U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry couldn’t keep the lid on it, and admitted Thursday what critics long suspected – the White House knew billions of dollars in sanctions relief granted to Iran under President Obama’s nuclear deal would be going straight to funding terrorists.
And they did the deal anyway.
Kerry said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum the U.S. or others can do little to prevent the now-unfrozen assets from getting into the hands of the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps or “other entities,” presumably terror groups, that Iran has supported in the past. Kerry admitted he wasn’t sure if such transfers had yet occurred.
“I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists,” he told CNBC television in an interview. “You know, to some degree, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that every component of that can be prevented.”
“Whatever amount may flow to them, I am just trying to be honest, I can’t tell people that, ‘No, some amount might not,’ but we don’t believe that that is what has made the difference in the activities of Iran in the region,” he said.
A group of Republican senators in Washington chided Kerry, telling reporters it was always clear to them that Iran would use its unfrozen assets to finance terrorism.
Led by Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., the senators also said they plan to introduce legislation to impose tougher sanctions against Iran for conducting ballistic missile tests in violation of a U.N. resolution. They called the punishments proposed by the Obama administration for the testing “tepid and weak.”
“Talk about stating the obvious. I mean, c’mon,” Ayotte said of Kerry’s remarks. “It’s something we’ve all known from the beginning. (Iran) was supporting terrorism when their economy was crippled. They were choosing to put their money into guns, not butter, for their citizens before they had this economic relief.
“To have them actually now say, ‘Well, we think some of this might go to terrorism.’ Duh. I mean, really? It’s been so obvious all along,” she said.
The Associated Press contributed to this article