Will Lifting Sanctions On Iran Fund Terrorism?

After years of economic sanctions, Iran is getting access to $100 billion dollars of frozen assets. So what will Iran do with the new funds?

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As stipulated in the landmark agreement struck with the Islamic Republic of Iran, up to $100 billion in frozen assets will be returning to the country. The massive influx of funds includes some assets that have been withheld since 1979. That year, the pro-U.S. government in Iran was overthrown. Iran had a great deal of assets in the U.S. at the time, including an embassy, military equipment, and other properties. There are also huge amounts of funds tied to oil sales carried out between Iran and China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Turkey. These assets, which have been tied up in escrow. The official release of these assets will only come once the International Atomic Energy Agency has completed its thorough inspection.

What will Iran do with this influx of funds? Current predictions state that a great deal of it will go to civilian projects, including new airplanes and vital updates of Iran's energy sector. Some may also go to Iranian bank, to help lift the country's sagging economy. However, there is growing concern from the international community that some funds may wind up in the hands of terrorist organizations. Iran is a country with strong ties to groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. Perhaps most worrisome is the presence of Iran's Supreme Religious Leader, who ultimately controls all military and foreign policy decisions.

Learn More:
Joint Statement by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif Switzerland (europa.eu)
"We, the EU High Representative and the Foreign Minister of the I. R. of Iran, together with the Foreign Ministers of the E3+3 (China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States), met from 26 March to 2nd April 2015 in Switzerland. "

Here's what's in Iran's $100 billion in assets that will become unfrozen by the nuclear deal (businessinsider.com)
"The list of criticisms of the deal between a coalition of world powers and Iran to scale back the Islamic Republic's nuclear program is long and varied, but one of the biggest is the near immediate provision of what one unnamed U.S. official told Reuters said was more than $100 billion in frozen Iranian assets."

Some Iran sanctions relief likely to go to terrorists: John Kerry (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
"US Secretary of State John Kerry said today it is likely that some of the billions of dollars in sanctions relief granted to Iran under a landmark nuclear deal will go to groups deemed terrorists."