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‘When Will They Learn?’: Biden Admin Yet Again Green Lights Access To $10 Billion For Iran: REPORT

Photo by mostafa meraji / Unsplash

By Jake Smith, The Daily Caller News Foundation | March 14, 2024

The Biden administration renewed a sanctions waiver against the Iranian regime Wednesday that unlocks billion in previously frozen funds, The Washington Free Beacon reported.

The sanctions waiver, extended for another four months, allows Tehran access to $10 billion in previously frozen Iranian revenues collected from electricity exports, according to The Washington Free Beacon, which has viewed the renewal notice. The Biden administration has been criticized for taking a soft-line stance against Iran, such as easing up on sanctions and paying out “ransom” for hostages, in a bid to appease the regime and deter it from acting hostile toward the West, which has not manifested promising results.

“Leave it to the Biden administration to be giving access to $10 billion to an Islamist regime that recently killed three American soldiers, maimed dozens more, has shut down shipping in the Red Sea, is barreling ahead with its nuclear weapons program and is attacking Israel, America’s closest ally in the Middle East,” Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“The Biden administration keeps giving billions of dollars to the Islamic Republic in the hope that it will buy better behavior. It only encourages much greater aggression,” Dubowitz told the DCNF. “When will they learn?”

The sanctions waiver policy was instituted in 2018 to allow Iraq – in desperate need of energy – to pay Iran for electricity imports, but on the strict condition that Baghdad would not pay Tehran in cash and that the funds could only be used for humanitarian purposes, according to the Beacon. The Biden administration continued this policy, but in 2023 allowed the funds to be transferred to a bank in Oman to be doled out to Iran.

“This is not the same waiver for Iraqi electricity imports that has been issued since 2018,” Richard Goldberg, senior advisor at FDD, said in a statement on Wednesday. “This is an Iran sanctions relief waiver that allows Tehran to access money and use it for budget support, including debt payments and import subsidies. That was not allowed prior to last summer.”

Several Republican lawmakers sent a letter on Monday to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanding to know what the reasoning was behind continuing this policy, especially in light of Iran’s recent aggression in the Middle East. The lawmakers also want to know how much money Iran has directly accessed since sanctions were lifted.

Iran masterminds and funds over a dozen terror groups throughout the Middle East region, including Hamas, which killed over 1,200 civilians in Israel on Oct. 7. The regime’s terror network is also responsible for killing three U.S. troops at a coalition base in Jordan in late January, which prompted retaliatory strikes from the U.S. against targets in Iraq and Syria.

The Biden administration has made several concessions to Iran since President Joe Biden took office in 2021, including easing up on oil sanctions that have allowed Tehran to rake in billions of dollars and paying a $6 billion “ransom” fee in exchange for five American prisoners unjustly held in the country.

The State and Treasury Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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