In response to the Hamas attack and the concerns raised about Iran’s involvement, the US has denied access to the unfrozen Iranian oil funds. According to reports, there is a “quiet understanding” between the US and Qatar, who is acting as a go-between, to ensure that none of the funds are released. The US claims that Iran instigated the attack, and therefore, it is necessary to prevent them from accessing the funds.
Agreement with Qatar
The US has an agreement with Qatar, a Middle Eastern country, to prevent the release of the unfrozen funds. This agreement serves as a mechanism to ensure that Iran cannot use the funds to support militant groups like Hamas.
US Claims Iran Instigated Attack
The US government has stated that there is evidence suggesting that Iran played a role in instigating the Hamas attack. However, no direct link between Iran and the attack has been established. Despite this, the US is adamant in denying Iran access to the funds.
Iran’s mission to the UN has strongly criticized the US’s denial of access to the funds. They argue that the agreement cannot be reneged upon and that the funds rightfully belong to the Iranian government. Iran maintains that the funds are necessary to acquire essential goods and services for the Iranian people.
No Evidence of Direct Link
Although the US government claims that Iran instigated the Hamas attack, they have stated that they do not have direct evidence linking Iran to the attack. This raises questions about the extent of Iran’s involvement and the justification for denying them access to the unfrozen funds.
Unfreezing of Iranian Oil Funds
In September, the $6bn of Iranian oil funds held in South Korea were unfrozen as part of the deal between the US and Iran. This move was intended to be a gesture of goodwill and a step towards normalizing relations between the two countries. However, the recent attack and the concerns raised about Iran’s role have complicated the situation.
Deal Involved Prisoner Swap
The unfreezing of the Iranian oil funds was part of a larger agreement that included a prisoner swap. This swap resulted in the release of five US-Iranian citizens who were being held captive. The prisoner swap was meant to be a positive outcome of the deal and a sign of improved relations between the US and Iran.
Debate over Empowerment of Hamas
The US Congress has seen a heated debate over the potential empowerment of Hamas as a result of the unfrozen funds. Republicans have criticized the deal, arguing that it enables Hamas to continue its violent activities. However, US officials have refuted these claims, stating that the funds are closely monitored and restricted to food and medicine.
US Monitoring of Funds
The US government has emphasized that the unfrozen funds are closely monitored. Deputy US Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo reassured House of Representatives Democrats that the money “isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.” The White House has also stated that they are watching every dime and closely monitoring any transactions.
White House Response
White House spokesman John Kirby addressed the reports of the frozen funds but did not confirm or deny their status. He stated that none of the funds had been accessed and reassured the public that the US was closely monitoring the situation.
Secretary of State’s Position
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken visited Tel Aviv and addressed the controversy surrounding the unfrozen funds. When asked about the matter by journalists, he listed the “facts” about the account in a weary voice. He explained that the funds are Iran’s money from oil sales, held in Qatar, and are solely earmarked for food and medicine. Blinken emphasized that every transaction needs approval and that the mechanism to activate the funds has not yet been used.
Pressure on President Biden
President Joe Biden is facing pressure from both Democrats and Republicans regarding the unfrozen funds. Some Democratic senators, who are up for re-election next year, have joined Republicans in calling on the President to break the deal. Iran has responded to this pressure, stating that the US cannot renege on the agreement and that the funds rightfully belong to the Iranian people.
Iran’s Response to the Pressure
In response to the pressure from the US, Iran’s mission to the United Nations issued a statement. They reiterated that the US government is aware that they cannot renege on the agreement and emphasized that the funds are meant to facilitate the acquisition of essential goods and services for the Iranian people.
In conclusion, the US $6bn deal with Iran is under scrutiny following the Hamas attack on Israel. The US’s denial of access to the unfrozen funds has sparked a heated debate about the potential empowerment of Hamas and Iran’s involvement in the attack. The situation remains tense as pressure builds on President Biden to address the concerns raised by both Democrats and Republicans. The future of the deal and its implications for the relationship between the US, Iran, and Israel remain uncertain.