Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that none of the $6 billion released by the U.S. for humanitarian aid in Iran was used to help fund Hamas’ attack against Israel on Saturday, which resulted in hundreds of deaths.
Anchor Dana Bash said, “While we’re talking about Iran, I have to ask you to, if you want to respond to what we’re hearing from Republicans who are over and over since this happened using word appeasement when it comes to Iran and they criticized the decision to unfreeze $6 billion in Iranian funds. I know and want to state that that money has not yet been unfrozen. Iran does not yet have it. But the accusation is that…your administration posture towards Iran has helped contribute to this. I want to give you a chance to respond.”
Blinken said, “Well, there are two things here. First, with regard to the funds that you mentioned, that were made available to Iran for humanitarian purposes. As part of getting Americans back who were being held or detained in Iran. Let’s be very clear about this and it is deeply unfortunate that so many are playing politics when Israel is under attack.”
He continued, “The facts are these, no U.S. taxpayer dollars were involved. These are Iranian resources that Iran has accumulated from the sales of oil that were stuck in a bank in South Korea. They have had from day one the right to use these monies for humanitarian purposes. They were moved from one account to another in another country to facilitate that use. As of now, not a single dollar has been spent from that account. The account is closely regulated by the U.S. Treasury Department. It could only be used for things like food, medicine, medical equipment. That is what this is about.”
Blinken added, “By the way, the previous administration set up a very similar mechanism so enable Iran to use its oil proceeds that were blocked in various places for humanitarian purposes. So, people are either misinformed or they’re misinforming and either way it is wrong.”
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