US plans to monitor $6bn to Iran. Experts are sceptical

us plans to monitor $6bn to iran. experts are sceptical

Opponents of the prisoner swap fear Iran could divert the funds for non-humanitarian purposes.

The return of $6bn (£4.8bn) of Iranian funds frozen in South Korea as part of a controversial prisoner swap has provoked a backlash from critics who say the money will be used to promote terrorism and harm America’s interests.

The money was transferred as part of a deal that saw five dual US-Iranian citizens released from captivity.

Former US Defence Secretary Mark Esper told Fox News that the deal will “incentivise” Tehran to take more prisoners and force to the US to pay more “ransom payments”, which he said would probably be used to fund Iran’s weapons and nuclear programme.

US officials have said the money is subject to oversight to ensure that Iran only uses it for humanitarian purposes.

Experts, however, have warned that there is little that the US can do to enforce those conditions – and Iran’s president has said that the money will be used “wherever we need it”.

The cash – which has been transferred to a restricted account in Qatar – was owed by South Korea to Tehran for oil bought before Trump administration sanctions in 2019 banned such transactions.

“It is Iran’s money,” state department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters last week.

“So there are people who claim that we are giving them money, and we cannot give something that is not ours.”

Mr Miller added that the US treasury department has “strict oversight” on the funds and that Washington “has the ability to police their use”.

A senior administration official also told reporters that no funds will ever enter the country and will only be available for transactions for humanitarian goods with vetted third-party non-Iranian vendors.

The official said the US will take action to block the funds if Iran tries to divert them or use them for anything other than for the defined humanitarian purposes.

Those comments, however, stand in contrast to those made by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in an interview with NBC News last Tuesday.

Without offering more detail, Mr Raisi told the network that Iran has “authority” over how it spends the money and that “humanitarian means whatever the Iranian people need”.

“The needs of the Iranian people will be decided and determined by the Iranian government,” he said.

Many critics of the deal believe that Iran will probably use the money to support terrorist organisations fighting in the Middle East and produce more weapons to sell to Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

Experts have warned that the US may have limited ability to oversee use of the funds.

“They will likely be able to see where it goes to start, but further downstream it will get murky,” former deputy assistant secretary of defence for the Middle East, Mick Mulroy, told the BBC.

Alex Vatanka, the director of the Iran programme at the Washington DC-based Middle East Institute, said that there is little more the US and its allies can do other than “encourage” Iran to “stick to what they promised”.

“It’s impossible to measure where the term ‘humanitarian’ ends and something malign or sinister starts in terms of transactions,” he said.

Democratic Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Mark Warner told CBS News on Sunday that he could not defend the deal. “Obviously money is fungible,” he said, adding that he does not understand what “guardrails” have been placed on the money by the US.

Mr Vatanka told BBC News that the recent release forms part of a larger trend of Iran using imprisoned dual nationals to secure the release of frozen funds.

Ali Safavi, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran, told the BBC that the group believes that the funds “will undoubtedly divert gains from hostage-taking to fuel regional proxy groups and destabilise the area further”.

The council, also known as the NCRI, is considered to be the political arm of Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK), a dissident group that backs the overthrow of the Iranian government. It was once considered a terrorist organisation but was removed from the list in 2012.

In 2015, a similar – and controversial – agreement between Iran and the Obama administration saw funds released to Iran after four Americans, including a Washington Post journalist, were freed.

In the past, Iran has also detained citizens of a number of other countries including the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany and France.

us plans to monitor $6bn to iran. experts are sceptical

Former Washington Post bureau chief Jason Rezaian spent 544 days in an Iranian prison before being released in 2015

One dual UK-Iranian national, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, was released in March last year after the British government paid nearly £400m it owed Iran for failing to deliver tanks Iran bought in the 1970s.

“The script is predictable. They get picked up on charges of being spies or mobilising protests, Then, in return, they demand Iranians held in the US are released, or cash,” Mr Vatanka said.

“As the Iranian economy becomes more and more desperate, we’ve seen Iran try to get its hands on cash, usually its own funds.”

