John Kerry: Some money Iran received will fund terrorism
Secretary of State John Kerry admitted on Thursday that some of the $55 billion in sanctions relief that will be released to Iran under the nuclear deal could ultimately end up in the hands of terrorists. A report from the Congressional Research Service last year revealed that Iranian funding for terrorist groups including Hamas and Hezbollah could be much greater than originally estimated.
Some regional experts claim that Iran’s defense budget could actually be as much as $30 billion and that much of that spending goes unreported, including support for foreign terrorists’ organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah. He argued that Iran, which is one of the largest state sponsors of terrorism in the world, has a relatively small defense budget compared to other gulf states.
Earlier Thursday, speaking to reporters before a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Kerry defended the U.S. use of sanctions against Iran following charges by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in his interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that the recent sanctions were illegal and that some in the U.S. were “addicted” to sanctions. But he added that “right now, we are not seeing the early delivery of funds going to that kind of endeavor at this point in time.”
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