The Biden administration is preventing Iran from accessing the $6 billion the U.S. recently transferred after Hamas, an Iranian-backed terrorist group, launched a brutal attack against Israel, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
The Biden administration originally cut a deal with Iran to transfer $6 billion in previously frozen assets in exchange for five American prisoners.
The administration is now working with fund manager Qatar to hold up the $6 billion after Iran’s ally Hamas launched a wave of attacks against Israel on Saturday, killing over 1,200 Israelis and at least 25 Americans and kidnapping hundreds more.
Despite Biden admin officials originally saying the $6 billion transfer to Iran can only be used for humanitarian aid, the country’s president is now saying they’ll use it “wherever [they] need it.”
Via @DailyCaller https://t.co/RZmQ0oNeRE
— Jake Smith (@JakeSmith2212) September 12, 2023
Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo confirmed to House Democrats that Iran will not be allowed to access the $6 billion, noting that the money “isn’t going anywhere anytime soon,” according to Democratic aides who spoke to the Post.
Both Democrat and Republican lawmakers demanded the Biden administration refreeze the $6 billion transfer after the attacks began on Saturday.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas announced legislation to refreeze the transfer less than 24 hours before the Biden administration made the decision to do so.
Iran is suspected of aiding and funding Hamas’ attacks against Israel, according to U.S. intelligence.
Iran views Hamas and Hezbollah as a proxy that it can use to commit terrorism on its behalf without having to get involved.