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The opaqueness that marks both the Obama administration and Ayatollah Khamenei’s regime, makes it difficult to know how many unfrozen billions of dollars are going to the coffers of the Islamic Republic following the lifting of the sanctions. The Obama administration puts the figure between $50 billion to $100 billion. But according to Gholamreza Mesbahi Moghaddam, a leading member of the Majles Plan and Budget Commission, who served as the governor of the Iran’s Central Bank, the total figure is $130 billion.
Whatever the amount, it will allow the 76 years old sickly Khamenei, to immediately upturn Iranian hostilities in the Middle East and beyond.
The lifting of the sanctions came after international monitors concluded – based on Iran’s self-reporting – that it complied with the conditions set by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Yet, Obama and Kerry are lauding this farce as a victory of diplomacy over war.
But last August, Obama acknowledged that he has no illusions that “some of that money will flow to activities that we object to…[and] groups that threaten our interests and interests of our allies,” such as the Revolutionary Guard, the Quds force, Hezbollah and other terrorist groups. And Kerry, on CNBC on Thursday, also acknowledged that “some” of the tens of millions of dollars awarded to the regime, “will end up in the hands of the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps]” and other terrorist groups.
Kerry also reassuringly emphasized: “right now, we are not seeing the early delivery of funds going to that kind of endeavor.. [but] “I’m sure at some point some of it will.” He then threatened, “if we catch them funding terrorism, they’re going to have a problem with the United States Congress and with other people, obviously.” Who is he kidding?
Speaking in Davos, Kerry volunteered, “The calculation is that the demands of Iran and of the Rouhani administration and of the supreme leader for development in their country are such that there’s no way they can succeed in doing what they want to do if they’re very busy funding a lot of terrorism.”
But as we have seen, Kerry’s and Obama’s calculations are different than Zarif’s and his Supreme Leader. Moreover, the United Staes has demonstrated again and again its inability to monitor aid and development money that was given to Afganistan, to use but one example. Billions of dollars have gone missing from funds the U.S. is responsible by law to account for. How then can Obama and Kerry claim to know how the billions of dollars given to Iran will be used by the regime that despises the U.S. and everything it was known to stand for?
On stage in Davos, Zarif explained that Iran’s security is paramount to its economic and regional development. And in Teheran, the Supreme Leader repeated his promise, “we will never stop supporting our friends in the region and the people of Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon.” Such statements affirm the stupidity of the Obama administration’s decision to unfreeze Iran’s money.
Stupidity is not prosecutable, but funding terrorism is.
According to “18 U.S. Code § 2339C – Prohibitions against the financing of terrorism.” Obama and Kerry “directly or indirectly, unlawfully and willfully” provided… funds “with the knowledge that such funds are to be used, in full or in part…directed toward or resulted in the carrying out’ terrorist acts against the U.S.”
Obama, Kerry and other members of the administration knowingly facilitated the transfer of billions of dollars to the terrorist regime of Iran. But don’t hold your breath, they will never be held accountable.
*This article was originally published on ACDemocracy.