Iranian officials have acknowledged that the country’s economy is plagued by high levels of inflation of between 40% and 50%, although experts believe the real figure may be higher. In February, the Iranian currency fell to an all-time low of 600,000 rial to the US dollar, compared to 32,000 to the dollar at the time when a 2015 nuclear agreement was signed. The rial has since recovered much of the lost ground in recent months.

While Mr Vatanka said that Iran has repeatedly been successful in short-term “tactical” victories to retrieve sums of money, in the longer term the practice of arresting foreigners and dual nationals is probably “hurting the country in ways that will take years to show itself”.

“This is going to hurt Iran so much. They have created a horrendous image,” he added.

“They’re going to not only put off foreign investors, but the millions of Iranian diaspora around the world that might want to invest in or visit Iran.

“They’re turning off people in ways that nobody could have done for them.”

News Related


Man killed over land dispute in Sylhet

Sylhet, Sept. 22 — year-old man was beaten and stabbed to death allegedly by his rivals over a land dispute in Zakiganj upazila of Sylhet on Friday afternoon, said police. ... Read more »

Cheptegei, Kiplimo poised for top Uspa Awards

The occasion seemed to have been forgotten. Several Ugandans athletes have asked, not once, not twice about the Uganda Sports Press Association (Uspa) Awards Gala.The annual ceremony received set-backs punctuated ... Read more »

France captain Dupont suffers facial fracture

France captain Antoine Dupont suffered a facial fracture in Thursday’s 96-0 win against Namibia, the French Rugby Federation has confirmed. The 2021 world player of the year was forced off ... Read more »

Will continue to promote democracy as per constitution: PM Hasina says in UNGA

NEW YORK, Sept. 22 — Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in her speech at the UN General Assembly on Friday reiterated that Bangladesh will continue to promote democracy and rule of ... Read more »

DR Congo President Sets Early Withdrawal of UN Peacekeepers, Country Will Take Reins of Its Destiny

After the decades-long presence of a large UN peacekeeping mission, the Democratic Republic of the Congo will, by the end of the year, aim to take full control of its ... Read more »

A sustainable retreat

In the southwest of Phnom Penh lies the region’s largest surviving rainforest. After landing, I met other travel companions to spend three nights together at a riverside camp. We were ... Read more »

She Cranes move up to number 7 in new World Rankings

As it may seem, finishing number five at the Netball World Cup doesn’t guarantee one an automatic move to number five on the Netball world rankings as the She Cranes ... Read more »

Create enabling environment for thriving agriculture – Netherlands Ambassador tells government

Economics-Agriculture-Investment-2  By Benjamin Akoto, GNA  Abesim-Sunyani, Sept. 22, GNA – Mr Jeroen Verheul, the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, has emphasised the need for the Government to prioritise the agriculture sector ... Read more »

African Development Bank and Google Collaborate On Digital Transformation in Africa [press release]

African Development Bank, Google sign ccoperation agreement to advance digital transformation in Africa (l-r) AfDB Vice President Solomon Quaynor, President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina and Google Senior VP Dr. James Manyika ... Read more »

How Rupert Murdoch transformed Australia’s media

How Rupert Murdoch transformed Australia’s media When Rupert Murdoch started his career, he was young, hungry and desperate to claw back his family’s stake in Australia’s news business. Known as ... Read more »

News - At Least 30 Died of Hunger in Gambella Refugee Camps Amid 'Increasingly Concerning' Food Shortage - EHRC

At least 30 refugees have died from hunger and malnutrition since May after food aid was halted at camps in Ethiopia’s Gambella region, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said ... Read more »

Ukraine's transgender spokeswoman dismisses 'Russian haters'

Sarah Ashton-Cirillo is a trans woman from the US, a junior sergeant in the Ukrainian territorial defense forces, and host of “Russia hates the truth” and “Ukraine in the know.” ... Read more »

German housing prices at record low

Residential property prices fell by 9.9% year-on-year, the steepest decline since the start of data collection in 2000, the federal statistics office said on Friday. German housing prices fell by ... Read more »

Labadi Beach gets a refresh on World Cleanup Day

Ongoing cleanup 16 September 2023, Accra – Labadi Beach received a refresh on International Coastal Cleanup Day when Voltic (GH) Limited, in collaboration with the La Dade Kotopon Municipal District ... Read more »

Are new aerodynamic, lighter car designs spelling the end of the beloved SUV?

