Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:
The ZOA strongly criticizes the Biden administration’s giving billions of dollars to terrorist Islamic Republic of Iran. In the latest, just-revealed hostage deal, Iran will release five American hostages in return for an eye-popping ransom of $6 billion of sanctions relief. These billions of dollars will enable Iran to finance even more nuclear development and even more Iranian terrorism against Americans, Israelis, and other allies. The Iranian regime is pouring money and weapons into Samaria (aka “West Bank”), providing the means for Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Palestinian Authority’s terror rampages against innocent Israeli civilians, including young Jewish children. The Iranian IRGC has also been building up, funding, training and supplying weapons to a network of Iran-backed terrorist organizations encircling Israel in Gaza, Judea/Samaria, Lebanon and Syria. (See, e.g., “Biden Administration Abandoning Israel for Ruling Mullahs of Iran?,” by Majid Rafizadeh, Gatestone Institute, Aug. 12, 2023.)
Paying the Iranian mullahs these enormous, unprecedented sums will also obviously encourage terrorist Iran to perpetrate yet more hostage-taking of innocent Americans.
No one believes for a moment that Iran’s mullahs will use billions of dollars of new wealth for humanitarian purposes. As Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office pointed out: “Israel’s position is known: arrangements that do not dismantle Iran’s nuclear infrastructure do not stop its nuclear program and only provide it with funds that will go to terrorist elements sponsored by Iran.”
The Wall Street Journal likewise explained: “Money is fungible, as the White House knows, and its ‘humanitarian purposes’ line is best understood as political cover to justify the money-for-hostages deal. In a competition for the funds between the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the public health of the Iranian people, who do you think wins?”
The Biden administration has been using the same humanitarian purposes argument to enable other sanctions waivers benefiting Iran, even while Iran’s spending on terrorism advances. In mid-June, Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken waived sanctions to clear the way for Iraq to pay Iran $2.76 billion for Iranian gas, which Iraq uses to generate electricity. In a U.S. State Department briefing on June 13, 2023, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told the American public: “Number one, Iran can only access its funds held in accounts for Iraq for humanitarian and other non-sanctionable transactions.”
But, then, in mid-July, according to Iraqi News and Reuters, Secretary of State Blinken signed a 120-day national security waiver allowing Iraq to deposit payments for electricity into non-Iraqi banks in third countries instead of restricted accounts in Iraq. The administration claimed that the accounts in third countries would also be “restricted.” But, what else could be the reason for transferring the funds, other than enabling Iran more leeway to spend however it wants to? Iraqi News also reported that Iranian Minister of Economy Ehsan Khandouzi revealed that Iraq pledged to facilitate Iran’s access to its frozen assets in Iraq (citing the Islamic Republic News Agency). Iraqi News further reported that the head of the Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce, Yahya Al-Eshaq, previously stated that Iraq has paid all of $10 billion due to Iran (citing Al Arabiya News).
The Biden administration has also failed to take action against Iranian deals to evade sanctions, such as the Iranian-Iraqi agreement reached in July to swap Iranian crude oil for Iraqi gas.