The U.S. and Qatar have established an agreement preventing Tehran from accessing $6 billion in recently unfrozen Iranian funds. This decision follows recent attacks by Hamas on Israel and ongoing criticism of the Biden administration’s prior deal with Iran, where funds were unfrozen in exchange for the release of detained Americans. U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, emphasized that the funds in question can only be used for humanitarian purposes and will never be directly handled by Iran. The White House is yet to find evidence of Iran’s direct involvement in the recent Hamas attacks on Israel, even though Iran is known to be a primary sponsor of Hamas.
- Qatar Agreement: The U.S. has made a pact with Qatar to prevent Iran from using the $6 billion that was previously unfrozen due to a prisoner exchange deal.
- Use of Funds: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken clarified that the Iranian funds held in Qatar are designated only for humanitarian purposes and won’t be directly accessed by Iran.
- Hamas and Iran Connection: Although Iran is a major sponsor of Hamas, U.S. officials have yet to find evidence linking Iran directly to the recent large-scale Hamas attacks on Israel.
- U.S. Support for Israel: U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is scheduled to visit Israel to discuss potential additional military aid for the nation, while the White House plans evacuation flights for Americans wishing to leave Israel due to the ongoing conflict.
- Biden Administration’s Next Steps: The administration is currently in discussions about a supplementary aid package which might include funds for countries other than Israel, such as Ukraine and Taiwan. A formal request concerning this is expected to be presented to lawmakers in the upcoming week.