The United States expects that some of the sanctions relief money Iran will receive under the nuclear deal will go to fund terrorism in the Middle East, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday.
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.
But the goal here, Wolf, was never – and it was not designed to prevent them from engaging in bad behavior in the region. They’re doing that today.
Rice implied that the main mechanism preventing Iran from sending weapons to terrorists is the current arms embargo. But The New York Times reported that the nuclear deal calls for the arms embargo to be lifted in as little as five years.
Rice admitted that Iran will still be able to send money to terrorists—and they may have even more money to give:
They’re sending money now while they’re under sanctions. There’s nothing currently that is preventing them from sending money… They will have more money once they have verifiably given up their nuclear weapons capacity and any ability to reconstitute it.
A State Department official expressed similar concerns last week that “some of the resulting sanctions relief could be used by Iran to fund destabilizing actions.” Similarly, in a recenet interview with The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg, Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog expressed his fear that the deal “will unleash a lion from the cage.” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hailed the nuclear deal as a “great victory,” shortly after receiving a billion-dollar line of credit from Iran.
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