In an interview earlier today, Secretary of State John Kerry broke news by admitting, “I think that some of [the funds from sanctions relief] will end up in the hands of the IRGC or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists.”
With all due respect, Mr. Secretary, tell us something we don’t know. Iran is widely recognized as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, supporting groups like Hamas and Hezbollah that are responsible for murdering hundreds of Americans. It therefore should come as no surprise that at least some of the $100 billion in sanctions relief granted under the nuclear agreement will be used to finance terrorists.
And Secretary Kerry is not alone in this assertion. In fact, several key Obama administration officials, including the president himself, have made the exact same admission:
- “Do we think that with the sanctions coming down, that Iran will have some additional resources for its military and for some of the activities in the region that are a threat to us and a threat to our allies? I think that is a likelihood, that they’ve got some additional resources.” –President Barack Obama
- “We should expect that some portion of that money would go to the Iranian military and could potentially be used for the kinds of bad behavior that we have seen in the region up until now.” –National Security Advisor Susan Rice
- “As for Iran’s behavior, the United States is under no illusions. This agreement was never based on the expectations that it would transform the Iranian regime or cause Tehran to cease contributing to sectarian violence and terrorism in the Middle East.” –Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman
We agree. On Implementation Day this past weekend, Speaker Ryan noted, “As the president himself has acknowledged, Iran is likely to use this cash infusion—more than $100 billion in total—to finance terrorists.”
This is exactly why a bipartisan majority in the House voted to reject the nuclear deal. Sanctions should only be lifted when Iran ceases its litany of illicit activities and ends its support for terrorism. Until that day comes, we should not be complicit in fueling a regime with a long history of hostility toward the U.S. and our allies.