The transport sector is one of the major contributors to global climate change making up a quarter of the European Union’s greenhouse gas emissions. It is also the only major ... Read more »

Multi-Millionaire Narrates Losing His Wealth, Living in Tent: "Grace to Grass"

John Anderson, a former multi-millionaire, has come forward to share his harrowing journey from wealth and success to homelessness and living in a tent Anderson, who retired at the age ... Read more »

Real Madrid youth players charged for circulating sex video with minor

Four Real Madrid youth academy players have been charged with circulating a sexual video featuring a minor, judicial sources said Friday. Last week, the Guardia Civil police said they had ... Read more »

American Man Waiting for End of The World for 15 Years Says He Survives on Sheep's Milk

Aaron Fletcher, who has spent the last 15 years preparing for what he believes is the imminent end of the world, sustains himself on a diet primarily consisting of sheep’s ... Read more »

INTERNATIONAL VIEW - China aims to use BRICS as an instrument of power

Special BRICS guest: Pretoria, Aug. 22, ;South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa awards Chinese President Xi Jinping the Order of South Africa, the country’s highest possible honor. Themba Hadebe / AP The ... Read more »

Osimhen Hat-Trick Powers Nigeria to Thumping Win in AFCON Qualifier

Victor Osimhen grabbed a hat-trick as Nigeria signed off their TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign with a thumping 6-0 win over Sao Tome on Sunday. The Super Eagles ... Read more »

Mozambique Seal AFCON Return After Dramatic Win Over Benin

Mozambique will return to the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in over a decade after a thrilling 3-2 win over Benin on Saturday. This victory was ... Read more »

26 Die in Boat Mishap in Niger

The boat was carrying more than 100 persons. At least 26 bodies have been recovered while 44 are still missing after a boat capsized in a river in Mokwa Local ... Read more »

Latvia's Mogotel to enter Romanian hotel market

Latvia’s Mogotel to enter Romanian hotel market Latvia-based Mogotel Hotel Group, the largest hotel operator in the Baltics, has recruited a development director for Romania and the Republic of Moldova ... Read more »

Ancient Shoes - Tracks On a South African Beach Offer Oldest Evidence Yet of Human Footwear [analysis]

When and where did our ancestors first fashion footwear? We cannot look to physical evidence of shoes for the answer, as the perishable materials from which they were made would ... Read more »

CAF Postpones Morocco Vs Liberia Afcon 2023 Qualifier Match Following Earthquake in Morocco Which Resulted in More Than 800 People Losing Their Lives and Hundreds Injured

CAF has agreed to postpone the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Côte d’Ivoire 2023 Qualifier match between Morocco and Liberia following the earthquake in Morocco which resulted in more than ... Read more »

Climate Summit - We're Targeting 30 Million Nigerians for Green Jobs - Minister

The Minister said Mr Tinubu’s administration is considering providing 30 million green jobs for Nigerians as part of its ETP Nigeria’s Minister of State for Environment and Ecological Management, Ishaq ... Read more »

Cote d'Ivoire Close Off Qualifiers With Win While Zambia Finishes Top

Hosts of next year’s TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations, Cote d’Ivoire concluded their last day of the tournament qualifiers with a clinical display that saw them edge Lesotho at ... Read more »

Nigeria 6-0 Sao Tome - Osimhen Nets Hat-Trick As Super Eagles End Afcon Qualifiers in Grand Style

With the victory, the Super Eagles finished top in Group A with 15 points; scoring an astonishing 22 goals in the process. The Super Eagles of Nigeria on Sunday ended ... Read more »

All You Need To Know About Converting Your Petrol Car To Run On Compressed Natural Gas

Conversion to Compressed Natural Gas CNG is a new vocabulary in the lexicon of motorists, commercial Transporters, commuters, industry experts and the general public in Nigeria, a term signifying the ... Read more »

Mali Hit Four to End Afcon Qualifying Campaign On a High

Mali signed off their TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign in emphatic fashion with a 4-0 thrashing of South Sudan on Friday. Ibrahima Kone opened the scoring after just ... Read more »
Kênh kiến thức kỹ năng, phát triển bản thân, hướng nghiệp, blog nhân sự